A VOTE FOR OBAMA WON'T EQUAL TRUST - WINNING AN ELECTION IS NOT A MANDATE
Sudan ~ where President Obama once said the Darfur genocide must be stopped. Now, he supports those who commit the genocide (Khartoum), because of politics.
Photos received from Terry Nickelson of our humanity in the balance.org
Terry wrote this about the pictures ~
Sudan's Al-Bashir is distinguishing himself by conducting three ethnic cleansings simultaneously; Darfur, Abyei and South Kordofan. Nothing stops him."
Comments for President Obama: 202-456-1111
Tonight I wrote the letter below via www.whitehouse.gov/contact. Politicians claim that when you vote for them and they win that they have a mandate from the people. But assumption is presumptuous. So often, we vote against someone and not for someone.
July 4, 2011
Dear President Obama,
I believe compassion and empathy are the best of our human quallities As a human being who has worked since 2004 to bring attention to the Darfur genocide, I have watched as two USA administrations, the Bush and Obama, have stood idly by while Darfuris & now Sudanese in the Nuba Mountains region of South Kordofan get bombed by Khartoum. Your administration has chosen to side with Khartoum. I want to let you know that your administration has left me thoroughly frustrated and angry.
Never before had I involved myself in a campaign until your first one for President. I gave money to your campaign repeatedly, though I could not afford it. I rented a car to drive from where I reside in Rhode Island to volunteer to go door-to-door in NH for the week running up to the NH primary. I worked here in RI doing the same, but more comprehensively. I phone banked for you in NJ.
I say all this to tell you this: I cannot vote for a Republican for President this next election. But I cannot do any of the things that I did previously for your campaign this time. Why? I hope you get this letter and wonder that very question. You had me believing that your word was dependable. You had me believing you would be a President that I could be proud of. But I no longer believe that. I have watched you very closely-what you have said and done and what you haven’t said and done. My feelings of being betrayed by you started soon after Scott Gration spoke once you appointed him Special Envoy to Sudan. He obviously spoke for you. And he chose supporting Khartoum over the people Khartoum systematically has been eliminating.
I will be forced to vote against the Republican Presidential candidate this time and that will mean I will have to vote for you. I want you to know though you will get my vote, however you have lost something more important. My respect for you. And my trust in what you say that you will do. I made a small film for a Compassion Film Festival, DARFUR – THE ABANDONED GENOCIDE, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YG-6mQx8jI
and in the film, it has you saying over and over what led me to believe that you would not let the people down of Darfur. But you have done just that. No President that I can put my trust in would have done this.
The Darfur genocide “IS a stain on our souls”, as you said once. And genocide will go on as long as there is no accountability. Whenever you have a choice between right and wrong about genocide as a leader, there is only one that should allow you to sleep.
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Comments for President Obama: 202-456-1111
At the link is a full article ~Jul-05, 2011 Probe-UN-neglect-in-South-Kordofan
Here is an excerpt:
The U.N. peacekeeping mission UNMIS has been a part of the problem in South Kordofan, where many Nuba, although northern Sudanese, joined south Sudan’s war for a democratic “New Sudan.” Established in March 2005, after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement ended the 22-year civil war, the mission was headed until 2010 by a man who colleagues say was given to calling the Nuba “monkeys.” On his watch, the lack of initiative of UNMIS and perceived complicity with Khartoum was a cause of deep frustration, and anger, to its most committed staff. UNMIS was also spectacularly uninformed about the reality of South Kordofan.
In 2008, I published a report that detailed the resurgence of government-supported militias in South Kordofan – including in a village called Al-Fayd – and concluded that “many now view war in the Nuba Mountains as inevitable.” UNMIS pooh-poohed the report, which it said was “far from the reality on the ground.” Fast-forward to April this year, on the eve of war, and an attack by militia who, according to UNMIS, “killed … looted … burnt houses and raped.” The village? Al-Fayd.
How little UNMIS knew. How little it cared to know! And how it has come to haunt the mission now that its own men are, in its own words, facing increasing “intimidation and obstruction” in South Kordofan – including from the militias it said did not exist.
Comments for President Obama : 202-456-1111
By Samuel Totten
July 3, 2011 — Over the past four weeks, Government of Sudan (GoS) troops and allied militia have carried out a vicious and murderous attack on the people of the Nuba Mountains in the Sudanese state of South Kordafan. This is the very same government that perpetrated genocide in Darfur and continues to carry out devastating attacks on the region. Tellingly, Sudan’s president, Omer Al-Bashir, is already wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity for the atrocities perpetrated in Darfur.
MIGs and Antonov bombers have created havoc in the Nuba Mountains; farms, tukuls, and churches have been burned to the ground; close to 100,000 people have been forced from their villages out into the wilderness and up into barren mountains; and untold numbers have been killed.
In Kadugli, the capital of South Kordafan, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) have gone door to door in search of suspected members and supporters of the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM) and executed them on the spot. GoS troops have also planted land mines throughout the area. In Dilling, GoS soldiers carried out their own search for members and supporters of the SPLM and upon locating them slit their throats.
While there are UN troops (United Nations Mission in Sudan or UNMIS) in the Nuba Mountains they have largely served no purpose. If truth be told, they are actually exacerbating the situation. First, they do little more than largely observe the violence and certainly nothing to attempt to halt it. Second, two sources inside the Nuba Mountains, both of whom must remain unnamed, reported that Egyptian soldiers with UNMIS were seen raping local women in Kadugli as the latter sought sanctuary from the surrounding violence. Third, when a massive group of civilians sought assistance at UNMIS headquarters in Kadugli they were purportedly told to leave and go to Dilling, some 120 miles away — a horrific journey on foot in the face of the ongoing attacks. Finally, there are reports that UNMIS personnel told people to head north when seeking safety, thus apparently leading them directly into the hands of the GoS troops. It is no wonder that rumors are afloat that those Egyptian soldiers with UNMIS are on the payroll of Khartoum.
Various reasons are aswirl as to why GoS troops attacked the people of the Nuba Mountains. First, some four weeks ago, Al-Bashir threatened that if the people of the region did not readily accept the newly elected Ahmed Haroun, who is wanted by the ICC on over 40 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes for the horrors perpetrated in Darfur, as their governor, they would suffer the consequences. In fact, in a speech in Kadugli, Al-Bashir stated that his soldiers would chase the Nuba people up into the mountains as they did in the 1990s, leaving them without food to starve to death once again. Second, when members of the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), who, along with the vast majority of people in the Nuba Mountains, voiced their vast disappointment that Abdel Aziz, a popular and former commander of the SLPA, had been cheated out of the governorship as a result of a rigged election and also refused to take off their uniforms when ordered to do so, GoS troops attacked them. Third, many believe that the real reason behind the attack is that Al-Bashir wants to gain absolute control over South Kordafan and the border area with South Sudan in order to strengthen his hand in negotiations over Abeyi, a oil rich region straddling the border between the north and the south. Finally, there are rumors that Al-Bashir wishes to gain control of as much land as possible along the border, an area that is poorly demarcated, as he also prepares for future negotiations with the new state of South Sudan.
Al-Bashir’s propensity for killing those with whom he disagrees, who question his authority and/or policies, who challenge his dictates, whose land he desires, and/or who he looks upon with distain and wants gone is well documented. He’s done it previously in the Nuba Mountains (in the 1990s when he carried out genocidal acts and virtually starved people to death), in Darfur between 2003 and today during which over 400,000 blacks Africans perished, and he is back at it once again in the Nuba Mountains. And the world should never forget or overlook the fact that just because the Comprehensive Peace Agreement has been signed by the north and south, Al-Bashir, as president of Sudan, oversaw a large part of the north-south war that resulted in some two million deaths.
Clearly, Al-Bashir specializes in perpetrating crimes against humanity, genocidal actions, and genocide, and he does so whenever he wishes in the belief that he can do so with impunity — the ICC or any other court or tribunal be damned.
For the sake of the people of the Nuba Mountains, for the sake of civilization, for the sake of our own decency, we, and the rest of the world, must show Omar Al-Bashir that he is wrong — and that impunity does not reign.
Samuel Totten is a genocide scholar based at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He served as one of the 24 investigators with the U.S. Atrocities Documentation Project in eastern Chad. His most recent book is An Oral and Documentary History of the Darfur Genocide (Praeger Security International, 2010). He was last in the Nuba Mountains in January 2011 conducting research for a new book, Genocidal Actions Against the Nuba Mountains People: Interviews with Survivors of Mass Starvation and Other Atrocities.
Sudan president to speak at S. Sudan independence
JUBA, Sudan – Sudan's president will speak at independence celebrations in the south this weekend, officials said Monday, just days after he vowed to continue a military offensive in a border region.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir supported the January referendum that paved the way for the oil-rich south to secede and become the world's newest country on Saturday.
However, recent tensions in the border state of South Kordofan and the disputed region of Abyei have raised fears that the split could be a violent one.
The southern government said Monday that 30 African heads of state including al-Bashir will travel to Juba for this weekend's celebrations. British Foreign Secretary William Hague and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also are expected to attend.
Many issues remains unresolved around the split including oil rights and wealth sharing. Representatives from both sides spent have spent weeks negotiating in Ethiopia's capital.
Two decades of civil war with northern Sudan decimated the oil-rich south and left more than 2 million dead on both sides.
The south lacks infrastructure and basic services, is aid-dependent and suffers from frequent floods during its five-month-long rainy season.
Despite its rich oil reserves, the south has no refineries and must transport its oil through pipelines to a northern port on the Red Sea.
Al-Bashir said in a June 22 speech that he would block the south's access to the pipelines unless a favorable wealth-sharing agreement was reached.
U.N. peacekeepers are in the northern border state of South Kordofan, but a spokesman for the Sudanese government said Sunday they should leave immediately after the south becomes independent.
Such a move could leave tens of thousands of southern-supporting civilians without U.N. protection. A U.N. spokeswoman in Southern Sudan said any such decision would be made by the U.N. Security Council.
Tensions in the area have displaced more than 70,000 people.
Western advocacy groups have warned that al-Bashir's government is attempting ethnic cleansing and even genocide in the region against the Nuba people, a black African group targeted in the 1990s in government-sponsored violence that left as many 200,000 Nubans dead.
Source: Associated Press
More about the Nuba Mountains at www.occasionalwitness.com
Comments for President Obama: 202-456-1111
My opinion: The Nobel Peace Prize for President Obama was premature, to say the least.
October 9, 2009
Obama: Nobel Peace Prize is 'call to action'
President Obama said Friday that he was "surprised and deeply humbled" by the decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee to award him the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.
The committee said it honored Obama for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."
Obama said he viewed the decision less as a recognition of his own accomplishments and more as "a call to action."
The decision appeared to catch most observers by surprise. Nominations for the prize had to be postmarked by February 1, only 12 days after Obama took office. The committee sent out its solicitation for nominations last September, two months before Obama was elected president.