Sudan Change Now Open Letter to George Clooney
March 18th 2012
Dear Mr. George Clooney,
We are very pleased to see the efforts that you are exerting in internationally exposing the injustices happening in Sudan today and in the past years. We know the importance of getting international figures on the side of justice as crucial players in bringing issues of injustice to the global debates. We would like to thank you for these efforts and commend your lobbying within the US and abroad. As advocates for peace, democracy and justice in Sudan, we would like to share our concerns and suggestions on the way in which your important advocacy work on Sudan is being conducted.
We write you this letter on behalf of many Sudanese people among some of which are activists today working hard on the ground to expose the terrible violations that are being imposed on our people in all regions of Sudan by the current government. As you know, there are various agendas and politics involved under the guise of humanitarian calls for action and there are also wonderful and transparent efforts being tainted by such negative perceptions. We would like to make sure that people like you are part of the more positive, fair, truthful and proactive symbols of justice for the country.
Sudan Change Now is a young Movement comprised of people who have decided to transcend this cycle of politics and power struggles and really work on the ground for democratic change. Our members work on advocacy and mobilization in Khartoum and other regions as well. We think that the disconnection between the Khartoum center and the rest of the country (especially in conflict areas such as Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Darfur) is a serious obstacle to holistic change in the country. We believe that crossing the regional boundaries within the country will ensure that when change does happen it will be a nationwide one that caters for all. We fully understand that the struggles vary immensely but we also know that we are still one nation and we would like to maintain that unity. With the separation of the South as a constant reminder of our failure to ensure change before it was too late, we are determined to show that we all suffer tremendously from the current regime and have been suffering for decades now as a people with various identities, religious backgrounds and ethnicities.
Sudan Change Now stands firm in support of the people of Sudan regardless of race, ethnicity, tribal, religious or gender backgrounds. Sudan Change Now asks that you kindly support us in showing a more comprehensive picture of the conflicts in the country with an understanding of the complexities as well as the terrible conditions that many face throughout Sudan. Portraying the regional conflicts in the country as a simplified war of Arabs and Africans concerns us. It does not fully capture the historical and political aspects of the conflict considering that the Sudanese government is a dictatorship and does not reflect the sentiments of the majority of the people. The regional conflicts in Sudan are not simple and are highly political with a strong basis on economic gains such as oil and other resources. Sudan Change Now knows that the unfortunate truth in such politicized strife is that innocent people fall victims and very little is done to protect them. Our Movement has worked hard with other activists who have been advocating and repeatedly protesting against the conflicts and atrocities in Darfur, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile. With many arrested and exposed to serious security threats by the Sudanese forces as a result. We would like to make it clear that the actions of the Sudanese Armed Forces in the country and the NCP led regime are not representative of the people of Sudan. We believe that there is an urgent need for the peaceful resolution of conflicts in Sudan and that the killing of innocent civilians must immediately stop.
We believe that any nation has the right to fight for its own causes and that all citizens should be able to take ownership of their struggle for justice and peace. We would like to solidify our efforts in ensuring that our country peacefully undergoes a democratic transformation, ensuring that justice does prevail and that all citizens of Sudan are able to lead a dignified and protected life. We believe that this should be ideally done by the Sudanese themselves who are the most affected by the situation and understand the complexities of the problems as well as the most suitable solutions. However, we know that the repressive political climate in Sudan makes it difficult for the voices of those opposing the government to be fully heard and we count on international advocacy figures to support us in getting those voices heard and ensuring that the language of dichotomies is used carefully and responsibly when portraying conflicts.
We write this letter as part of our newly launched campaign of “Not in Our Name” which aims to portray to the world the unrelenting and repressed local resistance against the current regime that has been happening for years now within Sudan. In order to fully support the cause of the Sudanese victims of war, we urge you to engage with the many Sudanese in Sudan and abroad to share their relevant experiences and opinions on how they perceive the problems and solutions of the terrible conflicts in their country. The campaign aims to allow the voices of Sudanese (from all regions) resisting the current regime to be heard internationally and to announce its rejection of all violations that have been occurring under this terrible dictatorship for more than two decades now.
The Message of “Not in Our Name” is: Our Struggles are one and we the people of Sudan shall be heard. On behalf of the Sudanese people, Sudan Change Now says No to War, No to Oppression, No to Human Rights Violations and Marginalization, No to Racism and Tribalism, No to Poverty and No to Atrocities in Sudan.
Sudan Change Now was established in 2010 and describes its mission as: ’Toppling the regime and establishing a plural civil and democratic alternative.’