April 15 – 25, 2016
Today, Darfur Women Action Group, in partnership with the Sudanese diaspora and friends of Darfur and Sudan worldwide, will launch our Global Week of Action to protest the continuing genocide in Darfur and violence in Sudan. We have been joined by our committed friends in the fight, within the United States and others internationally, to draw the world’s attention to the ongoing genocide in Darfur and other crises in Sudan in order to demand an action.
Darfur: The Longest Genocide in History
The genocide in Darfur began 13 years ago and still continues today, affecting over 4 million people. Since 2003, over three million Darfuris have been forced to live in dangerous and deplorable conditions in internally displaced camps or as refugees in neighboring countries. In 2006, the United Nations reported that over 300,000 civilians had been killed; however, these numbers have not been updated in ten years and are, therefore, highly underestimated. Rape has been used as a weapon of war and women and girls remain the most targeted.
Sadly, the violence has recently escalated and has intensified more than at any time since the genocide began 2003.
The world may think that the crisis in Darfur has ended because it is not being reported in the news, but the truth is that over 460,000 Darfuris were displaced in 2013, another 500,000 were displaced in 2014, and over 233,000 people were displaced in the first quarter of 2015. In one day alone, October 31st, 2014, 221 women and girls were raped in Tabit village and the perpetrators suffered no consequences. This is not an isolated incident, but it is a systematic tactic and deliberate policy of the regime, which continues to use rape as a weapon of war in Darfur.
On December 18th and 19th, 2015, 700 Darfuri refugees, who had escaped the genocide, were suddenly and forcibly deported from Jordan back to Sudan to face the very genocidal regime that they had fled. Because of the lack of the world’s attention, Darfuri refugees’ situation in various neighboring countries has been constantly treated with disparity and lack of protection.
At the beginning of 2016, a new surge of violence, using the same strategy of the Sudanese government’s “scorched earth” campaign had already begun and is now on the way to killing more people. Intensive attacks and bombing of civilian populations, killing women and children along with the raping and abduction of women have been used as well. Over 133,000 people have been displaced from the Jebel Marra area, most of whom were left without humanitarian assistance. The government of Sudan has recently declared a plan to end displacement by 2017, which means the ultimate extermination of those who are helpless within the internally displaced camps in Darfur.
This week brought a referendum vote in Darfur by the Sudanese government to decide the future of Darfur, even while Darfuri victims are under attack and still struggling for survival with no ability to vote. There is a strong possibility that there will be a distribution of Darfuri land to Arab tribes and new settlers from the jihadist groups who were brought by the government of Sudan to overtake the Darfur region. If allowed to happen, this will be the final stage of the Darfur genocide. What is going on in Darfur today is very systematic and directed toward the same group, which the government has singled out for extermination since 2003. It is Sudan’s “Final Solution” to its genocide.
Attacks in Nuba Mountain and Blue Nile
Since June 2011, the Sudanese government has been attacking civilians in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, strategically dropping bombs on hospitals and other social service organizations to limit the possibilities for survival for civilians. A 2011 report from the United Nations Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights found that Sudan’s actions likely amounted to war crimes and crimes against humanity. However, attacks continued as government-sponsored bombings of civilian areas continue to rise dangerously in Darfur, South Kordofan and in the Blue Nile regions. This is why we need you, your voice, and your support.
DWAG believes that in the face of genocide we must not allow our leaders to look the other way; we must speak up, hold them accountable and compel them to act.
We, therefore, call on President Obama and the United States government to condemn the attacks publicly and denounce the Darfur referendum.
We urge President Obama to send the US special envoy for Sudan to visit Darfur to assess the situation and bring accurate information about the impact of the recent attack to allow for effective responses and to show the United States’ solidarity with the genocide victims in Darfur.
We urge the US and the UNSC members to press Sudan for unhindered humanitarian access in Darfur, Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile regions.
We call on our supporters to ask their State Representatives in Congress to add their names to the bipartisan letter led and endorsed by Congressman Jim McGovern and some 52 members to President Obama to make Sudan a priority.
We will share our petition with Congress early next week and will update you. Please check back with us next week.
We urge our European partners and supporters to send a message to their respective governments and ask the European Union not to give 100,000,000 euro that has been promised to Sudan to ostensibly help address the European refugee crisis. If that the money is given, it will directly help Sudan buy more weapons and continue to kill the people of Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile with total impunity.
Call on your government to send its envoy or delegation to visit Darfur to assess the impact of the recent attacks in Darfur and condemn the perpetrators.
We call on the European Union to send a delegation to visit Darfur to assess the humanitarian situation. Sudan is # 1 in forcing its people to become the most vulnerable refugees. Further, Sudan is still led by the ICC indicted criminal, Omar al-Bashir; it’s imperative that European countries that are parties to the ICC uphold their legal obligation to the Rome Statute by not supporting a government run by a perpetrator of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Genocide is an international crime that affects humanity anywhere in the world and that is why it is extremely important that our international leaders respond effectively. When world leaders ignore their responsibilities, we must remind them.
I hope you can join us by organizing and by spreading the word to share our message widely and join our online and/or offline actions. Only with our collective effort can we make a difference.
Please subscribe to our newsletter to add your voice to our letter.
Together we will make a difference. We can end the genocide in Darfur, Sudan and elsewhere in the world.
President of Darfur Women Action Group