On July 9th, South Sudan became the world’s newest nation. Last week, citizens of South Sudan jubilantly took-part in Independence Day celebrations, unveiling a new country flag and laying the groundwork for a new future. Yet these joyous celebrations were shadowed by news of surging violence, particularly in the border regions of Abyei and South Kordofan. The Khartoum government has invaded Abyei and has been bombing the Nuba Mountains for weeks in an effort to stop potential opposition, as the area has ties and a long history of sympathy with the South. Hundreds of civilians have died and more than 170,000 people have fled the fighting, many of them hiding in mountain caves. With humanitarian aid and UN peacekeeping troops expelled from the region, observers on the ground are warning that the attacks are an attempt at ethnic cleansing by the Khartoum government.
As the threat of genocide looms, Canada has the responsibility to act. Call 1-800-Genocide today and ask our leaders to ensure that measures are put in place to protect the minorities in the northern regions bordering South Sudan. Here is a suggested talking point:
“I am calling because I am concerned about the dramatic spike in violence and threat of ethnic cleansing in Sudan. Canada should speak out at the UN against the escalating conflict and talk to its international partners in order to apply pressure on Khartoum to stop attacks and begin troop withdrawal.”
Click here for more suggested talking points.
As South Sudan embarks on a new phase in its history, it is important to recognize the role of the international community in ensuring that the secession remains peaceful. It is up to us to let Canadian decision-makers know that we care about what happens to the people in Sudan and that we will continue to press them to take action. Please call 1-800-Genocide today.
Elham Bidgoli is Principal Director of STAND Canada.