Despite rosy reports from some senior U.S. Government officials, violence in Sudan continues to mount in advance of national elections to be held later this month. This includes a recent offensive by the Government of Sudan in the Jebel Marra region of Darfur, which in recent weeks has killed hundreds and driven as many as 100,000 people from their homes. The Obama Administration has largely ignored this ongoing violence and has instead heralded exclusionary peace talks on Darfur as “major progress," going so far as to call the talk a “landmark.” The Administration also appears to blindly support the upcoming elections, which nearly all international human rights organizations agree have no chance of being either free or fair.
The U.S Sudan policy is not just adrift -- it risks enabling gross human rights violations by the Government of Sudan. We urgently need Congress to engage on this important topic.
Please write to the four members of Congress who oversee the foreign affairs committees in the House and Senate and have the power to shape U.S. policy. Ask them to press the Obama Administration--both privately and publicly--for more accountability on how the current U.S. policy toward Sudan is affecting millions of innocent civilians on the ground.
Sign letter, add your comments, and send to Senators Kerry and Lugar and Representatives Ros-Lehtinen and Berman today.
As you know, critical elections will take place in a matter of days, and in less than 10 months, Africa’s largest country, Sudan will likely split in two with an independence referendum for Southern Sudan.
U.S. engagement is critical, and the Obama Administration’s policy on Sudan has fallen adrift. Congressional oversight and direction is urgently needed. Throughout the last five presidential administrations, Congress has been at the forefront to ensure that human rights are at the core of U.S. policy objectives. Members deserve clear answers and a clear policy direction, as Sudan approaches a crucial—and potentially violent—crossroads. The time is now for Congressional oversight on Sudan.
In October 2009, the Obama Administration released the results of its policy review for Sudan. The Administration announced that it would apply tough benchmarks to Sudan, and that a committee of deputies from various cabinet agencies would review the situation on the ground quarterly and adjust policy accordingly. Yet, in January 2010, the National Security Council Deputies Committee met, and no clear decisions were taken despite some ominous developments—from continued government attacks in Darfur, killing hundreds and displacing thousands, to President Omer al Bashir’s recent statements threatening election monitors.
We ask that you urgently press the Obama Administration, both privately and publicly, for greater accountability on the U.S. policy towards Sudan.