Open Letter from Dr Omer M Shurkian Principal Representative of the SPLM-N Office in the UK and the Republic of Ireland to the British Foreign Secretary William Hague.
Dr Omer M Shurkian,
Date: September 10th 2012
Rt Hon William Hague, MP
It is now over a year since the renewal of hostilities in both South Kordofan and Blue Niles States in the Sudan on June 6th and September 1st 2011, respectively. Over such a period, the humanitarian situation has been extremely deteriorated by fighting. The plight of civilian population in the Two Areas is appalling, and human rights abuses are increasingly on the rise. These human rights violations include aerial bombings and artillery bombardments of civilian targets, summary executions of SPLM members and sympathisers, kidnapping and murdering of internally displaced persons and refugees, burning and destruction of villages, health and education centres, worshipping buildings, market places, food stocks, and looting of properties and animals, to mention but a few. It is beyond words to describe the barbaric acts of reaction as shown by the Sudan Armed Forces against non-combatants in the war-stricken zones. The photographic evidences of victims we continuously receive from the conflict-affected areas are horrifying, heart-rending and enraging. They are too gruesome to be seen by, or to be shown to, anybody. The abuses are absolutely barbaric; they are systematic.
From the early weeks of hostilities, the SPLM-N has so far signed the Framework Agreement with the Sudan Government on Political Partnership and Political and Security Arrangements in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan States in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on June 28th 2011. Not only did the Sudan Government reject categorically the agreement, though it was signed by one of its key leaders, but it went on to launch another war in the Blue Nile State, dismissed its duly elected Governor and the Sudan Armed Forces were unleashed on unarmed population, committing atrocities against them. On February 9th 2012, the UN, AU and the League of Arab States submitted to the warring parties a proposal for access to provide and deliver humanitarian assistance to the war-affected areas of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States.
While the SPLM-N signed the tripartite proposal, the Government in Khartoum refused to sign, depriving its citizens of a chance to survive. All diplomatic efforts to date have failed. The UN Security Council Resolution 2046 of May 2nd 2012 called for the conflict in Sudan’s Two Areas to end, and stressed the urgent need for a negotiated political solution, based on respect for diversity in unity. In particular, the resolution urges the Sudan and the SPLM-N to accept the tripartite proposal to permit humanitarian access and deliver emergency assistance to the affected population in the Two Areas. The Government of Sudan has rejected the resolution. On August 4th 2012, the SPLM-N signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the Tripartite Partners (the African Union, the League of Arab States ant he United Nations) on humanitarian assistance to war affected-areas in Blue Nile and South Kordofan States.
We, therefore, appeal to the British Government to put pressure upon the Sudan Government to achieve the followings:
- urgent humanitarian relief and assistance are needed by granting aid organisations immediate and unhindered access to the conflict-affected areas in the exerting economic, political and diplomatic pressures upon the Sudan Government to honour and implement all agreements it has signed with either the SPLM-N or the tripartite partners under the auspices of AUHIP, including the Memorandum of Understanding as signed on August 5th 2012;
- an investigation of human rights violations to be carried out by ‘an independent international institution or committee, with the purpose of realising justices and averting the recurrence of such atrocities.’ This will uphold the international law and the pursuance of justice;
- embark on a concerted effort to reach a durable, political solution to this renewed conflict in the two states through looking into the political future of the whole Sudan whereby new modalities for the co-existence of all marginalised people of Sudan could participate fully and equally in power- and wealth-sharing.
These peace-building blocks alluded to are not entirely the SPLM-N’s demands; it is worth noting that the Sudan Government/National Congress Party had agreed and signed the Declaration of Principles with the SPLM-N in Addis Ababa on June 28th 2011 in which a number of the above-mentioned peace-blocks were stipulated.
In the name of humanity, dignity, morality and human rights, we cordially appeal to you to exert your influence upon the UK Government to rescue the citizens of these Two Areas from these appalling situations and imminent extermination by the Sudan Government. They are looking for the International Community for survival and justice. They were failed before by the UN in the past civil war (1983-2005). Will they be failed again?
Thank you very much.
Dr Omer M Shurkian
Principal Representative of the SPLM-N Office in the UK and the Republic of Ireland
• Copy to Rt Hon George Mudie, MP
Dr Omer M Shurkian is the Principal Representative of the SPLM-N Office in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.