This past Tuesday, the Sudanese government announced they made a peace agreement with one of the rebel groups in Darfur. In the agreement, members of the rebel organization Justice and Equity Movement (JEM) would be released from prison in return for a complete ceasefire from the JEM.

This is big news as the JEM was one of the many rebel organizations to be left out of a ceasefire agreement made by the Sudanese government last November.

This news comes quickly after an announcement made the International Criminal Court saying the Court had collected enough evidence to possibly try the Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir for crimes against humanity. President Al-Bashir has been implicated in a bloody and brutal six year-long anti-insurgency campaign against rebel groups such as JEM. This campaign has included public murders, rapes, and the displacement of entire villages. Many in the wider global community have said there is no way to characterize this conflict other than genocide. While no arrest warrant for Mr. Bashir has yet been issued, this has added considerable pressure on the Sudanese government to make a timely and sustainable peace agreement with the rebel groups.

Over the past six years, a conservative estimate of 300,000 people have been killed due to the conflict and another 2.7 million people have been displaced, primarily to Chad.

We encourage you to write a letter to President Obama asking him to uphold the commitment he made to Darfur during his presidential campaign. For more information please visit the UUA’s Darfur Action Center.

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Alex Winnett

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