Crisis in Sudans begs new approach, say 78 global rights groups

Sudan is again witnessing serious violence including in Darfur, and South Sudan's civil war has put it on the brink of collapse. 

Andreea Campeanu/Reuters
People displaced by the fighting wait to get clean water at a water point in a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) at the United Nations (UN) base in Bentiu, Unity State, June 17, 2014.

A version of this post appeared on Enough Said. The views expressed are the author's own. 

Some 78 international human rights groups, including the Enough Project and Humanity United, joined together today to call for a fresh approach to US policy on the war-torn countries of Sudan and South Sudan.

In an open letter directed to Secretary of State John Kerry, US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, and National Security Advisor Susan Rice and in a memo to the US Congress outlining new policy priorities, the diverse coalition identified key initiatives to address conflict and violence in both countries.

Representing thousands of supporters across the United States, Sudan and South Sudan, the signatory groups and leaders call for an increased focus on accountability, diplomacy, democracy promotion, and humanitarian aid.

“Doubling down on diplomacy and backing our words up with targeted sanctions against human rights abusers are the two most important things that the U.S government can do right now to help end the civil wars raging in both countries,” said John Prendergast, Co-Founder of the Enough Project.

"People at risk in Sudan and South Sudan cannot wait any longer for peace. The U.S. must increase its efforts now to reduce the violence and support a comprehensive peace process in both countries,” said David Abramowitz, Vice President for Policy and Government Relations at Humanity United.

The letters, to be delivered [June 17] come as conflicts in both countries are escalating, and cross-border conflict connections between the two are deepening.

Sudan is experiencing unprecedented levels of violence: deadly fighting in Darfur now rivals the intensity that triggered global outrage in 2003-2005 and a relentless campaign of aerial bombardment and military attacks across the country is in its third year.

 In neighboring South Sudan, clashes persist and state collapse is still possible. Pockets of famine and genocidal targeting are threatening both countries, and their intensifying conflicts are pulling in neighboring states, from the Sahel to the Horn to East Africa.

Read full text and recommendations of the two letters:

Letter to the Administration (PDF)
Memo to Congress (PDF)

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