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E UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon
As Darfuri civil society leaders in the United States, Europe, Canada and Africa, we write to you to express our grave concerns about the current deteriorating situation in Darfur. For more than eight years the systematic attacks against civilians have continued. The Sudanese government continues to block humanitarian access, directly attack civilians, detain and arrest IDPs and human rights activists, limit access to food aid, force humanitarian NGOs to leave all of which puts our people’s lives at risk more than ever before. As you all know, Darfur has suffered serious violations of international human rights and atrocious crimes committed by the state against its citizens since 2003. Today the security situation remains incredibly dangerous for the civilian populations in Darfur, characterized by excessive use of military force by government troops and Janjaweed militias, including aerial bombardment, targeted attacks against civilians and IDPs as well as obstruction of UNAMID which has made the protection of civilians an impossible task. It’s worth noting that despite the fact that UNAMID has over 23,000 troops and civilian personnel, they have not done nearly enough to protect the civilians and report all incidents when the attacks occur. Furthermore, UNAMID is still requesting permission from the Sudan government’s authority before conducting patrols or sending out fact-finding missions. The cases of attacks against Tabera, Khor Abeche and Shangle Tobaya were evident. As witnessed in 2010 and in the recent months, the escalation of violence has continued and has brought new challenges to the safety of civilians and the humanitarian community in Darfur. The violent attacks just since December displaced over 100,000 civilians most of whom were left without aid assistance. This demonstrates the fact that the Government of Sudan and its allied militias are acting with impunity because of the lack of accountability measures and pressure from the international community. The Government of Sudan has not only used direct attacks to kill civilians in Darfur, but it also has multiplied its tactics to further harm the Darfuri people blocking aid assistance such as food and shutting down camps without being noticed by many actors in the world’s community. We are extremely concerned about the increase in sexual violence particularly against IDP women and girls that in Darfur as well as the rape of Darfuri women in the capital Khartoum by the government’s security personnel as in the recent case of Safia Ishag and others. While this is taking place, UNAMID reports have shown very little in their report to the UN secretary general, this in addition to the report about child abuse and the recruitment of the child soldier by Khartoum where children between the ages of 12 and 17 are constantly taken to the military training center of Sudanese Armed Forces and were forced to fight. We are also gravely concerned about the Sudanese government’s new strategy for Darfur to domesticate the peace process; given the fact the government is a cause of the destruction of lives and the livelihood of our people in Darfur. It is very unrealistic to believe that they can conduct a genuine process that can bring peace or provide security to the civilians without a neutral venue and strong presence by the international community. We have learned that even
the consultation process has only favored the pro government’s civil societies, while the war affected victims live in an environment that cannot allow them to effectively participate. While the government hypocritically claims to be dedicated towards peace negotiations with the Darfuri movements, the recent attempts of conducting a referendum for Darfur is further proof of Khartoum’s unwillingness and lack of commitment to a genuine peace process that can end the crisis. Khartoum has divided Darfur along the tribal and political lines to create further conflict over shared resources and the current attempt of declaring a unilateral referendum in Darfur will further deepen the division among Darfuris, reinforce mistrust, and exacerbate the destruction of livelihood and social fabric of the Darfuri people. We are also gravely troubled by the vulnerability of Darfuri refugees in eastern Chad which is particularly concerning now that MINURCAT has been forced to withdraw and the Chadian army has no capacity to protect the Darfuri refugees. Dear leaders of the UNSC, our people have cried for security, peace, and justice for eight years, only to see these conditions in Darfur deteriorating everyday. The international community has yet to take serious measures that can put an end to the suffering of our people therefore we urge you in your meeting on April 20th to adopt the following priorities to ensure that civilians are protected and peace can be attainable in Darfur: • • • • • • • • • • Civilian protection should be the top priority and Khartoum should be stopped from attacking civilians in Darfur. UNAMID should have a proper mandate that can allow full access to all areas in Darfur and the capacity and willingness to protect civilians. Pressure Khartoum to open unimpeded access to humanitarian assistance to all of the war affected population in Darfur. UNAMID should have a clear reporting and verifying mechanism to reflect the reality on the ground and effectively monitor the situation on the ground in Darfur Pressure Sudanese troops to immediately cease using rape or any kind of other sexual violence against women of Darfur for political gains. Pressure Khartoum to immediately cease expulsion, harassment and attacks against aid workers in Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan. Demand the immediate release of the detained IDPs, human right activists, journalists and civil society leaders. Disarm of the Janjaweed and other Khartoum affiliated militias. Independent and empowered mediator and neutral venue are the most critical factor for the success of any peace process in Darfur. Renewing UNMIS mandate if of particular importance to ensure that implementation of the CPA is sustainable.
We greatly appreciate your commitment to end the suffering of our people in Darfur and bring a lasting peace in Darfur and all over Sudan. Sincerely,
The undersigned, US Diaspora” 1. Ahmat Nour, President of Darfur People Association of NY, DPANY 2. Ahmed Adam Ali, President, Darfur Association of Colorado 3. Adam Omer, Director, Darfur Association of Lincoln, NE 4. Amal Allagabo, General Secretary of Darfur Women Action Group, Washington DC 5. Abdalmageed Salih,President, Human Rights Advocacy & Democracy Network HAND 6. Bakheit Shata, Director of Darfur Community Organization Omaha, NE 7. Basmat Ahmed, Chair of Care Unit For Unity and Development, Atlanta, GA 8. Daowd Salih, President and co-founder Damanga Coalition for freedom and Democracy. NJ 9. Dr. Abdeljabar Adam, President Darfur Human Rights Organiozation,USA 10. Dr. Adam Yahya, President, Fur Solidarity of North America SD 11. Dr. Ali Dina, President, Darfur Alert Coalition, Philadelphia, PA 12. Dr. Mahmoud Braima, President Darfur Association of North America 13. Elfadel Arabab, Director, Fur Cultural Revival 14. Ibrahim Abdalla, Director, Darfur Association of UT. Salt Lake City, UT 15. Kamal Elddin Mustafa, Activist, Fort Wayne IN 16. Khaled Handhal, Chairman of Darfurain Association of Greater Houston. TX 17. Makki Makki, Darfuri Activist, The Institute For Sustainable Peace, Houston, TX 18. Mansour Ahmed, Secretary General, Fur Cultural Revival Portland ME 19. Mohamed Ahmed Eissa. RFK’s Human Rights Laureate & Scholar of Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. Boston, MA 20. Mohamed Abdelrahman, President, Darfur Association of Illinois, Chicago 21. Mohamed Haroun, Chairman of Darfur Community of Dallas. TX 22. Rahma Daffalla, Darfuri Activist & Member of the Darfur People’s Association of NY, Brooklyn NY 23. Salahadin Yaya, Drafuri Activist, South Dakota, SD 24. Seddik Abdeljabar, Director, Western Sudan Aid Relief in USA, Inc. 25. Tahir Mustafa Hassan, Darfuri Activist. Birmingham, Alabama. Europe: 26. Abdebagi Jebril, Darfur Relief and documentation Center, Geneva, Switzerland 27. 26 Ahmed Mohamedain, President, Darfur Call, Amsterdam,the Netherlands. 28. Nuraldaim Mohamed, President , Darfur Union, London, UK 29. Mohammadain Mohamad Ishag -Darfur Culture organization, Brussels, Belgium 30. Issa Tahir, Darfur Association of France, Paris, France Canada: 31. Moahjob Abdalla, Treasurer, Darfur Diaspora Association, Toronto, Canada 32. Ismail, president, Darfur Association of Canada
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