In a joint letter, seven U.S. organizations have urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to consider issues relating to religious freedom and the persecution of religious minorities in Sudan as part of any strategic review relating to U.S. policy.
The signatories, which include faith-based and human rights groups, warn that religious and ethnic minority groups and faith-based charitable organizations in Sudan face discrimination, detention, violence, and the destruction of churches by the regime in Khartoum. Those living in areas of conflict such as South Kordofan and Blue Nile are particularly vulnerable to religious-based persecution, which is used as a mechanism to divide communities and exert state control, the groups warn.
Omer Ismail, Senior Policy Advisor at the Enough Project, said: “The persecution of religious minorities is part of a pattern of repression by the Sudanese regime. A real and sustainable peace will never occur in an environment where houses of worship are demolished or food is used as a weapon of war. The U.S and the international community should support efforts that demand that Sudan respects the human rights of its people including the fundamental right to worship freely and without fear of violence.”
John Prendergast, Founding Director at the Enough Project, said: “The Sudanese government continues to persecute religious minorities, even at a time when its actions have been more heavily scrutinized by the United States. As Secretary Tillerson examines the future relationship between the United States and Sudan, he should remember the churches that have been demolished and the religious leaders and activists that have been harassed and detained.”
The letter calls for a new policy track between the U.S. and Sudan linked to peace and human rights that could help ensure that fundamental rights are being addressed. The signatories recommend that targeted network sanctions, focused on those officials most responsible for religious discrimination plus their businesses and collaborators, should be deployed in support of this track.
- Enough Project
- Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
- Foundation for Defense of Democracies
- National Association of Evangelicals
- Samaritan’s Purse
- Sudan Relief Fund
- Sudanese Human Rights Initiative
Read the full letter here: http://eno.ug/2ttsoBI
Read Enough Project’s Recent Reports on Sudan:
- The July Deadline Won’t Work: Why the U.S. needs to delay the decision on Sudan sanctions (June 2017)
- The Missing Track: The case for a new policy framework between the United States and Sudan (June 2017)
- Sudan’s Deep State: How Insiders Violently Privatized Sudan’s Wealth, and How to Respond (April 2017)
- Border Control from Hell: How the EU’s migration partnership legitimizes Sudan’s “militia state” (by Suliman Baldo) (April 2017)
- Khartoum’s Economic Achilles’ Heel: The intersection of war, profit, and greed (by Suliman Baldo) (August 2016)
Recent Congressional Testimonies:
- Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission’s hearing on “Sudan: Human Rights and Sanctions”: Testimony of Enough’s Omer Ismail (April 2017)
- House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations “The Questionable Case for Easing Sudan Sanctions”: Testimony of Enough’s Brad Brooks-Rubin (April 2017)
- TIME Op-ed: Why Donald Trump Needs to Take Action on Sudan (by John Prendergast) (June 2017)
- Foreign Affairs Op-ed: Don’t Let Sudan Off the Hook (by John Prendergast) (January 2017)
About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project supports peace and an end to mass atrocities in Africa’s deadliest conflict zones. Together with its investigative initiative The Sentry, Enough counters armed groups, violent kleptocratic regimes, and their commercial partners that are sustained and enriched by corruption, criminal activity, and the trafficking of natural resources. By helping to create consequences for the major perpetrators and facilitators of atrocities and corruption, Enough seeks to build leverage in support of peace and good governance. Enough conducts research in conflict zones, engages governments and the private sector on potential policy solutions, and mobilizes public campaigns focused on peace, human rights, and breaking the links between war and illicit profit. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org.