An open letter and petition of the Nuba Mountains Advocacy Group to President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Members of the U.S. Congress, and International leaders, June 4, 2011.
The Sudanese Diaspora in the United States is grateful for your enduring commitment to justice and peace in Sudan. As you know, our country has been victimized from its independence in 1956 until today because of consecutive regimes comprised of a small, racist elite. This elite has ruled the nation on the basis of racial and religious marginalization, disenfranchisement and coercion for more than five decades. Over 2.5 million of our fellow Southern Sudanese lost their lives and millions more were displaced by the genocidal war and ethnic cleansing waged by Khartoum. This regime has also been host to Osama bin Laden and has supported and participated in the global network of terrorists
Most of the world is unaware that Khartoum’s war against the South also included the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile, and Eastern Sudan. Khartoum’s atrocities against these regions have not been fully acknowledged among Sudan’s human rights violations. But these regions experienced the same vicious and ongoing war crimes at the hands of Khartoum, on the same scale as our brothers and sisters in the South. And these regions were the actual battle grounds for most of the fights between North and South.
U.S. and global advocacy for Sudan culminated in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed by the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in 2005 in Kenya. A key step to the CPA was a Nuba Mountains ceasefire, brokered by Special Envoy John Danforth. The CPA resulted in relative peace and potential development in South Sudan, Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile States. People dared to hope for a better future for themselves and for their children. But remaining tensions due to the NCP’s continuous violations of the CPA and its failure to implement all of the CPA provisions were exacerbated by the U.S. government and world community’s failure to hold Khartoum responsible for these violations in any meaningful way.
Now the ruling minority NCP has again proved that it did not act in good faith when it signed the CPA. Most of the world, and particularly our good friends and supporters in the United States Congress and the Administration, are working to end the suffering of the Sudanese people. But Khartoum does not share this passion. Instead of working for peace and stability in the country, the NCP is committed to destruction and chaos throughout the nation, and threatening security in the region and even beyond.
Eyewitnesses, Concordis International, Small Armed Survey, and International Crisis Group have all reported a heavy build-up of Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Popular Defense Forces (PDF) in Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan State. More than 50,000 SAF are deployed in the state and along the 1956 North/South border line. Furthermore, reports show that the government has armed more than 20,000 PDF militias, to fight as Northern proxies. On April 19, 2011, The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) “confirmed that at least 356 structures in the town of el-Feid, located in the Nuba Mountains region of South Kordofan State, Sudan, have been razed.” More than 20 people, including two elderly women and a child, were burned to death in a home set ablaze by Khartoum’s PDF. And the city of Abyei was also burned to the ground and looted by Khartoum’s troops and militias.
The CPA provision on a Popular Consultation for the Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan States says there must be a: “democratic right and mechanism to ascertain the views of the people of the Southern Kordofan/Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile States on the comprehensive agreement reached by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement.” According to the CPA timeline, this was to take place at the “beginning of the 4th Year of the signing of the Agreement” (i.e. January 2009) but it has not yet taken place, due to the NCP’s lack of will to implement this right.
Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan State elections finally took place on May 2, 2011. Local observers and representatives of participating political parties reported multiple attempts by the NCP to rig elections at the voting centers. And according to state election guidelines, election results are to be declared immediately. But the NCP illegally prevented the state National Election Commission office from releasing results until it could manipulate them in favor of its candidate, Ahmed Haroun, an internationally indicted war criminal and perpetrator of genocide in Darfur. Shockingly, international election monitors, the Carter Center, failed to denounce this travesty.
We are profoundly troubled by the possibility of the resumption of war in these regions or any other region in Sudan, and we ask for your leadership in the imperative actions of our attached petition to prevent human catastrophe in our country. The evil perpetrated by the Islamist regime of Omar al Bashir surpasses that of those dictators in the Middle East against whom Arab citizens have only recently begun demonstrating. Please remember that courageous, marginalized people of Sudan have offered decades of resistance, costing millions of lives, to forced Islamization and Arabization by a regime intrinsically connected to Al Qaeda and other perpetrators of global jihad terrorism. And remember that Sudanese in the Diaspora have offered warnings and information about Khartoum’s Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al Qaeda connections, not embraced them as have some of the “freedom fighters” of the Arab Spring.
Please read and seriously consider our attached petitions, not just for the sake of the marginalized and oppressed people of Sudan, but for the sake of global security. A free and democratic Sudan would be a tremendous asset to the world. Once again, we thank you for your support and your commitment to bringing peace, justice, and freedom to all Sudanese.
Nuba Mountains Advocacy Group
Peace in Sudan is a Global Security Concern
Petitions of the Sudanese Marginalized People to the United States Government
Indicted war criminal President of Sudan Omar al Bashir is preparing for massive and destructive war in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile. He has already violated international standards of human rights, and violated Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement by attacking Abyei, by continuing the ongoing brutal conflict in Darfur, and by continuing to the egregious oppression of the Beja in Eastern Sudan.
We believe that the following actions, if taken swiftly and determinedly, by the United States government and the international community, will prevent the looming disaster in the country:
1) Immediate imposition of a No Fly Zone and demobilization of NCP forces in Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan States.
2) Immediate raising of the status of UNMIS from Chapter (6) to Chapter (7) to protect civilians in the volatile states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile., as well as for Darfur and Abyei where civilians are currently being killed.
3) Demand the demobilization of SAF and PDF in Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan.
4) Ask the international community to intervene militarily to protect civilians if the Bashir government reignites the conflict in Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan and Blue Nile States.
5) Recognize and denounce fraudulent and rigged May election results in South Kordofan State; and denounce Ahmed Haroun as unfit to be a governor due to his role in crimes against humanity in Darfur. Push for the extradition of Haroun and all indicted persons for atrocities committed in Sudan to stand trials outside the country to ascertain justice and accountability.
6) Demand that Khartoum agree to new security and political arrangements in the two states immediately and before July 9th, the date of independence of South Sudan, as peoples of these regions have legitimate grievances over issues guaranteed in the CPA.
7) Tougher isolation of the NCP government internationally in an effort to make it comply with other obligations such as ending human rights abuses, allowing for freedom of press, and allowing for democratization of national constitution to ensure pluralism that would accommodate the diverse ethnic and religious communities in our country.