SUDAN: Letter to President of the US, Establishing a Line of Defense for Democracy in Sudan through Targeted Sanctions

August 31, 2022

RE: Establishing a Line of Defense for Democracy in Sudan through Targeted Sanctions

Dear President Biden,

We, the undersigned 101 human rights organizations, scholars and leading activists, urged you in May of this year to impose targeted sanctions on Sudanese Generals Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, for their connection to serious human rights abuses prior to and as a result of the coup they staged in Sudan on October 25, 2021. At a minimum, targeted sanctions remain an appropriate response for the crimes they have committed and continue to commit against the Sudanese people. Throughout the country, resistance to the coup is met with deadly violence and arbitrary arrests; and yet, the Sudanese people remain determined to achieve freedom, peace and justice.

The crisis in Sudan is only growing and the longer the United States waits to impose targeted sanctions on Burhan, Hemedti and associates, the more dangerous it becomes for the people of Sudan and regional and international peace and security. The window of opportunity for a civilian-led transitional government that yields genuine democratic transformation is quickly closing.

“There is no debating this issue. I would say that about 100% of the Sudanese population seek a civilian-led government. There’s very clear consensus across the board for many reasons, but including this one, because I think there is a great concern about the natural resources of the country not being used for the benefit of the people. So, I think it simply underscores the importance of moving swiftly forward on this transition.”

The Honorable Lucy Tamlyn, Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee Nomination Hearing on August 3, 2022, responding to Senator Tim Kaine’s question regarding the Sudanese people’s demand for a stable civilian government that could avoid the “shocking malfeasance” reported in CNN’s July 29, 2022 investigative report titled, “Russia is plundering gold in Sudan to boost Putin’s war effort in Ukraine”

Generals Burhan and Hemedti are blocking the return to a credible civilian-led transitional government. Burhan has reinstated members of Bashir’s National Congress Party to their previous positions of power in the government and over state-controlled enterprises. Meanwhile, Hemedti continues to strategically build a financial empire that allows him to buy and control land, resources and people with the seemingly ultimate objective of controlling the entire country. Hemedti, who is responsible for the massacre of hundreds of thousands in Darfur, is now stronger than ever. He dominates much of Sudan’s gold mining and exports as documented in CNN’s report.

C4ADS, a non-profit focused on illicit networks that threaten global peace and security, issued a June 29th report titled, “Breaking the Bank – How Military Control of the Economy Obstructs Democracy in Sudan”. The report states, “a repressive cartel of state-affiliated actors uses its control of the economy to obstruct Sudan’s democratic ambitions, constituting a ‘deep state’ within Sudan and working across state structures to enrich its members and insulate them from accountability.” The report recommends sanctioning “the deep state’s key financial nodes” if there is a real commitment to supporting freedom and democracy in Sudan.

The new U.S. Strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa seeks to support open societies, respond to the drivers of conflict in the region, and to expose corruption and increase accountability. A legitimate civilian-led government in Sudan aligns with these and other goals of the strategy. At the above referenced Senate hearing, Tamlyn clearly stated, “The path ahead to deal with this [gold smuggling] and other issues is supporting a civilian-led transitional government. What we have seen following the revolution is that only a civilian-led government is capable of tackling these issues and bringing transparency to bear on the events happening in the country, putting in place more responsible government institutions…”

The policy pursued by the State Department thus far has failed to yield results despite the multiple trips to Khartoum and personal involvement of Assistant Secretary Molly Phee. The coup leaders are experts on U.S. diplomacy and buying time. Targeted sanctions remain the most viable option to curb the ability of Sudan’s coup leaders to control and plunder the resources of the country. Targeted sanctions will help correct the existing power imbalance and create the necessary space for civilians to form a transitional government in Sudan.

Please impose targeted sanctions on Sudan’s coup leaders before it is too late. Respectfully,

ACROSS, Elisama W. Daniel, Executive Director, Juba, South Sudan
Adil A. Salih, Independent Movement, Fairfax, VA
Aegis Trust, Dr. James Smith, CEO, London, UK
African Freedom Coalition, Al Sutton M.D., New York, NY
African Soul, American Heart, Debra Dawson, Founder, Fargo, ND
Aicha Elbasri, Former United Nations Official
Akram Ahmed, MD, General Surgeon and Activist
Ariik Nyok, MPA, Founder and Executive Director, Learning Victory, Inc., Long Island City, NY
Association of Sudanese American Professors in America (ASAPA)
Atrocities Watch Africa, Dismas Nkunda and Olivia Bueno, Uganda
Atta H. El-Battahani, Professor
Awad Ibrahim, Air Canada Endowed Professor in Anti-racism and Ex-president of the Sudanese Canadian Association of Ottawa, Canada
Baroness Cox, House of Lords, United Kingdom Parliament, London, UK
Beckry Abdel-Magid, Phd, PE, Winona, MN
Brooklyn Coalition for Darfur & Marginalized Sudan, Laura J. Limuli, Coordinator, Brooklyn, NY
Brooklyn for Peace, Frances Minichiello, Darfur/Africa Committee, Brooklyn, NY
C. Louis Perrinjaquet, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Doctors to the World, Breckenridge, CO
Claire Vera, Nuba Now, London, UK
Coalition Against Global Genocide (CoAGG), Roz Duman, Founder/Executive Director, and Linda Farb, Advisory Council, Denver, CO
Cody Watson, Associate Director Emeritus, Frontier Fellowship, Birmingham, AL
Collectif Urgence Darfour, Dr. Jacky Mamou, President, Paris, France
Darfur and Beyond, Cory Williams, Co-Founder, Phoenix, AZ
Darfur Association in South Africa, Mohammed Esmail, General Secretary
Darfur Victims Organization for Relief and Rehabilitation, Mr. Ishag Mekki, London, UK
David (Lord) Alton, U.K. House of Lords, London, UK
Dr. Gregory H. Stanton, Founding President, Genocide Watch, McLean, VA
Dr. Hakim Dario
Dr. Robert Hitchcock, Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Eiman Zein-Elabdin, Professor, Franklin & Marshall College
Ellen J. Kennedy, Ph.D., Executive Director, World Without Genocide, St. Paul, MN
Eric Reeves, Author of Compromising with Evil: An Archival History of Greater Sudan, 2007 – 2012, Co- chair, Project Responding to Sexual Violence in Darfur, Northampton, MA
Gene Binder, Bronx, NY
Gerard Prunier PhD, Fellow, Atlantic Council, Washington, DC
Global Institute Against Slavery and Genocide Inc., Sunday Taabu, CEO and Founder, OR
Group Against Torture in Sudan (GATS), Mohamed Elgadi
HAKI Africa
Hala Al-Karib, Sudanese Women Rights Activists
Human Rights and Development Organization (HUDO Centre), Bushra Gamar, CEO, Kampala, Uganda
Ibrahim Malazada PhD, Soran University, Kurdistan Region
Ibrahim Taha Ayoub, Retired Ambassador, Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), Rome and Khartoum
Jacqueline Wilson, Sudan Scholar and Activist, Arlington, VA
Jewish World Watch, Serena Oberstein, Executive Director, Los Angeles, CA
Justice Centre for Advocacy and Legal Consultations (JCALC), Mohaned Elnour, Director
Kamma Organization for Development Initiatives (KODI), Abdalla Komi Kodi, Executive Director
Katartismos Global, Faith McDonnell, Director of Advocacy
Khalid Salih Mohamed, United Nations Organization, Khartoum, Sudan
Magdi Ameen, Managing Partner, African Renaissance Partners, Washington, DC
Mahagoub Abdalla, Human Rights Lawyer, Lawyers for Justice
Martha Spiegelman, Amherst, MA
Matt Kohn, Independent Filmmaker, New York, NY
Mohammed Eisa, Boston, MA
Muawia Elwakeel Suleiman, London, UK
Mustafa Sharif, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Rehab
NOVA International, College Station, TX
Nada Fadul, MD, IDSA Infectious Disease Physician and Activist
Najlaa Ahmed, Legal Advisor, Rights for Peace
Never Again Coalition, Lauren Fortgang, Director, Portland, OR
New York Coalition for Sudan, Eileen Weiss, Co-Founder, New York, NY
Nuba Mountain International Association – USA, Seifeldin Kudi, Activist, Boston, MA
Nuba Mountains Association
Nuba Mountains Peace Coalition, Tito ElGassai, Representative, Dallas, TX
Nubia Project, Nuraddin Abdulmannan, Ambassador (retired) and human rights activist, Washington, DC
Operation Broken Silence, Mark C. Hackett, Executive Director, Memphis, TN
Pan-African Forum on Rights and Development (PAFRD), Abdalmageed Haroun, CEO, New York, NY
Paul Slovic, President, Decision Sciences Research Institute, Eugene, OR
Philip Tutu, Sudanese Case Advocate and Activist, Kansas City, MO
Pius Kamau MD, Africa America Higher Education Partnership (AAHEP), Africa Enterprises Gp., Denver
Professor Elihu D. Richter MD, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Jerusalem, Israel
Rebecca Tinsley, Author – When the Stars Fall to Earth, a Story of Africa, London, UK
Regional Centre for Training and Development of Civil Society (RCDCS), Dr. Mutaal Girshab, Director General, Khartoum, Sudan
Rev. Heidi McGinness, Veteran Sudan Activist since 2004, Unflinching Hope Worldwide Ministries, Omaha, NE
Rev. Sylvia Carlson, Greensburg, PA
Ruka Suleiman, President, Union of Dar Masalit, USA
Saifeldin Gibreel
Sam Lony, Executive Director, Center for Livelihoods, Peace Research and Poverty Reduction Juba, South Sudan
Samuel Totten, Professor Emeritus, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Author of Genocide by Attrition: The Nuba Mountains of Sudan, Fayetteville, AR, USA
Save Darfur North Shore, Lakshmi Linda Sirois, Founder and Co-Organizer, Ipswich Community Action, Ipswich, MA
Seed for Democracy for South Sudan, Hustin Laku, Sr., Co-Founder, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Simon Deng, Sudan Freedom Walk, New York, NY
Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA Stop Genocide Now, Felicia Lee, Global Programs Manager, Los Angeles, CA Sudan For All, Emad Bukhari, Founder, Phoenix, AZ
Sudan Unlimited, Esther Sprague, Founder and Director, San Francisco, CA
Sudanese American Public Affairs Association, Inc. (SAPAA), Fareed Zein, Board Chairman, Houston, TX
Tamara Banks, Freelance Journalist, Denver, CO
The Elsa-Gopa Trust, Nell Okie, Director, Madison, CT
The Framework Mechanism for Conflict Transformation, Achol Bark, Advocacy and Policy Coordinator, Khartoum, Sudan
The MagkaSama Project, Paris, France
The Rev. David B. Carver, Pittsburgh Presbytery (Presbyterian Church USA), Pittsburgh, PA
The Rev. Jim Leuenberger, Coordinator of the Sudan/South Sudan Network of the PC(USA)
USA-Sudan Women Alliance for Leadership & Development (USWA-LED), Naila H. Mohamed, Founder and Director, Bowie, MD
Use Your Voice to Stop Genocide RI, Sandra Hammel, Founder, Portsmouth, RI
Victoria Sanford, PhD, Lehman Professor of Excellence, 2021-2024, Professor of Anthropology, Lehman College, Doctoral Faculty, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Bronx, NY
Voices for Sudan, Jimmy Mulla, President
Waging Peace, Maddy Crowther, Co-Executive Director, London, UK William R. Casey, Member, Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Arlington, VA

Additional Signatures
Ahmed el-Gaili
Darfur Vigil Group, Helga Moore, New York
Idris Fadul
Montasir Nasir Waren, Founder and Executive Director for Nubsud Human Rights Monitors Organization (NHRMO)
Sibusiso Busibheki Dlamini, Secretary General, African United Democratic Party (AUDP), Manzini Swaziland
Sudan’s Doctors for Human Rights, Dr Husam El-mugamar