To Those Who Hold the Fate of a Nation in Their Hands, Pres. Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, the South Sudanese Diaspora and friends of the people of South Sudan send an urgent plea:
What should be said when a dream teeters on the verge of nightmare?
Celebrations and jubilation marked the founding of our nation. When the celebration waned, reality took over. Governing is hard work and leaders often have opposing points of view. Such opposing views are a necessary and vital part of a representative democracy.
South Sudan now finds itself in a situation in which the lives of hundreds of thousands of people are in jeopardy, thousands have died, and millions are suffering. Fighting could continue indefinitely. Full blown civil war could result in one side eventually triumphing over the other, but such a war would result in a pyrrhic victory, a triumph with a cost so extreme as to make it a loss for the victorious side. It is vital at this point to put forth every effort to end hostilities before they worsen.
The United Sudanese And South Sudanese Communities Association based in Des Moines, Iowa known by its acronym USASSCA includes leaders from the South Sudanese, Darfurian, Nuba and other Sudanese and South Sudanese communities in the diaspora working together for the benefit of the communities in the diaspora as well as working toward the achievement of justice, equality, liberty and peace for the peoples of Sudan and South Sudan.
With hope to promote peace and unity in South Sudan, the United Sudanese And South Sudanese Communities Association USASSCA and those other organizations signed on to this letter below urge the following actions:
- The prioritization of compromises and concessions aimed at ending the violence and restoring order over the pursuit of future retribution for actions related to this conflict after its conclusion. The urgent need is to stop the killing and prevent further damage to society in South Sudan. This applies to both sides of the conflict and to the international community.
- The immediate cessation of offensive military action by either side.
- The release of all political prisoners.
- The withdrawal of hostile forces from the oil fields in Unity State to allow the resumption of oil production.
- Withdrawal of foreign forces from the territory of South Sudan.
- The placement of UNMISS forces to help maintain the cease fire and to report on violations.
- Commitment to reconciliation efforts.
With concern for the people of South Sudan,
Dr. Henry Lejukole, Chairman USASSCA, Des Moines, IA
Rabbi David Kaufman, Executive Advisor to USASSCA and Co-Chair of Help Nuba, Des Moines, IA
Gatwech Ring, Chairman SSET, Des Moines, IA
Mark Finkelstein, JCRC Des Moines, IA
Rev. Francis Chan, USASSCA and SSET, Des Moines, IA
Cory Williams, Co-Founder, Darfur and Beyond, Phoenix, AZ
Bill Andress, Sudan Advocacy Action Forum, Lexington, SC
Gabriel Stauring, Stop Genocide Now, Director, Redondo Beach, CA
Elana Kahn-Oren, JCRC Milwaukee, WI
Sharon Silber, US Director, Society for Threatened Peoples
Eileen Weiss, Co director, Jews Against Genocide
Neiki Ullah, Communications Director, New York Coalition for Sudan
Laura Limuli, Coordinator, Brooklyn Coalition for Darfur & Marginalized Sudan
Slater Armstrong, Founder/Director, Joining Our Voices
Bakheit Shata, Founder/Executive Director, Darfur Community, Omaha, NE
Faith J. H. McDonnell, Dir. Religious Liberty Program and Church Alliance for a New Sudan, The Institute on Religion and Democracy, Washington DC
Gloria Crist, Co-Founder, Essex County Coalition for Darfur, Montclair, NJ
Jerry Farjalla, USASSCA, Des Moines, IA
Harun Mudung, USASSCA and Blue Nile Community Association