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
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:
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.
Save Darfur Coalition
Genocide Intervention Network
Ruth Messinger, President
American Jewish World Service
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
Damanga Coalition for Freedom and Democracy
B’nai B’rith International
Darfur Rehabilitation Project Inc.
Suliman A Giddo
President and CEO
Darfur Peace and Development Organization
Coalition of South Sudanese Civic Society Organizations
Institute for the Study of Genocide
Tzivia Schwartz Getzug
Jewish World Watch
Chief Executive Officer
Citizens for Global Solutions
Stop Genocide Now
Dr. Adam Mohamed Ahmed
Western Sudan Aid Relief
Rev. Kimberly Barnes
Metropolitan AME Church
Michigan Darfur Coalition
National Vice President
Southern Sudanese Voice for Freedom
Dr Mahmoud Braima
Darfur Association of North America
Bakheit A Shata
Founder and Executive Director
Darfur Community Organization
Armenian Assembly of America
Investors Against Genocide
Director of Communications
Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur
Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition
Martina W. Knee
Member, Executive Committee
San Francisco Bay Area Darfur Coalition
Society for Threatened Peoples
Darfur Interfaith Network
Director of Community Programming
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)
Americans Against the Darfur Genocide
Jews Against Genocide
Sharon Silber and Eileen Weiss
New York City Coalition for Darfur
Darfur People’s Association of New York
Phoenix Save Darfur
Save Darfur Washington State
Team Oregon of Fast for Darfur
Fur Cultural Revival, Portland Maine
Lakshmi Linda Sirois
Temple Ahavat Achim Darfur Social Action Committee
Lakshmi Linda Sirois
Founder and Organizer
Save Darfur North Shore
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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