DEAR PRESIDENT OBAMA ~ DEFINE TERRORISM IN TERMS OF GENOCIDE AND DARFUR
My text sent to President Obama today via whitehouse.gov/contact ~
Beyond an email to President Obama's inbox, I don't know where to express my feelings of anger and being thoroughly let down by Barack Obama.
I was on a White House conference call today regarding Sudan.
The fact that President Obama has betrayed moral integrity regarding the Darfuri people outrages me. As someone who campaigned for him because of Senator Obama's stand on Darfur, I now am nothing but thoroughly, starkly hopeless about President Obama doing anything right to end the injustice that Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir supports and engages in against his own people of Darfur. The government of Sudan’s bombings and the burnings of villages of the Darfur region have escalated since the referendum to split Sudan into two countries.
Obama has betrayed the Darfur people, including most recently waiving the protection for Darfuris created in an agreement ~ The Darfur Peace and Accountability Act- DPAA (Darfur_Peace_and_Accountability_Act explained) (H.R. 3127/S. 1462). This apparently has been done so that the USA can remove Sudan from a USA list of state sponsors of terrorism. This is WHILE the Sudan government bombs Darfur civilians because of their ethnicity, which amounts to a state sponsored terrorism all by itself. Rightly so, Senator Obama complained that Bush was selling out Darfur. And at that time, Senator Obama was proud of forcing linkage via DPAA to justice being done regarding Darfur. Obama, as President, is waiving the requirements within the DPAA to protect Darfuris.
Every time a government knows we, the USA, will not hold them to what we have said, they will continue to bomb, kill, rape, burn. That is just the way it is and always has been. It is no different than raising a child and not sticking to what we say will happen if behavior doesn’t stop. Al-Bashir can logically gamble that President Obama is not serious about sticking with the International Criminal Court’s indictment against Sudanese President al-Bashir of crimes against humanity. And why should he, when he is witness to such turnarounds of character and words by the standard bearer of human rights on the planet – the USA. We as a country and government are treating the Darfuri people and their tragic past, present and future as a part of a political chess game.
I am not proud of this, President Obama. This is not the country I want to be. Freedom and justice for all is not an easy concept to employ, but betrayal of the principles of justice and human rights is an insult to my vote for you.
The end of message to President Obama
Genocide will only stop with us demanding it
Our leaders have taught us this
"The most important things belong first, not last or never."
Words of the Earth by Cedric Wright
If you want peace, work for justice
إذا كنت تريد السلام ، أعمل من أجل العدالة
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies,
but the silence of our friends. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Darfur Daily News
Sudan army surrounds, threatens to burn down UNAMID camp
While we wait Sudan
A Sudanese army force of 200 soldiers on 40 vehicles surrounded the exit of an UN – African Union military camp yesterday in Shangil Tobaya. A senior officer at the head of the force then threatened to burn down the military camp and an adjoining refugee camp. The threat came at about 6:00 p.m., after the UN forces unsuccessfuly tried to prevent the army from threatening and arresting refugees at the neighboring camp. The army arrested three people in the camp.
“The SAF commander at the scene stated that they were carrying out their duties and intended to persuade the IDPs to return to their original camps. He then threatened to burn down the makeshift camp and UNAMID team site, if the peacekeepers continued to interfere,” UNAMID reported in an e-mailed statement yesterday.
The makeshift camp next to the UNAMID base sheltered thousands of people who had fled during the events of December 2010.
UNAMID also reported that it was unable to complete a “verification mission” from its Shangil Tobaya base to Tabit, where fighting broke out Monday, due to “resumption of aerial bombardment in the area.”
Government of Sudan conducts intensive aerial bombings in Darfur:
- Government of Sudan (GoS) is conducting intensive aerial bombings targeting villages south of Elfasher (Capital of North Darfur). There are clashes between GoS and rebels. Yet the GoS is going after the villages and civilians. Many villages were bombed, burnt, and destroyed by aerial bombings. These villages were then looted by Janjaweed. Thousands are fleeing now the bombed areas.
Via phone calls, these are the names of some of the villages (8 of them) that are bombed and completely destroyed: Tabit, Hashabah, Traney, Chemerry, Abu Talatin, Abu Gretion, Komis, Tangary.
Thousands of civilians of these villages are now on the run,
- Resident of Elfasher told me that the GoS stopped civilian flights form and to Elfasher because the Airport is busy with military air activities.
- UNAMID issued a statement that the GoS has prevented two of its convoys to reach the affected civilians in two separate incidents.
- Khartoum announced it is flying thousands of its "Popular Defense" para-military troops militias to Darfur to "secure the return of the IDPs".
Washington Post: Clashes in Sudan as southerners in army refuse to withdraw to north.
Reuters: South Sudan independence: Bashir seeks Darfur 'reward'. Sudan has hinted that the arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir should be withdrawn as a "reward" for him accepting the south's independence. Mr Bashir has promised to recognise Southern Sudan after 99% of voters backed secession. In a special meeting on Wednesday, the UN Security Council congratulated Sudan's government for its co-operation in the south's referendum on independence. "Shouldn't this be rewarded by your distinguished and august council by a new vision, a new vision that would reconsider the position vis-a-vis the hero of peace, President Bashir?" asked Sudan's UN ambassador Daffa Alla el-Haj Ali Osman.The US has suggested it would take Sudan off their list of states which sponsor terrorism, if it ensured a peaceful referendum. However it has linked promises to lift sanctions and normalise relations to a negotiated solution of the conflict in Darfur.
AFP: Sudan detains opposition leader: party official. Sudanese security services on Thursday arrested prominent government critic Mariam al-Mahdi, daughter of the prime minister whom veteran President Omar al-Bashir ousted in a 1989 coup, a member of her Umma party said. Mahdi was arrested as she went with a group of activists to petition the security forces for the release of protesters detained nearly two weeks ago, Habab Mubarak, the daughter of another leading Umma party member Mubarak al-Fadil, told AFP.She said the incident took place after around 30 women, among them the mothers of those still being held after anti-government demonstrations last month, set off to present their petition to the head of the Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Services Mohammed Atta.
Washington Post: Report: Chad's army, rebels recruit child soldiers. Chad's armed forces and Chadian and Sudanese rebel groups are recruiting children as young as 13 to become soldiers, Amnesty International said in a report released Thursday. The children are recruited from camps in eastern Chad, which has suffered a spillover from the Darfur conflict in neighboring Sudan, Amnesty said. Recruiters use family or appeal to the children's ethnic loyalties to get them to join. Sometimes they use child soldiers already in their ranks to lure the new recruits with money, clothes and cigarettes, the report said. Not all of the child recruits fight, the report said, adding that some are used as porters or messengers for the soldiers and rebels.
AFP: Minnawi urges all Darfur groups to battle Khartoum. Minni Minnawi, the Darfur leader who tore up a 2006 peace accord with Khartoum in December, on Wednesday urged all the armed movements in Sudan's troubled western region to step up their struggle against the government. On Wednesday, the rebel leader accused the government of seeking to forcefully dismantle the camps for people forced to flee their homes in the eight-year conflict, of treating all the armed movements as military targets and of carrying out mass killing against the Darfuri people.Renewed fighting between rebels and the Sudanese army has displaced thousands of civilians and coincided with a deadlock in the Doha peace talks, which were suspended at the end of December when the government recalled its delegation, citing a lack of progress.
Op-Ed by Rebecca Hamilton featured in the New York Times: One Referendum, Two New Nations.