RAISE THE BAR:  The People of Sudan Deserve Better, International Security Requires More

We are concerned that the U.S. is basing its Sudan policy decisions on narrow criteria with a very low threshold for compliance.  This is dangerous for the people of Sudan and ultimately for the long term interests of the United States.

Click here to read a letter to leaders in Congress outlining some of the ongoing human rights and international law violations being committed by the Sudan regime, including sponsoring radical Islam and detaining and torturing an American citizen, Rudwan Dawod.  


Click here to read a letter to Deputy Secretary John Sullivan, cc-ing leaders of Congress, that outlines the criteria the U.S. should use in determining if progress is being made on improving humanitarian access, one of the five tracks.

Take Action!  Please tweet...

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

100+ human rights orgs/activists are concerned that the U.S. is basing its #Sudan policy decisions on narrow criteria with a very low threshold for compliance. #RaiseTheBar @POTUS @nikkihaley @StateDept @SenBobCorker @SenatorCardin (pls read letters at http://www.sudanunlimited.com/sudan-policy/)

Senate Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy

100+ human rights orgs/activists are concerned that the U.S. is basing its #Sudan policy decisions on narrow criteria with a very low threshold for compliance. #RaiseTheBar @POTUS @nikkihaley @StateDept @JeffFlake @CoryBooker (pls read letters at http://www.sudanunlimited.com/sudan-policy/)

House Foreign Affairs Committee

100+ human rights orgs/activists are concerned that the U.S. is basing its #Sudan policy decisions on narrow criteria with a very low threshold for compliance. #RaiseTheBar @POTUS @nikkihaley @StateDept @RepEdRoyce @RepEliotEngel (pls read letters at http://www.sudanunlimited.com/sudan-policy/)

House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations

100+ human rights orgs/activists are concerned that the U.S. is basing its #Sudan policy decisions on narrow criteria with a very low threshold for compliance. #RaiseTheBar @POTUS @nikkihaley @StateDept @RepChrisSmith @RepKarenBass (pls read letters at http://www.sudanunlimited.com/sudan-policy/)

Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

100+ human rights orgs/activists are concerned that the U.S. is basing its #Sudan policy decisions on narrow criteria with a very low threshold for compliance. #RaiseTheBar @POTUS @nikkihaley @StateDept @RepMcGovern @RepHultgren (pls read letters at http://www.sudanunlimited.com/sudan-policy/)

Sudan Caucus

100+ human rights orgs/activists are concerned that the U.S. is basing its #Sudan policy decisions on narrow criteria with a very low threshold for compliance. #RaiseTheBar @POTUS @nikkihaley @StateDept @RepCapuano @JeffFortenberry (pls read letters at http://www.sudanunlimited.com/sudan-policy/)

100+ human rights orgs/activists are concerned that the U.S. is basing its #Sudan policy decisions on narrow criteria with a very low threshold for compliance. #RaiseTheBar @POTUS @nikkihaley @StateDept @TomRooney @RepBarbaraLee (pls read letters at http://www.sudanunlimited.com/sudan-policy/) 


    The United States is in need of a Sudan policy that effectively supports the people of Sudan in their efforts to establish a viable state that is no longer a breeding ground for terrorism and is no longer plagued by genocide, mass atrocities, forced displacement, human rights abuses, and gross mismanagement of the country and its resources. 

    Rather than taking a new comprehensive approach to Sudan, the U.S. is sidetracked by Obama’s and Trump's decisions to lift sanctions, a decision that is benefiting the Sudanese regime by allowing it to continue to support terrorism and the destruction and marginalization of the Sudanese people while removing the primary source of leverage to achieve national and international peace and security.

    In response, Sudanese and others are urging the U.S. Administration to put the right people and policy in place in order to determine appropriate engagement and certainly before any decision is made on sanctions.

    Actions and Articles

    • EVENT:  Underestimating Sudan and What That Means to the Region, the U.S., and the World, October 11, 2017, 7:30pm.  At IRD since 1993, Faith McDonnell is the Director of Religious Liberty Programs and of the Church Alliance for a New Sudan. She writes and speaks on the subject of the persecuted church and has organized rallies and vigils for Sudan in front of the White House, the State Department, the Canadian Embassy, and the Sudanese Embassy.

    • In 22 days, 11 Violations of just ONE sanction track (21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, October 5, 2017) Now is not the time to lift sanctions when the Sudan government is not complying with the clear standards that the US has set, let alone the ongoing and demonstrated persecution and attacks on religious freedom. The US has not independently verified claims of meeting the five tracks in some parts of the country where violations have been the worst. The Administration must delay removal until actual progress consistent with our delineated foreign policy is made.

    • PROTEST:  Sudanese Americans Urge Trump Not to Follow Obama's Policy, October 3, 2017, White House.  In an open letter to President Trump from “American citizens, genocide survivors, and human rights activists” the Sudanese Human Rights Advocacy Group asks for sanctions to remain and for additional sanctions to be imposed on Sudanese officials. Activists from Sudan argue that the Khartoum government has consistently worked to undermine U.S. national security by supporting terrorism, committing genocide, persecuting Christians and political dissidents, demolishing churches, imprisoning priests, destabilizing neighboring countries, and preventing access to humanitarian relief for internally displaced people.

    • The Sudan Sanctions Must Stay (John Prendergast and Ian Schwab, US News and World Report, October 2, 2017) Pence, Tillerson and Green – along with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who has been an outspoken human rights advocate in New York – should take a hard look at whether it makes sense to lift sanctions on a government that does this to its own people even when it is on its best behavior. Because when the spotlight is off, as the people of Darfur and South Sudan know all too well, the prospects for those whom the Sudan government has in its crosshairs are bleak.

    • Trump: Sudan must show commitment before sanctions are lifted (Middle East Monitor, October 2, 2017)

    • Demonstration at the United Nations:  Saturday, September 23rd, 11:00am - 3:00pm EST, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (E 47th between 1st and 2nd Avenues).  While Sudan's Foreign Minster addresses the UN, the Darfur People's Association in New York, in solidarity with other Darfur associations and Sudanese political and civil society organizations, will condemn the massive human rights abuses committed by the Sudan regime. 
      Video by Matt Kohn, Stop Recognition and Lifting of Sanctions.
      Letter from Concerned Sudanese American Citizens to Mr. António Guterres, UN Secretary-General

    • Bashir Visit Highlights Abuses in Darfur (Human Rights Watch, September 22, 2017) Today’s shootings show...that Darfur is a place where killing to silence protesters is commonplace. That, when combined with years of impunity and continuing human rights abuses across the country, should certainly give pause to those in the United States government considering relaxing all sanctions on Sudan’s government. 

    • Good News for the Bad Hombres (Rebecca Tinsley, Huffington Post, September 22, 2017) The US government is rumored to be on the verge of lifting decades-old sanctions against the Sudanese regime. America will thereby signal to the world’s despots that they can ethnically cleanse their unwanted citizens with impunity. It will also show the US is not serious about the benchmarks it expects countries to reach, if they are to benefit from America’s friendship. Kim Jong Un, Bashar Assad and the government of Myanmar will be taking note.

    • 22 NGOs Call for Strong, Action-Oriented Resolution on Sudan at UN Human Rights Council (ACJPS, September 21, 2017) We would like to draw your attention to the Sudanese government’s continuing violations against civilians, including internally displaced persons (IDPs), in South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur. Despite the Government’s declaration of a unilateral ceasefire, indiscriminate attacks have continued against civilians in violation of international humanitarian law.

    • Don't let the US Lift Sanctions Against Sudan (Petition, DWAG) We are launching this petition to urge the US to keep sanctions on Sudan as a measure to end the longstanding genocide and to dismantle terrorist ties with the government of Sudan.

    • Statement from Darfur IDPs and Refugees (September 19, 2017)  We call on U.S. congress members, Human rights groups and activists to oppose the lifting of U.S. sanctions on Sudan.  We appeal to U.S. administration to instead impose additional sanctions on Sudan regime and take perpetrators of genocide, war crimes and human rights violations to justice, instead of rewarding the criminals through lifting of sanctions.

    • Concerns raised at US plans to lift sanctions on Sudan (Rebecca Tinsley, September 19, 2017) “Six years ago, Khartoum’s systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing spread from Darfur to the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile State,” said Alton. “Christians, animists and moderate Muslims there endure aerial bombardment by the Sudanese armed forces. Fields are bombed to prevent farmers planting or harvesting, and malnourishment is rife. This is not the moment to take the pressure off the Sudanese regime. America should be using its diplomatic and economic leverage to make Khartoum abide by the multiple promises it has made to the international community, and then broken.”

    • Sudanese for Sanctions on Bashir - Letter to Congress (September 14, 2017)  We, Sudanese American citizens, write to request your urgent help in opposing the lifting of U.S. sanctions on Sudan.  The lives of our family and friends depend on it.  We implore the U.S. to instead impose additional sanctions on the Sudan regime and to specifically target those who support terrorist ideology and networks; commit genocide, mass atrocities and crimes against the people of Sudan; violate human rights and basic freedoms; and undermine genuine peace processes.

    • Never Again Coalition Postcard Campaign - Lifting sanctions prematurely and allowing a genocidal government access to financial resources is dangerous and it puts Sudanese, Americans and others at considerable and unnecessary risk.    

    • Don't Embolden the #SudaneseGenocidaires (Stop Genocide Now)  On Thursday, September 14, Sudanese are gathering to protest the visit of Ibrahim Ghandour, the Foreign Minister of Sudan and one of the architects of genocide that has destroyed their country and millions of lives, and they are sending a message to the Administration and Congress that Sudanese support U.S. sanctions.

    • Trump Administration Lifting of U.S. Economic Sanctions on the Khartoum Regime Will Assist Tyranny (Eric Reeves, September 2, 2017

    • Letter to President Trump on Sudan Sanctions (Act for Sudan | August 2, 2017)  We the undersigned 67 U.S.-based Sudanese and American human rights organizations, faith-based organizations and leading advocates write out of concern about the possibility of the United States permanently lifting sanctions on Sudan. Since the sanctions decision was postponed until October 12, 2017, we ask you to use the time to clearly test whether the government of Sudan has fundamentally changed its ways, or if it is merely agreeing to minimal changes that it can easily reverse.

    • Manufacturing the Illusion of Stability in Sudan (Sudan Democracy First Group, July 23, 2017) If United States (US) sanctions are lifted, increased oversight of Sudanese financial flows will be vital: mechanisms must be established to prevent increased weapons flows, support for militias and expansion of the architecture of state corruption. The biggest beneficiary of any lift of sanctions will be the ruling party, its security institutions and its private companies.

    • Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Co-Chairs Lead Letter Urging Trump to Delay Lifting Sanctions (June 30, 2017) ...relieving Sudan of sanctions - without having a new phase of engagement in place, along with new, targeted pressures - will not increase our leverage but rather weaken it while empowering a genocidal regime with additional capacity to acquire more military equipment, train more soldiers to commit more war crimes and further its support for groups like the ex-Seleka. 

    • Sudan Sanctions:  Publicly Reported Violations (Operation Broken Silence, June 30, 2017) This report serves to show the broader egregiousness of the Government of Sudan’s violations of the five-track process it entered into with the United States, as well as other issues that should be considered critical to the sanctions-lifting process. There are a handful of authoritative, independent news agencies and NGOs that have been faithfully report on these issues in Sudan for years. This report simply brings such open-source reporting into a single location. It also highlights the severe issues of the five-track process itself and provides basic recommendations that can help the United States Government begin stepping in a more productive direction. 

    • 30 Day Twitter Campaign - June 2017 (see below) 

    • Human Rights Benchmarks for Sudan:  Eight Ways to Measure Progress (Human Rights Watch, May 3, 2017)  Human Rights Watch believes the US government should: defer evaluation of Sudan’s progress to a later date, and continue to monitor the broader set of human rights benchmarks; revise and update its Sudan sanctions policy; enforce and impose additional individual targeted sanctions against those deemed responsible for serious abuses; consider new individual sanctions in light of evidence that has surfaced in recent years; and appoint a special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan,as under the two previous administrations.

    Sudanese for Sanctions on Bashir Appeal to Congress and Demonstrate in Washington on September 14, 2017

    Press:  Foreign Policy, Voice of America

    5-Day Don't Be Fooled Twitter Campaign

    Day 1 #DontBeFooled Twitter Campaign - click here for tweets!
    Day 2 #DontBeFooled Twitter Campaign - click here for tweets!
    Day 3 #DontBeFooled Twitter Campaign - click here for tweets!
    Day 4 #DontBeFooled Twitter Campaign - click here for tweets!
    Day 5 #DontBeFooled Twitter Campaign - click here for tweets!

    June 2017 Tweets

    Each day in June, we are sending a tweet to the President and others in his Administration, to those responsible for advising Secretary Tillerson on whether or not to continue U.S. sanctions on Sudan, and to leaders in Congress, urging them to help influence the Administration with regard to smart Sudan policy.  

    • Trump Administration:  President Trump (@POTUS), Vice President Pence (@VP), Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump)
    • Drafters of the Report re Sustained Positive Actions by the GoS:  Secretary Tillerson (@StateDept), Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin (@stevenmnuchin1), Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats (@SenDanCoats), Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (@USAID)
    • Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Senator Bob Corker (@SenBobCorker)
    • House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Ed Royce (@RepEdRoyce)

    To save space, just the tweets to the President are listed below.

    June 1   Dear @POTUS, advancing US interests requires a #SmartSudan Policy.  @realDonaldTrump Needs to Take Action on Sudan http://time.com/4798594/trump-sudan-sanctions-aid-corruption-terrorism/

    June 2  .@POTUS, @NRC_Norway reports violence displaced 4M.  Bashir contributing to refugee crisis. #SmartSudan @NubaReports https://euobserver.com/migration/137489

    June 3  .@POTUS:  Darfur attacked. #SmartSudan policy requires independent verification for informed sanctions decision.  https://nubareports.org/sudan-insider-a-new-conflict-in-darfur-more-displaced/

    June 4  .@POTUS Easing sanctions is not #SmartSudan policy - it risks undermining the integrity of int'l financial systems. http://enoughproject.org/reports/sudans-deep-state-how-insiders-violently-privatized-sudans-wealth-and-how-respond 

    June 5  GoS response to cholera epidemic fails "improvement of humanitarian access" sanctions test. @POTUS - save lives w/ #SmartSudan policy.

    June 6  #SmartSudan policy protects #HumanRightsDefenders. No freedom, no sanctions relief. @POTUS pls #FreeMudawi & Hafiz  http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article62647

    June 7  GoS breaks "pledge to maintain a cessation of hostilities." @POTUS, smart sanctions = #SmartSudan policy.  http://africanarguments.org/2017/06/05/amid-silence-atrocities-in-darfur-have-restarted/ 

    June 8  .@POTUS, #SmartSudan policy will apply "pressure on the govt to allow humanitarian aid to enter the Nuba mountains" https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sudan-medicine-aid-idUSKBN18S5L4

    June 9  #SmartSudan Policy does not reinforce impunity by rewarding perpetrators of genocide. @POTUS #ArrestBashir http://reliefweb.int/report/sudan/culture-impunity-must-end-justice-prevail-darfur-international-criminal-court

    June 10  .@POTUS #SmartSudan policy must be implemented by a Special Envoy who can outsmart "masters of the political game."  http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/trend-lines/22399/as-u-s-sudan-ties-thaw-the-human-toll-rises-in-the-nuba-mountains

    June 11  .@KingSalman cooperation w/state sponsor of terrorism flouts US #SmartSudan policy. @POTUS please intervene.  https://www.amnestyusa.org/urgent-actions/urgent-action-update-two-sudanese-activists-risk-deportation-saudi-arabia-ua-9-17/

    June 12  #SmartSudan Policy: 11 days of tweets in review for @POTUS / @realDonaldTrump http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/593e2664e4b014ae8c69e1f1

    June 13  .@POTUS, #SmartSudan policy includes appointment of a new high-level Special Envoy. http://action.jww.org/app/write-a-letter?0&engagementId=360313

    June 14  Sanctions lifted, fighter jets/tanks purchased, mass atrocities facilitated. Not #SmartSudan policy, @POTUS. http://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA16/20170426/105884/HHRG-115-FA16-Wstate-Brooks-RubinB-20170426.pdf

    June 15  .@POTUS "Recent bloodshed/displacement of civilians" means #SmartSudan policy keeps sanctions & all peacekeepers  https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/06/14/un-drastic-cuts-darfur-mission-misguided

    June 16  .@POTUS, #SmartSudan policy doesn't lift sanctions & legitimize genocidal church-destroying regime. Thx @EWTN https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rrh-JhdLrls

    June 17  .@POTUS why Cuba and not Sudan?  Thank you @greta!  Shame on @SPB_Global!  #SmartSudan policy keeps sanctions.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IplF36fS8-o&feature=youtu.be

    June 18   .@POTUS, #SmartSudan policy uses financial pressure tools to exert leverage on Sudan's violent kleptocracy https://enoughproject.org/blog/new-policy-brief-yes-we-have-leverage

    June 19   .@POTUS #SmartSudan policy must demand the release of all political prisoners & human rights defenders @NickKristof https://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2017/06/07/a-human-rights-defender-facing-the-death-penalty/

    June 20   .@POTUS #SmartSudan policy includes advisory for Sudanese gold due to links w/violent conflict & money laundering https://enoughproject.org/reports/sudans-deep-state-how-insiders-violently-privatized-sudans-wealth-and-how-respond

    June 21   Sudan "knows exactly what we want.  They're playing us like a violin." #SmartSudan policy must be strategic, @POTUS  http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/06/20/sudan-hires-u-s-lobbyist-to-roll-back-sanctions/

    June 22   .@POTUS #SmartSudan policy advances human rights, religious freedom, democratic reform, good governance & comprehensive peace #Track6

    June 23   More evidence, info needed to make #SmartSudan policy decision on sanctions: @POTUS @StateDept delay 6 mo eno.ug/2sQXja7

    June 24   .@POTUS #SmartSudan policy focuses on peace, human rights & financial pressures to address core issues http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article62823

    June 25   .@POTUS #SmartSudan policy must support US national interests. The #Sudan regime is not a partner in the war on terror. It supports terror.

    June 26   .@POTUS #SmartSudan policy targets corruption that enabled healthcare collapse & compounds humanitarian crisis http://www.democracyfirstgroup.org/demisehealthcaresysteminsudan/

    June 27   .@POTUS and @VP #SmartSudan policy requires govt appointees, targeted sanctions, and justice for the Sudanese https://stopgenocidenow.org/2017/06/23/smartsudan-policy-2/

    June 28   .@POTUS #SmartSudan policy does not reward the systematic rape of women and girls by a genocidal regime. http://www.darfurwomenaction.org/darfur-needs-you/

    June 29   .@POTUS, #KoutsisMistaken. 1997 sanctions for #HumanRights abuses. #SmartSudan policy will stay the course. https://enoughproject.org/policy-briefs/the-missing-track

    June 30   .@POTUS, Sudan regime failed five-track engagement plan. New comprehensive #SmartSudan policy needed.  http://bit.ly/2st9BS0 #EndImpunity