On December 4th, The University of Notre Dame community came together at the Stand for Sudan Peace Rally to advocate for peace in Sudan. Following this peace rally members of the Notre Dame community travelled to Washington DC to lobby for support of a peaceful referendum in Sudan. Now, following the referendum, we seek to ask our elected officials to continue to support peace in this region as there continues to be tension and uncertaintly surrounding various post referendum developments and issues.
Please join us in signing this letter that asks for continued support of Sudanese peace keeping efforts. The letter will be sent to President Barack Obama, Mr. Denis McDonough, Obama's Deputy National Security Advisory, and Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, Ranking Member of US Committee on Foreign Relations.
President Barack Obama
The White House, 1st Floor, West Wing
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC, 20500
Dear President Obama,
We are writing to thank you for your work to ensure a peaceful referendum in Sudan and to urge you to remain actively engaged during this post-referendum period.
Thanks to your efforts, and those of many others committed to peace in Sudan, the referendum in January 2011 was held peacefully. However, as you know, the hard work to ensure peace and stability in all of Sudan is far from over. Many of the peace agreement's provisions that brought an end to the north-south civil war in 2005 remain unsettled. These issues include border demarcation, citizenship, oil revenues, and debt allocation, as well as concerns for the security and rights of minorities remaining in the north, and tensions in the border areas of Abyei, Southern Kordofan, and Blue Nile. Likewise, the suffering and insecurity of the people in Darfur must be resolved to bring peace and development to the region.
We urge you and your Administration to continue your active political engagement so that peace and stability can take hold in Sudan. In addition, it is critically important to fund programs that support humanitarian needs in Darfur, long-term development throughout Sudan, and capacity-building for the new government in the South.
The FY11 Continuing Resolution and the FY12 Budget must reflect this commitment. Proposed cuts to programs that support a wide range of life-saving and dignity-preserving programs %u2013 including Title II food assistance and the Economic Support Fund %u2013 will significantly hinder the ability of USAID to respond to the evolving situation in Sudan and will jeopardize the peace in this fragile region.
Together with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Catholic community throughout the nation, we view international assistance as an essential tool to promote human life and dignity, advance solidarity with poorer nations, and enhance security throughout the world. Foreign assistance is not simply an optional commitment; it is a moral responsibility. In Sudan, where people are struggling to maintain peace and provide for their families, that assistance is critical and necessary.
Thank you for your efforts and for your continued leadership on this critical issue.