An Open Letter to President Obama sign now



As members of the Sudanese Diaspora in America, American friends to the people of Sudan, student associations, representatives of human rights, and faith-based groups, we are calling on your Administration not to lift sanctions on Sudan, nor remove Sudan from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism until the Government of Sudan fully implements the North-South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), brings an end to the ongoing genocide in Darfur, and discontinues agitating political and ethnic tensions in the east, the Nuba Mountains and Nubia in the North.

We are very concerned that your high-level administrations policymaker on Sudan asserts that there was no basis for keeping Sudan on the U.S. list of states that sponsor terrorism and that it was only a matter of time before the United States would have to "unwind" economic sanctions against the Khartoum regime. We believe this approach will not lead to a just and stable Sudan.

The following are incentives for our position:

1)After four years following the signing of the CPA, Khartoum has delayed, sabotaged and obstructed its implementation.

2)In May 2006, the regime in Khartoum signed the Darfur Peace Agreement with one opposition group. Yet again, the agreement has not been fully implemented. Humanitarian conditions on the ground, particularly in Darfur region, have not improved. Khartoum has continued to attack Darfuri refugee camps and delayed the deployment of the United Nations Security Councils mandated peacekeeping forces.

3)In response to the International Criminal Courts July 2008 issuance of an arrest warrant against Sudans sitting head of state, 13 international and three local nongovernmental organizations were expelled from the country. The indictment of President Al-Bashir provides an opportunity to address the cycle of impunity that has fueled some of the worst war crimes in the world.

4)In eastern Sudan, political tensions persist despite the signing of the 2006 peace agreement. Many in the Nuba Mountains have seen a buildup of Sudan armed forces and militiamen similar to the Janjawid in Darfur. In fact, recently, there have been spates of intercommunal fighting in Nuba Mountains between Arab and African tribes. Finally, clashes between government forces and local militia groups in Nubia have also taken place in protests over the building of dams which residents of Nubia fear will cause large-scale displacement.

5)Almost five years ago, former Secretary of State Colin Powell declared that the United States had found a consistent and widespread pattern of atrocities that constituted genocide. Reversing this position of U.S. policy on Sudan will further deprive the citizens of that country.

The Sudanese people want peace and justice, and U.S. leadership in support of accountability is crucial. We call upon your administration to lay out a plan that would include the following:

1)Leadership in supporting the African Union-United Nations hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) in its efforts to provide protection to the long-suffering Darfuri civilians;

2)A more effective Darfur peace process modeled after the CPA, in which the U.S. took a leading role and was supported by a multilateral structure that had international leverage and expertise;

3)A comprehensive strategy for Sudan that focuses on helping to achieve permanent peace and security in Darfur and the surrounding regions, maintaining and strengthening peace between North and South Sudan, and promoting democracy and conflict prevention throughout the nation.
We believe that lifting the sanctions and removing Khartoum from the list of states sponsoring terrorism especially when that regimes leaders are under indictment for war crimes -- will communicate the wrong message to the world. It is further our conviction that the United States should take these steps only after the regime ends the genocide in Darfur, fully implements the implementation CPA, and brings peace to all of Sudan.

Thank you for your consideration of our thoughts and opinions.

Yours truly,


Sudanese American people and their friends



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Paulette ClementsBy:
International PolicyIn:
Petition target:
US Congress

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