On Wednesday, May 4, 120 bispartisan Members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama, urging him to keep Sudan a priority in the final months of his Administration.
"As the violence in Sudan grows worse, the world is looking to the United States to be a strong partner in the effort to build a lasting peace and address this devastating humanitarian crisis. Today in Sudan, families are being displaced, hunger and malnutrition have reached crisis levels, and civilians face the constant threat of aerial bombings. With today’s letter, our bipartisan coalition is calling on President Obama to make Sudan a top priority by taking new steps to protect the Sudanese people and put an end to this violent conflict.” – Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA)
Led by Congressmen Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Joseph Pitts (R-PA), co-chairs of the Tom Lantos human rights commission, and the co-chairs of the Sudan and South Sudan Caucus Representatives Michael McCaul (R-TX), Mike Capuano (D-MA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), the letter calls for strong U.S. leadership and advocacy on the grave abuses and humanitarian crisis that persist and continue to worsen in Sudan.
“The ongoing tragedy in Darfur is heartbreaking. Every day innocent men, women, and children suffer atrocities including rape and murder and millions more are in need of life-saving aid. The United States must do more to help the people of Sudan. We can accomplish this by isolating the Sudanese government with economic sanctions such as designating Sudanese gold as ‘conflict gold’ and by holding countries such as India and Saudi Arabia accountable for allowing Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir to travel freely without arresting him in accordance with the International Criminal Court. The administration must act now to help stop the violence and protect the Sudanese people." Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)
The letter urges President Obama to leverage a number of ways the U.S. can influence the Sudanese government, including:
- enhancing the current sanctions regime so that is focused to impact the calculations of the Sudanese regime’s top-level officials, by targeting top level officials, financial institutions and other facilitators of the conflict.
- utilizing the good relations that the U.S has with countries in the Arab world that support Khartoum financially, to pressure countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are investing in Sudan and lending the regime money, to turn off the spigot until true reform and change occurs on the ground.
- countering gold as a major source of funding for the conflict in Sudan by prioritizing efforts to encourage industry associations to designate Sudan’s gold as conflict-affected.
- Countering the lack of accountability for Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir's international travel, despite arrest warrants from the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
Click here to read the full letter.
In addition to the six bipartisan co-leads, the letter was also signed by House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Representatives Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) , Alcee Hastings (D-FL), John Lewis (D-GA), Danny Davis (D-IL), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Gwen Moore (D-WI), André Carson (D-IN), Krysten Sinema (D-AZ), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Michael Doyle (D-PA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Joe Crowley (D-NY), Randy Weber (R-TX), Greg Meeks (D-NY), Charlie Rangel (D-NY), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), John Yarmuth (D-KY), Peter Welch (D-VT), Donald Payne, Jr.(D-NJ), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Gerald Connolly (D-VA), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Robin Kelly (D-IL), Sanford Bishop, Jr. (D-GA), Donna Edwards (D-MD), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Corrine Brown (D-FL), David Cicilline (D-RI), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Sam Farr (D-CA), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Katherine Clark (D-MA), Hank Johnson, Jr. (D-FL), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Hakeen S. Jeffries (D-NY), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Bill Flores (R-TX), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Dina Titus (D-NV), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Donald Beyer, Jr. (D-VA), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Ryan Costello (R-PA), Karen Bass (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Barbara Comstock (R-IA), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), David Scott (D-GA), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Al Green (D-TX), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), William Keating (D-MA), Steve Israel (D-NY), Brian Higgins (D-NY), James Clyburn (D-SC), Daniel Donovan, Jr (R-NY)., Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Norma Torres (D-CA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Michael Honda (D-CA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Richard Neal (D-MA), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Thomas Rooney (R-FL), Jim Costa (D-CA), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Marc Veasey (D-TX), Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Bobby Scott (D-VA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Lois Capps (D-CA), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Pete Visclosky (D-IN), Stacey Plaskett (D-VI), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Sander Levin (D-MI), Tim Murphy (R-PA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Adam Schiff (D-CA), John Garamendi (D-CA), David Price (D-NC), Dan Kildee (D-MI), John Delaney (D-MD), Alma Adams (D-NC), Judy Chu (D-CA), Dave Loebsack (D-IA), and Marcia Fudge (D-OH).