Posts Tagged ‘Sudan’

A Final Plea for Sudan

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

Tensions run high in the southern regions of Sudan

Sudan is less than 48 hours from a historic precipice.  Depending on whether the Southern Sudan referendum passes on January 9th, Sudan will either descend into renewed anarchy or emerge triumphant with the hope and promise of a more peaceful future.

As you may remember from my earlier article when George Clooney and John Prendergast visited Stanford, the current referendum in Sudan proposes the splitting of Sudan with the hopes of preventing future religiously and economically motivated violence.  With very high stakes in the form of oil-rich regions, this option is one of the few viable solutions for finally obtaining peace in the tumultuous Darfur region.  In a frantic, last-minute push, Prendergast and Clooney have returned to Sudan to implore the Sudanese government to seriously consider the referendum and begin taking the necessary steps to protect all Sudanese people.

Supporters of secession

If you’re writing the Sudan issue off as another distant tremor in war-torn Africa, please think again.  Consider for a moment the movie Hotel Rwanda.  Just a decade ago, during our lifetimes, genocide in Rwanda led to the death of 800,000 citizens.  Not combatants.  Not soldiers.  Men, women, and children who were raped, shot, and slaughtered by machete.  In Sudan, we have a new Hotel Rwanda waiting to happen.  The very thought that something like that could happen under our watch is truly bone-chilling.

Our generation can do better.  Our generation can stop genocide before it begins.

The clock is ticking, but the battle’s not over yet.  If you care about the people of Sudan, if you empathize with the thousands of displaced refugees and heartbroken widows this conflict has produced, please consider doing the following to make your voice heard:

  • Sign a petition at sudanactionnow.org:  ask Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough (Obama’s point person inside the White House on Sudan) to “make sure Sudan’s leaders fully comply with the benchmarks for progress in both Darfur and South Sudan before any incentives are granted by the U.S. Government.”
  • Write a personal letter to Obama himself:  ask him to remember the January deadline.
  • Join STAND, Amnesty International, or any of Stanford’s other anti-genocide groups on campus.

Star Power for Social Good: Clooney and Prendergast Speak Out on Sudan

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Usually at the start of an event article such as this, I’d provide some background, some details on the event, maybe a few witticisms, and wrap up with some related resources.  And I will.  Just not yet, because that is not the point.  If you take nothing else away from this article, give this sentence your full attention:

Sudan is at the precipice of civil war, and YOU can do something to prevent the next genocide.

TAKE ACTION.

  • A Sudanese child soldier: the very real human consequence of inaction in Sudan

    Sign a petition at sudanactionnow.org:  ask Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough (Obama’s point person inside the White House on Sudan) to “make sure Sudan’s leaders fully comply with the benchmarks for progress in both Darfur and South Sudan before any incentives are granted by the U.S. Government.”

  • Write a personal letter to Obama himself:  ask him to remember the January deadline.
  • Join STAND, Amnesty International, or any of Stanford’s other anti-genocide groups on campus.
  • Participate in Stanford’s Darfur Fast:  Nov. 17th, all-day, with breaking of the fast 6-7:30 p.m., 1st floor Tresidder Union.  Register here, suggested donation $10.  Proceeds benefit the Darfur Stoves project.
  • Purchase a STAND Beat Cal Sudan T-shirt:  30% of proceeds go to the Darfur Stoves project.
  • Buy food at Jamba Juice between November 10 and 19, mentioning STAND or Darfur Fast, and a portion of the proceeds will go to Darfur Stoves.
  • Use social media to spread the word!

Our generation can reverse the tide of racial genocide and use creative diplomacy to prevent future atrocities.  Who doesn’t want to be a part of that?

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The Rice is Right: Why We Should Follow the Ambassador’s Ideas for Sudan Policy

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

By Marloes and Judith Sijstermans, student anti-genocide activists

UN Ambassador Susan Rice '86 has followed through with the advice she gave at her commencement address. (Photo: L.A. Cicero)

When U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice (Class of ’86) returned to Stanford to deliver the 2010 commencement address, she urged graduates to work towards positive change in the world. This week, she has backed up those words.

When General Scott Gration, US Special Envoy to Sudan, proposed a policy towards Sudan that would sideline Darfur completely, Rice spoke out as the lone dissenting voice defending millions of Sudanese people. Activists around the country have joined Rice in standing against the proposed plan, which continues the use of only positive incentives rather than consequences in dealing with Khartoum. Anti-genocide activists, including us students, are calling for President Obama to live up to his promises and to make this critical choice a positive turning point in Sudan policy. He has said, “I don’t intend to abandon people or turn a blind eye to slaughter.”

But Gration’s proposed plan for Sudan does just that. This new policy proposal deemphasizes the genocide in Darfur and contains few solid consequences. Like the World War II era policy of appeasement, Gration supports positive incentives for the Sudanese government if the January referendum goes smoothly. However, negotiation with Khartoum has proven to be an ineffective method in curbing violence, genocide and, corruption.

This year’s April elections were neither fair nor free, reelecting Omar al Bashir through a flawed and corrupt process. The Sudanese government has broken peace agreements time after time, and the violence and destruction continues in Sudan.
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