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US Darfuri communities send an open Letter to UN’s Annan

An Open Letter to Secretary-General Kofi Annan from the Darfuri communities in the United States

August 22, 2006

– Kofi A. Annan
– Secretary-General
– The United Nations
– New York, NY 10017

Your Excellency:

On behalf of the Darfuri communities in the United States, we are writing to
urge the United Nations to take immediate and effective action to end the
systematic and well organized genocide that has been perpetrated against our
people since the spring of 2003.

Before your Excellency’s historic visit to Darfur in July of 2004, the death
toll was estimated to be between 70,000 to 100,000. Our hope was that your
visit would help bring an end to the conflict; but unfortunately after two
years, the war continues with approximately 400,000 now dead, over three
millions internally displaced and 218,000 refugees now in Chad. Rape
continues to be used as a weapon of war against women and children and these
heinous crimes are increasing in number. Killings are also continuing
apace.

Since this war erupted, we have called for the protection of civilians, the
provision of humanitarian aid, and the institution of a political settlement
that addresses the root causes of the conflict and includes adequate
compensation and rehabilitation for our people. We also believe that it is
imperative that the perpetrators are held accountable for their crimes and,
therefore, we support their prosecution by the International Criminal Court.

While the United Nations Security Council has adopted several resolutions
regarding the crisis in Darfur, they have had very little impact on the
ground in Darfur as there are no reliable mechanisms to enforce such
measures. African Union troops dispatched to the region to monitor the cease
fire have shown an inability to bring safety and protection to the civilians
in Darfur. This failure is due to the weak mandate given to the AU’s
troops, coupled with a lack of command experience, logistical
infrastructure, and financial support. As a result, conditions on the
ground continue to deteriorate every day and millions of civilians are still
vulnerable.

On July 30, 2004, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1556 demanding
that the government of Sudan disarm the Janjaweed. This same demand is also
an important part of the Darfur Peace Agreement signed in May of 2006.
However after two years, the Janjaweed are still active and free to commit
the same genocidal crimes against civilians in Darfur with the aid of the
Sudanese government.

Many people of Darfur put their hope in the Abuja negotiations, fervently
hoping that they would produce a comprehensive settlement to end the
genocide. Yet the finalized agreement was incomplete and has in fact become
a catalyst to extend the war among the rebels, which has led to even more
violence and instability.

On behalf of the people of Darfur in the United States, we are committed to
working with the international community and civil societies to secure a
just and lasting peace in Darfur. To that end, we the undersigned
organizations, call for the following:

– The immediate deployment of a UN peacekeeping force to Darfur with a robust Chapter VII mandate to protect the innocent civilians and bring stability in the region;
– The immediate disarmament of the Janjaweed militia by the government of Sudan to be verified by the African Union as well as by United Nation peacekeeping forces;
– The sufficient provision of humanitarian aid for the millions of civilians
who desperately rely upon it and unfettered access for the humanitarian
organization which deliver it;
– The supplementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement to include fair terms regarding the compensation and rehabilitation of IDPs and refugees, and a commitment from the international community to the implementation of the agreement; and
– Support from the international community for the International Criminal
Court in its investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators of the
conflict.

We believe the United Nations has the power, the mandate, and the
responsibility to protect the suffering civilians of Darfur. Peace in
Darfur will help bring peace and stability to all of Sudan and to
neighboring countries. We sincerely urge your Excellency to support and
stand for these measures to be adopted and implemented immediately.

Sincerely,

Mr. Suliman Giddo
President
Darfur Peace and Development

Mr. Mohamed Yahya
Chairman
Damanga Coalition for Freedom and Democracy

Mr. Mohamed Ibrahim
Co-Chair
Darfur Alert Coalition

Dr. Mahmoud Braima
President
Darfur Association in the United States

Mr. Bakheit Shata
Executive Director
Darfur Community Organization (Nebraska)

Dr. Abdeljabar Adem
President
Darfur Human Rights Organization of the USA

Mr. Rahama Deffallah
President
Darfur People’s Association of New York

Ms. Blanche Foster
on behalf of the Board of Directors
Darfur Rehabilitation Project

Mr. Siddiq A. Hadi
Secretary
Group Against Torture in Sudan

The Save Darfur Coalition helped the Darfuri organizations coordinate this
joint letter. Please contact Sean Brooks at (202) 478-6197 or
[email protected], if you would like to send a response to the group; or
contact the heads of these organizations individually with the following
information:

Darfur Peace and Development
Mr. Suliman Giddo
President
[email protected]
(260) 580-6966

Damanga Coalition for Freedom and Democracy
Mr. Mohamed Yahya
Chairman
[email protected]
(434) 409-9638

Darfur Alert Coalition
Mr. Mohamed Ibrahim
Co-Chair
[email protected]
(215) 241-7128

Darfur Association in the United States
Dr. Mahmoud Braima
President
[email protected];
(225) 324-3224

Darfur Community Organization (Nebraska)
Mr. Bakheit Shata
Executive Director
[email protected]
(402) 939-8151

Darfur Human Rights Organization of the USA
Dr. Abdeljabar Adem
President
[email protected];
(267) 784-7073

Darfur People’s Association of New York
Mr. Rahama Deffallah
President
[email protected]
(718) 431-9355

Darfur Rehabilitation Project
Ms. Blanche Foster
Executive Director
[email protected]
(973) 274-9424

Group Against Torture in Sudan
Mr. Siddiq A. Hadi
Secretary
[email protected]