Following the U.N. Security Council’s recent emergency visit to South Sudan, IGAD Heads of State are scheduled to meet on Sunday, August 24, to discuss the possibility of a joint
This week, friends of South Sudan and members of the Diaspora wrote a letter to the leaders of South Sudan reminding them of the vision and the determination that inspired their struggle and achieved their success….
Please sign the petition and add your name to this letter: August 18, 2014 Dear President Salva Kiir, Dr. Riek Machar and all South Sudanese military…
Ninety-one individuals and organizations sent a letter to South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar, and to all South Sudanese military and political leaders who have a role in either choosing to perpetuate or end conflict in South Sudan. These friends of South Sudan, who are calling for an immediate end to violence, include former US government officials, Members of the British Parliament, faith leaders, academics, advocacy and humanitarian organizations, and both Sudanese and South Sudanese.
The letter, signed by those who care deeply about South Sudan, reminds the country’s leaders of the vision that inspired the international community to support their struggle for freedom, justice and equality; and it urges these leaders to once again demonstrate the same level of pride, determination and unity that ultimately resulted in the independence of South Sudan. The letter urges South Sudan’s leaders to choose peace “by committing now to participating whole-heartedly in the peace process, enforcing the cease fire agreements, ensuring unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid, and by doing whatever is necessary to put South Sudan back on track as quickly as possible.”
August 11, 2014 letter to the UNSC regarding needed reform and strengthening of UNAMID in Darfur.
Sudan Unlimited joined Diaspora and activist organizations in urging President Obama and African leaders, during the US Africa Summit, to focus on ending conflict and building a just and lasting peace in Sudan.
The internal conflict that upended South Sudan has been a source of sorrow and frustration for those who invested heavily in helping Southern Sudanese secure freedom and democracy. This week at a press conference, US Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Ambassador Donald Booth, noted, “The United States is by far the largest contributor of humanitarian assistance to South Sudan. This is one of the reasons the United States is determined to try to bring about serious peace talks.”
The United States has served as a friend, champion and mentor to South Sudan, but what kind of an example has it set since South Sudan gained its independence in 2011? The United States Congress has not modeled respect, dialogue, compromise and cooperation among its members and with the Administration in order to best serve the interests of its citizens. Our institutions of business and finance have become known for greed and corruption that have compromised our country’s integrity and security, while our entertainment industry produces a steady diet of violence that plays out in our school yards and college campuses. Discrimination, intolerance and self-righteousness have taken the place of loyalty and goodwill towards our country and for each other.
While the responsibility for starting and ending the crisis in South Sudan lies squarely on the shoulders of South Sudan’s leaders and their advisers, the United States does have a role to play beyond applying pressure and providing aid that starts perhaps with acknowledging our own failures at creating a more perfect union and re-committing ourselves, as an example to South Sudan and for our own good, to becoming again, “one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
7 years ago these little buttons were introduced…since then, Bashir has rigged national elections; intensified and expanded his war against the Sudanese people in Darfur, North and South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Abyei; delayed and obstructed implementation of the CPA including recognition of the referendum on Abyei; arrested, tortured and killed Sudanese who oppose his policies; ignored and violated Sudan’s constitution; flaunted the weaknesses of the international community by avoiding arrest while engaging in talks regarding debt relief; manipulated for his own purposes the agenda of the African Union and Qatar; promoted and facilitated the spread of extremism; fueled regional conflicts including South Sudan’s; bombed hospitals and destroyed places of worship; re-introduced deadly diseases by blocking humanitarian access to vulnerable populations; starved and intentionally neglected marginalized populations from the East to the West; and squandered international resources to support artificial peace talks and to respond to manufactured humanitarian and security crises. Bashir must go.
Testimony at 2:27:30
Congressman Meadows unwittingly illustrates Omer Ismail’s point regarding the government of Sudan’s strategy for changing US policy on Sudan. They are smart enough not to ask for sanctions or the terrorist designation to be removed, but they have managed to conduct meetings with a US Congressman and religious leader and to create enough of a relationship where a sense of “mutual trust and respect” is established and the hope is born that a relationship can be built that is of “mutual benefit” to both countries.
Rep. Meadows: Mr. Ismail, I want to come to you. You said something earlier that said that your belief is the Sudanese is…they’re wanting something from this. What basis…why would you say that? So you’re saying the release would be predicated on Congress giving them something?
Omer Ismail: Just a speculation on my side that some of the elements inside of the government might see this as an opportunity to gain something from the United States. This government is desperate to get recognition especially from the United States because this is the country that is using all kinds of sanctions against it. This is the country that designated this government to be a sponsor of terrorism and this is the country that is supporting international law in the sense that President Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court and so on and so forth. So, and this is the country where we have a testimony like this from all these wonderful people who are trying to support this woman in need, and this support, I don’t see the support to Meriam Ibrahim only, there are a million Meriam Ibrahims in Sudan that are Christians, that are Muslim, that are practitioners of other faiths that are persecuted daily. The women that were sentenced to 40 lashes or 50 lashes because they’re wearing pants or the women that were, without any kind of respect to the decency of human beings, were considered indecent in public and they were faced with all kinds of threats and harassment. This is a case where the Government of Sudan is trying to see if they can – or at least some elements there – to see that…if we do this, what is it in for us. We have seen from Naivasha and even before that when the negotiations for the peace agreement, when the negotiations for the secession of South Sudan, this government has always…is demanding something. They create obstacles so that when they come and they release these obstacles, somebody would say, “Oh, they did this. They are good, so let us reward them.” And they do just enough to get this monkey off their back that is called the international community and they are not sincere in going the extra mile to make sure that they do this in good faith. Every single step that they have done, be it negotiations with the rebels, be it, you know, letting the South go as they boast - it wasn’t because of them, it is because of the will of the people of South Sudan that they seceded that country. So the government is willing to do everything including incarcerating people or detaining them by force or putting them in house arrest so that they can gain something out of it.
Rep. Meadows: Well, let me comment on that because I’ve…we’ve met with some of the Sudanese officials here in Washington, DC as I know Mr. Perkins has and the relationship is one that I think any relationship has to be built on mutual trust and respect, but negotiating for Meriam’s release with financial or other concessions is not something that is on the table. I think we’ve made that very clear. But I am hopeful that if there is a new day in Sudan that this can be the start – it may be very embryonic, but it could be the start of perhaps a new relationship built on where religious freedoms are not only held up but a relationship that is to both countries of mutual benefit. But to negotiate because there is a woman in prison or being held or thousands of others for small incremental changes is not what this is about.