(Juba, South Sudan) – Tom Andrews, President of Genocide Intervention Network/Save Darfur Coalition issued the following statement from Juba in recognition of Independence Day for the Republic of South Sudan:
“On behalf of our organization’s activist members and partner organizations, I extend heartfelt congratulations to the Republic of South Sudan and its people as the country celebrates its independence and the world’s newest nation.
“We pay tribute to those whose actions and advocacy compelled the world’s attention and international engagement that led to the signing of the historic 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement and ultimately, South Sudan’s independence. South Sudanese civil society leaders, faith organizations and individuals – joined by vibrant faith communities and activists in the United States and around the world – made it impossible for the world to continue ignoring decades of indescribable human loss and suffering.
“Activists in the United States and around the globe raised their voices again to compel U.S. and international involvement when the January referendum for independence was in jeopardy. And we must continue to speak out and call for international support for peace in this vulnerable nation and region.
“Even today, as we celebrate South Sudan’s independence, north Sudan’s military is attacking civilians in South Kordofan and blockading delivery of life-saving food, water, medicine and fuel. The Khartoum regime also continues to target civilians and block progress toward peace in Darfur. We call on the Obama administration to issue tough economic sanctions against north Sudan’s president Bashir and his cronies, to issue a call for an international investigation of the crimes against civilians that are being committed throughout in Sudan, and to declare support for an expanded UN protection force in the contentious border region to save the lives of those who are being targeted by the Khartoum regime.”
The Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network merged to create a more powerful voice dedicated to preventing and stopping large-scale, deliberate atrocities against civilians. The organization remains committed to its work to end the crisis in Darfur and bring peace to all of Sudan as well as to end violence in other areas of mass atrocities such as Congo and Burma. The merger creates the world’s largest anti-genocide organization, with a membership base of hundreds of thousands of committed activists globally, an unparalleled nationwide student movement, more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights partner organizations, and a network of institutional investors collectively representing more than $2 trillion in assets under management.