An Open Letter to The Honorable Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, The White House, Washington, DC:
Dear President Trump:
We the undersigned, American citizens, genocide survivors and human rights activists, are launching this petition to urge the United States Government to keep its sanctions on Sudan as a measure to end the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile and in the Nubian areas of North Sudan.
We ask you, Mr. President, to impose additional sanctions on the Sudanese leaders who consistently work to undermine US national security and world peace by supporting terrorism, committing genocide, persecuting Christians and political dissidents, demolishing churches, imprisoning priests, destabilizing neighboring countries, preventing access to humanitarian relief to the internally displaced people, and using rape and hunger as a weapon.
Brigadier Al-Bashir, who was recruited by the fundamentalist Islamists, seized power from a democratically-elected government on June 30, 1989. After seizing power, Al-Bashir government wasted no time in declaring the so-called (holy war or Jihad ) on South Sudanese that killed more than two million people because they were Christians.
More than 600,000 people, mostly women and children have also been slaughtered because of their ethnicity in Darfur, Nuba Mountains, and the Blue Nile region. Thousands of women were raped, over four thousand villages were purposely burned down by the marauding government militias. Thousands of children have been forced to hide in caves for years due to the constant bombardment campaigns by the Sudanese Armed Forces.
Because of all this, Al-Bashir is the first sitting head of state to be indicted of war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The security and humanitarian situation in Darfur remains atrocious. Just days ago, on September 22, 2017, Sudanese security forces opened fire on a peaceful protest organized by the internally displaced people at Kalma camp in South Darfur .As a result six civilians were killed and 28 others were injured.
According to Amnesty International, the Sudanese government forces have recently launched a large-scale military campaign in the Jebel Marra area in Darfur, using chemical weapons. As a result, more than 250 people mostly children, died and more than 45,000 people were displaced in one day according to UN figures.
On July 22, 2017, more than 1200 students from Bakht Alruda University in El Diwaim were expelled from the University after protesting the systematic racial discrimination by the University Administration and the security forces. Students were prevented from entering Khartoum and prevented from continuing their education elsewhere in the Sudan.
The conflict between Sudanese regime and the Rebels fighting for freedom and defending the people in the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile is entering its six-year. The Sudanese Security Forces and its allied militias continue to attack civilians in villages and other populated areas by launching ground offensives and subjecting the civilians to indiscriminate aerial bombardment, ignoring the ceasefire agreements. As a result, thousands have been killed and over 3.2 million people forced to flee their homes.
According to Nuba Mountains Rehabilitation and Development Organization (NRRDO), a community-based support group, Sudanese Security Forces continue to occupy two key agricultural areas and have seized farmland in over 20 locations from the locals and prevented them from farming their land.
To add insult to injury, the Sudanese regime has barred humanitarian agencies from working in rebel-held areas of Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile and has refused to agree to terms for humanitarian access with rebel groups. According to UNICEF, millions of people are starving and two million Sudanese children under the age of five are either severely or acutely malnourished in the conflict areas of Sudan.
In North Sudan, tens of thousands of people are on a brink of extermination due to the construction of proposed dams along the Nile River. The proposed dams will destroy the cradle of the Nubian Civilization, one of the world’s richest archaeological sites.
When millions of Sudanese refused the proposed construction of dams and protested peacefully, the Sudanese security forces shot and killed 4 people and injured 19 others. The Sudanese regime continues to forcibly suppress dissent and undermine citizens’ right to assemble.
The proposed dams in the Nubian areas threaten to flood hundreds of villages, force thousands of families from their homes, and destroy irreplaceable archaeological and historical sites. Protesters called for the government not to displace them and to save their historical heritage sites.
In addition, in Eastern Sudan, the Sudanese regime continues to marginalize the Beja people through systematic starvation and lack of resources.
The Sudanese regime continues to ban political parties, students’ organizations, civic society organizations, and professional trade groups. Religious, political, and academic freedoms are curtailed as well as free press.
On August 31, 2017, three students from Omdurman Islamic University were stabbed to death by radical Islamist students who pledge allegiance to ISIS, which is supported by the Sudanese regime. Another student from the University of Kordofan was shot in the head and killed by a security agent in Al Obied after the security forces attempted to disperse peaceful protesters.
Arbitrary restrictions on freedom of expression continue to this date. In August, Sudanese security forces confiscated three daily newspapers and a fourth newspaper was suspended indefinitely. On July 31, security forces arrested ten people who attended a meeting with the US Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan during his visit to the region. Christian pastors have been arrested and church property is confiscated and destroyed as the Sudanese regime continues to perpetrate human rights abuses, and instigate violence.
The U.S. sanctions were mainly imposed to curb the actions of the Sudanese regime, to prevent it from continuing its genocide, and serve as a deterrence against using rape, systematic starvation, persecution of political dissents, arbitrary detentions and excessive use of force against civilians.
Therefore, lifting the sanctions imposed on the Sudanese regime is unconscionable. It only frees up resources for the regime to commit more atrocities, destabilizes neighboring countries, instigates more violence in conflict areas, undermines human rights and supports terrorism.
We are deeply concerned by the recent relentless lobbying by the Sudanese government and its supporters to lift the sanctions and remove the regime from the list of states sponsoring terrorism.
Instead, we strongly urge the US Administration to keep its sanctions on Sudan and impose more sanctions against its leaders as a deterrence against committing atrocities. Keeping these sanctions will limit the ability of Sudanese regime to acquire sophisticated weapons that will be used to kill more innocent people.
Sanctions do work. Sanctions save lives.
That’s why we ask you, the leader of the free world, to keep the sanctions on Sudan.
Sudanese Americans, Genocide Survivors & Human Rights Activists, Washington, DC
October 4, 2017