A fact-finding team followed-up the Save Darfur Rally in Washington D.C. (April 30) with a visit to Juba and the borderlands of Southern Sudan and Darfur (May 3 - 11). In Juba, they met with President Salva Kiir of Southern Sudan. They then investigated the plight of displaced Darfurians and Dinka returnees - especially from Darfur - interviewed liberated slaves, and delivered 2,000 survival kits and 20 tons of sorghum seed.
Despite agreements signed by the Government of Sudan, the genocide process continues in both Northern and Southern Sudan.
Hundreds of thousands of displaced Black Sudanese are in danger of dying this rainy season (May-September) because of continuing violence, and the lack of food, shelter, seed, clean water and medicine.
Tens of thousands of Black Sudanese remain enslaved in Darfur and neighboring Kordofan.
Promised "peace dividends" have not been delivered by the United States and other nations to Southern Sudan, and are therefore not likely to be delivered to Darfur in the immediate aftermath of the signing on May 5 of a peace agreement between Khartoum and one rebel faction in Darfur.
The fledgling Government of Southern Sudan is a potential source of stability for Sudan. But its institutional development has been stymied by U.S. policy - e.g., the failure of President Bush to meet with Southern Sudan’s President Salva Kiir. (The pledge made by President Bush to Sudan Campaign activists on April 28 to meet with President Kiir raises hope of a positive shift in U.S. policy.)
The U.S. Government and non-governmental donors should cut strangulating bureaucratic red tape and deliver emergency food, seed, survival kits and medicines to vulnerable displaced populations. (Seed must be delivered within three weeks, after which it will be too late to plant in the borderlands of Darfur and Southern Sudan.)
President Bush should meet President Salva Kiir to establish a rainy season emergency humanitarian aid program and to hasten the delivery of promised "peace dividends", including help to strengthen Southern Sudan’s national institutions.
President Bush should initiate long overdue action to secure the liberation and repatriation of Sudan’s forgotten slaves.
Contact: Joe and Sherry Madison – (202) 373 1445, Simon Deng – (917) 698 5440, Dr. John Eibner – (805) 777 7107, Liora Kasten – (617) 426 8161.