Since December 19, Sudanese citizens have taken to the streets in legitimate and peaceful protests calling for the end of the Bashir regime. Unarmed protesters have been met by violent government security forces who have unleashed live ammunition and tear gas into crowds, hospitals, and schools. Journalists and doctors have been targeted by the regime. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Sudanese citizens have been arbitrarily detained, brutally tortured, and even murdered. Government officials have once again tried to shift blame from themselves in a variety of unhelpful and dangerous ways, from using racist language about oppressed Darfuris to pushing wild conspiracies rooted in their hatred of Israel and much of the western world.
Operation Broken Silence strongly condemns this deadly, government-orchestrated violence against unarmed Sudanese who are exercising their basic rights and supports the aspirations of the people of Sudan for positive, lasting change.
Many Sudanese are standing up and protesting against the nearly thirty year legacy of the Bashir regime: endless genocidal wars in the oppressed periphery regions of the country, a spiraling economy, and mass institutional corruption that has decimated basic government services and the private sector. United States policy currently remains focused on normalizing ties with the Bashir regime despite the decades-long brutality of this dictatorship that has escalated even further in the last six weeks.
U.S. Must Halt Normalization Talks With Bashir Regime
In response to yet another wave of Sudanese government violence targeted at its own citizens, the United States should immediately halt all talks of normalization with the Bashir regime. This should include any discussion of removing Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list.
Additionally, the U.S. government has a wide array of existing tools at its disposal to help erode the Bashir regime's ability to murder and torture its own citizens, including but not limited to:
- Publicly condemning ongoing regime-led violence against civilians and calling for President Bashir's resignation via the State Department, White House, and Congressional offices,
- Immediately withdrawing the visa belonging to Charge D’Affaires Mohamed Atta at Sudan's embassy in Washington, requiring his departure from U.S. soil, and investigating sanctioning him due to his long pattern of criminal and terrorist activity within the Bashir regime,
- Creating and enforcing targeted financial sanctions on key regime officials and their networks of business collaborators,
- Building global consensus and dedicating resources towards enforcing the International Criminal Court's arrest warrants on Sudanese government officials,
- Ramping up intelligence collection on Sudanese government war crimes, human rights abuses, and ongoing ties to international terrorist networks
Historically, major changes in U.S. policy towards the Bashir regime of Sudan have been driven by bipartisan Congressional action. A higher level of organized Congressional engagement is needed once again to ensure that U.S. policy coming out of the Executive Branch reflects the aspirations of the Sudanese people, not the dictatorship. This could include hearings on the situation in Sudan in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committees, bipartisan and individual member statements, and further calls for the State Department to clarify current U.S. policy towards the Bashir regime of Sudan.
The people of Sudan are overcoming two of the greatest challenges facing humanity today: war and genocide. Operation Broken Silence is working to accelerate their ability to generate lasting change through storytelling and movement-building, education and emergency relief, and grassroots advocacy programs.
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