The Honorable Michael Richard Pompeo
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C St NW,
Washington DC 20520
RESPONSE BY SUDAN LIBERATION MOVEMENT (SLM/A-AW) TO U.S. POTENTIAL DE-LISTING OF SUDAN FROM TERRORISM STATE SPONSORSHIP BLACKLIST
Dear Mr Secretary:
In the wake of recent talks held in Washington between U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John J Sullivan and the Sudanese Foreign Minister, Dirdeiry Ahmed, it is with the gravest concern that the leadership of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army urges your office to reconsider the U.S. Government easing the pathway for the genocidal Sudanese dictatorship towards rehabilitation in the international community of nations and its hope for de-listing from the U.S. blacklist of states sponsoring terrorism.
In a long litany of well documented ongoing crimes and atrocities daily perpetrated by the regime in Khartoum, impossible to refute in light of the weight of empirical evidence testifying to their ugly reality, we cannot help but express bewilderment Washington keeps normalizing its relationship with a blood-stained criminal, hardline Islamist regime that aside from practicing state terrorism against its own people, has not ceased its support for a nefarious array of Salafi terror groups, to include many franchises of Al Qaida, and DAESH across the Arab World and from North to Sub-Saharan Africa.
We don’t doubt you’re well aware of this given your former stewardship as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Equally, you will be as aware of the regime’s past sponsorship of the notorious Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army, both your own Special Forces and Ugandan People’s Defense Force hunted to no avail. And though the messianic Christian terrorist is down to a handful of stragglers, his enjoying safe haven in Sudan and the Sudanese security forces looking the other way is an all but open secret. And while U.S. special operations commandos are active in Libya against Jihadist militias, surely you are as cognizant of Sudanese troops serving as mercenaries for the same warlords and in partnership with them engaging in human trafficking selling our people as human chattel, where the profits generated in this repugnant business, funds more terrorism and flows into Sudanese government banks.
We apologize for further belaboring the obvious and quoting the State Department’s own language back to you where the recent U.S. statement citing progress by the regime in “counterterrorism cooperation, enhancing human rights protections and practices, including freedoms of religion and press, improving humanitarian access, ceasing internal hostilities and creating a more conducive environment for progress in Sudan’s peace process,” reads almost as dark self-parody. It is as if Washington has discovered an alternate reality, we who have buried the bodies of our six hundred thousand, primarily civilian dead, whom the UN inexplicably stopped counting a decade ago, halving and freezing the butcher’s bill, often cited erroneously, weren’t aware of. It is rather remarkable what you see so clearly from so far away, our eyes have never gazed upon when we endure the waking nightmare of anunabated genocide and the institutional brutality, repression and multiple abuses of dictatorship. The dungeons of Khartoum, the vanished villages, mass graves, serial rape victims and the children burned and choked by chemical weapons in Darfur, tell a different story to yours.
What is so striking is merely the timing of the fictive statement, which only a cursory review of credible open source materials by a State Department intern, let alone a professional diplomat, of recent events in just past weeks and days, would have readily given the lie to, before it was penned. Does improved freedom of religion include the Darfuri Christians recently beaten and tortured back to Islamic fundamentalism and the existing legal statutes that specify capital punishment for apostasy? Does improved human rights protections refer to the popular female Sudanese singer arrested for indecency for wearing trousers or the most recently tortured peaceful human rights activists seized from the IDP camps? Is improved freedom of the press a reference to the journalists arrested by the secret police for having met with Western diplomats? Is the improved humanitarian access meant to be understood as the enduring government embargo on all food and medical relief to four million refugees, again listed as only half the true figure by the UN? And perhaps the more conducive environment for the peace process is the boast by the commander of the Rapid Support Forces overnight, to eradicate the SLM in just three months in a pending government offensive?
As a Republican administration presides in Washington we should like to remind you, Sir, that it was your counterpart, Secretary Powell, during the last Bush White House who correctly first decried the tragedy of Darfur as a genocide. Are your values so different to his, is yours a different United States? Are you no longer a beacon of freedom and democracy, an enemy of tyranny, extremism and genocide, or have you now for your own cynical purposes become the enabler for a mass murderer, President Omar al Bashir, and his henchmen, indicted by the International Criminal Court for War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide?
And as you gird to place more pressure on the dictatorship in Tehran, from which we have also suffered in recent living memory, as it previously sponsored our oppressors, since Wahhabi Saudi Arabia has now replaced Iran as the primary sponsor for those that murder us, together with the Gulf Cooperation Council nations, we grasp your strategic alliance with Riyadh, makes our suffering an expendable, acceptable, sacrifice for you. It does not make it morally right or excusable, however, and history will record Washington’s indifference and now direct tacit, complicity in the Darfur Genocide, as it marked the moral collapse of the Clinton Administration during the Rwadan Genocide and the lethal US military aid that earlier enabled Siad Barre’s Isaaq Genocide in Somalia under President Reagan’s tenure.
We are weak and you are the last superpower on earth, but are you a moral superpower at this juncture in history or do you wield great power just for its own sake and self-interest and not for the nobler cause of a greater humanity? And thus what will be your epitaph when posterity records that our mass murder meant nothing to you? We pray that in time, you may recognize that to live up to the promise of your nation’s great ideals and the first American, founding father, Thomas Jefferson, to hold the very office you occupy, you should not turn away from us, and whitewash mass murders, and instead embrace us as your natural allies, who only wish to live in peace and democracy as you do.
Abdul Wahid al-Nur, Chairman Sudan Liberation Movement & Commander in Chief Sudan Liberation Army.