SUDAN ACTIVISTS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY CALL ON PRESIDENT OBAMA’S ADMINISTRATION TO FIX “AWOL” SUDAN POLICY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact -Susan Morgan, 617-797-0451
susan@paxcommunications.org

CITIES NATIONWIDE – July 22, 2010 – In an open letter to President Obama and leading members of his administration, 43 human rights and anti-genocide organizations representing citizens from 20 states and actress Mia Farrow wrote that the “administration appears to be AWOL on the U.S. Sudan policy, having abandoned it at a crucial time in Sudan’s history.” The groups ask that the administration fix the policy in four specific areas as outlined in the recent report by the Enough Project titled, “What’s Wrong with U.S. Policy Toward Sudan, and How to Fix It.”

According to the report, the four specific areas where U.S. policy is off course include a flawed peace process in Darfur, a hands-off approach to critical negotiations to prevent renewed North-South war, the role of the Unites States in building leverage for peace, and justice as an essential component of sustainable peace.

The open letter reads in part, “We agree with the overall premise of the paper that U.S. policy is not contributing in a meaningful way to creating peace and justice in Sudan, and that words and actions of U.S. officials have undermined the administration’s influence there, just when its efforts are needed most. With only six months until the self-determination referenda for South Sudan and Abyei, U.S. policymakers have failed to act decisively to prevent a return to war between North and South Sudan, or to resolve the escalating conflict and worsening humanitarian crisis in Darfur.”

The groups ask President Obama, Vice-President Biden, Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rice to read the report and re-dedicate themselves to implementing the policy introduced in October 2009 including quarterly deputies meetings to assess progress against benchmarks. They also ask those same officials to work collectively to direct the steps outlined in this report to set the U.S. Sudan policy back on a path toward sustainable peace and justice for all Sudanese people.

In October 2009, Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rice announced a new U.S. Sudan policy based on benchmarks and decisive action, including pressures and consequences on those obstructing peace and justice. The policy also promised a quarterly review process by National Security Council Deputies. That review process apparently has been abandoned by the administration with only one incomplete review meeting taking place in January, and no meetings since then.

Groups signing onto the letter include American Friends Service Committee, Americans Against the Darfur Genocide, Armenian National Committee of America, Brooklyn Coalition for Darfur. Champion Darfur, “Change the world. It just takes cents” TM, Colorado Coalition for Genocide Awareness and Action, Darfur Action Group–Northwest Bronx/Yonkers, Darfur and Beyond, Darfur Community Organization, DarfurMetro, Darfur People’s Association of New York, Darfur Reconciliation & Development Organization, Darfur Women Action Group, Dear Sudan, Love Marin, Defend Darfur Dallas, Essex County Coalition for Darfur*, Fur Cultural Revival, Genocide No More – Save Darfur, Georgia Coalition to Prevent Genocide, Human Rights Group at University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), I-ACT/Stop Genocide Now, Idaho Darfur Coalition, THE INSTITUTE on Religion and Public Policy*, Investors Against Genocide, Jewish World Watch, Kentuckiana Interfaith Taskforce On Darfur (KITOD), Keokuk for Darfur, Lane County Darfur Coalition, Living Ubuntu/Orange County for Darfur, Long Island Darfur Action Group, Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur, Miami Help Darfur Now, Michigan Darfur Coalition, Never Again Coalition, New Hampshire Voices for Peace: an Anti-Genocide Coalition*, New Haven Alliance for Congo, New York City Coalition for Darfur, New York Darfur Vigil Group, North Jersey Coalition for Darfur, Operation Broken Silence, San Francisco Bay Area Darfur Coalition, Save Darfur: Central PA*, Shine A Ray of Hope, Texans Against Genocide, Westchester (New York) Darfur Coalition, UCSB STAND*, World Without Genocide

Activists: Garelnabi Abusikin, Philadelphia, PA

*Added after original letter was sent. Please contact Katie-Jay at ktj@stopgenocidenow.org if you would like to be added.

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Download the letter sent to President Obama, Vice President Biden, Ambassador Rice, Secretary of State Clinton, and National Security Council Deputies in charge of the Sudan policy.

Download this Press Release.

Katie-Jay keeps i-ACT running on several levels. Much of her work entails coordinating partnerships with other grassroots organizations and implementing the campaigns developed by Gabriel and seeing through the details. She graduated from Portland State University with a BA in Sociology and a focus on Community Development. She has previously worked as a community organizer in Thailand, Guatemala, and with grassroots organizations across the United States.

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