Man-Made Catastrophe in Sudan Brings Crisis to Near-Famine Levels

(Washington, D.C.) — As protests in cities across Sudan and the first anniversary of the Republic of South Sudan’s independence garners international attention, a report issued by United to End Genocide (formerly the Save Darfur Coalition) brings focus to the plight of tens of thousands of Sudanese refugees that have poured into South Sudan in recent weeks. Refugees from Sudan’s Blue Nile region have faced a humanitarian crisis where the death rate has spiked above emergency levels as reports indicate people dying of dehydration along roads on their way to camps in South Sudan. In the report, “Sudan’s Man-Made Catastrophe,” United to End Genocide describes the government of Sudan’s ongoing attacks against civilians and blockade of humanitarian aid, which have forced tens of thousands of Sudanese refugees to flee into neighboring South Sudan and Ethiopia. Based on interviews with refugees, community leaders and humanitarian workers over the course of three fact-finding trips to the region, the report documents acts by the government of Sudan that continue to devastate populations in Blue Nile and South Kordofan. Even for those who reach safety in South Sudan, the threat of aerial bombardment by Sudan continues and the height of the rainy season brings additional challenges that threaten the refugee population. United to End Genocide’s Director of Policy and Government Relations, Daniel Sullivan, just returned from his third trip to the region this year. He describes a crisis that has continued to escalate despite repeated warnings. According to Sullivan, who co-authored the report, “What is happening in the border areas of Sudan and South Sudan is a man-made catastrophe by a regime with a long history of abuses and ongoing impunity. When I visited South Sudan a year ago, refugees were already describing bombings of civilians and warning about a humanitarian crisis. The crisis predictably spread and the number of refugees fleeing attacks and hunger has doubled in just the last few months. Despite the fact that lives have been on the line for over a year, the Obama administration hasn’t taken substantial action to address the root cause of the problem.” The report recommends an immediate response to the humanitarian crisis, including the preparation of alternative means of distributing aid in light of the current blockade; the development of a comprehensive plan to address Sudan in its entirety; pressure on all countries that refuse to cooperate with the International Criminal Court in executing the arrest warrant for Bashir for crimes committed in Darfur; working with the international community to stem the sale of military equipment into Sudan; and the strengthening and expanding of U.S. sanctions against those responsible for violence.

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The Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network are now United to End Genocide. The organization remains committed to its work to end the crisis in Darfur and bring peace to all of Sudan as well as to end violence in other areas of mass atrocities. The merger creates the world's largest anti-genocide activist organization, with a membership base of hundreds of thousands of committed activists, an unparalleled nationwide student movement, more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights partner organizations, and a network of institutional investors collectively representing more than $3 trillion in assets under management.
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