A number of U.S. congressmen and women signed a letter addressed to President Obama in which concerns regarding Sudan were expressed.
A number of U.S. congressmen and women signed a letter addressed to President Obama in which concerns regarding Sudan were expressed. The preoccupying issues were the alleged “marginalization of the peripheries” and the security as well as the humanitarian condition in South Kordofan, Blue Nile, and Darfur. And not surprisingly, the blame and vitriol were, as usual directed towards the government of Sudan.
Policy must be shaped by facts, and it is clear that there is no ground for the hostility towards the Sudanese. The Congressmen must take the trouble to properly inform their ranks. It does not reflect well on the U.S. government when its officials have to rely on activists and movie stars like George Clooney to provide the “facts”. The credibility of the Satellite Sentinel Project and its assertions regarding mass graves is nonexistent, as declared by some U.S. officials in front of these very congressmen. And the insistence that Sudan carried out an alleged bombing in South Sudan demonstrates the officials’ neglect of facts. To this day, evidence supporting this claim has not been availed after Sudan made an official request in that regard.
The minimum duty for anyone interested in the truth is to check and scrutinize one’s sources. After all, misinformation has not only once led the U.S. to bomb Sudan’s Al-Sheefah pharmaceuticals but has also earned it a disastrous and costly war. It should therefore be said that many of the activists paraded by congress in the halls of government buildings are neither reliable sources of facts nor ambassadors of peace. They’ve consistently demonstrated an appalling degree of bias and disdain for reality. And it is upon their fabrications and sensationalized testimonies that the utterly defunct policy towards Sudan is perpetuated.
It is an established fact that the perpetrators of the atrocities in Darfur are the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and two factions of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), groups that reflexively reject peace initiatives proposed by the international community, regional actors and even the government. Members of the U.S. congress are fully cognizant of this fact and are well acquainted with the defiant posture of the rebels that has frustrated all the peace efforts in Darfur. And in both Blue Nile and South Kordufan, it is the SPLM-N, the fully-armed militia group of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in the South that has been the cause of the people’s displacement and suffering in those two regions. The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) only took action after the killing of civilians became rampant. And in its mission to purge this element from the midst of the innocent citizens, it has keenly observed the highest standards of conduct contrary to the assertions of the letter.
The U.S. Congress must adhere to facts if it chooses to engage in the affairs of Sudan. It should also move away from the inciting rhetoric of “marginalization” and catchphrases like “peripheries vs. center” which is the exaggerated language used by the rebels to justify their atrocities, and an impediment to the genuine efforts aimed at addressing an issue that predates even the current Government. Fairness must also prevail, for it is absurdly irrational to expect peace when only a single stakeholder is held accountable. This letter addressed to President Obama is further proof of this. If members of this “Sudan Congressional Caucus” are sincere in helping the people of Sudan, they must not only hold the true culprits accountable, they should also call for the lifting of sanctions that have long punished the average citizen.
Press and Information Office