"Today we know what is right, and today we know what is wrong. The slaughter of innocents is wrong. Two million people driven from their homes is wrong. Women gang raped while gathering firewood is wrong. And silence, acquiescence and paralysis in the face of genocide is wrong." - Senator Barack Obama, speaking at a Save Darfur rally in July, 2006.
During last month's Emergency Congressional Hearing on the ongoing genocide in the Nuba Mountains, all of the attending members of Congress expressed outrage at the inability of the Obama administration to make a distinction between the perpetrators and the victims of genocide in Sudan.
Earlier this week, I read with dismay the declaration by U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan, Ambassador Princeton Lyman, that the U.S. Government will not support a "no-fly zone" in Sudan to protect innocent civilians who are being bombed by their own government simply because they are indigenous black Africans.
This is a moral outrage! And, it is a 180-degree turn opposite of the pledge that President Obama made during his presidential campaign.
Hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians remain at risk in Sudan due to Khartoum's brutal aerial bombing campaign launched in June in the Nuba Mountain region and recently in the Blue Nile.
These words by Ambassador Lyman are more than a diplomatic blunder. In one fell swoop, the Obama Administration has given a "green light" to the most murderous regime in the world to keep butchering its own people, including the largest Christian community in the new Republic of Sudan.
We will continue to monitor events on the ground and do our part to bring relief to the persecuted in this troubled nation.
Please write directly to President Obama and let him know how you feel about his decision to endanger innocent civilians by opposing a "no-fly zone" that would stop genocide and open the way for humanitarian assistance. www.whitehouse.gov/contact
Thanks for your prayers and continued support for PPF.
Below is the letter I sent to Yasir Arman, who helps lead the SPLM-N efforts to stop Khartoum's genocidal onslaught in Nuba and Blue Nile.
Attn: SPLM-N Secretary General
The Honorable Yasir Arman
I was greatly disappointed to read today in the Sudan Tribune that President Obama's Special Envoy to Sudan, Ambassador Princeton Lyman has publicly declared his opposition to the concept of a No-Fly Zone for Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan.
This statement is in direct contradiction to President Obama's campaign pledge to support a No-Fly Zone in Sudan.
I am ashamed that a representative of my government would publicly make such a statement, which can only embolden Khartoum's genocidal tendencies by giving them a "green light" to continue the aerial bombing and butchering of innocent civilians in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile regions.
Further shame that he would openly oppose those who recognize that the continued problems in Sudan emanate from a regime in Khartoum that is (to quote the late Dr. John Garang) "too deformed to be reformed."
I encourage the leadership of SPLM-N to request the immediate recall of Ambassador Princeton Lyman and ask that his replacement be someone who has invested more time understanding Sudan, its people, its cultures and the root causes of the current crisis in Sudan.
All of the diverse people groups in Sudan, whether in Khartoum, Darfur, Kordofan, Kassala, or Blue Nile deserve the right to self-determination and basic human dignity. I guess Amb. Lyman has forgotten that the United States of America emerged from a "popular uprising" against a much less egregious form of tyranny... taxation without representation.
No American should discourage a nation of people who have been so marginalized, enslaved, butchered, mistreated, and denied every basic human right from standing up and using every possible means to replace an illegitimate and repressive genocidal regime with a legitimate representative form of government that will respect the God-given rights of its own people.
Please extend my greetings to my friends there and all those who are struggling for freedom. And let them know that Ambassador Lyman does not speak for all branches of the U.S. Government, nor does he speak for the majority of the American people.