On Wednesday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, along with many high level cabinet officials, for crimes against humanity. The warrant calls for any government to apprehend and extradite Al-Bashir to The Hague for trial. This is the first time a sitting President has been called before the Court.
As a result, Al-Bashir’s government has expelled over 10 foreign aid groups from the area including Oxfam, Doctors Without Borders and CARE International. The Sudanese President believes these organizations were responsible for giving the ICC enough evidence to indict him. Without these organizations the nearly 3 million displaced refugees in the area will have reduced access to food, clean water or medical facilities. Doctors Without Borders believes an untended to outbreak of cholera, meningitis or malaria would cause deaths in the thousands.We, at the UUA, are greatly saddened and disturbed to hear about the expulsion of the aid workers. Their presence in the camps is necessary for the health and safety of the residents.
During his presidential campaign, President Obama made very strong statements concerning the future of Darfur in Sudan. He said the United States must have “unstinting resolve” to solve the crisis there. So far, we have seen no movement on his part to act even after the call from the ICC. The UUA, a member of the Save Darfur Coalition, is asking you to send a postcard to President Obama to help end the violence in Darfur. You can send your postcard electronically and request hard copies for your congregation by visiting the Darfur Action Center.
Rev. William G. Sinkford, President of the UUA, encourages every UU to sign their postcard to President Obama. He believes this is an issue for all Americans, especially UUs to learn more about. President Sinkford says, “We felt called to speak out, to shine the light of truth into a region overshadowed by the worst form of government oppression… Neither innocence nor ignorance can excuse us from acting, but despite the outcries from the United Nations and much of the world community, the killing continues. We must do more.” See his complete remarks at http://uua.org/socialjustice/issues/internationalpeace/darfursudan/37400.shtml.