Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sudan Envoy Appointed

The New York Times, Reuters and the AP are reporting that President Obama will announce today that he is appointing retired Air Force General Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration as his special envoy to Sudan. It seems like he is uniquely qualified for this position, great news for the people of Sudan. Listen to reactions from Darfuris below.

This does not mean we give up our activism. We need to make sure that Gration is given the resources and mandate to do the job that needs to be done. We also need to continue to press for the restoration of humanitarian aid within Sudan and for the overall peace process to continue, including full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Khartoum government and South Sudan. We cannot rest until the people of Sudan know peace.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Take Action Today!

Last week, the Sudanese government kicked 13 humanitarian organizations out of Darfur. The situation has not improved, and if the status quo remains, there will be a humanitarian catastrophe in the coming months.

The Chinese government, and the governments of Arab League and African Union members are key to resolving the current impass. We are requesting that they use their influence with the Sudanese government to secure a reversal of the decision to expel the aid groups, and to make clear that the United States will never support a trade-off of humanitarian access in exchange for concessions over the International Criminal Court. We are urging Members of Congress to sign "Dear Colleague letters" with this message to the heads of the Arab League, African Union, and China.

Please join us in this effort by calling your Representative (call 1-800-Genocide) and asking that he or she sign the three Darfur letters being circulated by Representative Michael Capuano and Representative Michael McCaul. The letters are addressed to China, the Arab League, and African Union and call on each to pressure the Sudanese Government to reverse its decision and allow the 13 expelled aid agencies back into the country.

If world leaders join together humanitarian aid can be restored to the people of Darfur. But, we need you to call your Representative today.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Urgent Action Needed

The situation in Darfur has become dire. Sudanese President al-Bashir reacted to the March 4 ICC arrest warrant against him (for war crimes and crimes against humanity) by kicking many major aid agencies out of Darfur. Since millions of Darfuris have been displaced from their homes over the last 6 years and rely upon these aid agencies to keep them alive, this move puts millions of people at immediate risk. Imagine being stuck in the middle of west Texas with no food, no water, no transportation--and with tens of thousands of other people in the same situation (and millions spread out over the whole of the region). How would you survive?

This situation requires that we respond even more strongly than we have in the past. Please take the time to complete at least one of these actions. If you would like to get even more involved, please go to: for more information.

1) Send President Obama a "progress report" on how he has responded to the Darfur crisis during his first 50 days in office. It only takes a few seconds to send a free e-fax, just click here for instructions:

2) Please send a text message to Secretary of State Clinton at 90822 (this is the phone number to use--it works! Does not need more digits) Ask her to act to restore humanitarian aid and appoint an envoy for Sudan.

3) This one is a bit more involved--it focuses on Congress--please take the time to call at least one office:
a. Call your Senator Cornyn's office at 202-224-2934 or Senator Hutchison at 202-224-5922 and ask to speak to the staffer for foreign affairs.

b. Tell that person that you are calling to advocate for firm action in response to the Sudan government's expulsion of humanitarian aid organizations and that you wo uld like the Senator to advocate the following:

1) FULL deployment and use of UNAMID to deliver humanitarian aid,

2) No-fly zone--(ban on offensive military flights),

3) Sanctions on senior Sudanese officials and an arms embargo

4) Appointment of a Special Envoy to Sudan

4. Then call your representative and follow the same steps. You can find your Representative and their phone number at:

As always, your willingness to be engaged in action to keep alive hope for the Darfuri community is immensely appreciated.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

ICC Arrest Warrant for Sudan's President

Today marked an event long anticipated by the activist community and the people of Darfur: the announcement by the International Criminal Court that it is issuing an arrest warrant for Sudan's President, Omar al-Bahir. It had been anticipated that Bashir and his government, the National Congress Party would respond swiftly and with impunity. Below are some resources where you can learn more:

Activist Community Response

Take Action

Reuters News Story about Aid Agencies

Blog Response

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Important Texas Legislation

There is a bill before the Texas Legislature to establish a Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission. The primary purpose of the Commission would be to provide advice and assistance to schools (elementary through college, public and private) for genocide education. There are identical bills in the Texas House and Senate.

You can download a copy of the bill at:

Please write to your state Representative and Senator and either thank him or her for being an author/co-author of this bill, or if they are not listed below, ask them to support it.

You can find out who represents you and how to contact them here:

HB 795
Author: Chisum | Cohen | Naishtat | Thompson | Branch
Coauthor: Allen | Bohac | Davis, John | Edwards | Gonzales | Weber

SB 482
Author: Ellis | Shapiro
Coauthor: Carona | Deuell | Hinojosa | Lucio | Seliger | Van de Putte | Wentworth | West