Seventy-eight international human rights groups joined together today to call for a fresh approach to U.S. policy on the war-torn countries of Sudan and South Sudan. In an open letter directed to Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, and National Security Advisor Susan Rice and a memo to the U.S. Congress outlining new policy priorities, the diverse coalition identified key initiatives to address conflict and violence in both countries. Representing thousands of supporters across the United States, Sudan and South Sudan, the signatory groups and leaders call for an increased focus on accountability, diplomacy, democracy promotion, and humanitarian aid.
The letters, to be delivered today, come as conflicts in both countries are escalating, and cross-border conflict connections between the two are deepening. Sudan is experiencing unprecedented levels of violence: deadly fighting in Darfur now rivals the intensity that triggered global outrage in 2003-2005 and a relentless campaign of aerial bombardment and military attacks across the country is in its third year. In neighboring South Sudan, clashes persist and state collapse is still possible. Pockets of famine and genocidal targeting are threatening both countries, and their intensifying conflicts are pulling in neighboring states, from the Sahel to the Horn to East Africa.