Open Letter Demanding An End To War In Sudan

High profile figures from creative industries sign an open letter to David Cameron calling for more action to end war in Sudan.

Despite widely being considered the world’s largest displacement crisis – with nearly nine million people fleeing their homes – the conflict in Sudan has largely gone unnoticed as the world deals with numerous crises.

One year on from the deadly fighting between two rival military factions in the country which has plunged the nation into a civil war, over half the population – 25 million people – require humanitarian assistance, and famine and outbreaks of disease risk an even worse situation.

As ever, women are bearing the brunt of this conflict. Sexual and gender-based violence is widespread and being perpetrated by all parties to the conflict 

 

  • Women and girls are being raped, trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced prostitution
  • Women are abducted and held in inhumane conditions
  • At least four million children and pregnant and lactating women are severely malnourished
  • 2 million people have fled to neighbouring countries like Chad and South Sudan

Open Letter sent to British Foreign Secretary, Lord david Cameron

Dear Foreign Secretary,

Women and girls in Sudan must not be forgotten. The time to act is NOW. 

The Sudanese people are facing catastrophe. Since deadly fighting between two generals broke out in April last year, Sudanese civilians, and especially women and children, have been paying the price. 

Both sides are accused of committing atrocities and the scale of the suffering is immense. 

UN officials describe the conflict as having created “the world’s largest displacement crisis”, with nearly nine million people fleeing their homes. Over half the population – 25 million people – require humanitarian assistance, and famine and outbreaks of disease risk an even worse situation. 

Two decades after ethnic cleansing in Darfur, there is again credible evidence of mass killings by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). And as the RSF appear to be winning more battles, the risk of genocidal violence spreading is growing. 

As ever, women are bearing the brunt of this conflict. Sexual and gender-based violence is widespread and being perpetrated by all parties to the conflict. A recent UN report describes how women and girls are being raped, including gang raped, and trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced prostitution. They are often abducted and held in inhuman conditions.  

For too long, this terrible war has gone on virtually forgotten. Enough is enough. 

A year after the fighting started, it is more urgent than ever that the conflict is stopped. We are calling on the UK government – and other key states – to put meaningful pressure on the warring parties, and the states that are sponsoring them – to stop the war. Violations of arms embargoes should have immediate consequences and sanctions should be applied against key individuals on both sides. 

As global feminists, we know that it is women and children that suffer the most in war. We feel compelled to speak out to try to mitigate their suffering. We ask that you do the same. 

Signed: 
Alan Cumming
Annie Lennox
Barbara Broccoli
Ben Bailey-Smith
Bill Nighy
Brian Cox
Candice Carty-Williams
David Olusoga
Eddie Marsan
Livia Firth
Lucy Siegle
Lola Lennox
Luke Evans
Misan Harriman
Paloma Faith
Peter Gabriel
Rankin
Will Poulter

The Circle and partners:
AWER, Kenya
The Circle
MKAAJI, Democratic Republic of Congo
Nonceba, South Africa
Root of Generations, South Sudan
Our Sisters Opportunity, Rwanda
Webfala, Nigeria
Women In Leadership, Uganda
Women’s Centre, Sri Lanka

How can the public show Solidarity With Sudanese Women And Girls?

  • Share the open letter to your family, friends, and community to spread the word
  • Speak up on social media, and amplify news stories and messages of support
  • Write to your Member of Parliament, Congressperson or other elected representative to join the calls for an end to the war in Sudan

Updates From The Ground: South Sudan Border

Grace Dorong founded a grassroots organisation called Root of Generations in South Sudan. She and her team are helping to support Sudanese refugees in displacement camps in Gumbo Shirkat (Juba City) – providing them with trauma-healing activities, psycho-social support, cash transfers, and training for economic empowerment to help them get on their feet again.

“One key message I would like to say to policy and decision makers is that the interests of the leaders that they have is not equivalent to the lives of the people that we are losing through these wars. The life lost is extremely big. They can have the power, but give us peace and the security in our homes and our environments. That is all the people ask for.”

READ MORE ABOUT GRACE’s EXPERIENCE

A woman in front of a temporary structure