October 7, 2021

Joint Letter to President Biden on need for senior level engagement in Sudan

Filed under Public Statements

Download the PDF of this letter here.

October 7, 2021

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC   20500

Dear President Biden,

We, the undersigned 123 human rights organizations, scholars and leading activists, are writing to advocate for a renewed partnership between the U.S. and Sudan and the immediate appointment of an Ambassador and/or Special Envoy to coordinate U.S. engagement in Sudan at this critical time of democratic transformation.

In December, the U.S. is hosting The Summit for Democracy to mobilize governments and civil society and private sector leaders to promote and defend democracy.  The State Department’s web page for The Summit underscores the relationship between advancing democratic values and human rights and securing peace and economic stability at home and abroad.  We are heartened by your quote on the site saying, “Democracy doesn’t happen by accident.  We have to defend it, fight for it, strengthen it, renew it.”  Nowhere is this more true than in Sudan and nowhere is a renewed U.S. partnership more important.

In 2019, a nonviolent movement by the Sudanese people removed a 30-year dictatorship leading to a transitional government.  Despite this remarkable accomplishment, the attempted military coup in Sudan the morning of September 21, 2021 demonstrates the ongoing threat the people of Sudan face in achieving the movement’s slogan of freedom, peace and justice.  In support of these values, the Sudanese people, and U.S. interests in the region, the U.S. must accelerate its rapprochement with Sudan, namely by appointing an Ambassador and/or a Special Envoy to Sudan immediately.  Coordinated U.S. leadership in combination with well-managed financial support can help Sudan navigate the thorny issues of transition, including free and fair elections, while simultaneously developing a mutually beneficial relationship between Sudan and the United States.

We appreciate U.S. engagement to-date that has included the removal of Sudan from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.  Sudan is enacting economic reforms to secure debt relief and to help stabilize its currency and reduce inflation.  However, the population continues to struggle with a current inflation rate well over 300%.  In addition, serious internal and external challenges remain.  Most notably, deep divisions exist within the government’s civilian coalition, the military, and the armed movements as well as between the military and the civilian coalition.  Sudan’s Prime Minister has created an initiative to unite civilian and military components, but the recent attempted military coup, carried out by loyalists to the former regime, underscores the danger.  Slow progress on these and other issues is contributing to a growing discontent with the performance of the transitional government and ongoing protests across the country.

These challenges are expected given the mismanagement of the country for decades by the former regime and its deliberate strategy of divide and rule in order to maintain power, but these issues cannot be allowed to derail the vision and progress of the Sudanese people.  The U.S. can help.

A U.S. Ambassador and/or a Special Envoy can engage with and support government officials, grassroots activists, and community and religious leaders who are pursuing a genuine transition to democracy.  The U.S. can actively support economic and business development, and it can sponsor comprehensive peace and security sector reform, with clear rewards and punitive measures, that engage actors inside and outside of the formal power structures in the country.  Greater U.S. diplomatic engagement now can help secure important progress.

We have this remarkable moment to celebrate what the people of Sudan achieved, the removal of a genocidal regime and the establishment of a transitional government to facilitate democratic transformation.  As you said, this opportunity for democracy did not happen by accident, and it requires the international community to help defend and strengthen it.  Participation by senior diplomatic leadership from the U.S. is key.  Please strengthen and empower the U.S. role in realizing a just and democratic Sudan by immediately appointing an Ambassador and/or Special Envoy to Sudan.


Ambassador and former U.S. Congressman Tony Hall

Mike Capuano, former Member of Congress and founder of the Congressional Caucus on Sudan and South Sudan

Rt. Hon Professor the Lord Alton of Liverpool, Member of the U.K. House of Lords, Officer of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sudan, London, UK

Baroness Cox, Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust, Witney, Oxfordshire, UK

Dr. Akec Khoc, Former Charge d’Affaires of Sudan and Ambassador of South Sudan, New York

Ibrahim Taha Ayoub, Retired Sudanese Diplomat, Rome, Italy

David B Carver, Pastor, The First United Presbyterian Church of Crafton Heights, Pittsburgh, PA

The Reverend Ronald D. Culmer, St. Clare’s Episcopal Church, Pleasanton, CA

Ellen Wicker Cummings, Board Member – Outreach Chairman, Abukloi Foundation, Virginia Beach, VA

Rudwan Dawod, General Secretary, Sudan of the Future, Portland, OR

Matthew Kohn, Independent Filmmaker, NY

Dr. Gerard Prunier, Fellow, Atlantic Council, Paris, France

Eric Reeves, Fellow, Rift Valley Institute, Trustee, Darfur Bar Association

Rebecca Tinsley, Journalist and Author, London, UK

Dr. Jacqueline Wilson, Arlington, VA

Yahya Ahmed Adam Alim, Project Manager, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

G. Jan Colijn, Dean Emeritus, Stockton University, Pomona, NJ

Professor Dia-Eldin A Elnaiem, Rockville, MD

Robert K. Hitchcock, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Ellen J. Kennedy, Ph.D., Executive Director, World Without Genocide, St. Paul, MN

Mohamed Yassin Khalifa, Educator and Human Rights Activist, Cambridge, MA

Dr. Victoria Sanford, Founding Director, Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies, Lehman College, City University of New York, Bronx, NY

Henry C. Theriault, Ph.D., Immediate Past President, International Association of Genocide Scholars

Samuel Totten, Professor Emeritus, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Author of Genocide by Attrition: Nuba Mountains, Sudan, Fayetteville, AR

Ernesto Verdeja, Executive Director, Institute for the Study of Genocide, New York, NY

Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Act for Sudan, Eric Cohen, Co-Founder

Advocacy for Human Justice and Environmental Safety, Dr. Thomas Lubari, Director, Jinja, Eastern Uganda, Uganda

AI Sudan, Hussein Yahya Harran, Activist, Al Genina, West Darfur, Sudan

Akulia Foundation, Lita Muki, Managing Director, Juba, South Sudan

American African Foundation Against Torture, Zainelabdin Eltayeb Osman, President, Schenectady

Blue Nile Association USA, Omer Abdelsawi Omer, Washington, DC

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

Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa, Mazahir Salih, Executive Director, Iowa City

Coalition Against Global Genocide (CoAGG), Roz Duman, Founder/Executive Director, and Linda Farb, Board Chair, Denver, CO

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

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

Crane Center for Mass Atrocity Prevention, Inc, Amber Maze, Chief Program Officer, Westfield, IN

CSW (Christian Solidarity Worldwide), Mervyn Thomas CMG, Founder President, London, UK

DAAM (UK), Ali AM Hussein, UK

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

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

Darfur Bar Association, Abdelrahman Al Gasim, Khartoum, Sudan

Darfur Community Nebraska, Bakheit Shata, Director, Omaha, NE

Empower One, Mike Congrove, CEO, Dallas, TX

Global Institute Against Slavery and Genocide (GIASAG) Inc., Sunday Taabu, Founder and Chairperson

Global Partnership for Peace in South Sudan, Theresa Samuel Boko, Acting Director, Boston, MA

Group Against Torture in Sudan-GATS, Dr. Mohamed Elgadi, Secretary, Amherst, MA

Independent Movement Organization, Adil A. Salih, President, Fairfax, VA

International Partnership of the Pittsburgh Presbytery, Eddie Willson, Moderator, Pittsburgh, PA

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

Jewish World Watch, Serena Oberstein, Executive Director, Los Angeles, CA

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

Kamma Organization for Development Initiatives (KODI), Abdalla Komi Kodi, Executive Director, Kauda, Nuba Mountains / South Kordofan, Sudan

Keep Hope Alive for Africa, James Kwek, President, London, ON, Canada

Lawyers for Justice Sudan, Khartoum, Sudan

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

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

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

New York Coalition for Sudan, Eileen Weiss, Co-Founder, New York, NY

Nuba Christian Family Mission, James S. Flournoy, Board Member, Former Director, Englewoo, CO

Nuba Mountain International Association, Seifeldin B Kudi, Activist, Boston, MA

Nubia Project, USA, Nuraddin Abdulmannan

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

Pan-African Forum on Rights and Development (PAFRD), Abdalmageed Haroun, Chairperson, Vestal, NY

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

Regional Centre for Training and Development of Civil Society RCDCS, Mutaal Girshab, Director General and Mohammed Adelhalim, General Secretary of the Board of Trustees, Khartoum, Sudan

Save Darfur North Shore & Ipswich Community Action, Lakshmi Linda Sirois, Founder and Co-Organizer, Ipswich, MA

Seed for Democracy for South Sudan, Hustin Laku, Sr., Co-Founder, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Shine A Ray of Hope, Carmen Paolercio, Coordinator, New Rochelle, NY

South Sudan Women United, Nyakan Gile, Executive Director, Arlington, VA

Stop Genocide Now, Los Angeles, CA

Sudan For All, Emadeldein Bukhari, Founder, Tempe, AZ

Sudan National Democratic Forum in California, Saadia Al Khalifa, General Secretary, Oakland, CA

Sudan Peace, Osama Said Ahmed Ibrahim, Retired Banker, Omdurman, Khartoum, Sudan

Sudan Rowan, Inc., Ngor Kur Mayol, President & Co-Founder, Atlanta, GA

Sudan Social Development Organization (SUDO) North Darfur Office, Osman Munsour, Head of Office, El-Fasher, North Darfur, Sudan

Sudan Taskforce, Mohy Omer, Policy Analyst, Washington, DC

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

Sudanese American Physicians Association, Amged Abdelaziz, MD, Dearborn, MI

Sudanese American Public Affairs Association, Inc. (SAPAA), Fareed Zein, Board Chairman, Houston

Sudanese American Union of Journalists, Fatima Gazali, Journalist, Alexandra, VA

Sudanese American Women’s Organization (SAWO), Amani A. Khateeb, Treasurer, Centreville, VA

The African Middle Eastern Leadership Project (AMEL), Mohamed Abubakr, President, Washington, DC

The Democrat Newspaper, Elhag ali Warrag Sidahmed Warrag, Chairperson, Khartoum, Sudan

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

The Framework Mechanism, Achol Bark, Adocacy and Policy Coordinator, Khartoum, Sudan

The Institute for Sustainable Peace, Randall Butler, CEO, Boulder, CO

Unflinching Hope World Wide, Rev. Heidi McGinness, Omaha, NE

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

Voices for Sudan, Jimmy Mulla, President & CEO, Washington, DC

Waging Peace, Sonja Miley, Co-Executive Director, London, England, UK

Youth Care Organisation, Gai Gabriel Agok, Founder, Juba, Jonglei, South Sudan

التجمع النسوي للدمقراطية والمناصرة, ميساء فضل احمد نايل, السودان النيل الأزرق, الدماذين, النيل الأزرق, سودان
Feminist Coalition for Democracy and Advocacy, Maysa Fadel Ahmed Nile, Blue Nile, Sudan

منظمة ارودين الخيرية, مزمل عبدالرازق عثمان صالح, السودان, عبري, الشمالية, السودان
The Determinant Charitable Organization, Muzammil Abdul Raziq Othman Salih, Sudan, Ibri, Sudan

Yasir Abdelrahman, Iowa City, IA

Mamoun Abdelrazig, DSP, Iowa City, IA

Mr. Osman Abugana, New York, NY

Waleed Alaalem, Iowa City, IA

Dr. Salah Alhassan, Canterbury, Kent, UK

Luway Ali, Linguist, Alexandria, VA

Mohammed S. Ali, Coralville

Mahmoud Babikir, Boca Raton, FL

Mr. Khalid Badri, Omdurman, Khartoum, Sudan

William Casey, Alexandria, VA

Morgos Faseeh Elgomos, The Hague, Netherlands

Dr. Ahmed Elhaj, Resistance Forces, Riyadh, Sudan

Igbal Elmardi, Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Waad Hag Elnour, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

نصر الدين هجام Nasr Haggam, Bowie, MD

Mr. Ali Hamed, Resolele Trading Enterprise, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

Amal Hassan, Mazahier, Iowa City, IA

Lorraine Hiskey, Annapolis, MD

Osman Idris, Iowa City, IA

Omar Hassan Mohamed Khair, Dubai, UAE

Naila H. Mohamed, Regional Direct Manager, American Red Cross, Baltimore, MD

Dr. Omer S, Sudan

Elhassen Hashim Mohamed Osman, Anti Dams…Dal Dam, Khartoum, Sudan

Mr. Mahdi Ibrahim Saeed, Polokwane, Limpopo, South Africa

Hayder J. Sadig, Engineer, Tampa, FL

Amar H. Samel, Iowa City, IA

Nadi Satti, Sr. IT Advisor, Fairfax, VA

Mr. Muawia Suleiman, Sudanese Community in the U.K., London, UK


Letter organized by Act for Sudan, the Sudan Taskforce and Sudan Unlimited