Sudan Now, a leading coalition of Sudan advocacy organizations, has launched a new video campaign surrounding civilian protection in Sudan, calling on the U.S. to lead the international response to mass atrocities in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. The central government in Khartoum has initiated a destructive counterinsurgency campaign against the SPLM-North, targeting civilian population centers throughout the conflict-ridden border areas:
Hundreds of STAND students throughout the last several months have mobilized and organized their local constituencies to advocate for mass atrocities prevention in Sudan, calling on the international community to recognize Khartoum’s responsibility to protect civilians within its borders. Working with our partners at Sudan Now, STAND has pressed high-level officials to adopt a comprehensive approach towards protecting civilians in crisis situations:
1. Give urgent priority to protecting civilian populations by appropriate means.
2. Continue to urgently press for full and unimpeded access for international humanitarian organizations to South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Given the absence of consent by the Sudanese government, the United States and international partners immediately prepare alternative means of distributing emergency assistance to civilians in any such area where denial of aid is being used as a weapon of war.
3. Adopt a strategy that addresses the conflicts in each of Sudan’s regions in a comprehensive manner that recognizes the Government of Sudan as the root cause of these conflicts. As part of this comprehensive approach the United States should support the peaceful aspirations of the Sudanese people focusing on capacity-building support to civil society organizations and political parties promoting democratic reform.
4. Impose robust financial sanctions, and seek international financial sanctions, against persons (and their associated businesses) responsible for attacks against civilians.
5. Increase efforts to establish an international commission of inquiry, expand international coordination around apprehension of ICC suspects and increase international support for further ICC cases targeting those responsible for crimes against civilians in Abyei, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.
6. Immediately send an assessment team to Ethiopia and South Sudan to obtain information from refugees and displaced persons about the situation in Abyei, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.
Join Sudan advocates across the country in pressing for change, call 1-800-GENOCIDE to urge President Obama to remain vigilant in ensuring civilian protection in Sudan.
P.S. Curious about STAND’s conversations with Sudan policymakers? Check out my reflections from last week’s Sudan advocacy meeting with Special Envoy Princeton Lyman.