WASHINGTON – In a letter delivered to the White House today signed by 45 organizations, Darfur advocates outlined steps that President Obama should take to forge a multilateral peace strategy for Sudan. Specifically, the groups called on the administration to lead the effort to establish an inclusive peace process for Darfur, revitalize implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the dangerously neglected Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement, and end Sudan’s proxy war with Chad.

 

The letter says that Sudan should be presented with a choice: cooperating with the international community and establishing a lasting peace for all of Sudan, which would lead the country on a path toward normalized relations with the United States; or continuing to undermine efforts to bring peace to the country, which should be met by a series of escalating costs.

 

“Mr. President, now is the time for bold agenda-setting leadership to help ensure that Sudan chooses the most mutually beneficial path, and to prepare real consequences if it does not,” the letter states. “In either case, you and your administration should work diligently to effectively mobilize and coordinate the international community in order to present a united diplomatic front to Sudan.”

 

The full text of the letter is below.

 

May 7, 2009

Dear President Obama,

As a broad coalition of human rights, faith based and advocacy organizations dedicated to achieving peace in Sudan, we urge your continued and urgent leadership to address the immediate humanitarian crisis in Darfur and to achieve long term peace through a political solution for all of Sudan.

According to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Sudanese regime’s March 4 expulsion of 13 international aid organizations has put “well over 1 million people at life-threatening risk.” Even if this new humanitarian crisis can be averted, a simple return to the harrowing pre-March 4 conditions in Darfur is simply unacceptable. And the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the devastating conflict in southern Sudan is fraying by the day. A return to war there would be catastrophic. Meanwhile, the Sudanese regime is succeeding in defying the international community. The United States must seize the initiative in setting the agenda for peace.

Your administration must lead in constructing a multilateral strategy for peace in Darfur and all of Sudan by

  • establishing an inclusive peace process for Darfur,
  • re-vitalizing implementation of the CPA and the dangerously neglected Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement, and
  • ending Sudan’s proxy war with Chad.

To that end, your special envoy, General Scott Gration should focus on building a multilateral coalition of countries with significant leverage. It is vital that the administration work closely with other governments in dealing with Sudan; a reliance on bilateral diplomacy will provide Khartoum the opportunity to play one party off the other, as it has historically done with great success.

To do this, General Gration will need your personal and direct engagement.

Ultimately, a strategy for peace means presenting the Sudanese regime with a choice:

  • Behind Door One: If the Government of Sudan permits unrestricted humanitarian access, secures peace in Darfur, fully implements the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for South Sudan, ensures free and fair elections in Sudan, and removes the indicted President, a clear process toward normalization of relations with the U.S. will be mapped out.

    Or

  • Behind Door Two: If President Bashir and his party renege on recent humanitarian commitments and continue to undermine efforts at peace, a series of escalating costs will ensue, including diplomatic isolation, targeted multi-lateral economic sanctions, an effective multilateral arms embargo, and if necessary to stop massive loss of civilian life, targeted military action.
    If the benefits of Door One and the consequences of Door Two are meaningful, the chance for peace in Sudan increases dramatically. The missing ingredients in efforts to date for Darfur and CPA implementation have been adequate leverage and lack of strategic vision for resolving comprehensively the country’s conflicts.

Mr. President, now is the time for bold agenda-setting leadership to help ensure that Sudan chooses the most mutually beneficial path, and to prepare real consequences if it does not.

In either case, you and your administration should work diligently to effectively mobilize and coordinate the international community in order to present a united diplomatic front to Sudan.

We know that these efforts will require real political capital, but the human costs of inaction are far too high to endure. Thank you for your efforts thus far. We look forward to seeing even more leadership as conditions in Darfur progress.

Sincerely,

 

 

Jerry Fowler
President
Save Darfur Coalition

Sam Bell
Executive Director
Genocide Intervention Network

John Norris
Executive Director
Enough Project

 

 

Ruth Messinger, President
American Jewish World Service

 

Aram Hamparian
Executive Director
Armenian National Committee of America

 

Rabbi Steve Gutow
President and CEO
Jewish Council for Public Affairs

 

Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe
General Secretary/International Director
World Evangelical Alliance

 

Mohammed Yahya
Executive Director
Damanga Coalition for Freedom and Democracy

 

 

Eric Fusfield
B’nai B’rith International

Fatima Haroun
President
Darfur Rehabilitation Project Inc.

 

Suliman A Giddo
President and CEO
Darfur Peace and Development Organization

 

Agnes Oswaha
Coalition of South Sudanese Civic Society Organizations

 

Helen Fein
Executive Director
Institute for the Study of Genocide

 

Tzivia Schwartz Getzug
Executive Director
Jewish World Watch

 

Don Kraus
Chief Executive Officer
Citizens for Global Solutions

 

Gabriel Stauring
Director
Stop Genocide Now

 

Dr. Adam Mohamed Ahmed
Western Sudan Aid Relief

 

Rev. Kimberly Barnes
Metropolitan AME Church

 

Charlton Breen
Michigan Darfur Coalition

Sylvia Lewis
National Vice President
NA’AMAT USA

 

Jimmy Mulla
Southern Sudanese Voice for Freedom

 

Dr Mahmoud Braima
President
Darfur Association of North America

 

Bakheit A Shata
Founder and Executive Director
Darfur Community Organization

 

Bryan Ardouny
Executive Director
Armenian Assembly of America

 

Eric Cohen
Chairperson
Investors Against Genocide

 

Susan Morgan
Director of Communications
Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur

 

David Rosenberg
Coordinator
Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition

 

Martina W. Knee
Member, Executive Committee
San Francisco Bay Area Darfur Coalition

 

Sharon Silber
US Representative
Society for Threatened Peoples

 

Richard Young
Darfur Interfaith Network

 

Katie-Jay Scott
Director of Community Programming
i-ACT

 

Sara Caine Kornfeld
Founder, Educator, Mentor
“Change the world. It just takes cents”TM (Middle/ High School Darfur Initiative)

 

Bob Brousseau, founder
Dave Robinson, co-chair; Phil Nippert, co-chair
Kentuckiana Interfaith Taskforce On Darfur (KITOD)

 

Nikki Serapio
Director
Americans Against the Darfur Genocide

 

Eileen Weiss
Co-founder
Jews Against Genocide

 

Sharon Silber and Eileen Weiss
Co-founders
New York City Coalition for Darfur

 

Motasim Adam
Director
Darfur People’s Association of New York

 

Jennifer Rouse
Phoenix Save Darfur

 

Deborah Jones
President
Save Darfur Washington State

 

Alysha Atma
Coordinator
Team Oregon of Fast for Darfur

 

Marwa Abdalla
Women Representative
Fur Cultural Revival, Portland Maine

 

Lakshmi Linda Sirois
Chair
Temple Ahavat Achim Darfur Social Action Committee

 

Lakshmi Linda Sirois
Founder and Organizer
Save Darfur North Shore

 

Andrew Slack
HP Alliance

 

Carmen Paolercio
Shine A Ray of Hope for Darfur

 

###

 

About the coalition: The Save Darfur Coalition – an alliance of more than 180 faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations – raises public awareness about the ongoing genocide in Darfur and mobilizes a unified response to the atrocities that threaten the lives of people throughout the Darfur region. The coalition’s member organizations represent 130 million people of all ages, races, religions and political affiliations united together to help the people of Darfur. For more information on the coalition, please visit www.SaveDarfur.org.

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