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Letter on Sudan to Ban Ki-Moon signed by 123 NGOs, representatives

December 22 - 2014 LONDON
ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda addressing the UN Security Council on 12 December 2014 (UN)
ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda addressing the UN Security Council on 12 December 2014 (UN)

A large group of international and Sudanese NGOs, individuals, and representatives of Sudanese political parties have written a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon regarding the suspension of further investigations into war crimes in Darfur by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The 123 signatories express several concerns, saying that the freezing of investigations, announced by ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on 12 December, “will only serve to embolden the Sudanese armed forces and their proxies in their systematic campaign to ethnically cleanse Sudan of those they wish to eliminate”.

Text of the letter in full:

Mr Ban Ki-Moon

Secretary-General of the United Nations

22 December 2014

Dear Secretary-General

Re the ICC arrest warrant for President al Bashir

We are a group of NGOs, individuals, representatives of Sudanese political parties and interested partners. We write regarding the announcement by the ICC Chief Prosecutor that she is suspending new investigations in the cases of President al Bashir and those Sudanese officials indicted for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

We share the Chief Prosecutor’s frustration that members of the United Nations Security Council have demonstrated an insufficient engagement with the ICC’s repeated demands for international co-operation in holding to account those indicted for their part in gross violations of human rights in Darfur. It is notable that even signatories to the Rome Statute have ignored their obligations to bring President al Bashir and his fellow Sudanese indictees to justice.

However, we fear that the Chief Prosecutor’s intervention will only serve to embolden the Sudanese armed forces and their proxies in their systematic campaign to ethnically cleanse Sudan of those they wish to eliminate. Fatou Bensouda’s attempt to shine a spotlight on the UN Security Council, whilst temporarily suspending investigations, has already had the unfortunate consequence of making those responsible for atrocities in Sudan believe that they have won the moral battle. They now compute that killing, bombing, raping, burning, intimidating, and looting can be continued with impunity.

The UN Security Council has had many opportunities to enforce numerous resolutions on Darfur from 2004 onward concerned with pressing the Sudanese government to stop bombing and attacking its own unarmed civilians. However, the Security Council has consistently refrained from enforcing resolutions giving permission to impose targeted smart sanctions and travel bans on the architects of the ethnic cleansing in Darfur. Consequently, those indicted by the ICC have continued to travel without fear of arrest; their assets could have been frozen, according to the UNSC’s resolutions, and yet no action has been taken, despite the repeated refusal of indictees to make good their promises to the UNSC and to you personally.

One disturbing aspect of the UNSC’s reluctance to press the government of Sudan to obey international treaties and conventions it has signed has been the failure to demand that the Khartoum regime investigate the deaths of UNAMID personnel and to bring to justice those responsible. Nothing has been done to follow up expressions of concern following the killing of the UN’s own staff by proxies closely associated with the Sudanese regime. The signal this sends the Sudanese regime is one of only a token gesture. Unsurprisingly those indicted by the ICC have concluded they can ignore these statements and continue perpetrating atrocities with no accountability.

Another consequence of the UN lack of consistent and meaningful pressure on the government of Sudan is that UNAMID has been rendered impotent. While its personnel know they cannot count on support from New York when they are prevented from performing their duties by Sudanese officials, they will be unwilling to risk their lives by trying to fulfil their mandate to protect civilians and report on suspected human rights abuses. The result has been a vastly expensive and discredited UN mission, led by Herve Ladsous, who consistently and deliberately diminishes the scale of the conflict in Darfur, thereby enabling Khartoum’s crimes to flourish, whilst the international community congratulates itself on improved circumstances in Darfur.

Yours sincerely

1. Waging Peace, Olivia Warham MBE, Director (UK)

2. Voice for Nyala, Elena Ghizzo, Coordinator (UK)

3. Darfur Development Agenda, Saifeldin Nemir (YEMEN)

4. Article 1, Madeleine Crowther, Research, Refugee & Campaigns Assistant (UK)

5. Darfur Bar Association, Abdelrahman Mohamed Gasim , Protection and External Relations

6. Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART), Baroness Cox House of Lords and CEO (UK)

7. Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART), Alice Robinson, Advocacy and Communications Manager (UK)

8. Zarga Organization for Rural Development, Mustafa Adam Ahmed, Director (UK)

9. Darfur Victims Organization for Rehabilitation and Relief (DVORR), Ishag Mekki, Chair (UK)

10. Eric Reeves, Professor, Smith College & Sudan Expert (USA)

11. The Elsa-Gopa Trust, Nell Okie, Director (USA)

12. Congolese Genocide Awareness (CGA), Anthony Kasongo, Executive Director (USA)

13. Religious Liberty Program and Church Alliance for a New Sudan, Faith J. H. McDonnell, Director, Institute on Religion and Democracy (USA)

14. Sudan Unlimited, Esther Sprague, Director (USA)

15. Never Again Coalition, Lauren Fortgang and Diane Koosed, Co-Chairs (USA)

16. Hamid E. Ali, PhD, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Department of Public Policy and Administration, The American University in Cairo (EGYPT)

17. Justice & Equality Movement Sudan (JEM), Gebreil I M Fediel, Chairperson

18. Darfur Humanitarian Advocacy Australia, Eltayeb Mohamed Ali Abdelrahim, President (AUSTRALIA)

19. National Sudanese Women Alliance in Diaspora , Suhair Sharif, Chairwoman (UK)

20. Jews Against Genocide, New York, Eileen Weiss, Co-Founder (USA)

21. New York Coalition for Sudan, Neiki Ullah, Communications Director (USA)

22. Sudan Advocacy Action Forum, Dr. Eleanor Wright, Moderator (USA)

23. Give Back Project, Waleed Abdallah, Project manager (UK)

24. Beja Congress UK , Mohammed Alhalengy (UK)

25. Idaho Darfur Coalition, Marcia Prasch, Co-Founder (USA)

26. The House of the Lord Churches, Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry, National Presiding Minister (USA)

27. Umma National Party of Sudan, Mariam Alsadig Almahdi, Vice President

28. Sudanese Community Church of Denver, The Rev Dr Oja B Gafour, PhD, Vicar (USA)

29. African Freedom Coalition, New York City, Al Sutton MD, President (USA)

30. Brooklyn Coalition for Darfur & Marginalized Sudan, USA, Laura Limuli, Coordinator (USA)

31. Genocide Watch, Dr Gregory H. Stanton, President & Professor, George Mason University (USA)

32. Women Voice for Peace in Sudan, Mastora Bakhiet (USA)

33. Ubuntu Women Institute USA, Sunday Taabu, Founder (USA)

34. Stop Genocide Now, Gabriel Stauring, Founder (USA)

35. Ahmed H Adam, Visiting Fellow, Institute for African Development, Cornell University (USA)

36. Unite for Darfur Organization, Bahar Arabie, CEO (USA)

37. Darfur Interfaith Network, Martha Boshnick (USA)

38. Raga Gibreel, Green Kordofan, Founder (UK)

39. Darfur Australia Network (DAN), Guna Subramaniam (AUSTRALIA)

40. Women From The Far West, Mariam shaw, Founder (UK)

41. Darfur Association in Uganda, Mohamed Ishaq Abdulshafi, President (UGANDA)

42. Sudan Broad National Front, Mr Ali Mahmoud Hassanein, Chairman

43. Namaa Al-Mahdi, Member of the National Umma Party Executive Committee (USA)

44. Darfur Union UK & Ireland, Muatasim Mahadi, Chairman (UK)

45. Darfur Union UK & Ireland, Motaz Bargo, Secretary General (UK)

46. Darfur Center for Transitional Justice & Peace Studies, Dr Enas Osman Ahmed, Executive Director (USA)

47. Sudan Liberation Movement Second Revolution, Abdellatife Ismail, Deputy Chairman (UK)

48. SUDO, Osman Mansour, Coordinator (UK)

49. Voice of Darfur Women, Mariam Suliman, Chairperson (UK)

50. Nuba Now, Claire Budd (UK)

51. Georgia Coalition to Prevent Genocide, Melanie Melkin, Chair, (USA)

52. Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition, David Rosenberg, Coordinator (USA)

53. Dear Sudan, Love Marin, Gerri Miller, Founder and Coordinator (USA)

54. San Francisco Bay Area Darfur Coalition, Mohamed Suleiman, President (USA)

55. Commission of Protection of Civilians and Promotion of Women and Children Rights, SPLM Controlled Areas, Monim El Jak, Vice President (KENYA)

56. Nuba Mountains Peoples Foundation, Elrayah Kakki, Chief Executive Officer

57. SPLM-N, Kamal Kambal (UK)

58. World Peace and Reconciliation, Adeeb Yousif (USA)

59. Carl Wilkens Fellowship, Katie-Jay Scott, Program Facilitator (USA)

60. EASE Women Group, Amal Elsheikh (UK)

61. Sudan Solidarity Network, Sabir Abu Saadia (SOUTH AFRICA)

62. Mohammed Hamid, Journalist (UK)

63. Darfur Action Group of South Carolina, Richard Sribnick, Chairman (USA)

64. Investors Against Genocide, Eric Cohen, Chairperson (USA)

65. Act for Sudan, Martina Knee, Co-Founder (USA)

66. Massachusetts Coalition for Darfur, William Rosenfeld, Director (USA)

67. Sudan Liberation Movement Minni Minawi, Abuobieda Elkhalifa

68. Collectif Urgence Darfour, Dr Jacky Mamou, Chairman (FRANÎ)

69. Joining Our Voices, Slater Armstrong, Founder/Director (USA)

70. Umma Party, USA Chapter, Abdul Suliman (USA)

71. Beja Congress UK, Dr Abu Amnas (UK)

72. SOESA INC, Bakri Omer, Director (AUSTRALIA)

73. Darfur Call, Abdelhadi Abaker, Chairman (THE NETHERLANDS)

74. Nuba Relief, Rehabilitation & Development Organisation, Nagwa Musa Konda (SUDAN)

75. People4Sudan, Zeinab Blandia, Chief Executive (USA)

76. Nuba Christian Family Mission, George Tutu, Founder/Director/Chairman (USA)

77. Darfur Union, The Netherlands, Eisa Mustafa, Chairman (THE NETHERLANDS)

78. National Unionist Party UK & Europe, Amin Hamad, Head of the Party’s Committee (UK)

79. Beja Congress Corrective, Zeinab Kabbashi, Chairperson (UK)

80. Sudan Organisation for Development, Zeinab Malik, Chairperson (UK)

81. DAAM (Network for Coordinating Sudan Pro-Democracy Action Abroad), Ali Abdelatif, Coordinator (UK)

82. Norwegian Church Aid, Dawood Narbi Kodi, Program Manager (NORWAY)

83. Rabah Alsadiq, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Hurriyat E-Newspaper ( SUDAN)

84. Sports League of Sudanese Expatriates, Abdel Al-Monim Omer Osman

85. Society of Sudanese Journalists Abroad, Ismael Mohammed Ali, General Secretary

86. The League of Friends of Mahjoub Shareif, Mohammed Abdel-Jalil, Chairman

87. Sudan Association of Transitional Justice, Ali Zain Elabdein, (SUDAN)

88. Gaafer Ali, Community Activist, UK

89. Mohammed Bahari, Activist, UK

90. Abdalla Ahmed, Activist, UK

91. Sam Godolphin, Activist, UK

92. Ahmed Elzobier, Human Rights Activist, UK

93. Ahmed Gamar, Activist, UK

94. Hamza Yousif, Activist UK

95. Emmanuel Walla, South Sudan, Activist

96. Mohamed El Faki Hamilton, Darfuri and Human Rights Activist

97. Zahir Moh Musa Akasha, Civil Society and Human Rights Activist

98. Alhadi Altrayih, Activist, UK

99. Mohammed Abaker, Activist, UK

100. Ali Rahman, Activist, UK

101. Rasha Ibrahim, Activist, UK

102. Khalid Kodi, Activist, USA

103. Ahmed Ballah, Activist, UK

104. Samia Adnan, Activist, UK

105. Zeena Farouk, Activist, UK

106. Ahmed Farouk, Activist, Belgium

107. Farah Farouk, Activist, Vietnam

108. Abaker Abuebashar, Activist, UK

109. Mona Zanoon, Activist, UK

110. Zahir Akasha, Activist, UK

111. Aboud Arosh, Activist, UK

112. Abdulazim Ahmed, Activist, UK

113. Amal Habani, Journalist/Human Rights Activist, SUDAN

114. Rasha Ibrahim, Activist, UK

115. Hashim Othman Mustafa Ibrahim, Activist, UK

116. Reverend Heidi McGinness, Activist USA

117. Mustafa Siry Suliman, Journalist, UK

118. Mohamed Hamid, Journalist, UK

119. Nasredeen Abdulbari, Activist, USA

120. Siddique Al-Mouj, Journalist, SAUDI ARABIA

121. Samih Elshaikh, Blogger, BELGIUM

122. Elsadig Adam Ismael, Human Right Activist, SUDAN

123. Altahir Ishag Eldouma, Journalist/Writer, SUDAN

Cc:

David Cameron, UK Prime Minister

President Barack Obama, President of the United States

Francois Hollande, President of France

Philip Hammond, UK Foreign Secretary

John Kerry, Secretary of State, USA

Laurent Fabius, Foreign Minister of France

Sir Mark Lyall Grant, UK Ambassador to the UN

Samantha Power, USA Ambassador to the UN

Francois Delattre, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations


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