September 24, 2019

Dear Secretary Pompeo, Do not engage with Hemeti.

Filed under Public Statements

Download the PDF version of this letter here.

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

Dear Secretary Pompeo,

We, the undersigned 100 human rights organizations, scholars and leading activists, strongly urge the Administration to establish a policy that prohibits representatives and employees of the U.S. government from engaging with Sudanese General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo also known as “Hemeti.” 

Hemeti, the commander of the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary force formerly known as the “Janjaweed,” is responsible for organizing and committing horrific violence against the men, women and children of Sudan.  Despite his role in terrorizing the country, Hemeti sits on the new Sovereign Council that is charged with leading Sudan through a 39-month transition period to elections.

While we urge the U.S. to remain intensely engaged in supporting the people of Sudan to achieve freedom, justice, equal citizenship and genuine peace, engaging with Hemeti sends the wrong message.  It provides a sense of legitimacy and defacto impunity to one of Sudan’s worst offenders.  Hemeti is not a legitimate leader but rather a dangerous criminal who should be sanctioned by the U.S. and referred to the International Criminal Court for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.   

With an eleven-member Sovereign Council and a new Prime Minister, the U.S. has many avenues of influence in Sudan.  Engaging with Hemeti is not required.  Just as the U.S. refused to engage with former President Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for the same crimes, the U.S. must also refuse to engage with Hemeti. 


Act for Sudan, Eric Cohen, Co-Founder, USA
Frank Wolf, Member of Congress 1981-2014, Retired
ACROSS, Elisama Daniel, Executive Director, Nairobi, Kenya
Adil Abdel Aati, Sudan of the Future Block, Sudan
Aicha Elbasri, Former Spokesperson for the United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
African Freedom Coalition, Al Sutton M.D., President, New York, NY
African Soul, American Heart, Debra Dawson, President and CEO, Fargo, ND
American African Foundation Against Torture, Zain Alabdeen A Osman, President, Schenectady, NY
Beja Organization for Human Rights and Development, Ibrahim Ahmed, President and Co-Founder, Fairfax, VA
Brooklyn Coalition for Darfur & Marginalized Sudan, Laura Limuli, Coordinator, Brooklyn, NY
Charles Flowerday, CEO, C. Flowerday Communications, Formerly Editor/Comm. Ofcr., Conserv. and Survey Div./School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Omaha, NE
Christian Solidarity Worldwide, London, , UK
Coalition Against Global Genocide (CoAGG), Linda Farb, Board Chair, and Roz Duman, Founder/Executive Director, Denver, CO
Claire Vera, Nuba Now, UK
Coalition of Advocates for South Sudan, Bill Andress, Executive Secretary, Lexington, SC
Comité Soudan, Diagne Chanel, Présidente, Paris, France
Concerned Citizens for Change, Gene Binder, Member Steering Committee, Bronx, NY
DAAM-UK, Ali AM Hussein, Co-ordinator, London, UK
Darfur Action Group, Austin Watson, Darfur Action Group, Hendersonville, NC
Darfur Action Group of South Carolina, Richard Sribnick, MD, President, Columbia, SC
Darfur and Beyond, Cory Williams, Co-Founder, Phoenix, AZ
Darfur Interfaith Network, Martha Boshnick, Co-Chair, Washington, DC
David Alton, Professor the Lord Alton, Independent Crossbench Peer, London, UK
Dear Sudan Love Marin, Gerri Miller, Founder and Coordinator, Tiburon, CA
Doctors to the World, Nuba Mountains, The Sudan, C. Louis “pj” Perrinjaquet, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Breckenridge, CO
Dr. Gregory H. Stanton, Founding President, Genocide Watch, McLean, VA
Dr. Robert K. Hitchcock, Kalahari Peoples Fund (Austin, TX), Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Dr. Samuel Totten, Professor Emeritus, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Author of Genocide by Attrition: Nuba Mountains, Sudan
Ellen J. Kennedy, Ph.D., Executive Director, World Without Genocide at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, St. Paul, MN
Empowerment Through Education (ETE), Micklina Kenyi, Executive Director, Boulder, CO
Enough Project, Ian Schwab, Director of Advocacy and Impact Strategy, Washington, DC
Eric Reeves, Sudan research, analysis, advocacy, asylum representation, , Northampton, MA
Faith J.H. McDonnell, Director, International Religious Liberty Program, Institute on Religion and Democracy, Washington, DC
Genocide No More – Save Darfur, Marv Steinberg, Coordinator, Redding, CA
Gill Lusk (Ms.), Writer on Sudan, London, UK
Help Nuba, Rabbi David Kaufman, Des Moines, IA
Henry C. Theriault, Ph.D., President, International Association of Genocide Scholars
Human Rights and Development Organization (HUDO Centre), Bushra Gamar Hussein, Executive Director, Kampala, Uganda
Idaho Darfur Coalition, Boise, ID
Institute for Sustainable Peace, Randall Butler, CEO, Boulder, CO
Investors Against Genocide, Susan Morgan, Co-Founder, San Francisco, CA
Ipswich Community Action, Lakshmi Linda Sirois, Co-Organizer, Ipswich, MA
Jewish World Watch, Susan Freudenheim, Executive Director, Los Angeles, CA
Jews Against Genocide, USA, Sharon Silber, Co-Founder, New York, NY
John Hubbel Weiss, Associate Professor Emeritus, Cornell University; Founder/Director, Darfur Action Group, Cornell
Joining Our Voices, Slater Armstrong, Director, Baton Rouge, LA
Learning Victory, Inc., Ariik Nyok, MPA, Executive Director, Long Island City, NY
Mary Jane Rein, Ph.D., Executive Director, Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University
Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur, William Rosenfeld, Director, Boston, MA
Mercy Beyond Borders, Sr. Marilyn Lacey, Executive Director, Santa Clara, CA
Mohamed Yassin Khalifa, Educator & Human Rights Activist, Boston, MA
Mohaned Elnour, Director, Justice Centre for Advocacy and Legal Consultations (JCALC), Khartoum, Sudan
Mosaab Baba, Independent Researcher, Nairobi, Kenya
Nancy Dawod, Sudan Activist, Eugene, OR
Never Again Coalition
, Lauren Fortgang, Director, Portland, OR
New Sudan Council of Churches, Benjamin Barnaba, Executive Director, Juba City, Central Equatoria, South Sudan
New York Coalition for Sudan, Eileen Weiss, Co-Founder, New York, NY
New York Darfur Vigil Group, Helga Moore, Co-ordinator, New York, NY
Nuba Christian Family Mission, Spencer Flournoy, Director, Denver, CO
Nuba Mountain Peace Coalition, Tito El Gassai, Representative, Dallas, TX
Nubia Project, Nuraddin Abdulmannan, President, USA
Nubian Language Society, Nubantood Khalil, Washington, DC
Operation Broken Silence, Mark C. Hackett, Executive Director, Memphis, TN
Our Humanity in the Balance, Terry Nickelson, Executive Director, Deming, NM
Paul Slovic, Lane County Darfur Coalition, Eugene, OR
People4Sudan, Geneva, Switzerland
Persecution Project Foundation, Bradford Phillips, President, Culpeper, VA
Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition, David Rosenberg, Coordinator, Pittsburgh, PA
Pius K. Kamau MD, General Surgery, President, AAHEP (Africa America Higher Education Partnership), Aurora, CO
Regional Centre for Training and Development of Civil Society, Mutaal Girshab, Director General, Khartoum, Sudan
Rev. Heidi McGinness, International Peacemaker, Omaha, NE
Reverend Ronald D. Culmer, St. Clare’s Episcopal Church, Pleasanton, CA
Rights for Peace Foundation, Osman Naway Habila, Director, Kansas City, MO and Kampala, Uganda
San Francisco Bay Area Darfur Coalition, Mohamed Suleiman, President, San Francisco, CA
Save The Persecuted Christians, Dede Laugesen, Executive Director, Monument, CO
Seif Barsham, Human Rights Activist, Boston, MA
South Sudan Civil Society Alliance (SSCSA)
, Keluel Agok, Secretary General, Juba, South Sudan
South Sudan Community in Norway, Alakai Joseph Sekwat, Chairman, Norway
STAND: The student-led movement to end mass atrocities, Grace Fernandes, Student Director, Washington, DC
Stop Genocide Now, Los Angeles, CA
Sudan of the Future, Rudwan Dawod, Vice President, Khartoum, Sudan
Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency, Ishraga Ahmed Khamis, Blue Nile State, Sudan
Sudan Unlimited, Esther Sprague, Founder and Director, San Francisco, CA
Sudanese Women Rights Action, Huda Ali, Programs Director, Kampala, Uganda
The African Middle Eastern Leadership Project (AMEL), Mohamed Abubakr, President, Washington, DC
The Baroness Cox, Independent Member, House of Lords, UK Parliament, London, UK
The Rt. Reverend Julian M. Dobbs, Bishop, Anglican Diocese of The Living Word​, Manassas, VA
The Center for Democracy and Peace, Sabri Elshareef, Executive Director, New Jersey, NJ
The Elsa-Gopa Trust, Nell Okie, Director, Madison, CT
The Jerusalem Center for Genocide Prevention (JC4GP), Yael Stein MD, Co-Founder, Jerusalem, Israel
The MagkaSama Project, France
The People’s Portfolio
The Rt. Reverend Julian M. Dobbs, Bishop, Anglican Diocese of The Living Word​, Manassas, VA
The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA), Khartoum, Sudan
Thomas Kühne, Ph.D, Director, Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Strassler Professor of Holocaust History, Clark University, Worcester, MA, USA
Unite for Darfur Organization, Bahar Arabie, CEO, Gaithersburg, MD
Victoria Sanford, PhD, Professor of Anthropology, Lehman College, Director, Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies, Doctoral Faculty, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Bronx, NY, USA
Voice for Change (VFC), Lona James Elia, Juba, Yei River State, South Sudan
Voice of Darfur Women, UK
Waging Peace, Rebecca Tinsley, Founder, London, UK

cc:  Amb. Tibor P. Nagy, Jr., Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs
Amb. Donald Booth, Special Envoy for Sudan