A Time To Mourn

a letter from our executive director to our movement

Posted by Mark Hackett on December 1st, 2016

Hello friends and supporters, 

I wish I was writing to you today with better news, especially after you made yesterday one of our biggest giving days of the year to the people of Sudan. Unfortunately I have to provide you an update that is difficult to receive.

Earlier today I was able to confirm that a Sudanese individual who assisted our organization in making one of our previous films has been killed in South Sudan by a South Sudanese government militia. This particular individual was a refugee from the Nuba Mountains of Sudan and had no stock in South Sudan's conflict. His murder was senseless and in no way advanced the twisted goals being pursued by some of South Sudan's leaders. But he was killed anyways.

As is the policy of our organization, we do not publicly provide specific names and information of Sudanese individuals we work with or have worked with on the ground for their own safety and the safety of their families. This is the first time we have had to extend this policy to a deceased member of our community. Hopefully it will be the last. 

While I can't provide his name, I can tell you about who he was as a person. He was kind despite having no reason to be, generous despite having so little, and hopeful despite the vast obstacles that confront his people. He was well spoken and a deep-thinker despite never attending a high school or college. He had ideas for how to drive change in Sudan, mostly with regards to making sure his children's generation received an education. In these ways and many more he was a fair representation of the Nuba people. He will be missed. We mourn losing someone who had dedicated his life to making Sudan a better place for everyone. He was, like so many other of our Sudanese friends, at the center of our movement. 

Today's loss for our movement comes at what can only be described as a terrifying time for millions of people in South Sudan. International efforts to halt what many have called a brewing genocide continue to falter. Many experts believe the mass killing already going on in some parts of the country will soon accelerate in the coming weeks when the dry season fully sets in. While our organization only focuses on Sudan, not South Sudan, we recognize that Sudanese from the Nuba Mountains find themselves in a uniquely dangerous situation. Their homeland is bombed and attacked daily by the Sudanese government. Those that have fled to South Sudan face the reality of getting caught in the crossfire of the civil war there. There are very few places they can flee to that are safe.

I last spoke to him in June, shortly before South Sudan's leaders plunged the country back into the violence that only benefits themselves. I honestly don't remember much of the conversation as it was very brief, but he did remind me that we can never stop moving forwards. 

I posted earlier today on my personal social media profiles that we had lost someone close to us. Several of you sent messages letting me know you are praying and asking how you can help. Prayer is fine and needed, but it is not enough. The best way we can help is to honor his memory by continuing to do what he's asked us to do: serve his people. If you want to do that, we have some great options here. 

You will be missed friend. We won't give up. May we meet again one day. Onward. 

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About Operation Broken Silence

Operation Broken Silence is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization leading a global movement for peace and justice in Sudan through innovative programs

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Tags: Sudan, news, South Sudan, update

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