On Wednesday, March 11, in a letter signed by 54 coalition partners, the Save Darfur Coalition implored President Obama to take a stand against President Bashir’s decision to expel 13 international humanitarian aid groups from Sudan.
With this action, the Sudanese government is denying 4.7 million Darfuri citizens of their last remaining lifeline.
CAIRO - The kidnapping of three Western aid workers in Sudan's Darfur region marks a significant escalation of insecurity for relief agencies deployed in the conflict-ridden area.
Canadian nurse Laura Archer, Italian doctor Mauro D'Ascanio, and French coordinator Raphaël Meunier, as well as their Sudanese watchman Sharif Mohamadin, all working for Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders, were safely released Saturday by unknown gunmen after three days in captivity.
The Obama administration offers a fresh opportunity for the United States to meaningfully engage in an effort to bring peace to Sudan at a time when the stakes have never been higher. Nevertheless, policymakers still need the collective voice of activists to keep the conflict high on their agendas and to generate public support for making tough decisions. We explore the impressive accomplishments of Sudan activists to date; the windows of opportunity for peace in Sudan; and what you can do. The bottom line: thoughtful, persistent activism makes a difference. The genocide in Darfur won’t end overnight, and there are no guarantees that the North-South war won’t resume, but there are a number of factors that provide a real opportunity for lasting peace in Sudan— if the international community acts boldly and swiftly. Such action will come if—and probably only if—activists continue to generate enough light and heat to point the way.
By John Prendergast and John Bagwell | Mar 16, 2009