Tell the US Government Not to Normalize Relations with Sudan
United States Congress
SILENCE IS DEADLY!!!
You have an opportunity to end the collaboration and silence of the international community; to stop the torture of women, the rape of children, the murder of men. You have an opportunity to end a genocide which feeds on our silence and continues after 14 years. Here’s your chance to help toward its just end it by signing this petition.
Although the Sudanese government has been committing genocide and supporting terrorist groups in the Middle East, North Africa and around the world, the United States has lifted sanctions with a plan underway to normalize relations with this murderous regime.
We are launching this petition to urge the US to maintain Sudan’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, and to develop a strong US policy which will hold Sudan accountable for perpetrating genocide and supporting terrorist groups that threaten the security of the United States.
Stand with us to demand that the United States must not normalize relations with a regime that slaughters its own people and that threatens the national security of United States.
In 2009, President Bashir of Sudan was indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the western Sudan region known as Darfur.
Darfur- the longest genocide in history:
The government of Sudan began its genocidal campaign in Darfur in 2002, using Arab Janjaweed militias and the Sudan Armed Forces to target the indigenous African people, mostly from Fur, Massalete and Zagawa tribes. Launching a scorched earth policy by burning villages, killing, pillaging, destroying food and water sources and raping women. The situation which has been characterized by the UN representatives in Sudan at that moment as “the worst humanitarian crises in the world.”
The United States under President George W. Bush and the US Congress officially declared the situation a genocide in 2004. Consequently, the United Nations created an international commission of inquiry. The commission investigated and found that the government of Sudan had committed genocidal activities and documented about 150 Sudanese officials to be responsible for the crimes committed in Darfur.
In 2005, member states of the United Nations Security Council unanimously referred the case of Darfur to the ICC. The ICC’s investigation resulted in the determination that genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity had been committed by the government of Sudan and its allied militias. The ICC issued arrest warrants against President Bashir and other Sudanese officials for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. In spite of these warrants, President Bashir remains free and continues to perpetrate his genocidal policy against the people of Darfur. He has added a raging war in the Nuba mountains and Blue Nile states. To this day, he commits extreme human rights abuses across Sudan with total impunity!!!
To hold Sudan accountable, the US government imposed economic sanctions which limited the Sudanese government's financial capacity to support further killings. Sanctions included clear benchmarks that the government of Sudan cease killing its own people, create significant progress toward peace, and institute accountability for perpetrators before US sanctions could be lifted.
In 2006 the UN reported that over 300,000 civilians had been killed, mostly women and children. Now, more than 14 years later, over 4 million people have been affected and over 3 million have been forced out of their homes to live in deplorable conditions in internally displaced and external refugee camps, unable to return to their homeland for fear of attack. Millions of those who survive are subjected to constant attacks and rapes by government soldiers, who utilize rape as a weapon of war and a method of terror. Countless women and girls have been victimized and the perpetrators have not faced any consequences.
Present day - It has recently come to our attention that the United State is preparing to remove Sudan’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. This is a dangerous move that will lead to the normalization of US relations with Sudan, a regime with a human rights record including genocide and collaboration with notorious terrorist leaders such as Osama Bin Laden and the leaders of ISIS.
President al-Bashir is a military dictator who came to power by coup in 1989 and declared his affiliation with international extremist organizations around the world. He has used force to reorient Sudanese society to adopt Islamic fundamentalist ideology.
By the mid-1990s Sudan had invited the most notorious terrorist groups from around the world, including Osama bin Laden, and had declared its support for these groups. As a result, the US designated Sudan as a State Sponsor of Terrorism and imposed economic sanctions against it. Sudan has continued to provide support to Hamas and other fundamentalist groups, including Malian jihadists, Boko Haram, and ISIS. Sudan has ceased support for or collaboration with such groups. Sudan has presented itself to the west as a partner in counter-terrorism, but only cooperating at the bare minimum while continuing to liaise and provide support for terrorist leaders in the region.
Lifting Sudan’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism will allow Sudan full access to international trade and investment, including the purchase of modern American armaments, and can only serve to further the cause of the al-Bashir regime in spreading death and violence across Sudan.
Despite outrage and opposition from the anti-atrocity community and several members of Congress, the Trump administration lifted sanctions in October of 2017, awarding a regime that continues to commit genocide and to pose a threat to US national security. Lifting sanctions has already emboldened the government of Sudan and is enabling genocide.
As of today, millions of genocide victims are still in camps, facing a great deal of suffering and oppression.
We are asking the US government to maintain Sudan’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism, and also to reimpose the sanctions lifted in late 2017. Such action will limit the government of Sudan’s access to international trade and investments, consequently limiting its ability to purchase more weapons to kill innocent civilians. We are further demanding a strong US policy on Sudan that will hold the perpetrators of genocide accountable and will limit al-Bashir’s ability to support terrorist groups that threaten the Sudanese and American peoples, and indeed the stability of the entire world.
This is why we ask for your help by adding your voice and reaching out to others to add their voices as well, so that we can make our voices louder to ensure that the Trump administration does the right thing.
Normalizing relations with Sudan means normalizing genocide. We must demand that the United States, adhering to American values as the leading government in the world, must meet its legal and moral obligation toward Sudan.
United States Congress
From: [Your Name]
I am writing to express concern about the lack of US action regarding the ongoing genocide in Darfur. I am particularly concerned about US government’s recent lifting of some sanctions against Sudan, and possible intention to lift more. I urge you to be our voice and ask the Trump administration to maintain these sanctions.
In 2004, the Bush Administration declared the situation as genocide. Since then, millions of Darfuris have been forced to flee their homes, hundreds of thousands have been killed, and those who remain are subjected to brutal attacks and deprived of access to humanitarian assistance. Rape, arrests, and torture have and continue to devastate the lives of innocent civilians in Darfur. President al-Bashir stands accused by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of the world’s worst crimes - genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. President al-Bashir’s regime has reportedly used chemical weapons against the people of Darfur as recently as September 2016. Although documented by credible sources, including Amnesty International, the occurrence has not been investigated by the US government.
In addition to all the injustices and horrors being perpetuated on the Darfuri people, the security of the US is at stake. There are credible allegations that President al-Bashir’s government sponsors terrorist groups across the Middle East and Africa in order to destabilize the region, threatening our national security. The United States has recognized this threat by placing Sudan on the State Department list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. This classification prevents the Sudanese government from receiving foreign aid and military equipment. The government of Sudan continues to support terrorist organizations and to terrorize its own citizens. As Sudanese-American relations come under review, there should be absolutely no consideration of removing the al-Bashir government from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.
Given the current conditions on the ground, lifting additional sanctions will only help the regime gain access to more financial resources, which will help them purchase more weapons, as well as help the al-Bashir administration continue to support terrorist groups.
Besides the threat to international security, if the US lifts further sanctions, it would be a clear affront to human rights’ norms. Lifting sanctions on Sudan will not only legitimize President al-Bashir and enable him to continue the slaughter of his citizens but will send a message to other criminals around the world that they will not be held accountable. Before sanctions can be lifted, the people of Darfur must be assured of their safety, freedom from fear and threats to their lives, and the ability to return to their places of origin.
Accordingly, we urge you to stand with the genocide victims in Sudan and uphold US legal and human rights’ norms as well as diminish the threat of terrorism by demanding that US government implement the following:
• Maintain the existing US sanctions on Sudan until al-Bashir ceases attacks on civilians.
• Ensure that Sudan is kept on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.
• Integrate targeted sanctions and impose a travel ban on officials responsible for committing crimes in Darfur and across Sudan.
• Support the implementation of the arrest warrants against Sudanese criminals wanted by the ICC.
• Pressure al-Bashir’s government to disarm militias committing atrocities in Darfur.
• Lead the UN Security Council in providing adequate civilian protection in Sudan.
• Provide exception for Darfur genocide victims and other crisis affected refugees from Sudan to be admitted to the US.
• Provide support to the historically excluded and victimized communities in Sudan to rebuild their lives and bring sustainable peace in Sudan.
We greatly appreciate your commitment to human rights at home and internationally as well as your ongoing fight against terrorism and international instability. Your leadership and voice are needed to save lives in Sudan and particularly in Darfur. We thank you for your consideration.
In partnership with Darfur Women Action Group