On July 30, I had the opportunity to represent the voices of our abolitionists and the victims of the newest outbreak of mass atrocity crimes in Sudan. The U.S. Congressional Sudan Caucus hosted a briefing concerning the political situation in Khartoum as well as the ongoing violence in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains. As you know, OBS sent an assessment team to this historic part of Sudan in June of this year.
It is because of you that we had this opportunity. You called and emailed the offices of your representatives asking them to attend or send a staff member. Several offices were represented at this briefing, making this an excellent opportunity for the Sudanese and ourselves to be heard.
After showing the above video, I delivered messages the Sudanese asked us to tell world leaders. I made it a clear point the people of South Kordofan state, home to the Nuba Mountains, feel abandoned by the world. They know the crime of genocide is being committed against them because they survived one attempt by the Bashir regime to annihilate them already. The same crimes these people survived in the 1990s are being committed once again in a disturbingly similar pattern.
While our team was in the Nuba Mountains and Yida Refugee Camp, the people made it clear to us that they no longer have hope the international community will intervene by challenging government forces and their militias directly. They no longer have confidence the international community will impose a no-fly or no-drive zone, much less deploy any type of ground force to protect them.
What they do still hope for is that the international community, led by the United States, will aggressively delver aid into affected areas. Dr. Alamin Osman even told me that we can expect crimes to be committed because of this war and the nature of the Bashir regime.
This was the message I delivered. We have failed to prevent the next Darfur. Hundreds are dying every week, and within the next several days that number will grow to thousands as food completely runs out and preventable diseases spread like wildfire. All of this comes on top of daily aerial bombardments and ground attacks against the innocent. The Nuban people no longer hope for the forceful protection they deserve and need, but they still cling to the hope that at the very least the world will deliver direly needed aid directly into the Nuba Mountains and along the border where refugee camps are overflowing with hordes of fleeing people.
Because of this, I delivered a strong-messaged letter to the U.S. government from our Act for Sudan alliance member organizations calling for such an aid delivery; not just because it is needed, but more importantly because it is what the Nuban people want. The victims can no longer wait for Bashir to agree to allow humanitarian aid access on his purposefully slow timetable and conditions, conditions he will inevitably break just like the vast majority of other agreements his regime never follows through on.
I honestly do not know if our voices will have the impact that is needed. The odds are always seemingly stacked against the Sudanese and those trying to support their aspirations for a Sudan where all are respected and protected. What I do know is that we are fulfilling our promises to the Sudanese by taking their stories to the halls of the powerful, who have a responsibility to protect all people affected by crimes such as these. We must continue to work towards this end, and as we do so do everything we can to directly assist the people of Sudan. Keep in touch with us by visiting our website frequently for updates on how you can help. Talk to you soon.
Mark C. Hackett