WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 9, 2016 – Act for Sudan calls on President-elect Trump to take advantage of the unique opportunity of the start of his new administration to dramatically change the dynamics and effectiveness of U.S. policy on Sudan by implementing a strong policy to end the government-sponsored violence in Sudan, protect civilians, ensure unhindered humanitarian access for those in need, and bring the perpetrators of genocide and mass atrocities to justice at the International Criminal Court.
The opportunity for effecting change in Sudan is amplified by a combination of factors, including increased internal political opposition; effective resistance by rebels united with a vision for a democratic, secular, inclusive Sudan; growing protests by civil society in Sudan due to economic failure brought on by the regime’s incompetent management and prioritization of financing wars against its own people; sustained pressure from U.S. sanctions; and the potential impact of a new, strong U.S. policy on Sudan that supports change, in contrast to the Obama policy that has allowed genocide and mass atrocities to continue in Sudan.
President Obama’s policy on Sudan is a stunning failure that must be corrected by the next president.
The U.S. must implement a new pro-democracy and civilian protection-oriented policy that holistically addresses the root cause of Sudan’s multiple conflicts: the repressive and genocidal Sudan regime.
U.S policy on Sudan must reflect the continuing strategic threat that the government of Sudan poses, not only to its people, but also in destabilizing its neighbors and the region; in supporting terrorism inside Sudan and internationally; and in its leadership role in the violent extremism of the Muslim Brotherhood.
U.S. policy on Sudan must reflect the fact that U.S. law recognizes that the actions and policies of the Government of Sudan “continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”
The Obama administration has frequently expressed grave concerns, but has pursued a policy of engagement, even now, employing conciliatory diplomacy rather than confronting the regime in Sudan with consequences for genocide and crimes against humanity. Over the last eight years, Sudan’s President Bashir and the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) have learned that there are few or no real consequences for their actions.
U.S. policy on Sudan has allowed the genocide in Darfur to continue and the same government to initiate another genocide against its people in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile regions of Sudan. Crimes against humanity, war crimes, obstructing U.N. peacekeepers, mass rape, cultural obliteration, bombing of civilians, contravening a variety of U.N. Security Council demands, and blocking humanitarian assistance are commonplace even as millions of Sudanese in regions around the country suffer from crisis and emergency levels of food insecurity. Religious persecution is on the rise with the government arresting pastors, threatening them with execution, and confiscating churches. In addition, Sudan has been permitted to provide money and weapons to renegade elements to destabilize its neighbors, including South Sudan and Libya, and to support jihadi terrorists and Islamic extremists in the region, including Mali, Libya, and Gaza. Recent reports of Sudan using chemical weapons against civilians illustrate the heinous nature of the regime in Khartoum and reflects its sense of impunity.
U.S. policy on Sudan must change in order to change the political calculations of the government of Sudan.
The next president of the United States must confront the crises in Sudan, end the genocide and mass atrocities, and set Sudan on a path to peace and justice.
Confronting the regime in Sudan should include implementing some or all of these actions: