August 2, 2017

Letter to President Trump on Sudan Sanctions

August 2, 2017

The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We the undersigned 67 U.S.-based Sudanese and American human rights organizations, faith-based organizations and leading advocates write out of concern about the possibility of the United States permanently lifting sanctions on Sudan. Since the sanctions decision was postponed until October 12, 2017, we ask you to use the time to clearly test whether the government of Sudan has fundamentally changed its ways, or if it is merely agreeing to minimal changes that it can easily reverse.

As you know, the government of Sudan is led by Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Since Bashir seized power in 1989, millions of Sudanese have been violently displaced from their homes and millions have died due to attacks, untreated diseases and malnutrition. Bashir has destroyed the institutions, economy and culture of Sudan and stamped out basic freedoms and human rights, while personally profiting from the revenue generated by Sudan’s natural resources. Bashir has welcomed terrorists to Sudan and encouraged the spread of a violent, extreme islamist ideology that is responsible for attacks on the United States. Bashir and his government have not changed. The government of Sudan continues to attack civilians, refuses to allow humanitarian aid to reach those in need, maintains support for terrorist networks, persecutes Christians and other religious minorities, and denies human rights to political opposition, civil society and marginalized people throughout the country.

The Obama administration frequently expressed grave concerns, but pursued a policy of engagement, 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. They have learned that they can ignore international demands while making no real changes to the policies that earned it international condemnation.

We ask that you make a clear break from President Obama’s failed policy on Sudan. An improved U.S. policy on Sudan does not begin with reducing the pressure of economic sanctions, but rather with setting clear and high performance goals that include dramatic improvements in respect for human rights and civilian protection and a complete end to blocking humanitarian aid.

To evaluate what changes are truly underway in Sudan, U.S. officials must be able to travel throughout Sudan unaccompanied and unhindered by the Sudan government. Real change, in addition to critical needs on the ground, can only be assessed independently and in partnership with credible international NGOs to serve as interlocutors. The burden of proof of real change is on the Sudan government. Sudan’s failure to cooperate with the United States on even this basic requirement indicates a level of insincerity that does not fool the suffering people of Sudan and should not deceive your Administration.

We urge you to ensure that strong pressures are brought to bear on the government of Sudan until it ends its support of terrorism, ends its wars against its people and demonstrates positive actions that clearly and significantly improve the lives of all Sudanese. Lifting sanctions prematurely and allowing a genocidal government access to financial resources is dangerous and it puts Sudanese, Americans and others at considerable and unnecessary risk.


21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, Nathan Wineinger, Director of Policy Relations, Falls Church, VA

Act for Sudan, Eric Cohen, Co-founder

Darfur Human Rights Organisation Of the USA, Abdelgabar Adam, Founder/President, Philadelphia, PA

Andudu Adam Elnail, Bishop of the Diocese of Kadugli (Sudan), Harrisonburg, VA

African Freedom Coalition, Al Sutton M.D., President, New York, NY

African Soul, American Heart, Debra Dawson, President and CEO, Fargo, ND

Beja Organization for Human Rights and Development, Ibrahim T. Ahmed, Herndon, VA

Brooklyn Coalition for Darfur & Marginalized Sudan, Laura Limuli, Coordinator, Brooklyn, NY

Caceres-Neuffer Genocide Action Group, Cornell University, John H.Weiss, Director, Professor of History, Ithaca, NY

Church Alliance for a New Sudan, Faith J. H. McDonnell, Director, Washington, DC

Christian Solidarity International – USA, The Rev. Heidi McGinness, Director of Outreach, Denver, CO

Colorado Coalition for Genocide Awareness and Action, Roz Duman, Founder/Director, Denver, CO

Concerned Citizens For Change, Gene Binder, Member Steering Committee, Bronx, NY

Damanga Coalition for Freedom and Democracy, Daowd Salih, Co-Founder and Board President, Peapack, NJ

Darfur Action Group of South Carolina, Richard Sribnick, MD, Chairman, Columbia, SC

Darfur and Beyond, Cory Williams, Co-Founder, Phoenix, AZ

Darfur Community Organization, Bakheit A. Shata, Founder and Executive Director, Omaha, NE

Darfur Interfaith Network, Martha Boshnick, Co-chair, Washington, DC

Darfur People’s Association of New York, Mohamed Haroun Ebead, President, Brooklyn, NY

Darfur Vigil Group, Helga Moor, Coordinator, New York, NY

Dear Sudan, Love Marin, Gerri Miller, Founder, Tiburon, CA

Doctors to the World, C. Louis Perrinjaquet, MD, Medical Director, Breckenridge, CO
Aicha Elbasri, former Spokesperson for the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur, New York, NY

The Rev. Ayyoubawaga B. Gafour, PhD, Sudanese Community Church, Episcopal Church in Colorado, Denver, CO

Genocide No More–Save Darfur, Marv Steinberg, Coordinator, Redding, CA

Genocide Watch, Dr. Gregory Stanton, Founding Chairman, Research Professor, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University, Arlington, VA

Daoud Hari, Sudanese activist, author of “The Translator, A Tribesman’s Memoir of Darfur,” Asbury Park, NJ

Help Nuba, Rabbi David Kaufman, Co-founder, Des Moines, IA

Bruce and Karen Henderson, former Presbyterian short-term missionaries in Sudan and educators at Nile Theological College (Khartoum), Waverly, OH

Humanity Is Us, Kimberly Hollingsworth, Founder, New York, NY

Independent Movement Organization, Adil Taha, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Fairfax, VA

Institute on Religion and Democracy, Washington, DC

International Justice Project, Monica Feltz, Executive Director, Newark, NJ

Investors Against Genocide, Susan Morgan, Co-founder, San Francisco, CA

Jewish World Watch, Susan Freudenheim, Executive Director, Los Angeles, CA

Jews Against Genocide, Sharon Silber, Co-Founder, New York, NY

Joining Our Voices, Slater Armstrong, Founder/Director, Baton Rouge, LA

Khalid Kodi, Sudanese/American artist and educator, Adjunct Professor, Boston College, Boston, MA

Long Island Darfur Action Group, Nancy Walsh, Coordinator, Farmingdale, NY

Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur, William Rosenfeld, Director, Boston, MA

Dr. Rafael Medoff, Founding Director, The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, Washington, DC

Melanie Nelkin, Georgia Commission on the Holocaust’s 2014 Humanitarian Award winner, Atlanta, GA

Never Again Coalition, Lauren Fortgang, Policy Director, Portland, OR

New York Coalition for Sudan, Eileen Weiss, co-founder, New York, NY

Nuba Mountains Advocacy Group USA, Gogadi Amoga, Chair, Batavia, OH

Nuba Mountains International Association USA, Komi Alaiaiser, President, Lorton, VA

Nuba Mountains Peace Coalition, Robert Cooper, Dallas, TX

Nubia Project, Nuraddin Abdulmannan, President, Washington, DC

Operation Broken Silence, Mark C. Hackett, Executive Director, Memphis, TN

Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition, David Rosenberg, Coordinator, Pittsburgh, PA

Presbyterian Church (USA), Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, Washington, DC

Eric Reeves, Sudan Researcher, Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Northampton, MA

Rights for Peace Foundation, Osman Naway Habila, General Director, Kansas city, MO

Hawa Abdalla Salih, Human Rights and Women’s Rights Activist, Recipient, 2012 U.S. Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award, Philadelphia, PA

San Francisco Bay Area Darfur Coalition, Mohamed Suleiman, President, San Francisco, CA

Mustafa Sharif, PhD., Lecturer of Urban Planning, Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, College of Architecture, Texas A&M University , College Station, TX

STAND: The Student-Led Movement to End Mass Atrocities, Savannah Wooten, Student Director, Washington, DC

Stop Genocide Now, Katie-Jay Scott, Redondo Beach, CA

Sudan Ministry, Church of the Apostles, Anglican, The Reverend Joe Acanfora, Rector, Fairfax, VA

Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-N), Philip Tutu, Representative and Chairman-USA, Kansas City, MO

Sudan Unlimited, Esther Sprague, Founder and Director, San Francisco, CA

Dr. Samuel Totten, Author of “Genocide by Attrition, Nuba Mountains, Sudan” (Transaction, 2015), Professor Emeritus, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

Unite for Darfur Organization, Bahar Arabie, CEO, Gaithersburg, MD

United Sudanese and South Sudanese Communities Association (USASSCA), Henry Lejukole, Chairman, Des Moines, IA

Use Your Voice to Stop Genocide RI, Sandra Hammel, Director, Portsmouth, RI

Rev. Gloria E. White-Hammond, M.D., Co-Pastor of Bethel AME Church and Executive Director of My Sister’s Keeper, Boston, MA

World Peace and Reconciliation, Adeeb Yousif, President, Arlington, VA