Thursday, October 13, 2005


General Introduction to Canadian Friends of Sudan

OVERVIEW


Canadian Friends of Sudan (CFS) is a group of concerned Canadians who believe that the ongoing horrible situation in Sudan must be rectified. We meet to discuss the problems and what Canadians can do to assist the Sudanese people. CFS was formed as a volunteer organization in 1998.


OUR VISION


CFS is dedicated to building a Sudan in which all people are free of slavery, oppression and violence, and live in peace. We foresee a Sudan where there is equality and justice for all, where every family and individual in this and future generations, has spiritual, social, cultural and economic freedoms, and the means to lead a prosperous and fulfilling life. We believe that this is only possible where there is active and affirmative respect for religious freedom, indigenous democratic principles, human rights and the rule of law.

OUR MISSION


The mission of CFS is to contribute to an end to war in Sudan and the peaceful replacement of the current government, or any regime or government in Sudan that is repressing its own people. We will work with all Sudanese in building a responsible democratic government and civil society that will fulfill the vision of a peaceful Sudan.

CFS recognizes that although peace and democracy will be achieved primarily by the people who live in the Sudan, nonetheless international support is also essential. Members of CFS have a duty to act with urgency and dedication in support of the many civilian Sudanese, particularly the people in South Sudan, Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and the Ingessina Hills, who will suffer and die from war

OUR OBJECTIVES


1. To move people living in Canada toward active advocacy and support for peace, democracy and sustainable prosperity in Sudan;


2. To collect and provide accurate and timely information, and educate the public, using all available media, about the realities and consequences of war, especially on the lives of Sudanese peoples and their hopes for the future;


3. To encourage reconciliation among South Sudanese people living within and outside South Sudan;


4. To solicit, provide or direct, where feasible and appropriate, moral, financial and material support to those engaged in building peace and human rights, delivering humanitarian relief and working for prosperity in the Sudan.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Can the weak protect the weak?”

By Justin Laku, President & Founder of Canadian Friends of Sudan
Oct 6th, 2005

During my first trip to Darfur, this past April, I visited three Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camps, ZamZam, Tuwela and Abu-Shuko

On Sept 24th I returned to Abu-Shuko. The situation hasn’t changed much. Living condition has not improved, and there has only been a slight increase in food distribution.


The population has increase from 230,000 to 270,000 IDPs this is due to the insecurity around Al-Fasher and is especially true in the Tuwela camp, where fighting has occurred between rebels SLA/M and Government forces.


I did not travel to Tuwela this time, because of the military activities around Tuwela camps. Most of the IDPs are fleeing the Tuwela region to nearby towns. Due to insecurity and logistical problems there are parts of Darfur that NGOs and the UNHCR cannot reach.

The situation around Jebel Al-Mara is particularly bad and the IDPs there cannot be reached by outside agencies. Ironically, even with the worsening situation, the IDPs in Abu-Shuko may be better off than those who are in Jebel Al-Mara.


The increasing violence is keeping IDPs from returning home and making them completely dependant on foreign aid. Those who do try to return to their villages to tend to crops are attacked and killed or driven back to the camps.


Despite the fact that Abu-Shuko is supposed to be under the control of AU forces (whose mandate prevents them from carrying weapons?) there were no AU troops on the ground when I visited this camp.


In a terrifying example of foxes guarding the chicken coop, the Sudanese soldiers who have, in many well-documented cases, openly supported the atrocities committed by the janjaweed control the camp’s main entrance.


DAKAR, 29 Sep 2005 (IRIN) – “Chadian President Idriss Deby on Thursday blamed the Sudanese militia known as the Janjaweed for this week’s over-the-border-assault that killed dozens of civilians in eastern Chad.”“We are now absolutely certain that it is the Janjaweed that carried out this incursion, as in the past, for reasons we do not know,” Deby told Radio France Internationale. “What is sure is that they cannot go unpunished.”

GENEVA, 29 September (UNHCR) – “The UN refugee agency expressed grave concern Thursday over an unprecedented attack on a camp for thousands of internally displaced people in Sudan's West Darfur region that reportedly left 29 dead and another ten seriously wounded.” Initial reports “indicate a group of 250-300 armed Arab men on horses and camels attacked Aro Sharow camp.”

Last Friday Sept 24th, 2005, a bus was traveling from Al-Fasher, via Zam Zam, to Nyiala City was attacked. One person was killed and seven other were injured. I went to the hospital to witness for myself the wounded. This incident could have been prevented if the AU troops had been armed.

All AU troops in Darfur are without guns, and they patrol the areas unarmed. “It is ridicules to patrol without guns,” an Egyptian police officer told me.If this insecurity continues, the international community and NGOs will not be able to provide the assistance that is so desperately needed by hundreds of thousands of people in the Darfur region. This is a direct result of the extremely weak mandate of the AU, the continual refusal by African leaders to request international support from the international community, and the absence of intervention by the UN and NATO.

“African countries pay their dues to the United Nations. If the United Nations deserves its name and not the “Divided Nations,” then it is the responsibility of the United Nations to intervene in Darfur and not the relatively weak African Union. Can the weak protect the weak?”

Without a change in the AU mandate, the IDPs will not feel safe and the Janjaweed will continue to attack, rape and kill civilians as long as the AU soldiers remain unarmed.

The mandate to fight back, arrest and detain must be applied as soon as possible in order to save lives of innocent men, women and children in the Darfur region.In addition to that, the living conditions of the AU troops on the ground are very poor: there are no sport facilities; the stress level is very high; there is a lack of clinically psychology; no air conditioning; salaries are not paid on time; and the food is low in required nutrients. All these factors will not assist AU troops in carrying out duties in an effective and timely manner.

Two AU soldiers died of HIV/AIDS, so there is also need for medical check ups for AU soldiers before their deployment to the Darfur. The only two countries that give HIV/AIDS tests to their troops are South Africa and Canada. (Currently, there are two Canadian logistical officers in Darfur assisting AU). The danger is that HIV/AIDS will spread in Darfur because of the contact with AU troops, and could lead to a serious health problem
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Afro-Canadian MPs and African Diplomats Have a Disappointing Record on Darfur
Aug 24th, 2005

If the Afro-Canadian Members of Parliament do not care about the genocide in Darfur, why should the Canadian government care about Darfur? Canada sent 1,400 troops to Bosnia because Canadians of European decent play a big role in Canadian government and politics today.

Today, Africans do have a voice in Canada's Parliament, but most have chosen to be quiet on issues affecting Africa.

Bloc Quebecois MP Maka Kotto, a Canadian-African of Cameroonian decent, has chosen to keep quiet instead of supporting Independent MP David Kilgour in the fight against the genocide in Darfur, in Congo, and hunger in Niger, Mali and Ethiopia.

Why is Maka Kotto so silent on Africans' problems? Why are Senator Donald Oliver, MPs Jean Augustine, Hedy Fry, Marlene Jennings, Rahim Jaffer and Deepak Obhrai silent in the issue of Darfur? Thanks to Gurmant Grewal and Bhupinder S. Liddar for their continued support of Africans: you are true sons of Africa, may God bless you.

It is a shame on our African MPs. Additionally and most important is the silence of the African diplomatic corps (with exception of some embassies). I think when Europeans come to Africa as diplomats they are very vocal in the press in the countryside, with the people, but our OWN African diplomats as a unit are very silent except for photo opportunities during Independence Day celebrations and parties; leaving their children in Canada when their term has ended.

Therefore, I'd like to see the Dean and the African Heads of Missions in Canada form a coalition to ensure that the government of Canada plays its part in peacekeeping in Darfur and to push their weight collectively to answer all of Africa's concerns. In 2003, I wrote a letter to Jean Augustine in reference to rape victims in the Sudan and asking how she could assist. I received no formal reply from her office until now.

How many times has Ms. Augustine written to the prime minister about the suffering women of Darfur? Not a single letter that I know of. Last May I wrote an open letter to all MPs regarding genocide in Darfur. I received no responses from any of the Afro-Canadian MPs. So why should the world care about Africans and the Caribbean if black senators and MPs are not concerned about Africa?

It's too early to know how much the newly appointed governor general will do for the victims of the rape in Darfur, peace in the South Sudan, genocide in Congo, and hunger in Niger, Mali and Ethiopia. I do hope she will not turn her back on Africa and Caribbean. Can she make injustice visible?

Justin Laku
President & Founder of Canadian Friends of Sudan
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Solution to Darfur is Foreign Troops to put an End to Darfur’s Genocide

I read Senator Romeo Dallaire’s article “The solution for Darfur” in the Ottawa Citizen 17th, June 2005, with disbelieve. The fact is that the situation in Darfur has not changed, contrary to Senator Dallaire’s assertion. I am left wondering as why the Senator arrives at the conclusion that all is well in Darfur.

The fact is the African Union (AU) troops on the ground are without the mandate to arrest, detain and fight the Janjaweed controlling the region that commits the crimes against the people of Darfur.

Until there is changes to the AU mandate NATO troops are quickly deployed to work with the AU troops who are already on the ground, there will not be stability in the Darfur region.

The AU troops on the ground are inexperienced, and can easily be manipulated the regime of Khartoum and the so-called Arab League countries. Considering that this is the first mission for the AU to deal with such crisis, International support is needed both from NATO and Canada in particular if the world wants to see positive change in Darfur.

The AU troops have been in Darfur the last six month or so, but the situation is still the same since the time I toured three camps on my visit to Darfur. These camps - Abu-Shuok, Zam Zam and Twolia are camps high on the regime's list of approved facilities.

On my recent visit to the camps, may be due to the lack of the resources, lack of clear mandate, or no support from NATO to African Union. It was obvious that the African Union troops were not effective as the Janjaweed controlled most the region.

Given that Gen. Roméo has not been to region, I wonder how can he judge the situation from his office in Ottawa? And why should the international community treat Africa differently? If the UN sent Sixty thousand soldiers to Bosnia and Sarajevo including 1400 Canadians. Why can NATO send troops to Sudan?

Canadians should commentators who claim that there is no need for foreign troops in Darfur. African have not been genuine themselves in admitting the gravity of the situation otherwise the genocide in Darfur will not have happened in the first place especially after the Rwandan genocide.

Sending western soldiers to the region to stop the killing, rapping and saving of lives does not mean re-colonization of Africa. If this was so, we could have concluded that re-colonization did happen when 1400 Canadians were sent to Bosnia and Sarajevo and now in Afghanistan.

Whatever, Canada is providing will not save lives until the mandate, mission of the African Union has changed and NATO troops are deployed to work in conjunction with the African troops.

Regarding Canada’s contribution of $Canadian 170 million to AMIS, as you know 25%-35% of the money will be spent in Canada for administration.

When it comes to wars in Africa, Western leaders say, “it is African problem”, but went it comes to exploitations of the African resources and fuelling the wars in Africa the west, including Canada, has always maintained its presence in Africa in order to protect its interests. Does the west prefer that African all perish

Justin Laku
President & Founder of Canadian Friends of Sudan
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Robert Fowler, Ottawa May 18th, 2005

So What Are You Doing?

Re: Mr. Robert Fowler's article (the Prime Minister's Special Advisory Team on Sudan), in the Globe and Mail May 17th, 2005 "Darfur There's no award for being reckless" Mr. Fowler frantically trying to deflect Canadians moral outrage at Mr. Martin's lack of meaningful action on Sudan.


Please let me inform Mr. Fowler that the main reason of fighting in Darfur is ethnic cleansing and Genocide as has been going on in the Southern Sudan for the past four decades, not because of water and land. The National Islamic Front of Khartoum is portraying the Genocide in Darfur as water and land problem between Fur people and Arab Immigrants. Even if it was a water and land issue, the black people of Darfur can and should be treated better.


I read Robert Fowler’s article with disbelief and shame. I would love to be able to believe that things are fine and well under control and improving as he says, but why is it then that every aid organization in the region says otherwise? How can Mr. Fowler say that his few days visit to Darfur with an NIF tour guide makes him a better authority to decide what's needed than organizations that have been working there for years?

Not long ago, I traveled widely in the Southern Sudan and had many meetings in Khartoum. I spoke to dozens of leaders from all walks of life, Government, religious, education, civil society and over forty commanders in the Sudanese People's Liberation Army.

I toured three camps without the benefit of National Islamic Front guides: Abu-Shuok, Zam Zam and Twolia. These are not camps high on the regime's list of approved facilities.

The most profound experience I had while in Sudan was when six women from one of these camps (it's safer for their names not to be published risked their lives to visit me at my hotel. They did it to bear witness to what is really being done to them.

These women had been so brutally gang raped that they had to be brought to me on stretchers. They told me how the Janjaweed, who run these camps, round up women every night for their pleasure, sometimes twenty men raping the same woman.

As far as Mr. Fowler’s hearing that "without exception the situation had improved with the arrival of African Union peacekeepers" I would like to inform him that there were African Union observers in the camps where these women were violated.

I confronted some of African Union observers the next day with the testimony of the women. They shrugged helplessly and told me all they are allowed to do is record the atrocities. They pass on their reports as ordered and have no idea what becomes of them.
Perhaps it's not surprising that Mr. Fowler should disgrace himself this way.
He's just doing his job.

He isn't a Sudanese born Canadian.

He's never lost anyone to the treachery of the National Islamic Front.

He hasn't spent years in a Displaced Person's Camp.

I have.

That's why I helped start the Canadian Friends of Sudan.

Justin Laku

President & Founder

Canadian Friends of Sudan, Canada

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All-Party Briefing Session and Press Conference on Genocide inSudan, on May 12, 2005

Brief statements will be made by the following speakers, followed by a Q&A:

  • Stockwell Day, Conservative M.P. for Okanagan-Coquihalla, Official Opposition Foreign Affairs Critic.
  • Navdeep Singh Bains, Liberal M.P. for Mississauga-Brampton South, Chair of Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Development.
  • Hon. David Kilgour, Independent M.P. for Edmonton-Mill Woods-Beaumont.
  • Alexa McDonough, NDP M.P. for Halifax, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic.
  • Odina Desrochers, M.P., Bloc Québécois, for Lotbinière-Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, Latin America and Africa Critic. (TBC)
  • Justin Laku, Founder, Canadian Friends of Sudan.
  • STAND Canada Representatives.

Remarks of Justin Laku
President & Founder of Canadian Friends of Sudan

On May 2nd I returned to Canada from my homeland, Sudan, with a combinationof cautious hope and abiding horror.

There is a slim chance that peace and stability could be built in the Southwith enough of the right kind of help from countries like Canada. If we helpthe Southerners establish physical and economic security, and rebuild theirmedical and educational infrastructure, which are the absolute minimum theyneed to have a chance at sustainable peace, stability might possibly spreadto other regions in Sudan.

The reality of Darfur, however, was so far beyond what the media had lead meto expect that even I was amazed.Many have called it 'hell on earth' and I now know why they use what soundslike a tired cliché.When you've seen it you realize that that your imagination cannot produceanything worse. The NIF (National Islamic Front), Sudan's illegitimategovernment, has steeped the region in evil.

Beginning on April the 20th I spent four days in Darfur and visited threeIDP (Internally Displaced Persons) Camps; Al-Shuko, Zamzam, and Tuwela.

Calling them IDP camps is the politically correct way of describing whatare, in fact, concentration camps.The internees are not protected by AU (African Union) troops and fed,sheltered, and have their social and medical needs met by aid agencies asthe term 'IDP camp' implies.

These camps are, instead, run by the same janjaweed that conducted theethnic cleansing of Darfur concentrating its indigenous population intocamps where they are more easily controlled, exploited and liquidated.As the Jews were guarded by the SS in German concentration camps, so thepeople of Darfur are in the power of their enemies.The janjaweed have not changed their behaviour since they succeeded inwiping out the last villages in Darfur and driving their terrorizedoccupants into the camps or across their borders.


On entering the camps I had to pass through janjaweed controlledcheckpoints. They ransack every vehicle and take whatever they choose. I waslucky to only lose half my food and water.

This is how anyone who tries tohelp the victims in Sudan is forced to finance the ongoing genocide.Foreign aid is treated the same way.NGOs are forced to give aid to the Red Cross and Red Crescent fordistribution rather than distributing it directly to the refugees.

In Darfurthese agencies are staffed by Sudanese National Security personnel and theaid finds its way to the local markets to pay for more governmentatrocities.

The Director of the Samaritan Trust Fund were shot and evacuated to Nairobifor medical attention, there has been no news of his fate.During my visit not one refugee dared to speak to me.If I had tried to talk to one or taken their picture, I would have beensigning their death warrant.

In an act of unbelievable bravery six women from Abu-Schuko Camp volunteeredto meet with me. It was impossible to do in their camp, so a friend smuggledthem to my hotel to share their stories.

They had been so brutally rapedthat they had to be carried in on stretchers.They described how the janjaweed search the camp every night, round upwomen, and commit mass rapes.The following day I met two AU officers and confronted them with the women's story.

They told me the AU was there to document the crimes and has nomandate to protect refugees. One said, "We submitted the reports to thepeople in charge but where they end up, nobody knows."Even without the depredations of the janjaweed, it's amazing the IDPs cansurvive the camps living conditions.

They suffer extremes of heat during theday and dangerous cold at night. Shelter is completely inadequate,consisting of small tents with no bedding. Refugees sleep on bare dirt with".


On entering the camps I had to pass through janjaweed controlledcheckpoints. They ransack every vehicle and take whatever they choose. I waslucky to only lose half my food and water.

This is how anyone who tries tohelp the victims in Sudan is forced to finance the ongoing genocide.Foreign aid is treated the same way.NGOs are forced to give aid to the Red Cross and Red Crescent fordistribution rather than distributing it directly to the refugees. In Darfurthese agencies are staffed by Sudanese National Security personnel and theaid finds its way to the local markets to pay for more governmentatrocities.

The Director of the Samaritan Trust Fund were shot and evacuated to Nairobifor medical attention, there has been no news of his fate.During my visit not one refugee dared to speak to me.If I had tried to talk to one or taken their picture, I would have beensigning their death warrant.In an act of unbelievable bravery six women from Abu-Schuko Camp volunteeredto meet with me.

It was impossible to do in their camp, so a friend smuggledthem to my hotel to share their stories. They had been so brutally rapedthat they had to be carried in on stretchers.They described how the janjaweed search the camp every night, round upwomen, and commit mass rapes.

The following day I met two AU officers and confronted them with the women'sstory. They told me the AU was there to document the crimes and has nomandate to protect refugees. One said, "We submitted the reports to thepeople in charge but where they end up, nobody knows."Even without the depredations of the janjaweed, it's amazing the IDPs cansurvive the camps living conditions. They suffer extremes of heat during theday and dangerous cold at night.

Shelter is completely inadequate,consisting of small tents with no bedding. Refugees sleep on bare dirt with water or sanitation facilities and of course no electricity.

From what I saw myself and heard from many experts, the victims of thisgenocide won't be safe until there are foreign troops on site to protectthem. Only a non-UN, multi national coalition could achieve this, mostlikely with an AU force strengthened by Western trained and supported troopsoperating under a much broader mandate.

Darfur must be made a no-fly-zone to restrict the Sudanese air force andregular patrols are needed to keep the janjaweed in check.New mechanisms need to be implemented to distribute international aid andprotect relief workers. A truth commission must be established to record the testimony of thesurvivors and demonstrate to the NIF that there will be consequences forpast and any future atrocities.

There are other places in Sudan that I was not able to visit where I am toldNIF activities make Darfur pale by comparison.The people of Sudan don't need our sympathy, they need our help.They need it today, not some time when things settle down after the upcomingelection.

If Canada continues to do nothing significant to stop these crimes againsthumanity or to shore up the dangerously fragile peace in the South we willpay a much higher price in relief efforts after the NIF is stopped byothers, just as we did in Rwanda eleven years ago.Please don't let history repeat itself yet again."


no blankets or sleeping bags and rags for clothing. There is no runningwater or sanitation facilities and of course no electricity.From what I saw myself and heard from many experts, the victims of thisgenocide won't be safe until there are foreign troops on site to protectthem.

Only a non-UN, multi national coalition could achieve this, mostlikely with an AU force strengthened by Western trained and supported troopsoperating under a much broader mandate.Darfur must be made a no-fly-zone to restrict the Sudanese air force andregular patrols are needed to keep the janjaweed in check.

New mechanisms need to be implemented to distribute international aid andprotect relief workers.A truth commission must be established to record the testimony of thesurvivors and demonstrate to the NIF that there will be consequences forpast and any future atrocities.There are other places in Sudan that I was not able to visit where I am toldNIF activities make Darfur pale by comparison.

The people of Sudan don't need our sympathy, they need our help.They need it today, not some time when things settle down after the upcomingelection.If Canada continues to do nothing significant to stop these crimes againsthumanity or to shore up the dangerously fragile peace in the South we willpay a much higher price in relief efforts after the NIF is stopped byothers, just as we did in Rwanda eleven years ago.Please don't let history repeat itself yet again.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


All-Party Briefing Session and Press Conference on Genocide inSudan, Thursday, November 4th at 3:30pmThe Canadian Friends of Sudan (CFS) and an all-party groupincluding


Hon. David Kilgour,
Mr. Gurmant Grewal,
Hon. Ed Broadbent,
Mr. Stockwell Day,Mr.Bill Blaikie
Mr. Justin Laku


And (others to be confirmed) would like to invite you to abriefing session to discuss the increasingly desperate situation inSudan.The session will be held on Thursday, November 4th, 2004, at 3:30pmin room 112 N, Centre Block. This will be followed by a Press Conferenceat 4:15pm in room 130 S, Centre Block (Charles Lynch room). The briefing session will include a presentation by CFS andrefugees from Sudan

Justin Laku Remarks:

President and founder of Canadian Friends of Sudan

Since early 2000 I have been calling on Canadian leaders to condemn the crimes of General Omar Mohammed al-Bashir.

President and leader of the National Islamic Fundamentalist party, the current government of the Republic of Sudan.

Bashir has been consistently pursuing his party’s stated goal of “Arabizing and Islamizing Africa”.


In 1992, The Chief Negotiator for the so called peace talks in Abuja, Dr. Ghazi Salahudin declared “We came to fulfill a mission of Islamization and Arabizing Africa, so the issue of Self-determination is a non-starter.”


All of Bashir’s talk of peace, all of his participation in so called negotiations have been delaying tactics so he can implement ethnic cleansing on the ground and present the world with a fait accompli.

I know you need numbers, and I’ll give you some in a minute, but for now let me ask you a question.

How many of you have children?

I want you to imagine your child as a baby.

Imagine you are holding her in your arms.

Now I’m going to ask you to do something terrible, but this is a terrible war.
Imagine yourself completely helpless as a janjawee, an “evil horseman” rips her from your arms, throws her down your village well and tosses an grenade in after her.

I apologize for putting you through this, but Sudanese survivors don’t imagine this, they live it; and they only wish they could forget.

When Rwanda was drowning in blood the West wouldn’t use the word Genocide because they were afraid that if they did, they would have to do something about it.

Today we see Rwanda’s fate clearly, and those survivors still suffer terrible conditions.

Now the US and even the UN have declared the Sudanese Government’s crimes against humanity a genocide, and still they do nothing.

Here we are in 2004 and once again black men, women, and children are being sold into slavery.

Thousands have been butchered.
Thousands more have been raped.

Hundreds of thousands have been driven from their homes.

As we saw last Tuesday when Sudanese soldiers surrounded two refugee camps in Darfur, my people are not safe from al-Bashir anywhere.

I ask you; where is Canada's voice?

Where is Canada’s help that reaches out so quickly when others are in need?

The slaughter in Darfur began 18 months ago.

Hundreds of thousands more may soon die from starvation, disease and despair.

And why shouldn’t they despair when the world has abandoned them?
The Canadian government still refuses to call what’s happening in Sudan a Genocide.

The Canadian Special Peace Envoy to Sudan reported that there is “violence on both sides”.

If she were being raped would we condemn her for fighting back?

Would we dismiss her cries for justice by saying there was violence on both sides?

The Government of Canada and the UN were quick to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda but they allowed it to happen.

Just last year the Government of Canada established a national Holocaust Remembrance day; but during WWII, the Government’s policy towards Jewish refugees was “None is Too Many!” Boatloads were sent back to Nazi death camps.

When will our Government stop lying when it says “Never again”.

Our Government has had almost four decades to respond to genocide in Sudan.

In 1966 more than ten thousand men, women and children from the Equatorial region of Southern Sudan were massacred by order of Prime Minister Sadiq Al_Mahdi.

Tens of thousands more were driven to refugee camps in Uganda, Kenya, Congo, and central Africa.

In March 1987 more than ten thousand Dinka men, women and children were massacred, some burned to death by inhabitants of the town of Al’da’ein, in western Sudan.

The international community stood by as these state run atrocities were committed.

Canada was quick to send troops to Afghanistan and vast amounts of development aid goes there.

When will the Government of Canada even condemn the ongoing Genocide in Sudan?

Ladies and gentlemen, I am just one man and our organization is small; without funds staff or resources.


We need your help.


My people are dying as we speak.

I beg you, help me raise such a cry in this wonderful country that this Government cannot help but do the right thing.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



SPEAKING NOTES – FRANK JEWSBURY,
CFS, Military Adviser


Meeting of Canadian Friends of Sudan and Members of Parliament

Thursday, 4 November 2004
Room 112N Centre Block

1. Mr Chairman (Mr Kilgour), Minister, ladies and gentlemen. It is indeed a privilege for me to address you today on the subject of Sudan. My credentials for speaking are my work in Sudan with a local mine action NGO and my 25 years of military experience.

2. Mr Laku has given you a general overview of the situation in Sudan. During the next few minutes I will be talking about two topics, the Janjaweed and the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS).

3. First the Janjaweed. We are indebted to Human Rights Watch for much of the information on the Janjaweed. The Janjaweed are Arab militias raised by the Government of Sudan to assist the government in suppressing opposition in the Darfur region. They have the specific purpose of assisting the government and have enjoyed active government support and immunity from persecution for crimes committed.

4. Since mid-2003, the government of Sudan has pursued a military strategy that has deliberately targeted civilians from the same ethnic groups as the rebels. Together the government and Arab Janjaweed militias targeted the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa through a combination of indiscriminate and deliberate aerial bombardment, denial of access to humanitarian assistance, and scorched-earth tactics that displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians.

5. From mid-2003, attacks on villages rather than rebel positions have been the norm rather than the exception. Fatalities are almost always in double figures. It is likely, moreover, that the death toll resulting from these attacks has risen, unrecorded, in the days and weeks after the attacks as wounds, disease, and the hardships of displacement took their inevitable toll.

7. Janjaweed always outnumber government soldiers, but arrive with them and leave with them. It is not clear which force is the commanding force. It is clear that the Janjaweed are not restrained, in any way, by the uniformed government forces that accompany them in army cars and trucks.

8. Massacres or mass killings of civilians areas have taken three forms: extrajudicial executions of men, by the army and Janjaweed; attacks in which government soldiers and Janjaweed have played an equal role, fighting side by side; and attacks in which government forces have played a supporting role to Janjaweed -- “softening up” villages with heavier weapons than those carried by the Janjaweed, providing logistical support and, in the opinion of many villagers interviewed, “giving the Janjaweed protection as they leave.”

9. On March 5, 2004, government and Janjaweed forces executed at least 145 men belonging to the Fur tribe in Wadi Salih in West Darfur. The men were killed on the same day in different places – nine Fur chiefs in prisons in Mugjir and Garsila, where they had been taken a week earlier, seventy-one captured Fur men in a valley south of Deleig, and another sixty-five captured men in a valley in the Mugjir area west of Deleig

10. Another outrage is that rape appears to be a feature of attacks in Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa areas of Darfur. Human Rights Watch received reports of rape in roughly half the villages it confirmed were burned. The real figure is certainly higher.

11. Although there are many examples of the slaughter perpetrated by the Janjaweed and the government in Darfur I will provide only a couple:

Urum, near Habila: 112 killed in two attacks Urum, which became a centre for Masalit civilians displaced from nearby villages, was attacked twice. “Why did they kill so many people in Urum – 122 in two attacks over a month? I don’t know. But many villages were burned before Urum and the civilians were in Urum. The villages burned included Gororg, Dureysa, Tirja, Maliam, Mororo, Gorra and Korkojok,” said thirty-seven-year-old Ahmad, a former Urum resident.


On the first occasion, in November 2003, eyewitnesses reported that Janjaweed came without the army and burnt eighty of 300 huts. They took 3,000 head of cattle and killed forty-two men, most of them young men.


A second, joint attack by the army and Janjaweed followed in the first week of December. The Janjaweed returned, this time with the army, at 6:00 a.m. Eighty people, including women and children, were killed in the second attack, which lasted four days while the army watched.
Terbeba: twenty-six killed


Terbeba was attacked by the army and Janjaweed on February 15, 2004, at 6:00 a.m. The village headman, Abdullah, forty-nine, said these forces killed thirty-one people49 including old men and women.


“There were more than 500 families in Terbeba,” he said. “We grew potatoes, cucumbers, beans, millet.” Against the 500 families and eight Masalit policemen were 300 mounted Janjaweed accompanied by four government cars with soldiers:
The army burned houses, stole 1,000 cattle, stole some grain and burned the rest.

12. An important point to bear in mind is that when the Government of Sudan signed the Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement on the Conflict in Darfur it agreed that “The Sudanese Government shall commit itself to neutralize the armed militias.” Since such attacks have continued it is obvious that the Government has not fulfilled its commitment. Further it is obvious to me that the only way to neutralize the militias is to disarm and disband them.

13. Therefore our conclusion is that an essential step in stopping the genocide and restoring security in Darfur is that the Government of Sudan honour its commitments and immediately disarm and disband the Janjaweed.

14. This brings me my second and related topic, the African Union Mission in Sudan or AMIS.

15. On 8 April 2004 the Government of Sudan and the two rebel groups, Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM) and the Sudan Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) signed a Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement. The agreement provided for a complete cessation of all military activity, unrestricted humanitarian access to IDPs and refugees, neutralization of the armed militias by the Government of Sudan, the concentration armed rebel groups in identified areas and the formation of a Ceasefire Commission and appropriate monitoring force.

16. On 28 May 2004 the parties signed the Agreement on the Modalities for the establishment of the Ceasefire Commission and the Deployment of Observers in Darfur. The mandate of the force was to monitor implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement and to report any violations. The first AU observers were to be deployed to Darfur by 2 June 2004. This was a small monitoring team with an associated protection force.

17. As the situation in Darfur continued to deteriorate a small initial augmentation of the force by some 200 troops took place in August. On 28 October 2004 the AU agreed to increase the original AMIS monitoring force from approximately 300 personnel to 3320 personnel including 2341 military, among them 450 observers, up to 815 civilian police and appropriate civilian personnel. These additional deployments commenced on 28 October and will continue over the next few months.

18. Sudan is the largest country in Africa with a land area equivalent to the size of the USA east of the Mississippi River. The region of Darfur is over 1500 km from North to South and almost 1000km from East to West. The part of Darfur of interest for the monitoring force is some 800 km in each direction or the distance from Ottawa to Windsor. The nearest main support centre is over 1000 km from the area. Given the limited road network in the area supporting this force will be the equivalent of supporting such a force spread across Canada in the high Arctic. The harsh conditions will impose unusually high maintenance requirements on all equipment resulting in higher than expected costs. The size of the operational area and the length of the logistics chain highlight the importance of logistics and communications to the successful operation of the force.

19. Under the original plan much of the logistics infrastructure and on-site facilities were to be provided by the Government of Sudan. The new and much larger force will require substantial additional logistics that are unlikely to be available from the Government of Sudan.

20. Canada has some experience with supporting deployed forces at long distances from a main support base. The Canadian Forces have good communications equipment and skills. As some of you will remember, when Canada built its reputation for peacekeeping it was mainly as the supplier of logistics and communications resources to many UN missions. As an Engineer officer serving with the UN Emergency Force in the Gaza Strip I was part of the logistic support to the force. We had an excellent reputation for the work that we did and it is time to undertake this type of work again.

21. It is perhaps worth mentioning that the composition of the AU force will include contingents from English speaking and French speaking countries. Canada can provide technical advisors in both languages so that there are fewer misunderstandings.

22. While we recognize that Canada has pledged a significant contribution to the force it is not enough. We recommend that Canada increase its support to the African Union Mission in Sudan by providing technical advice in logistics and communications, communications detachments and increased funding to meet the expected demand.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PETER JARDINE – SPEAKING NOTES
CFS, Religious & development Affairs, Adviser

Meeting of Canadian Friends of Sudan and Members of Parliament

Thursday, 4 November 2004
Room 112N Centre Block


Mr. Chairman, Minister, ladies and gentlemen. I am grateful for the opportunity of speaking to you today. I have one qualification for doing so, namely that for the last three years I have been spending time in South Sudan.

Previous speakers have given you an excellent picture of the situation in the country and of some of the needs. I want to add to that some report and reflection on what I have come to know about the events and the needs. Finally, I will give you some thoughts on approach to the Sudanese question.

Attacks on the southerners have gone on, largely unreported, for the last 20 years. During that time over 2 million, mostly Southerners, have been killed and the lives of almost all the peoples of South Sudan thrown into chaos.

I first went into Sudan in January of 2002, spending three months in an outpost called Dajo in the Eastern Upper Nile. My last visit was in January/February of this year. The people there are economically, culturally and socially devastated. They are ignored by the major NGO’s.

In Dajo I live among widows, orphans, internal refugees and permanently maimed men. We live close to attacks of savage brutality, one in which 3,000 people died in one day. That attack occurred in April of 2002, just over a hundred kilometers from Dajo. The villages were Kawaji, Dengaji and Liang which were the homes of peaceful, unarmed Mabaan farmers, whose mistake was to live close to oilfields and oil exploration areas.

The helicopter gunships and regular Sudanese army troops were led by Commander Ibrahim Saleh, who fits the description of the worst kind of war criminal. Some months later, Mel Middleton of Freedom Quest International from Alberta and Dennis Bennet, of Servant’s Heart from Washington managed to walk into the area to assess the results of the attack.

They obtained photographic evidence of the horror and took eyewitness statements. One quite elderly man reported seeing his son killed by Cdr. Saleh, who beheaded the boy for attempting to escape. The boy was around 7 years old.

The first we knew of that attack was when women began walking into the town of Udeir, between Dajo and Liang. They were starving, desperately dehydrated and in a state of shock at what they had witnessed 13 days or so earlier. Their babies were dying because the women’s bodies could no longer provide milk.

In January of 2003, I was back in Dajo. During my stay the village of Longochuk, 84km to the south west was attacked by a GOS militia group led by a Nuer known as Commander Chayot. The attackers were driven off, but returned in late May.

This time they killed over 30 people and abducted others. Among the dead were the Presbyterian Pastor, Jacob Manyal. Among the abducted were his 38 year old wife, Nyaduar Deang Jany, and his two children Ruon Gadet Manyal and Reath Gadet Manyal.

The woman was forced to become the concubine of one of the militiamen. Her two sons, aged 6 and 4, along with Duoth Chuol Kuon, another 4 year old boy, were murdered on the march to Adar Yel, probably because they were slowing the pace.

The reason for this attack emerged later. The Chinese had drilled several oil wells in the area. They also built an all weather road from Adar Yel to Longochuk, which provides a good means of moving troops and equipment.

I have singled out these two attacks, not because they were particularly brutal because in the modus operandi of the NIF, that is not the case. The importance is that they took place at each end of a huge area of swamp in the Eastern Upper Nile.

Between that swamp and the Ethiopian border live thousands of people, many displaced from other areas. They can now be attacked from the north and the south and be caught in a trap. Their only escape is over the Ethiopian border and there are a host of reasons why that may not be an attractive option, assuming it is even possible.

I have read, or listened to, the talk of ceasefires and marveled at the gullibility of those who think it means something. To the NIF government in Khartoum ceasefire means time to regroup and rearm. It means shipping barges loaded with tanks and other heavy weaponry down to Juba and elsewhere.

It means purchasing MIG 29’s from Russia and threatening relief flights with them. And right now, it means moving the so called Janjaweed into strategic locations from which they can be used to attack parts of the south.

I am similarly skeptical about the Peace Agreement. But the stalling must be stopped and the peace agreement must be signed. If nothing else it will provide a yardstick by which the world can judge the subsequent actions of the NIF. Senator Mobina Jaffer told me that Canada has provided over $100m to support the peace talks. That gives us the right to demand that the agreement is signed without delay.

Much more needs to be done. Canada has a proud record of leading the international condemnation of the Apartheid regime in South Africa. Many of the same measures promoted by Canada, such as arms embargoes and trade sanctions, must be applied to Sudan.

We must provide such support and encouragement as we are able to the AU force.

But we need to go further than that. It is patent nonsense for countries like ours to be putting money into Sudan for building schools, for example, which the government of Sudan should themselves be building. We should cease such spending, even if it means sacrificing the education of another generation.

Our aid simply releases more money for the NIF to buy weaponry and that makes us complicit in the genocidal actions of that government. A way has to be found of making the government use the oil revenues for repairing the damage it is doing. It has to pay, not us, for the consequences of its action. That will be extremely difficult, but it must become an objective.

The NIF must be recognized for what it is, an illegitimate, racist, regime of genocidal thugs. It must be thrown off all international bodies on which it sits. Having this regime on the UN Human Rights body is a farce and destroys the credibility of that body. Allowing them to get away with genocide, as they have done for 20 years, puts not only the people of South Sudan at risk but also those of some neighbouring countries.

Canada should stop receiving Sudanese government ministers on official visits. Such contact does nothing but add to the veneer of legitimacy which serves the purposes of the NIF and not the purposes of Canada. At the same time, Canada should refuse to grant ambassadorial status to the Sudanese mission here and should encourage other countries to do the same.

I recognize that such actions are difficult, but so are the alternatives. Two countries in particular have to be brought onside to deal with this situation. They are India and China, both of which have extensive oil activities in Sudan.

The hunger for energy in those nations will make them reluctant to participate in any action against the NIF, unless it becomes clear that the ownership of the oil will be returned to the people of the South, from whom that wealth is now being stolen.

For our part, we have to distinguish between the difficult and the impossible, acknowledge the genocide and give Sudan the attention the deaths, past, present and to come, deserve.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Action Brief – African Union Mission in Sudan


Our Urgent Recommendation to the Government of Canada


That Canada strengthens its contribution to the African Union Mission in Sudan by providing increased and urgently needed funding and technical assistance for logistics and communications.

Issue


The African Union Mission is Sudan is very small for such a large and isolated area. It will need extensive logistics and communications support if it is to fulfill its mandate. Also, based on experience in the field, it may need to be increased in size again.

Background


On 8 April 2004 the Government of Sudan and the two rebel groups, Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM) and the Sudan Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) signed a Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement.

The agreement provided for a complete cessation of all military activity, unrestricted humanitarian access to IDPs and refugees, neutralization of the armed militias by the Government of Sudan, the concentration armed rebel groups in identified areas and the formation of a Ceasefire Commission and appropriate monitoring force.

On 28 May 2004 the parties signed the Agreement on the Modalities for the establishment of the Ceasefire Commission and the Deployment of Observers in Darfur. The first AU observers were to be deployed to Darfur by 2 June 2004.

On 28 October 2004 the AU agreed to augment the original AMIS monitoring force from approximately 300 personnel to 3320 personnel including 2341 military, among them 450 observers, up to 815 civilian police and appropriate civilian personnel. These additional deployments commenced on 28 October and will continue over the next few months.

Under the original plan much of the logistics infrastructure and on-site facilities were to be provided by the Government of Sudan. This new and much larger force will require substantial additional logistics that are unlikely to be available from the Government of Sudan.

Canada has experience in providing logistics and communications for a long distance force. A commitment to provide technical advisers and communications detachments would demonstrate Canada’s resolve to support this mission.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Action Brief – Disarming and Disbanding the Janjaweed Militias

Our Urgent Recommendation to the Government of Canada

That Canada use its influence at the United Nations and elsewhere to pressure the Government of Sudan to take substantial and real action to disarm and disband the Janjaweed militias in Darfur.

Issues


The Janjaweed militias, supported by the Government of Sudan, are the principal perpetrators of the genocide in Darfur. They must be disarmed and disbanded if the refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) are to return to their home villages.

Background


The humanitarian situation in Southern Darfur State is now worse than it has ever been.

The current trend continues as bands of Janjaweed descend on the south from Northern and Western Darfur states, moving towards the Nyala and Sharaya areas. In spite of the deployment of the African Union Force and the increased presence of aid agencies these attacks continue.

Neither the UN nor other agencies have managed to clearly map the areas depopulated as a result of militia activity, but according to humanitarian agencies, a clear trend has emerged of non-Arabs being hounded out of rural areas into urban centres. The current estimates are 1.2 million displaced and 70,000 killed. This is a clear case of ethnic cleansing and genocide, and it must be stopped.

The Janjaweed have attacked black Africans from the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups with a ruthlessness that has not been seen in the region for some time, report aid agencies and refugees. They have killed, raped, maimed, looted and burned down tens of thousands of village homes, displacing hundreds of thousands of people.


Many of the attacks take on a similar pattern, eyewitnesses report. Hundreds or thousands of Janjaweed riding horses and camels arrive in an area from different directions before engaging in a major offensive. Rich from looting thousands of head of cattle, they are well armed with automatic weapons and carry modern communications equipment.

They easily coordinate their attacks with government forces. Before and after burning the non-Arab villages collectively accused of harbouring rebels, they often loiter, armed with automatic rifles, around water sources. Eyewitnesses say they intimidate and rape local women, loot their animals and destroy key infrastructure.


Given the nature of the crisis it will not be possible for the refugees and IDPs to return home until the Janjaweed are disarmed and disbanded.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Preparations for Peace in Southern Sudan

Our Position


That Canada take steps, including funding of capacity building initiatives, NOW, to enhance the southern Sudan infrastructure and institutional capacity in preparation for peace and the massive return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees to southern Sudan following the signing of a peace accord between the SPLM/A and the Government of Sudan. Further, that Canada pressures the Government of Sudan to desist from actions that are detrimental to a stable and permanent peace.

Issues

Current infrastructure, both physical and institutional in southern Sudan does not have the capacity to accept large numbers of returnees or to effectively use large flows of funds. Canada must act now to develop capacity in southern Sudanese institutions to absorb larger funding flows than have been available in the past.

The Government of Sudan seems to be using the crisis in Darfur to delay the peace process in southern Sudan while encouraging activities that are detrimental to a lasting peace. Canada must work to apply international pressure to ensure such activity ceases and the negotiations are brought to a successful conclusion.

Background

The Government of Sudan and the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement have signed a cease-fire and expect to sign a permanent peace accord following the principles outlined in the Machakos Agreement within the next few months.

The government, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and relief agencies need to expedite preparations for the return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and thousands of refugees to their homes in southern Sudan once a peace agreement is signed.

Over 1 million IDPs and thousands of refugees are expected in the first six months, which could lead to southern Sudan being overwhelmed. Donors must immediately begin to fund programmes to assist returnees, rather than wait for a final peace deal.

These include local, food aid, health care, education and mine action institutions. Most of these will be NGOs as the government of southern Sudan does not yet exist.

USAID's Famine Early Warning System warns that current food insecurity in "high alert" areas such as Aweil, Wau, Magwit, Torit, Bor, Juba and Yei would also be a problem for both returnees and host populations.

The peace process in Kenya has come to a halt as the government delays and delays while attempting to mollify the international community by extending the ceasefire in 3 month increments.

The government also appears to be encouraging actions that are detrimental to a lasting peace, in particular, allocating depopulated lands to new settlers from the north among them some Egyptians. The Egyptian settlers are apparently being allocated land under an agreement between Sudan and Egypt allowing freedom of movement, residence and work between the two countries.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SUPPORT FOR PEACE IN SUDAN
A Proposal by Canadian Friends of Sudan to
Mr. Nelson Mandela.

SUMMARY


In the difficult struggle for peace among the many peoples of Africa, Canadian Friends of Sudan (CFS) is urging you, Mr. Mandela, to focus your already considerable efforts toward lasting peace and prosperity for the people of Sudan, on the following urgent priorities.

We ask you to use your wisdom, influence and diplomatic experience with others in the international community for:


1. An immediate cessation of aerial bombardment of civilians in Sudan and the establishment of a cease-fire and no-fly zone. The war, especially the bombing, affects women and children most severely;

2. A cessation of oil exploration and exploitation until peace is achieved;

3. An end to Khartoum's bans on relief supplies and assistance;

4. Effective guarantees of religious freedom for all citizens;

5. An end to slavery and the provision of welfare support to former slaves;

6. Establishment of the right to self-determination;

7. Promoting unity of purpose among the war victims.


Details …
SUPPORT FOR PEACE IN SUDAN
A Proposal by Canadian Friends of Sudan to
Mr. Nelson Mandela

INTRODUCTION

Sudan Africa's largest country, is experiencing the world's longest running and most brutal war. Since Sudan's independence in 1956, the country has been ruled by Muslims of Arab origin who live primarily in the northern part of Sudan. Successive governments have subjected the indigenous African people, who are of Christian or traditional belief, to second-class citizenship.


The current phase of the war has run without a pause for 18 years. It is waged primarily between forces of the Government of Sudan (GOS) and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA).

However, there are southern rebel factions and northern opposition groups. The war has caused the suffering and death of millions in the Sudan. The recent escalation of the conflict by the Khartoum regime threatens even greater destruction of lives, property and cultures.Canadian Friends of Sudan (CFS) is working for an end to the war and a just resolution based on addressing the root causes of the conflict.

CFS is requesting you, Mr. Mandela, to help bring lasting peace and prosperity in the country. Our primary objective here is to provide background information, policy alternatives, advocacy platforms and the assurance that your contribution will make a very significant difference in the lives of all Sudanese. For sustainable harmony and prosperity in the Sudan to be realized, we would like you to consider advocating the following goals:

STOP AERIAL BOMBARDMENT OF CIVILIANS AND INITIATE A CEASEFIRE

The urgent need to protect civilian populations and civilian institutions, including schools, churches, medical clinics, feeding centers, open-air markets, landing strips, etc. would be met if the government of Sudan ceased its aerial bombardment of civilians. Mr. Mandela, we request you to advocate for the imposition of a no-fly zone on the areas of conflict in South Sudan, Nuba Mountains and Ingessena Hills, for this is the first and most urgent step in stopping the scourge of government-conducted terror against the people.


An end to the bombing of civilian targets would promote a political climate conducive to negotiation. At the very least, imposition of a no-fly zone over the principal areas of conflict will act as a sign of the determination of the international community to bring an end to the civil war. The imposition of a no-fly zone will also signal to the Khartoum regime that the time for declarations and condemnations is over; and that practical measures are what count.


A no-fly zone will help create an immediate lessening of hostilities. This will, in itself, save countless lives, allow the return of refugees, and allow humanitarian relief to reach all areas of the war zone. Once the no-fly zone is in place, a comprehensive cease-fire could and should be implemented.

STOP OIL EXPLORATION AND EXPLOITATION


We also ask for your support in preventing the Government of Sudan's use of recently acquired riches from oil to escalate the conflict. We ask you to urge corporations, investment firms and other economic entities in North America, Europe and Asia, to cease profiting from oil riches which are exploited at the expense of millions of central and southern Sudanese citizens. The exploitation of these resources only serves to fuel Khartoum's war machine and prolong the gross violation of fundamental human rights.


Oil exploration and exploitation are serving to justify ethnic cleansing on a mass scale in areas of northern Bahr al-Ghazal, Southern Blue Nile, Upper Nile, and the Nuba Mountains. This has led to the displacement of entire populations.

We are calling for a complete halt to the exploration, extraction, production and sale of Sudanese oil until there is a peace settlement in the whole country.As with the campaign to end apartheid in South Africa, the international economic interests that, wittingly or unwittingly, invest in injustice and genocide must be confronted if the conflict is to end.

We believe that the wealth derived from Sudan’s natural resources must be used to benefit the people who live on the land, not to empower unprincipled elite to engineer the people’s dispossession and destruction.

END KHARTOUM'S BANS ON RELIEF


The use of food as a 'weapon' of war by the GOS, and the food shortages and outbreaks of famine that have come in its wake, have been perhaps the single most devastating aspect of the Sudan conflict. This use of food as a weapon has resulted in the deaths of countless thousands, the internal displacement of millions and irreparable damage to the health, particularly, of women and children.


Much of the tragedy in the Sudan is man-made, engineered by the GOS through the manipulation of humanitarian aid, arbitrary flight bans, and the imposition of relief embargoes on populations in 'liberated' or non-government-controlled areas, particularly Southern Sudan, Nuba Mountains and Ingessena Hills.

We would like you, Mr. Mandela, to insist that food and other relief supplies be made available to populations in any and all areas of Sudan where there is need, particularly in famine-affected areas. In addition, the Government-sponsored raids, which are aimed at burning crops, fields and food stores, particularly in 'vulnerable' districts, must be stopped.

ENSURE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM FOR ALL CITIZENS


Religious persecution stands at the center of the tragedy of modern Sudan, and is one of the principle causes of the war. We would like you to stand with us in our demand that the right to freedom of religion; with the right to life, the foundation of all human rights, become a legal and constitutional reality in Sudanese life.


The call for religious freedom is at the heart of the political reforms that will be required to end Sudan's long nightmare of war and destruction. Khartoum's decades-old assertion that Sudan is an Arab, Muslim country and its campaign to realize, by force if necessary, the dream of one nation, one culture, one religion, has deprived millions of non-Arab, non-Muslim Sudanese of their most basic rights as citizens and as cultures.


As Eastern Africa's Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD Declaration of Principles) recognizes: Sudan will not resolve its fundamental problems, nor secure a lasting peace without firmly establishing in law a constitutional separation of religion and state. In a country of nearly unparalleled cultural and religious diversity, Shari'a (Islamic law) cannot function as the source of law and public policy as currently imposed.


In the short term, this means that we urge you to oppose not only the infamous Missionary Societies Act of 1962, but also its various modifications and revisions, most of which have only made the situation of non-Muslims worse. A fundamentally discriminatory law cannot be 'modified' or ameliorated; it must be abrogated in totality.


It should also be stated that we recognize that the Islamist ideology undergirding the current Khartoum regime is a travesty of normative Islam and the views of many Sudanese and other Muslims. For your information, Canadian Friends of Sudan, like many other organizations working for peace in the Sudan, has Muslims in its membership.

STOP SLAVERY AND PROMOTE THE WELFARE OF FORMER SLAVES


Slavery, especially the abduction of women and children is yet another weapon in Khartoum's campaign of 'total' war against the populations of Southern Sudan, Nuba Mountains and Ingessena Hills. We urge you to condemn and call for an end to this heinous violation of human rights, and for the care and education of the thousands of former, or 'redeemed' slaves, especially those who live in camps and settlements.

It should be noted that the GOS helped revive this horrific trade on a mass scale, armed the principal perpetrators, and continues to employ slave taking as part and parcel of its strategy of war.Khartoum targets women and children, who are the most vulnerable members of the community, knowing that in doing so, it strikes at the very heart of the resistance to its policies, and at the morale, indeed, the very future of the communities against which it wages its campaigns.


THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION


The right to self-determination is very important to the resolution of the Sudan conflict. It is a fact to which all parties to the conflict agree. It also forms part of the IGAD Declaration of Principles. We would like you, Mr. Mandela, to underline the importance of this principle, and urge the international community to ensure its implementation.


Advocating self-determination does not imply support for the independence or secession of Southern Sudan. It recognizes that the citizens of Sudan, who, in differing ways, have suffered so deeply as a result of the conflict, should play their rightful part in deciding the shape of a future Sudan.

The recognition of self-determination as an essential element in the search for peace in the Sudan, and its reflection in virtually all Sudan peace building initiatives, including the IGAD and Egypt-Libya peace program proposals is encouraging. Attempts to de-emphasize this principle would be tantamount to destroying the road to lasting peace in Sudan.

UNITY OF PURPOSE AMONG THE WAR VICTIMS


The GOS has planted seeds of discord and encourages hatred and divisions among indigenous Sudanese people, particularly among the people of South Sudan. This divide and rule approach has led to the emergence of numerous rebel factions and divergent political opinions. These matters have made peace a very distant prospect at the expense of innocent civilians.


Due to the difficult living conditions for civilians in the Sudan, the government is also now in the business of sponsoring militia groups against their own people. Canadian Friends of Sudan would like to point out that the GOS and oil companies working in the Sudan do pay large sums of money to people, including victims of the war as part of their public relations machine.

We ask you to support the call for a common voice to be heard from victims of Sudan's brutal war. This involves encouraging all leaders of military factions and political organizations to embark on dialogue toward building this common voice. This can be best started with a strong message to leaders of the main opposition groups.


CONSIDERATION OF URGENT ACTION


The emergence of a bipartisan political climate in the US has made Sudan and a negotiated settlement of the war a foreign policy priority. This became clear following the passing of the Sudan Peace Act (copies available at CFS).

We ask you to encourage the Government of South Africa to become a more active and dedicated Sudan peace partner as well. Resolving the Sudanese crisis now will stop it from further spilling into other countries, including South Africa.
To advance the implementation of our recommendations, we urge that you consider convening a strategic working group on the Sudan at the earliest possible opportunity. The task of this strategic working group would be to develop precise goals and objectives for each of the above recommendations with oversight from yourself.


To date, Khartoum continues to bombard and enslave civilians, destroy their most precious institutions and remove them from oilfields by killing them or driving them away into uncertainty. These barbaric acts of terror need to be brought squarely to the attention of the United Nations, the European Union and the African Union or Organization of African Unity, Canada and the United States. We urge you to set up a network of contacts, who should work for the immediate establishment of national or regional Sudan Peace Action committees.

We ask you, Mr. Mandela, to speak to Canadians, especially to the Government of Canada, about the fact that the Canadian flag is stained with Sudanese blood. We want the government to denounce Canada's Talisman Energy Inc. for financing the new weaponry that Khartoum has, and for ignoring the suffering of innocent civilians. When Talisman Energy pulls out of the Sudan, the civilized world can then face the Malaysian and Chinese companies operating in the Sudan.


The impact of the war on the people of Southern Sudan, Nuba Mountains and Ingessena Hills has reached unacceptable proportions. Women and children bear the worst impact of the war. Many Sudanese women are raped, enslaved, made widows or single parents. Children are also killed or forced to the frontline, where they die or get killed. We urge you to have a special interest in rescuing and rehabilitating these defenseless women and children.

In Canada, South Africa, the United States and the rest of the civilized world, Muslims are allowed to worship freely. We would like you to help ask leaders of Islam, the GOS and its surrogates why there is cruel imposition of Islamic laws on Christians and people of other faiths in the Sudan. In essence, we would like you to join us in calling for harmony, freedom, democracy and dignity of human life in Sudan.

Finally, since it is well known that the NIF has supported Osama bin Laden and other Muslim terrorists in the past, it should now be clear to everyone what kind of people they are.

The embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, as well as the previous assassination attempts linked to Sudan should also be reasons to stop the Islamic fundamentalist government from pursuing what it is doing. We should no longer be the voice crying in the wilderness. We would ask you to communicate this, on a serious note, to your network of African, American, Canadian and European diplomats, as well as other officials worldwide.

Thank you.

Canadian Friends of Sudan

P r i n c i p a l C o n t a c t s

Justin Laku, Founder

Eng. Roger Stone, Co-founder

Producer, Moses Aligo, Co-founder

Colin Stuart, Professor,

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Don’t withhold to do good when it’s in the power of your hand to do it. And don’t say to your neighbor in need, “come back tomorrow an I’ll help” Proverbs3:23-24

From Justin Laku
Email: ljsamuel33@hotmail.com

Feb 11, 2000


The Right Reverend Peter Coffin
Bishop of the Diocese of Ottawa
71, Avenue Bronson Avenue
Ottawa, On, K1R 6G6


Dear Bishop Peter,

Christian greetings and best wishes to you in name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and praise Him for His many mercies.

My very sincere appreciation for your long letter of Feb 2, 2000. Thank you so much for giving the Sudanese Community of Ottawa-Carleton your time, and for undertaking the problem of Sudanese Churches as one of your objectives for the year 2000.

In your letter, you mentioned that you have been approached by number of groups, which claim to be the legitimate voice.

Yes! There might be some who are trying to assist the persecuted Christian in Sudan with a different point of view according to their group objectives.

However, this does not mean that the Anglican Church of Canada should be inactive, silent or not taking a strong position. It is a time for the Anglican Church of Canada to wake up from its long sleep and speak out about these persecutions of the Christians, bombing of hospitals, churches and schools, as well as using of chemical weapons.

Therefore, we have been deeply concerned by the news coming out of Southern Sudan, and my group is trying to its best to educate and uneducated Anglican Church of Canada which still has not taken a stand about its sister church in Sudan.

We the “Sudanese Anglicans” in Canada, would like to see Anglican Church of Canada involved in the peace process, speaking out fearlessly on behalf of the believers in Sudan, asking the government of Canada to put pressure on the Canadian oil company in order to pull out of Sudan and to assist the needy people of Sudan who are living in camps of Kenya, Uganda, Zaire and Central Africa.

I am personally disturbed with the way that the Anglican Church of Canada has ignored the suffering of the brothers and sisters for seventeen years. How could the Anglican Church of Canada describe itself in the light of saint Matthew 25:35-35, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me some thing to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me”.

Let the Anglican Church of Canada seek more facts and respond to the needs of the Sudanese Church as soon as possible in order to be a practical Church, not a “theoretical Church”. Jesus was a practical man.

The Bible is very clear about what we are asked to do for those who are victimized because of their faith. We are called upon to pray for them (which never happened at Christ Church Cathedral) and lay claim to the civic privileges that God has given to us. It is our turn to speak up (on behalf of the voiceless people of Sudan. The silence of many on behalf of the few ultimately diminished and could destroy all of us.

Your letter failed to mention any plan, program or what should be done next regarding the suffering believers of Sudanese Churches. Instead, the letter focuses on the number of groups as if these are the main issue. These groups like the Vessel, the carrier, but not the Treasure which is the persecuted Christians of the Sudanese Church. The challenge is to ensure that the value is placed in the right spot, and that we defend the treasure, not the vessel.

I hope that Work Group should not tie our hands as well as yours, or become an excuse for you not to speak out. The practical solution is that either you visit South Sudan and see the persecuted Christians and draw your own conclusion, or simply invite one of the Sudanese Bishop in exile and let him tour and speak out on behalf of the voiceless people Sudan who are suffering from the NIF government which Arabized and Islamized Christians in the Sudan.

Finally, the primary purpose of this response is to explain to you how the Sudanese Persecuted Churches are been ignored by the Anglican Church of Canada. I sincerely hope that this letter will help you and your Church understands the crimes of the NIF government against the Christians in Sudan so that you could take this late like Rwanda.

We need to shake awake those who are power to bring their attention to these injustices.

And where we have a voice speak out. Once you know, then you’re accountable. And I would say, now we know.

I will be most happy to provide you with additional information should you desire so.

God’s richest blessings on your life and work

With my prayers,

Justin Laku

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WOMEN AND CHILDREN AFFECTED BY WAR:

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

Introduction


The information presented here is based on my experience as a southern Sudanese woman, and as a refugee in Cairo, Egypt for five years. It is further an outcome of my long involvement in community, organizational and research work among southern Sudanese women in Egypt, southern Sudanese women in refugee camps in Northern Uganda and the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army (SPLA) controlled areas of Yei and Kajokeji counties between June to August of 1997.


The War and its impact on Southern Sudanese

The current phase of the war in Sudan, which started in 1983 has had a grave impact on Southern Sudan and its people. The infrastructure is destroyed and the normal social and cultural fabric of the society is completely destabilized. All these have negatively affected people’s lives particular women, children, and the elderly.

Hundreds of thousands of southern Sudanese took refugee in neighboring countries, including Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Egypt. Others are resettled in the United States, Canada, Australia and other European countries. Many others are internally dislocated from their original homes into the bushes, camps in major towns in the south and in Khartoum.

The war contributed to chronic famine, economic crisis, loss of many lives, spread of diseases due to lack of medicine and medical facilities. The poor facilities available are constantly destroyed by air bombardment by government war plans.

In areas under the SPLA control, there is high spread of diseases, such as sleeping sickness, pheleria, Sexually transmitted diseases, TB and other respiratory diseases.

The war has negatively affected the educational system in South Sudan. In the rural areas and other cities in the South, schools ceased to function. The implication of this situation on women and children is that, school age girls ended up with unstable and uncertain marriages and pregnancies either by government or rebel soldiers.

Youth of both sexes, because of frustration and uncertain future resort to heavy alcohol drinking, drug use, etc.

As many people have died during the war, there is in existence a large number of widows, orphans and unaccompanied minors, particularly in the SPLA held areas and in the refugee camps in neighboring countries. Most of the orphans are cared for by women.


The war has also affected marriage and the family institutions in the South, leading to changes in family structures, and increase in the number of teenage single parents For example, in Yei county, in nearly every family there is a child cared for by either a teenage mother or a grandmother. The fathers of these children are either in the war front, died or just left.

As many men migrate and some are fighting the war, women become heads of household, shouldering all the responsibilities in the family. But still their efforts are not recognized or even appreciated by some men. As noted by a woman in Kajokeji:

“…our men have turned to drinking or have long been gone to the battle front and we are compelled to till the land with babies strapped on our backs, fetch water and fire wood and cook. And yet, the men do not appreciate this. Those fighting the war think theirs is the only ultimate contribution to the struggle. We who are keeping the families together back home are regarded as making an insignificant input...”

The war has affected the system of production and way of livelihood in the South, leading to chronic famine which greatly affects people’s lives. Those practicing agriculture, for example, are unable to carry out farming effectively because of constant movement from one village to another as a result of fights between the warring parties.

As a result, southern Sudanese women and their children are reduced to the level of beggars of the international relief food. This is evident in the images frequently shown on the Canadian television and other international media channels.

In fact the war has made the whole of southern Sudan to dependent on relief food. For example, when I was in Juba before leaving for Egypt in 1992, almost all of the population in Juba town was registered in the displaced camps around Juba town so that they can get relief food.

In the refugee camps in Northern Uganda, the situation is not all that favorable. The issue of children’s education is a problem that face many families. Although the UNHCR provides free education at the primary level, childern are always faced with financial problems after finishing the primary level as secondary education is not free.

Despite efforts made by international community to improve women’s condition all over the globe (i.e. through development programs, UN international conferences on women, etc.), women’s conditions in the southern Sudan is in continuous deterioration.

The war has led to the isolation of the majority of southern Sudanese women from the outside world events, in particular those dislocated inside and those in the refugee camps.

Their isolation further hindered them from gaining knowledge about women's human rights, gender issues and women’s important role as providers and peace makers in both the family and the society.


Insecurity and difficulty in communication due to the destruction of the transportation system, have hindered many southern Sudanese women in exile, who are willing to work with southern Sudanese women on issues regarding women and theft empowerment.

As refugees and internally displaced, women and children are not guaranteed national, regional or international human rights protection.

Although the human rights conventions provided protection security to refugees and internally displaced people; southern Sudanese women and children are not guaranteed that protection and security either by the state, or the international community. For example, the government plains usually bomb civilians targets. When clashes occur between government and rebel forces the civilian suffer.

In the refugee camps particularly in Northern Uganda which are located in the bushes far from the towns, the refugees are targets of Uganda’s rebels attacks. No protection from the UNHCR though it claim that it is doing so.

As refugees, women have to cope with new life, environment, social and cultural differences in the host countries. The harsh refugee situations have pushed many southern Sudanese women to prostitution as a means for survival, for the women themselves and their families as well.

The wars have physical, emotional and psychological implications on southern Sudanese. As they struggle for ends to meet, women have to worry about the future of theft children, the whereabouts of their husbands and loved ones. Those in exile worry about the well being of theft relatives and family members back home.

What can be Done

Despite the hardships faced by women whether internally displaced or in refugee camps, they continue to struggle for ends to meet. At the same time women are involved in other group and organizational activities out side theft homes, activities geared toward raising their awareness and empowerment. However, their efforts cannot move further and be effective without the support of both southern Sudanese community, the international NGOs and church organizations currently operating in the refugee camps and the liberated areas. Therefore my suggestion is that:

• The international NGOs, and the church organizations in collaboration with Sudanese women and men should initiate and assist in the implementation of programs intended to develop the capacity of women to promote peace and reconciliation in their families, communities and in the society at large.


• Beside income generating programs being widely encouraged by NGOs, there is need for advocacy training for women. Most women in Southern Sudan are not aware of the social, cultural, legal and political issues in the Sudan. Isolated from the outside world, many southern women are unaware of the world events regarding women. Women need to know their rights, gender issues, legal and customary laws and policies affecting them, theft health and reproductive rights and so on.

• There is need to design specific educational programs for youth particularly those who have been pushed out of school long ago, due to the war. Such programs as adult education, and vocational training to enable them contribute to the development of society.

• Due to the existence of many young children in the liberated areas, there is need to rehabilitate the school structures to enable these children to have education.

• There is need for training teachers and other civil servants to work with the civilian population in the liberated areas.

• International NGOs, and church organizations should revise the educational programs for refugee children so as to open more chances for more children who are eager to pursue theft secondary school education.

• Basic human needs such as safe drinking water, medicine and medical facilities are lacking particularly in the liberated areas. Therefore, there is need to provide such basic needs through construction and rehabilitation of the existing bore holes, medicine and medical facilities.

• It would be of great importance if the international NGOs and church organizations involve southern Sudanese living in Canada, who are interested in working with refugees and internally displaced people in refugee camps and in Southern Sudan.

By: Jane Kani Edward

Ph.D Candidate
Department of Sociology and Equity Studies in Education
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of
The University of Toronto (OISE/UT).
Date: July 13, 1999