Photo from Shannon Orcutt.

Today, we are joining our allies at Enough Project, American Jewish World Service, Act for Sudan and other organizations to demand immediate action to stop Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir from threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

Villagers in these states have suffered months of aerial bombings by the Sudanese Air Force and are now targets for ground troops, as well. But massive numbers are about to die from a form of violence that requires no guns: they will be victims of intentional starvation. The aerial bombings of the past several months have killed dozens, but the terror they have unleashed has also succeeded in preventing villagers from planting or harvesting crops.

As our team on the ground in the region learned firsthand, “families will run out of food by March.” Now, with no food at all, these people will assuredly starve. Unless the United States and international community take urgent action, Omar al-Bashir will be free to achieve his goal of killing untold numbers of men, women and children.

The world can do something immediately: set up humanitarian corridors from neighboring countries to get food and supplies to the people of South Kordofan and Blue Nile. But while we push for immediate action, we also demand that a long-term, comprehensive political solution for all marginalized areas be prioritized, recalling that these regions were promised peaceful popular consultations under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 and a lasting peace for Darfur hasn’t yet been achieved.

The ultimate solution to this unnatural disaster is to arrest Sudan’s President, Omar al-Bashir. Already, Bashir has been declared a war criminal for the genocide in Darfur where he utilized similar bomb and starve tactics. He must be arrested and brought to justice before his policies can murder hundreds of thousands more of Sudan’s citizens.

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Displaced by recent violence in Jongeli State, mothers and their children are pictured near Pibor, South Sudan (UN Photo)

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United Nations peacekeepers deployed in Sudan (UN photo)

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  • Phil L. Nippert

    Darfur’s aid situation is also bad. The Famine Early Warning System says that most of North Darfur will degrade to Food Crisis level (so will about half of Port Sudan State). In Darfur, camp after camp rejects the Doha Peace Agreement, according to Radio Dabanga.

    So I am a bit disappointed that the UEG call to action is focused solely on SK and BN, and that it states that having Bashir arrested will solve the underlying problem. Anyone who follows Sudan knows Bashir is but one of a group of men who orchestrated and carried out the genocide in Darfur; for example, Ali Osman Taha, a likely candidate to replace Bashir, has a lot of blood on his hands too. Musa Hilal, Nafie Ali Nafie, Ahmed Haroun, are but just a few more. I wish activist and world actions on Sudan were not so myopic! We all know what the consequence has been for letting Sudan keep Darfur out of the CPA deals.