We are writing to you to share updates on the situation in Sudan and to ask for your help by adding your voice and speaking out.
Since December 19th, the Sudanese people have been launching a large-scale protest demanding the ouster of President al-Bashir’s regime – a regime that came to power via a coup in 1989 and has turned the Sudanese people’s lives into Hell on Earth.
During the past two weeks, thousands of people, men, women and young people, have been protesting in the streets, calling for President al-Bashir to step down.
The government’s response has been brutal – firing tear gas into the crowd and shooting protestors. Over 360 have been impacted (of which 41 have been killed and 319 have been arrested), and many cases of disappearances where families have no idea of the missing people’s whereabouts.
The protest for dignity
As you know, the Sudanese people’s suffering under the al-Bashir regime has continued for far too long. Since al-Bashir came to power by coup, he has applied dictatorial rules and sharia law to control and oppress the people across Sudan.
Beginning in 1989 when al-Bashir took power to this day, Sudan has experienced the worst crises in the 21st century.
- In early 1990, the government declared Jihad (holy war) against the people of South Sudan. To date, approximately 2 million people have been killed for their beliefs and ethnicity.
- Since 2002, the government has orchestrated a scorched-earth policy against the indigenous people of Darfur, resulting in genocide, war crimes and crimes again humanity. Over 4 million people have been forced to flee their homes and continue to live in deplorable conditions while still under attack. They have yet returned to their lands for fear of being killed.
- In 2011, this same regime launched attacks against the people of Blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains, where over 1 million people have been driven from their homes and have yet been able to return.
While fueling crises in these areas, the government continued and continues to commit gross human rights violation throughout Sudan. They also used the law to oppress women and girls. Women have been and continue to be subjected to rape and mutilation in Darfur and have been beaten in public in other regions of Sudan for their choice of clothing. Civil society leaders, students, lawyers, women activists and journalists who have used peaceful means to demand change have been arrested, tortured and killed.
In addition, the al-Bashir regime has denied indigenous Christian Sudanese people from the south the right to practice their religion and constantly harasses and violates their rights.
During its 29 years of rule, the government has made every effort to destroy the Sudanese people.
- Approximately 10 million people who had been active societal producers as farmers or herders have been forced to become internally displaced persons or refugees in the neighboring countries. The remaining citizens have been confined within big cities, where people no longer have the ability to farm or herd and everyone has become only a consumer. Instead of using peaceful means to end the crises, the Sudanese government has resorted to a military solution, resulting in a bloated military budget where almost 80% of the country’s money has been directed to buying weapons to kill the very Sudanese people – in Darfur, Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile or eastern Sudan.
- The Sudanese regime has also actively involved itself with Islamic extremists and has led Sudan into isolation and lack of foreign investment or trade cooperation.
- In addition, the members of the regime have indulged in corruption, turning the country’s resources into personal property to enrich themselves.
These factors have severely impacted Sudan’s economy as the human rights situation has rapidly deteriorated. The severe negative impact on the economy can be reflected in the people’s daily lives by a severe lack of food, commodities, fuel, and many other items required for survival.
Due to both crises, suffering has now entered into every Sudanese person’s household and people have refused to die in silence. People have now taken to the streets in protest and calling for the regime to step down. In response, al-Bashir has responded aggressively by ordering his forces to use tear gas and shoot protestors
While some in the armed forces have refused to comply, the government security apparatus has been actively shooting protestors including children and abducting students, the majority of whom are from Darfur.
On top of all this, President al-Bashir is presently and has been since 2009, an indicted criminal, wanted by the International Criminal Court for committing crimes in Darfur. He has yet to face justice. In the face of this, the protestor’s demand is most legitimate; al-Bashir’s belongs in The Hague, not in Sudan.
And so we are appealing to you and strongly urging you to speak up for our people. Please join us in calling on the US Government and the international community to stand by the side of the people of Sudan. Let us together call on the US government to publicly denounce Sudan’s attack on protestors and demand that the government stop violence against protests and realize their demands, which are just and legal.
In the coming days we will be working around the clock updating you with the situation and provide you with opportunity to take action.