Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA) called for more focused U.S. attention on the deteriorating situation in Sudan. The government in Khartoum, led by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, is carrying out a bombing campaign against peoples in the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile region. In addition to the immediate bloodshed from the bombs, the attacks are preventing crops from being planted and Bashir’s forces are thwarting food and humanitarian aid to the region.
Rep. Wolf, co-chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, recently traveled to the Yida refugee camp in South Sudan, just south of the border, where he encountered thousands of men, women, and children who have fled from the north. He “heard dramatic stories of ethnic cleansing, mass murder and rape, all carried out by uniformed soldiers of the Khartoum government. Refugees recounted how they lived in fear of the Antonov planes that flew over their villages, dropping crude bombs out of their cargo bays – a trademark of the Khartoum government. The planes now fly over the refugee camp, continuing their reign of terror.”
Former Maine Congressman Tom Andrews, now president of United to End Genocide, joined Rep. Wolf at a recent press conference. He challenged listeners, “We remember the tragedy of Darfur. It was only when hundreds of thousands of people began to die that the world took notice and took action. The question now is, how many are going to be required to die in the Nuba Mountains before we take the requisite action?”
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations