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WASHINGTON, DC – February 7, 2017 – Act for Sudan is gravely concerned that the victims of persecution and genocidal violence by the government of Sudan may suffer further, and unnecessarily, as an unintended consequence of President Trump’s Executive Order that temporarily suspends admission for visa holders and suspends the resettlement of refugees. Although the government of Sudan is a long time supporter of terrorism, both internationally and inside Sudan, we believe that measures can be taken to protect U.S. national security without putting the lives of innocent civilians and victims of the Sudanese government in further danger. We call on President Trump to adjust the U.S. immigration and visa policy as quickly as possible to help protect persecuted, marginalized and endangered Sudanese.
Since 2003, the current Sudan regime has been targeting civilians in Darfur, Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan, and Blue Nile with ongoing aerial bombardment, by deploying government-backed militias, and by restricting access of journalists and humanitarian aid organizations to these and other areas of Sudan. The government of Sudan has deliberately created a massive humanitarian crisis, causing millions of displaced people to seek refuge and safety. These tormented victims of genocide now undergoing conditions designed to destroy them as a people and as a society.
By stopping the refugee resettlement program, the Executive Order effectively targets the same civilians targeted by the government-backed violence.
As a coalition of 76 organizations from across the United States that is working to bring peace, protection, and justice to the people of Sudan since 2010, we are also very concerned that Sudan government officials and diplomats, who are responsible for genocide and mass atrocities in Sudan and for supporting the network of terrorism worldwide, are not prohibited by the Executive Order from entering the U.S. Rather than targeting those devastated by state-sponsored violence in Sudan who seek refuge in the U.S., we urge the Trump Administration to focus its attention on ending impunity by returning smart sanctions against Sudan and bringing the perpetrators of genocide and mass atrocities to justice.
We urge the Trump Administration to implement a strong policy on Sudan that includes taking immediate action to end government-sponsored violence, protect civilians, and ensure unhindered international humanitarian access for those in need. The people of Sudan have suffered for far too long despite decades of support by the American people. We urge the Trump Administration to continue the friendship and support for the people of Sudan in their struggle for freedom, justice, equality and peace.