Widespread protests that erupted in Sudan on December 19 over worsening economic conditions have morphed into calls for the kleptocratic and murderous Bashir regime to be removed from power. Sudan's dictatorship has responded by unleashing its genocidal militias, National Intelligence "ghost troops," and heavily-armed police against unarmed protesters. The deadly use of live fire and tear gas by government forces against Sudanese citizens is widespread and worsening.
Over the past few days, the situation in Khartoum has grown increasingly tense. The mass and relentless protests have created widening fissures within the government and various security forces. 22 Sudanese have been murdered by the Bashir regime's security forces since Saturday. And minimal international efforts to find a peaceful resolution and protect the Sudanese people from the Bashir regime are floundering.
U.S. Policy Faltering
Despite nearly 4 months of protests and the regime's lethal response, the U.S. government has failed to make any real policy changes to match the rapidly changing situation in Sudan. A poorly managed effort to improve U.S.-Sudan bilateral relations began underneath the Obama Administration and has continued unchanged underneath the Trump Administration. As one senior U.S. official recently noted in an interview, “What’s happening in Sudan is a sea change, and there’s nobody minding the store. The policy process is broken.”
Congressional committees began realizing that something was amiss in American policy towards Sudan back in January. In February, we noted that Congressional activity needed to ramp up due to changes in U.S. policy historically stemming from Congressional accountability of the Executive Branch. The House and Senate pursuit for answers has become increasingly vocal ever since, albeit at a painstakingly slow pace.
Most recently, seven U.S. Senators appealed to the State Department asking for clarifications on American policy towards Sudan. Their bipartisan letter hits on a lot of key points where U.S. policy has clearly gone off the rails and notes that a classified briefing is in the works. READ THE FULL LETTER »
While this latest Congressional effort is a small step in the right direction, it is not nearly enough. American policymakers are finding themselves woefully behind the now rapidly changing situation in Sudan, and the dangers of that reality are already coming to fruition. This escalating crisis warrants the Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs Committees making Sudan a top foreign policy priority immediately.
The people of Sudan are overcoming two of the greatest challenges facing humanity today: war and genocide. Operation Broken Silence is accelerating their ability to generate lasting change by funding storytelling and movement-building, education and emergency response, and grassroots advocacy programs. Here are a few ways you can join us:
1. Give Monthly To The Education In Yida. The Renewal is our unstoppable family of monthly givers who never stop fighting for change. They give automatically each and every month to the two schools we sponsor in Yida Refugee Camp, providing consistent support to 24 teachers and nearly 1,100 students. Monthly givers who donate $25+ a month also get free tickets to our two annual events! LEARN MORE »
2. Become A Fundraiser. If you can't give monthly right now but have some time to spare, you can start an online fundraising page for the schools in Yida or Mother of Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains warzone. BECOME A FUNDRAISER »
3. Give Once. Not ready to commit with a monthly gift or fundraising yet? That's okay, making a one-time gift is the best next step to get your feet wet! GIVE HERE »
Mark began working on Sudan issues in 2007 after an eye-opening conversation with a genocide survivor from Darfur, Sudan. Since 2011 he has overseen the steady growth of our organization.
Mark makes sure our on the ground programs stay on the rails and that our movement remains focused on our end goal of closing our doors one day. He’s one of only a few Americans to have been in frontline areas in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan during the war.