August 7, 2009

Open Letter to President Barack Obama re: Darfur

I agreed with President Obama's decision to focus on Health Care Reform in the past few weeks. However, our urgency was not shared by the folks in Congress. Anyhow, my hope is that our president will spend some of his time on efforts to deal with the genocidal actions in the Sudan. Here is open letter that I sent to him recently.

Dear Mr. President,

During the transition, Save Darfur activists like me urged you to develop and faithfully implement a strategic plan to bring the conflict in Darfur to a close and help build peace throughout Sudan.

While we were glad to see you begin creating such a plan earlier this year, it is now time for you to personally and publicly unveil that plan and do the hard work of transforming it from words on paper to reality on the ground in Darfur and Sudan.

The people of Darfur cannot wait any longer. Every day, millions struggle to get by in makeshift refugee camps, and the coming rainy season will present even more hardships. Sudanese President Bashir's expulsion of 13 humanitarian aid groups means the people in these camps have even more limited access to vital services as the rainy season rolls in. Right now, President Bashir is betting that there will be no consequences for his actions, and he is growing bolder every day.

President Obama, you must build the international support for tough diplomatic and economic consequences necessary to prove Bashir wrong, and you should start by personally announcing your plan and making it clear in Washington, in Sudan, and across the globe that your plan will be backed by the full weight and resources of the U.S. government.

Mr. President, I know you are committed to ending the atrocities in Sudan, but we need more than a promise - we need action. We need you to personally roll out your plan for Sudan now, and then we need you to make that plan a reality.

I encourage all villagers to join me in sending this letter to our president. In the meantime, feel free to share your comments ('village voice') about the situation in Darfur.

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