I have been involved as a volunteer activist regarding Sudan since 2003. I heard you speak at the 2006 Rally for Darfur on the mall in Washington, D.C. What you said then, made me believe you cared. I believe you meant what you said then and also when you visited a Darfur refugee camp prior to becoming President. However, your appointed Special Envoys to Sudan have not only be ineffective, but detrimental to the human rights violations by the Sudanese government. How can you do this? It does not line up with what you said prior to becoming President in 2008. Or to the letter you sent to me and other activists the first year of your Presidency.
The people of Darfur have been experiencing genocide for almost ten years and continue to suffer. Sudan President Omar al-Bashir has been allowed to use the "lessons learned" from Darfur in the Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions, where innocent civilians are now also experiencing what many call genocide. Clearly, current U.S. policy and international engagement is not working.
At the 2006 D.C. Rally for Darfur, you said: “Silence, acquiescence, paralysis in the face of genocide is wrong.” As a Senator and a first-time candidate for President, you promised to act.
You also said: "Our action and leadership will show who we are as a nation and as a people."
And yet, your administration has not taken action, shown humanity leadership regarding Sudan or made it a priority as you said you would in the text of your letter response to me in your first year as President.
"If we don’t fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don’t really stand for them.” Paul Wellstone, 1944-2002
You have the opportunity as President to make a marked difference in the lives of the Sudanese people trying to stay alive in caves, tents, after rape, after witnessing their family members being slaughtered, under the fire of Sudanese government bombings, during years of on-going blocking of food and health assistance and scorched earth manifestations of genocide by the Sudanese government. The Sudanese government that your administration has given the go-ahead to keep on committing the atrocious crimes of genocide has increasingly become emboldened because they KNOW that the USA and other potential coalition countries have done nothing, will do nothing to stop their genocides in various regions of their country. All on your watch.
When you are no longer President, I will not believe you when you say that you regret you did not effectively do enough to stop this from going further in Sudan. That is what Bill Clinton did about Rwanda. This is your Rwanda.
Frequent bombing by the Sudan government continues to threaten civilians' safety. More than 100 bombs fell in South Kordofan in October, according to Nuba Reports journalists. Attacks on the ground are also a concern for citizens as the SAF burns villages as part of the violent campaign against areas under Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) control.
For many, the journey to Yida refugee camp in South Sudan is a daunting choice. With over 65,000 people inhabiting a camp intended for 15,000, living conditions are poor, food stocks are low and the long walk there is dangerous.
Life in the mountains is not a solution for displaced people, however. Cave life is unsustainable, especially without land to harvest or hope for food aid. Violence surrounds the mountains but their home villages are destroyed or in too dangerous a region to which to return.
Marriam Teia told Nuba Reports that not only does she have no way to get to Yida, but it is a place she's never been before--far from her home in Tess, a village recently burned by the SAF. "I don't know where to put my heart," she said. "I'm in the middle. I want to go home."
I love my life. I love where I live. And I am passionate about my passions. I love to dance. Necessary to live: music, piano, singing, writing, acting, painting.
I have been fighting for and supporting the arts all my adult life. Since 2004, I have been working with other activists to end the Darfur genocide.
I have traveled to Europe many times since my early twenties. Places I have been: many USA states including Hawaii, Montreal, Canada, Barbados, France, Spain, Luxembourg, England, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Greece and Germany - and have wonderful memories.
My last trip was in May - June 2013 to Spain.
I would like to travel to Europe and Kyoto, Japan.
I love the southwest where I have visited Hopi, Navajo, Zia and San Idlefonso potters.
Life is exciting and I intend to live it full-out to the end.
B.S. and M.M., both in music
Genocide is not only a word,
it is crying of the whole human race.
There is nothing redeeming about being silent
when speaking up is the humane thing to do.
The honor and integrity of the human race is at stake.
"...And these for whom life has no repose, live at times in their rare moments of happiness with such strength and indescribable beauty, the spray of their moment's happiness is flung so high and dazzingly over the wide sea of suffering, that the light of it, spreading its radiance, touches others too with its enchantment..." Hemann Hesse STEPPENWOLF