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Letter to Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary

July 4th, 2018

Letter to Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary

This letter, signed by over 500 politicians, organisations and individuals, was handed into Downing Street on Saturday 30th June as part of a demonstration against poor governance in Sudan. The names of the individuals are not listed below for privacy reasons. Handing in the letter were a mix of people representing different issues that affect Sudan and the diaspora. 

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

Prime Minister

10 Downing Street

London

SW1A 2AA

 

The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

 

Saturday 30 June 2018

 

Dear Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary,

We, the undersigned, object to the UK Government seeking to promote positive relations with the Government of Sudan, which consistently ignores the human rights and democratic voices of an equal citizenry, creating a society where its people are driven to emigrate or seek asylum abroad.

We urge you to hear the cries of the Sudanese people – here in the United Kingdom and in Sudan – who are asking for your help. As of today,  President Omar al-Bashir has been in power for 29 years, and in that time the people of Sudan have greatly suffered from violations of their human rights; genocidal policies in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile; and poor governance, reducing the likelihood of democratic transformation, and destroying the economic livelihoods of its people, causing wide-spread hardship.

Despite the fact that President al-Bashir is indicted by the International Criminal Court on counts of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, the UK continues to engage in a ‘Strategic Dialogue’ with Sudan’s government, rather than undertaking broad-based engagement at all levels of society. During this time, the UK Government’s role as Sudan’s ‘critical friend’, able to decry publically the Sudanese Government’s aggression, has also diminished.

We believe that the British public does not want to enter into deals with Governments holding such poor human rights records. And as members of the Sudanese diaspora, Members of Parliament, non-governmental organisations, and as individuals, our concerns are not currently being considered.

Already a report in February 2017 by interested MPs and Peers stressed their concerns with the ‘Strategic Dialogue’ and cooperation under the aegis of the EU-wide ‘Khartoum Process’, yet the UK Government continues on the path toward normalisation.

Each time we hear that a peaceful protester has been detained, that a young woman has been sentenced to death for defending herself against her rapist, that market sellers have been targeted and killed by bombs, that the buildings and resources of UNAMID are now benefitting the region’s long-term tormentors, or when we are told that our families cannot afford to buy staple food and medicines, we are reminded of the poor and deeply dangerous way Sudan is governed.

It is only by listening to a wide range of stakeholders that the outcomes of ‘Strategic Dialogue’ with Sudan will be effective and secure the best changes for its people. We call for transparency, inclusion, and assurance from the British government that benchmarks are being set and fulfilled. Objective outcomes regarding human rights, humanitarian access, equal citizenship, and democratic transformation for all must be central to this dialogue and demonstrated accordingly.

To date, there have been five meetings between the Governments of the UK and Sudan, yet the people of Sudan have seen no improvement in their daily lives. Therefore, prior to the next meeting in London in October 2018, we urge you to arrange a more inclusive agenda.

The British Government should work to support Sudan in creating a peaceful society where people do not have to flee their homeland. This would be the most beneficial outcome for both the UK and Sudan, and therefore the goal to which both Governments should strive. Can we trust that this is what you will aim for? Will you listen to us?

Sincerely,

The Baroness Cox, House of Lords and CEO of Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART UK)

Maddy Crowther and Sonja Miley, Co-executive Directors of Waging Peace

STAND UK: the student-led movement to end mass atrocities

Mende Nazer, Mende Nazer Foundation

 

Alex Sobel MP, Leeds North West

Caroline Lucas MP, Brighton Pavilion

Fiona Bruce MP, Congleton

Lord Alton of Liverpool

Rachael Maskell MP, York Central

Rt Hon Tom Brake MP, Carshalton and Wallington

The Lord Chidgey

 

Act for Sudan

Aegis Trust

African Freedom Coalition

African Soul, American Heart

Al Khatim Adlan Center for Enlightenment (KACE)

Beja Congress Party

Broad National Movement

Council of Dams Affected Communities

CSW (Christian Solidarity Worldwide)

Darfur Action Group of South Carolina

Darfur Interfaith Network

Darfur Union in the UK

Darfur Victims Organisation for Relief and Rehabilitations

Darfur Women Action Group

Duncan Lewis Public Law

Families of Ramadan Martyrs 1990

Free People’s Party (FPP) Sudan

Give Back Project

Green Kordofan

HUDO Centre

International Commission Against Dams and Cyanide Control

Investors Against Genocide

Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur

National Sudanese Women Alliance (NWSA)

Never Again Coalition

NY Coalition for Sudan

Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition

Reach For Change

Society for Threatened Peoples and Jews Against Genocide USA

St Cyprian’s Justice and Peace Ministry

Sudan Associations and Trade Unions in UK&I

Sudan Change Now

Sudan Consortium

Sudan Doctors Union UK

Sudan Front for Change

Sudan Graduates Alliance Europe branch (SGA)

Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North

Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SRRA)

Sudan Unlimited

Sudanese Community Coventry and Warwickshire

Sudanese Community in Glasgow

Sudanese Congress Party / UK & Ireland

Sudanese Darfur Association in Leicester

Sudanese Lawyers & Law Practitioners Association

The Asylum Clinic

The MagkaSama Project

The November 27 Movement

The Voice of Darfur Women

Zarga Organization for Rural Development

 


Related articles: 

Response from Minister of Africa for Letter about Sudan

Baroness Cox signs letter to U.S. Secretary of State

Durable solutions to Sudan’s IDP camps? Shut them down says Al-Bashir

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