Home | Comment & Analysis    Sunday 15 January 2017

Obama’s promises and pledges for Darfur went unheeded with lifting sanctions


By Mahmoud A. Suleiman

Barak Obama’s Lifting of Sanctions off the genocidal regime of the National Congress Party (NCP) in Sudan is based on weak, unconvincing, pretty flimsy excuses and very thin and insubstantial justifications. Let us look no further than the background of the Obama’s Administration of justification for the suspension of US sanctions on Sudan.
And it focused on the following points:

1. Low level of violence in areas of conflict with evidence that all the previous years have seen a "summer campaign" against rebel positions, but this year.
2. Has been a marked increase in access to war-affected rates in all areas of operations without major incidents.
3. There has been the Sudanese government’s commitment to promoting peace in southern Sudan and by refraining from supporting opponents of President Salva Kiir
4. Government of Sudan has allowed the US government to provide medicine and humanitarian aids to the affected people in conflict zones.
5. The government has amended the Commission of Humanitarian Affairs procedures and it became easier to obtain visas and movement permits - except in the areas of operations - has become easier than ever before.
6. Increased cooperation in the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) file and allowed the Americans to make sure of the areas that have been suspected of the presence of the Lord by the army.
7. American wildlife management team has been allowed to follow wildlife and verify the ivory trade and forest products that were obtained illegally.
8. Finally, Sudan’s cooperation in the terrorism file without any details
The foregoing are considered by the people of Sudan in Darfur as flimsy justifications for lifting sanctions off the Génocidaire Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir’s regime that continued committing atrocious crimes in Darfur and other regions in Sudan including the use of Chemical Weapons.
Reference: Omar Gamar Eldin - Sudanjem link: goo.gl/4ajAC5

As the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States getting nearer and will be held on Friday, January 20, 2017, on the West Front of the United States, let us look at the account inventory – stocktaking - of the legacy of the Us President Barak Obama for the people of Sudan in Darfur, according to the promises announced during his campaign for the Presidency of the United States of America.

The conflict in the region of Darfur in western Sudan began in the 2003, when the Sudanese government led by Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir hired the notorious Arab militiamen better known as the Janjaweed to wage a proxy war against the people of the region. The result was thousands of civilians raped and tortured and more than 300,000 killed and more than 2.7 million people driven from their homes. The Bush administration called it genocide, as did U.S. Sen. Barack Obama.

Speaking with SaveDarfur in 2006, then Presidential candidate Barak Obama made a sweeping promise that “we can’t say never again and allow it to happen again, and as President of the United States I don’t intend to abandon people or turn a blind eye to slaughter.” However, Slaughter went on unabatedly in the sight and hearing of the world and of course of Obama and his Administration at the US White House, in Washington DC. Since assuming the Presidency, President Obama’s expressed dedication to ending the genocide in Darfur and combatting impunity in the region has fallen off the agenda. Moreover, President Obama’s remarks before the African Union (AU) (Jul. 28, 2015) mirrored in part his previous comments on Darfur. He commented, “Leaders in Sudan must know their nation will never truly thrive so long as they wage war against their own people- the world will not forget about Darfur.” Speaking on dictatorships on the continent, Obama remarked “Africa’s democratic progress is at risk when leaders refuse to step aside when their terms end.” Beautiful rhetoric and superfluous lip service, isn’t it?! Sadly, inaction followed. And at worse, kudos and brownie points offered for free to al-Bashir and his criminal clique and the corrupt entourage.

The people of Sudan in Darfur and the survivors of the National Congress Party (NCP) regime genocide say OBAMA’S YES WE CAN HAS LET US DOWN.

Backing the perpetrators was not thought a character for Obama when he visited the Darfuri refugees camps in Chad (Oct. 18, 2008) early in the days he was poised for running for the US Presidency. However, lifting sanctions off the (NCP) regime was not expected of Obama on those days. It seems interests have overridden the moralities. This seems the final in the series of Obama’s betrayal for the disenfranchised Sudanese people, survivors of genocide in Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan. At this particular moment, the people of Darfur who have survived the Holocaust of the NCP might not get saddened by the departure of Barak Obama after his lean eight years in the White House at Washington DC.

The cumulative effects of the (NCP) regime crimes resulted into more than 300,000 deaths of men, women and children in Darfur. More than 3 million Darfuris displaced in recent years. The Genocidal criminal Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir has admitted that he has only killed Ten Thousand people and not three hundred thousand people in Darfur. President Omar al-Bashir is the only sitting head of state wanted for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, for the crimes he has perpetrated against unarmed noncombatant civilian Sudanese population in Darfur. Furthermore, undeterred by his arrest warrants, Omer al-Bashir continues his crimes with impunity, expanding his bombing and attacks against civilians beyond Darfur to those in the Sudanese states of Ingessana in Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains in Southern Kordofan. While people of Africa appreciated the work of President Obama during his African tour on issues of economic development and human rights, the millions of victims who have been displaced, tortured, raped, and killed over the course of Bashir’s terror regime remained on the sidelines. President Obama has assured that Darfur will not be forgotten early on. However, the horrors in Sudan kept ongoing and he did nothing to aid in the fight against impunity. People have attached a lot of hopes on President Obama for using his remaining months in office to take a harder stance against the Omer al-Bashir’s regime, and fulfill his promises to the people of Darfur. But all those hopes faded away and went unheeded. And the people in Darfur felt that President Barack Obama’s administration has reneged on promises and betrayed the people of Sudan in Darfur and his latter decision of lifting the sanctions as a dance with the genocidal butcher Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir on the skulls of the victims.

The Motto continued since Darfur Genocide as follows:
Don’t Let Bashir Get Away With Genocide. It is time for justice to be served. 14 YEARS BASHIR HAS EVADED INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE & REMAINED FUGITIVE. On March 4, 2009 the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir for 7 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes. On July 12, 2010 the ICC issued an additional warrant adding 3 counts of genocide for the ethnic cleansing of the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa tribes.

The first reaction of condemnation for the lifting of sanctions on Sudan came from the US Member of the United States House of Representatives, Senator Jim McGovern), a senior House Democrat representing Massachusetts’s 2nd congressional district and leading voice on Sudan. Senator McGovern said: “I am angry and deeply disappointed that the last act by the Obama Administration on Sudan policy is to ease sanctions against a genocidal regime when there has been little to no change on-the-ground in the human rights and humanitarian crises suffered by the Sudanese people”. http://mcgovern.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/mcgovern-statement-on-new-obama-sanctions-policy-for-sudan
Tom Andrews Published On April 14, 2015 an article titled: Dying in Darfur: President Obama’s Forgotten Promise- http://endgenocide.org/dying-in-darfur-president-obamas-forgotten-promise/
Rebecca Tinsley, Journalist and human rights activist wrote an article titled: Last Chance for Darfur: US Congress presses Obama to act. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-tinsley/last-chance-for-darfur-us_b_9836834.html
The article reported that a group of 120 legislators are calling on President Obama to use his final months in office to “exercise leadership” on human rights abuses in Sudan.
And Obama hasn’t used the bully pulpit to personally talk enough about Darfur. The bitter disappointment of the people of Sudan in Darfur for the positions taken by the outgoing US President Barack Obama will remain in the modern history log.

Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is an author, columnist and a blogger. His blog is http://thussudan.wordpress.com/

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