<body>

Friday, February 19, 2010

50 STATES, 50 ACTIONS - STANDING WITH THE MARGINALIZED, OPPRESSED SUDANESE - WHERE IS U.S. GOVERNMENT STANDING?


Rhode Island's day of the 50 states actions running up to the Sudan Election in April is February 25, 2010. If you want to find your state's day and action regarding the sham of an election in Sudan, check out our grassroots website:

sudansham2010.org

I will be posting our actions February 23rd here at this blog.

About Sudan Sham Elections 2010 Campaign

We are regular citizens around the 50 United States and DC, standing with the people of Sudan—the marginalized, the disenfranchised, and the brutally oppressed—in demanding truth and strength. An indicted war criminal, responsible for millions of deaths, will never be a legitimate leader. Peace, protection, and justice will come from strength in effort and conviction from our leaders.


Sudan's April Elections will be neither free nor fair





The petition text:

Greetings,

Sen. Harry Reid
Sen. John Ensign
Rep. Shelley Berkley
Rep. Dean Heller
Rep. Dina Titus

We, the undersigned people, would first like to thank you all for your voiced commitment and action to stop the ongoing genocide in Darfur and establish a peaceful and safe Sudan.

It has been a year since we all heard President Obama refer to the conflict in Darfur as “a stain on our souls” but to date that problem still exist. Our administration promised tough action to ensure a peaceful Darfur and overall Sudan but to date it appears more likely they will lift sanctions and offer them debt relief than deliver on that promise. To date it appears our administration is more ready to recognize and legitimize Sudanese President al-Bashir and his National Congress Party (NCP) in the upcoming Sudan elections in April, than to take the measures necessary to ensure peace and justice for the millions who continue to suffer in Sudan. We, the undersigned, find this absolutely unacceptable and are counting on you all and your combined leadership to act on this issue.

Despite news reports that consider the situation in Darfur improving, the reality on the ground in Sudan speaks in starkly different terms. The dangerous status quo in Darfur remains unchanged in some key aspects: millions of people are left in squalid camps, unable to return home because government-supported militias occupy their land and make travel very dangerous. Women face high levels of sexual violence in Darfur, aid is erratic, and progress in the Darfur peace process remains painfully limited. Sudanese airplanes continue their attacks, Janjaweed still raid Darfuri civilians, and the fighting between rebel and government forces rages on.

More broadly, the April national election in Sudan – an election for which the Unites States has provided tens of millions of dollars in technical assistance – is in the process of being stolen by an indicted war criminal who will use the ballot to “legitimize” his rule. The conditions to make the national election free and fair simply do not exist, and will not exist, by April, and there may well be sharp questions as to why the United States heavily bankrolled an election so obviously flawed.

Most urgently and ominously, there are abundant indicators that Sudan is on a dangerous road back to full-scale North-South war as violence increases and key elements of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) have been left completely unimplemented. The international community’s position toward Sudan at this vital time reflects neither consensus nor coherence. Officials from both North and South speak of not wanting war, but are intensively preparing for it. Local clashes in South Sudan are escalating, against a historical backdrop of extensive support to southern Sudanese militias by the ruling party in Khartoum designed to undermine southern unity. The heavy lift of diplomacy needed to assure that Sudan’s referendum is peaceful and well managed simply remains largely undone, with no full-time, on-the-ground diplomatic teams from the U.S. engaging the regional actors on either the North-South issues or the Darfur process.

To prevent a full scale war from erupting in Sudan in the coming year, we ask you to recommend to President Obama a course of action marked by much deeper diplomatic engagement, backed by more assiduous efforts to build a multilateral coalition of counties willing to impose consequences on those undermining the path to peace in Sudan. We urge you to consider and recommend theses three main actions:

1. Please recommend that diplomatic efforts begin immediately in New York and in capitals to pull together a coalition of countries willing to pressure the parties multilaterally to take the steps necessary for peace. Those officials and parties undermining peace should face specific and clear consequences. At this juncture, that would also involve withdrawing further U.S. financial support for the April election, expanding and more effectively implementing the current arms embargo, identifying specific officials who are undermining peace and targeting them with aggressive asset freezes and travel bans, and denying the Khartoum regime any form of multilateral debt relief until peace agreements have been far more effectively implemented.

2. Please recommend that the U.S. immediately deploy a small team of diplomats to be based in Sudan and the surrounding region to work full-time on the peace processes for Darfur and the CPA. The team should include senior diplomats with real experience in peace processes and existing familiarity with Sudan. Trips by the envoy, no matter how frequent, are no substitute for on-the-ground, around-the-clock diplomacy. In fact it is arguable that the conciliatory approach taken by Special Envoy to Sudan Major General Gration toward al-Bashir and the NCP is sending a strong political and moral message to both Sudan and the rest of the world that a government indicted for crimes against humanity is a legitimate, justified administration of a modern day country.

3. We need to see a clear and well-defined US policy towards Sudan and its current government. Since Secretary of State Clinton, Ambassador Susan Rice and Special Envoy General Gration announced this administration’s policy towards Sudan last year, we have not witnessed its palpable or effective implementation. That is why we urge you to publicly and energetically support S Res 404, a bi-partisan resolution promoting full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in Sudan. With April elections fast approaching, it is clear that conditions on the ground are neither free nor fair and the implementation of the CPA is absolutely necessary if these elections are to be recognized as legitimate by our administration.

We want to personally thank you for all of the work that you continue to do to advance U.S. national interests and the cause of peace in Sudan, and thank you for your consideration.

Champion Darfur
Corey Dragge, Founder and Carl Wilkens Fellow
Las Vegas, NV

Change the world. It just takes cents
Sara Kornfeld, Founder
Denver, CO

Stop Genocide Now
Gabriel Stauring, Director
Katie-Jay Scott, Director of Community Programming
Redondo Beach, CA

Idaho Darfur Coalition
A.J. Fay, Co-founder
Boise, ID

Fur Solidarity in USA
Dr. Adam Mohamed Ahmed Yahya, President
Richmond, Virginia

New Trier STAND
Lauren Bergelson, President
Winnetka, IL

STAND Juneau
Lauren Tibbitts, President
Juneau, AK

Use Your Voice to Stop Genocide RI
Sandra Hammel, Director
Portsmouth, Rhode Island


~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~

It has been a year since we all heard President Obama refer to the conflict in Darfur as "a stain on our souls" but to date that problem still exist. Our administration promised tough action to ensure a peaceful Darfur and overall Sudan but to date it appears more likely they will lift sanctions and offer them debt relief than deliver on that promise. To date it appears our administration is more ready to recognize and legitimize Sudanese President al-Bashir and his National Congress Party (NCP) in the upcoming Sudan elections in April, than to take the measures necessary to ensure peace and justice for the millions who continue to suffer in Sudan. We find this absolutely unacceptable.

In a climate of violent political intimidation and with millions disenfranchised in camps, there cannot be credible elections in Sudan. US support gives the government of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, indicted on war crimes and crimes against humanity, legitimacy it does not deserve.

NOTE: The petition widget can be found in my sidebar, until the petition is ended and no longer collecting signatures.

~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~

The US, through USAID, is providing approximately $70 million in political process support, which will be spent by American NGOs (namely the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute) to conduct voter education and political party training for the opposition parties in North Sudan and for the SPLM and other Southern political parties. This money does not go to the Government of Sudan, nor is it spent on election support. An additional $25 million has been allocated for election technical assistance through another American NGO, IFES, which is providing training and some assistance to the National Electoral Commission and the State Electoral Commissions (both in North and South Sudan), so that they may have a basic level of understanding of how to administer elections, which the US Government and Congressional Appropriators argue will be beneficial to ensuring a credible referendum in January 2011. The United States, however, is not underwriting the elections, either bilaterally or multilaterally.

Labels: , , , , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home