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Sudanese Call on US Senators and Syracuse Community to Keep Sanctions on al-Bashir Regime

Chris Bolt, WAER News

Members of Syracuse’s Sudanese community are urging Congress to not ease sanctions against Sudan’s violent leader.  Today's announcement was part of a nationwide day of action to support Sudanese people. 

Abraham Dut Deng was one of the first Lost Boys of Sudan to come to New York.  He ended up in Syracuse along with other refugees fleeing deadly violence.  His message aimed at Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congress Member John Katko is to keep pressure and sanctions on the government of Omar al-Bashir.

"This is the same regime that has conducted genocide against the people of Dafur... and denied millions of South Sudanese citizens. And not only that, this is the government who killed our parents and made us Lost Boys."

Congress is considering taking Sudan off of the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.  The Trump administration is looking to normalize relations, reportedly to improve intelligence cooperation and perhaps access to oil and other resources.  But Dut Deng says this is the wrong leader with which to cozy up. 

Credit Chris Bolt, WAER News
Abraham Dut Deng says Omar Assad al-Bashir is the wrong leader with which to cozy up.

"President Omar Hassan al-Bashir by the international criminal court for genocide and crimes against humanity. Even in this past year civilians in Darfur have been targeted and murdered." 

Dut Deng would like the larger community to embrace the cause for all the Lost Boys and other Sudanese here in Syracuse. 

South Sudan became the world's newest nation in 2011 when it seceded from Sudan.

"We are a very big community of migrants in Syracuse. We enjoy Syracuse. Most of us have jobs. Most of us go to school. We are raising our families. But we are still losing are relatives in South Sudan because of the regime in Sudan."

Dut Deng is Founder of the South Sudan Initiative.  South Sudan gained independence in 2011 from Sudan, but Dut Deng notes violence from al-Bashir is still rampant and relations and aid from the United States to South Sudan are lacking. 

A primer on the ongoing conflict in Sudan can be found here.