Reposted from The IRD, June 3, 2011 (www.theird.org)
June 3, 2011
Contact: Jeff Walton 202-682-4131, 202-413-5639 cell
“Khartoum has already demonstrated its intentions to violate human rights and break the covenants that it had made.”
- Faith J.H. McDonnell, IRD Church Alliance for a New Sudan Director
Washington, DC—In July, South Sudan will become Africa’s 54th nation. But in spite of the successful independence referendum by the people of the south, Sudan itself remains a country of people groups oppressed, marginalized, and killed by their own government.
Today the north/south border regions are under threat from the Islamist regime in Khartoum, led by Sudanese President Omar al Bashir. Bashir, who is under indictment by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, has announced that after the separation of the south, Sudan will be a Shari’a-ruled Islamic state, and that the indigenous cultures and languages of Sudan’s people will be eliminated.
On Saturday, June 4, Sudanese from Abyei, Nuba Mountains, Darfur, Beja land in Eastern Sudan, Blue Nile, and the far north of Nubia, joined by Southern Sudanese and other concerned citizens will hold a rally at Freedom Plaza (1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW) in Washington, DC at 1 p.m. to protest against the atrocities being committed against the Sudanese people.
IRD Religious Liberty Director Faith J.H. McDonnell commented:
“Khartoum is an egregious violator of human rights and has broken the covenants that it had made in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
“It rejected the CPA protocol calling for it to implement the decision of an objective Abyei Boundary Commission, that Abyei belonged to the South, as the traditional land of the Ngok Dinka.
“Rather than insist that Khartoum follow the boundary commission’s ruling, the matter was brought to the International Court of Arbitration at The Hague. Again, Abyei was found to belong to South Sudan. And again, Khartoum refused to abide by the decision over this oil-rich region.
“This past May, the town of Abyei was again burned and looted by militias. More than 60,000 people were forced to flee their homes and are now without access to food, water, and shelter.
“Currently Khartoum has 50,000 Sudan Armed Forces and 20,000 Popular Defense Force militiamen stationed in the Nuba Mountains and has threatened war. Khartoum imposed another indicted war criminal, Ahmed Haroun, as Nuba Mountains governor, rigging the election to defeat the popular SPLM candidate, Commander Abdelaziz Adam al Hilu.
“I hope that the members of Congress who have supported the marginalized people of Sudan will raise this crisis before President Obama and his Administration.”
The Institute on Religion & Democracy works to reaffirm the church’s biblical and historical teachings, strengthen and reform its role in public life, protect religious freedom, and renew democracy at home and abroad.