June 13, 2018

Letter to Secretary Pompeo on Sudan policy

Filed under Public Statements


The Honorable Michael Pompeo
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC   20520

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We, the undersigned 84 Sudanese, scholars, human rights organizations and leading activists, urge you to take a fresh, clear-eyed look at U.S. policy on Sudan.  Despite decades of engagement by hundreds of thousands of activists and by the U.S. government itself, our collective work over the years has not been enough.  Not enough to stop the government sponsored killings.  Not enough to force a breakthrough so that the millions of displaced can get humanitarian assistance.  Not enough to end the marginalization and targeting of Sudanese citizens, human rights defenders and journalists.  Not enough to transform the political model in Sudan that victimizes millions while advancing extremist ideologies.  Not enough to end the regime that is the root cause of Sudan’s problems.  Not enough.  Not yet.

In Sudan, we are learning hard, cruel lessons about power and evil in the world.  Twenty-nine years of President Bashir heading an NCP government in Sudan tells a repeating story of mass atrocities, ethnic cleansing, denial of food and medicine, rape as a weapon of war, and genocide by the army and militias, while its leaders do their creative best to distract the West from focusing on stopping them.  Millions of Darfuris who were driven out of their villages and off their land are still unable to return because it is unsafe.  Meanwhile, the government is settling ethnic Arab people on Darfuri land, from other places in Sudan or outside of Sudan, raising the specter of succeeding in the final stage of genocide by permanently eliminating the African people of the Zaghawa, Massaleit, and Fur tribes from Darfur.

We must not underestimate the determined, deliberate, and committed nature of Bashir and the NCP, nor underestimate how much their control of the power of the state protects and insulates them.

The international community acquiesces in the perverse arrangement that the government of Sudan first perpetrates the abuses, creates the crises, and then gets to decide if, when, and how it will approve each proposed step that might respond to the crises. The Government is increasingly effective in blocking news from Sudan, limiting access to selective regions, and impeding UNAMID’s effectiveness. The janjaweed militia are stronger and more deadly, having been formalized as the Rapid Support Forces, with heavier arms, uniforms, and a command structure under the control of the NISS. Attacks and bombings of civilians that had been a daily occurrence, subsided for some months, but have begun to surge again. Humanitarian access and assistance continues to be impeded or blocked altogether, despite commitments made to the US when we lifted sanctions in 2017.

The crises and genocide in Sudan continue, 15 years and counting for Darfur and 7 years and counting for the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile.

Over the years, Bashir has learned that there are little or no consequences for his actions, that there are no consequences for breaking his commitments, that the U.S. along with the West is a paper tiger. Impunity reigns. Nothing, yet, has happened to force Bashir to change his strategy for staying in power by exploiting ethnic and religious differences to victimize the marginalized people of Sudan.

A new, effective US policy on Sudan is long overdue and real transformation in Sudan is possible. The US does not have to send the First Infantry Division to Sudan. Financial pressures are essential, but by themselves are not enough, unless the US forces the financial isolation of Sudan.

The U.S. can announce that we will deliver humanitarian aid, without approval from Sudan, and then send the first cargo plane to airdrop food to the Nuba Mountains.

The U.S. can support an end to the NCP regime and support the movement within Sudan for democratic transformation.

The U.S. can support the opposition and the SRF rebels who are fighting for regime change. That help can begin by inviting them to the U.S. and providing education and training in how to work together to create the new Sudan.

And, the U.S. can take a first step to protect Nuban, Blue Nile, and Darfuri populations from air attacks. We need only respond to an air attack by destroying one Antonov, Sukhoi or MiG on the ground with a readily available drone or cruise missile to show that the rules have changed.

People who hope for “Never Again” wanted Bashir stopped during the first genocide in the Nuba Mountains in the 1990s, but we’ve seen the second in South Sudan, the third in Darfur, and the fourth in Blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains.  How many genocides, from the same regime, will the United States watch before it will act for Sudan?


ACROSS, Elisama W Daniel, Executive Director, Juba, South Sudan

Act for Sudan, Eric Cohen, Co-Founder, USA

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

African Soul, American Heart, Deb Dawson, President, CEO, Fargo, ND, USA

Ahmed H. Adam, Research Associate, School of Law, SOAS University of London, UK

Al Khatim Adlan Center for Enlightenment & Human Development (KACE), Albaqir al-Affif Mukhtar (PhD), Director, Kampala, Uganda

American Friends of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan (AFRECS), Richard Parkins, Executive Director, Alexandria, VA, USA

Ariik Nyok, MPA, Founder and Executive Director, Learning Victory, Inc., Long Island City, NY, USA

Bonnie Abaunza, Founder, Abaunza Group, Los Angeles, CA, USA

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

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

Collectif Urgence Darfour, Dr. Jacky Mamou, President, Paris, France

DAAM-UK, Ali Abdelatif M. Hussein, London, UK

Damanga Coalition for Freedom & Democracy, Mohamed A. Yahya, Executive Director, Daoud Salih, Co-Founder and Board President,Washington, DC, USA

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

Darfur and Beyond, Cory Williams, Co-Founder, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Darfur Bar Association, Abdelrahman Gasim, External Relations Secretary, Uganda

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

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

Darfur People’s Association of New York, Motasim Adam, Secretary General, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Darfur Women Action Group, Niemat Ahmadi, Founder/President, Washington, DC, USA

David Alton, Professor the Lord Alton of Liverpool, Independent Crossbench Peer Member of House of Lords, London, UK

Doctors to the World, C. Louis Perrinjaquet, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Breckenridge, CO, USA

Dr. Deborah Mayersen, Research Fellow, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Elhag ali Warrag, Editor in chief, Hurriyat Sudan, Kampala, Uganda

End Impunity Organization, Angelina Daniel Seeka, Regional Director, Juba, South Sudan

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

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

Genocide Watch, Dr. Gregory H. Stanton, Founding Chairman, McLean, VA, USA

Georgia Coalition to Prevent Genocide, Melanie Nelkin, Chair, Atlanta, GA, USA

Gill Lusk, Writer on the Sudans, London, UK

Group Against Torture in Sudan-GATS, Mohamed Elgadi, Acting Secretary, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Hamid E. Ali, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Public Policy and Administration, The American University in Cairo, New Cairo, Egypt

Harry Potter Alliance, Matt Maggiacomo, Executive Director, Cranston, RI, USA

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, USA

Humanity Is Us, Kimberly Hollingsworth, Founder & President, New York, NY, USA

Institute on Religion and Democracy, Faith McDonnell, Director, Church Alliance for a New Sudan, Washington, DC, USA

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

Investors Against Genocide, Susan Morgan, Co-Founder, San Francisco, CA, USA

Ipswich Community Action, Lakshmi Linda Sirois, Co-founder and Co-organizer, Ipswich,  MA, USA

Jewish World Watch, Susan Freudenheim, Executive Director, Encino, CA, USA

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

John H. Weiss, Associate Professor of History, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

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

Lehman Center for Human Rights & Peace Studies, Dr. Victoria Sanford, Director, Bronx, NY, USA

Massachusetts Coalition for Darfur, William Rosenfeld, Director, Boston, MA, USA

Mohamed Y. Khalifa, Instructor, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

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

National Human Rights Monitors Organization (NHRMO), Montasir Nasir Waren, Executive Director, Kauda, Southern Kordofan/ Nuba Mountains, Sudan

Never Again Coalition, Lauren Fortgang, Policy Director, Portland, Oregon, USA

New York Coalition for Sudan, Eileen Weiss, Co-Director, New York, NY, USA

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

Nuba Christian Family Mission, George Tuto, Chairman, Denver, CO, USA

Nuba Mountain International Association, Motaz Ali, Member, Aurora, CO, USA

Nuba Mountains Peace Coalition, Robert Cooper, Dallas, TX, USA

Nubia Project, Nuraddin Abdulmannan, President, Washington, DC, USA

OMNI Center for Peace, Justice & Ecology, Gladys Tiffany, Executive Director, Fayetteville, AR, USA

Our Humanity in the Balance, Terry Nickelson, Executive Director, Deming, NM, USA

Paul Slovic, Professor and Genocide Scholar, Eugene, OR, USA

People4Sudan, Valerie Delacretaz, Global Coordinator, Geneva, Switzerland

Peter Van Arsdale, Ph.D., Director of African Initiatives, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, Denver, CO, USA

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

Prof. Mukesh Kapila, Former Head of the UN in Sudan, Prof. of Global Health at the University of Manchester and Chief Executive at The Defeat-NCD Partnership, Switzerland & United Kingdom

Rebecca Tinsley, Journalist, Founder of Waging Peace, London, United Kingdom

Rev. Heidi McGinness, International Human Rights Activist, Denver , CO, USA

Rights for Peace Foundation, Osman Habila, Director, Kansas City, MO, USA

Robert Skloot, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA

Seed for Democracy for South Sudan, Hustin Laku, Sr, Co-founder, Canada

Seifeldin Kudi (Seif Barsham), Human Rights Defender, Boston, MA, USA

Skills for Nuba Mountains, Lazim Suleiman El Basha, Executive Director, Kauda, South Kordofan, Sudan

Society for Threatened Peoples – Germany, Ulrich Delius, Director, Göttingen, Germany

Stop Genocide Now, Katie-Jay Scott, Program coordinator, Redondo Beach, CA, USA

Sudan Sunrise, Tom Prichard, Executive Director, Fairfax, VA, USA

Sudan Unlimited, Esther Sprague, Director, San Francisco, CA, USA

The Baroness (Caroline) Cox, Member of the House of Lords and CEO Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART),  London, UK

The Elsa-Gopa Trust, Nell Okie, Director, Madison, CT, USA

The MagkaSama Project, Max Dana, Founder, Paris, France

The Rev. David B. Carver, Pastor, First U.P. Church of Crafton Heights, Moderator, International Partnership Ministry Team of Pittsburgh Presbytery, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

The Rev. Oja B. Gafour, PhD, Vicar, Sudanese Community Church, Episcopal Church in Colorado, Denver, CO, USA

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

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

Waging Peace, Maddy Crowther and Sonja Miley, Co-Executive Directors, London, United Kingdom

World Peace & Reconciliation (WR&P), Dr. Adeeb Yousif, President, Kampala, Uganda

World Without Genocide at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, Ellen J. Kennedy, Ph.D, Executive Director, St. Paul, MN, USA