Sudan: Where Are We Now?
STAND was founded in response to the genocide in Darfur. Now, eight years later, things have changed dramatically in Sudan: even as atrocities continue in Darfur, the secession of South Sudan has led to new border-state conflicts characterized, once again, by the targeting and displacement of civilians. Concurrently, while the regime of Omar al-Bashir maintains a seemingly intractable grip on power, citizen protests reminiscent of the Arab Spring have arisen throughout the country.
In order to continue acting as effective advocates for peace in Sudan and South Sudan, STAND students will be working to educate ourselves and our communities about the current situation. In addition, we will seek to deepen connections with members of the Sudanese diaspora community and ensure that their voices are incorporated into our education and advocacy efforts. Scroll down to learn more about how you can participate in our fall 2012 Sudan programming, including:
- A series of webinars delving into various current issues related to atrocities and human rights in Sudan;
- Continued efforts to pass H.R. 4169, the Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act; and
- Greater collaboration between students and members of the Sudanese diaspora in communities across the country.
TITLE: Darfur: Then and Now
DATE: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
TIME: 8:00 PM EST
RSVP: Click here to RSVP!
DESCRIPTION: Join Darfuri women's rights and anti-genocide advocate Niemat Ahmadi for an in-depth look at the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, which, in 2004, was identified by the U.S. government as the first genocide of the 21st century. It will begin with an overview of the history of Darfur, with an emphasis on the root causes of conflict in the region. It will then delve into recent developments in Darfur, with a focus on aspects of the current situation that are underreported but crucial for advocates to know about, such as the impact of the conflict on women in the region. Finally, the webinar will discuss concrete steps that need to be taken by policymakers and advocates alike to address continued threats to peace, stability, and civilian protection in Darfur.
TITLE: Sudan and South Sudan 101: The Basics
DATE: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
TIME: 8:00 PM EST
DESCRIPTION: This webinar is designed for those who have little background knowledge of the current conflicts in Sudan and South Sudan. We will present a basic history of the conflicts and the historical, socio-economic, environmental, and political factors that have led to violence in various parts of the two countries. We will be focusing on the conflicts in Darfur, the Nuba mountains, the Sudan and South Sudan border states, as well as conflicts between groups in some of South Sudan's states. Can't make it to the webinar? Never fear, we will be recording the session for those of you who are unable to join at this time.
Tell Congress: Pass H.R. 4169!
Last March, a bipartisan coalition of House members introduced the Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act (H.R. 4169), which requires the administration to develop a comprehensive strategy to end atrocities and other human rights abuses throughout Sudan. The legislation extends a broad range of sanctions against individuals, governments, and organizations who impede accountability and peace processes in Sudan, including:
- Support for or participation in serious human rights violations;
- Failure to enforce the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant proceedings against Sudanese officials responsible for mass atrocities in Darfur; and
- Interference with the delivery of humanitarian assistance throughout Sudan.
Notably, the bill expands the scope of sanctions that previously applied only to those responsible for atrocities in Darfur; these sanctions will now apply to those responsible for atrocities committed anywhere in Sudan, including the border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
Help STAND pass H.R. 4169. Go to http://house.gov and enter your zip code to find the phone number for your Representative’s office. You will most likely either speak to a staffer or leave a voice message. You can use this or similar language:
Hello, my name is [your name] and I am a constituent in Representative [your representative’s last name]’s district. I am calling to urge the Congressman/woman to co-sponsor H.R. 4169, the Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act. The Sudanese government continues to commit atrocities against civilians in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile, including the denial of humanitarian aid. H.R. 4169 will hold the perpetrators of atrocities accountable and require the administration to develop a comprehensive strategy to facilitate peace, civilian protection, and humanitarian access in Sudan. Again, I urge the Congressman/woman to co-sponsor H.R. 4169. Thank you.
If you're interested in holding an in-district lobby meeting at your local Congressional office, contact your Regional Organizer for information and training!
Many STAND activists have expressed interest in forming working relationships with members of the Sudanese diaspora who live in their communities. Such collaborations are a great way to learn from those who are directly affected by the conflicts on which STAND engages, and to make your advocacy more credible and nuanced. Mutually beneficial collaboration between STAND chapters and local Sudanese diaspora organizations can take several forms:
- Inviting speakers from diaspora communities to share their insights and experiences at educational events (panels, movie screenings, etc.) and chapter meetings;
- Co-sponsoring rallies or other visibility-raising events;
- Attending in-district lobby meetings (those who participated in the lobby day at the 2011 United to End Genocide conference reported that the tone and level of conversation in the meeting was positively affected by the presence of those with a personal connection to the effort);
- Helping diaspora activists obtain media coverage of their efforts.
STAND recently entered into a partnership with Voices for Sudan, a network of grassroots Sudanese community organizations throughout the United States. This partnership will enable STAND's Regional Organizers (ROs) to facilitate contacts between student activists and diaspora members. If you're interested in locating, reaching out to, and working with diaspora communities in your area, contact your Regional Organizer. Your RO will work with Voices for Sudan to locate and introduce you to diaspora members who live near your school and have expressed interest in working with students. Your RO can also provide you with event ideas, materials, and tips and best practices for working with diaspora organizations.