On Friday, September 6, 2013, Act for Sudan, an alliance of Sudan activists that includes IRD, released an open letter to President Barack Obama from the Rt. Reverend Andudu Adam Elnail, Bishop of the Diocese of Kadugli, Nuba Mountains, in the Episcopal Church of Sudan. Bishop Andudu’s letter is the second in a series of missives to Obama from Sudanese victims of the Khartoum regime as part of Act for Sudan’s “Obama’s Stained Legacy” campaign. The title recalls then Candidate Obama’s own words that “genocide is a stain on our souls,” and the promise that as President of the United States he did not intend to “abandon people or turn a blind eye to slaughter.” The first letter of the campaign, released by Act for Sudan on August 1, was from Darfurian activist Mohamed Suleiman, who warned that Obama’s legacy in the history books would turn into a “legacy of death.”
Here is today’s press release from Act for Sudan:
SUDANESE BISHOP AND GENOCIDE SURVIVOR ASKS PRESIDENT OBAMA
FOR “PROMPT ACTION TO SAVE THOSE STILL ALIVE”
Second in series of letters from Sudanese
highlights need for new approach to Sudan
WASHINGTON, DC – September 6, 2013 – Today, the Right Reverend Andudu Adam Elnail, Bishop of Kadugli Diocese in the
Nuba Mountains of Sudan, sent an open letter to President Obama asking for “prompt action to save those still alive” in the
Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile and Darfur, areas of Sudan that have been under attack by the government for years. As the world’s attention is focused on Syria, Bishop Andudu’s letter is a powerful reminder to President Obama that the people of Sudan continue to be plagued by government-sponsored crimes against humanity. This letter is the second in a series of letters to President Obama from Sudanese genocide survivors coordinated by Act for Sudan.
“As a victim and survivor of genocide, I would like to remind your respected office that great effort is needed to end the deaths and displacement and restore peace to our community, which has suffered for so many years,” wrote Bishop Andudu. “Please address the humanitarian crisis in the Nuba Mountains and use your position as leader of the free world, not only to bring attention to our situation, but to cause prompt action to save those still alive.” (FULL TEXT OF LETTER at Act for Sudan)
“Our people feel as though the world has forgotten them. We wonder why you have not acted to end our people’s suffering or that of the people of Darfur, who are still suffering and whose plight is getting worse,” Andudu wrote.
Bishop Andudu came to the United States in 2011 for medical treatment and, while here, the government began attacks on the people of the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan. The capital city of Kadugli was targeted and his office, the church, school buildings, and equipment were all destroyed or confiscated. Bishop Andudu was targeted by the government for assassination and has since been granted asylum by the United States. He has testified before committees of Congress and has briefed United Nations commissions during the past two years.
In his letter, Andudu wrote of the ongoing attacks on his people. “We continue to be bombed from the air daily. Bombs land on farms and schools, churches and mosques, clinics and markets. Innocent civilians, women and children, are killed carrying on their daily lives. Those who survive live in constant fear, and for two years they have lived in caves in the mountains. The Famine Early Warning System for food security in the Nuba Mountains has reached Level 4: starvation is killing a lot of my people in Kao Nyaro and Warni; they suffer greatly. If the political situation is not addressed and aid is not delivered to the people immediately, the catastrophe will grow until it is too late.”
In 2007, Mr. Obama said that genocide is “a stain on our souls” and promised, “As a president of the United States I don’t
intend to abandon people or turn a blind eye to slaughter.” Yet, according to Act for Sudan, seven months into his second term, President Obama continues to oversee a disastrous approach to the ongoing genocide in Sudan. This approach has failed to prevent the tragic loss of countless lives and the mass displacement and starvation of countless more innocent people.
According to the national alliance, President Obama should immediately instruct the National Security Council and Ambassador Donald Booth, newly appointed Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, to develop a new pro-democracy and civilian protection-oriented policy on Sudan. The alliance maintains that unless President Obama acts now to protect innocent civilians from their genocidal government, he will ultimately be remembered for his stained legacy on genocide.
Andudu’s letter will be followed by additional letters from Sudanese individuals in the weeks and months to come, and all letters will be amplified via social media by Act for Sudan. Details on the campaign are posted at Act for Sudan.
Please continue to pray for all of Sudan’s persecuted and marginalized people. And add your voice to Bishop Andudu and Act for Sudan to urge the Obama Administration to adopt a new Sudan policy — one in which the perpetrators of genocide are held accountable and further death and destruction is prevented.