Date: 11/8/00 5:29:27 PM Eastern Standard Time
[Sudan Infonet has received the following general invitation to the
opening of the Sudan Exhibition and a public program on Sudan at the
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. In addition, the Holocaust Museum has
granted Sudan Infonet permission to distribute the attached article
which ran as an OpEd story in the Washington Post. Regards, SI
Sudan program at U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Opening of Sudan Exhibition
Wednesday evening, 7 p.m. on November 15th
Committee on Conscience
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Starvation as a weapon of destruction . . .
Slavery . . .
Bombing of civilians . . .
Persecution on account of race, ethnicity and religion . . .
These horrors and others are realities in Sudan, Africa's largest
country. They devastate individual lives, while threatening the
existence of entire groups, leading the Committee on Conscience to issue
a genocide warning for Sudan.
As part of an ongoing effort to alert the national conscience to this
catastrophe, the Committee will unveil on November 15 a special display
on the threat of genocide in Sudan with a public panel discussion,
Dr. William Lowrey, moderator
Lomole Simeon Mwonga, Chancellor, Episcopalian Diocese of Khartoum
Jemera Rone, Counsel, Human Rights Watch
Roger Winter, Executive Director, U.S. Committee for Refugees
Wednesday * November 15, 2000 * 7 p.m.
FREE and open to the public.
To guarantee seating, call tickets.com (800) 400-9373.
Service fees apply.
100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW
Washington, DC 20024
Carnage In Sudan
By Irving Greenberg and Jerome Shestack
Washington Post, Tuesday , October 31, 2000 ; Page A23
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, America's memorial to
of the Holocaust, is meant to be a living memorial, responding to the
future even as it remembers the past. The sacred trust of memory
us to confront and work to halt genocide today. That is why we are
compelled to speak out on the continuing slaughter in Sudan, where the
museum's Committee on Conscience has determined that government actions
One does not lightly invoke the specter of genocide--the intentional
physical destruction of national, ethnic, racial or religious groups as
such. But the horror that afflicts Sudan is staggering: some 2 million
dead; another 4 million to 5 million driven from their homes; government
toleration of the enslavement of women and children; mass starvation
as a weapon of war; churches and mosques destroyed; hospitals and
bombed; widespread discrimination and persecution on account of race,
ethnicity and religion. Primary responsibility for this devastation
to the Sudanese government, a military regime based in the north. The
principal victims include the Dinka and Nuer peoples in the south and
Nuba in central Sudan.
The conflict is often described as pitting the Arabic-speaking, Islamic
north against the African south, where Christianity and traditional
religions predominate. But the reality is more complex. For example, the
Nuba, who have suffered so much, live in the center of the country, and
many are Muslims. And one pernicious government strategy has been to
encourage fighting among ethnic groups in the south, especially the
and Nuer, with devastating effects for the civilian members of those
groups. Sudan's diversity means that the carnage defies easy
characterization. But the effects in terms of shattered lives are all
Indeed, many see the appalling toll and say that genocide is not a
it is a reality. Whether genocide is actual or threatened, the moral
imperative to respond is overwhelming. We cannot remain bystanders as
remorseless fire consumes the people of Sudan.
Recent events indicate that the government is poised once again to use
starvation as a tactic. Threats this summer by Sudanese President Omar
Hassan Bashir to cut off U.N.-sponsored relief flights to the south were
followed by government bombing attacks on civilians, humanitarian
and relief planes on the ground. The resulting disruption of U.N. and
aid operations put thousands of civilians at risk of starvation. A 1998
famine in the southern province of Bahr el-Ghazal that was attributable
human rights abuses and flight bans killed tens of thousands of Dinka
And as bad as the situation already is, it promises to get worse. In
1999, the Sudanese government began earning hundreds of millions of
from new oil production, made possible in part by Western oil companies
such as Talisman Energy. This hard currency gives the government both
greater means and greater motive to accelerate its assault on targeted
groups. As one Sudanese cabinet minister said, "What prevents us
fighting while we possess the oil that supports us in this battle even
it lasts for a century?"
The problem is that the government "possesses" the oil only if
ethnic groups such as the Dinka and Nuer from the land under which it
The government's desire to secure oil fields has fueled a vicious
scorched-earth campaign, laying waste to a broad swath of territory.
Amnesty International has documented what it calls "the human price
in Sudan: "a pattern of extrajudicial and indiscriminate killings,
and rape--committed against people not taking active part in the
hostilities." Tragically, there will be more to come: The
not yet control the richest oil deposits.
A Sudanese government "charm offensive" has softened its
image. But its practices have not changed. For example, a government
dropped a dozen bombs on a Catholic-run medical dispensary in the south,
destroying the clinic and injuring six people.
For too long, the devastation in Sudan has been largely invisible to the
world, and remote from the concerns of the American public. We must make
more visible. To that end, the museum's Committee on Conscience will be
undertaking a determined campaign to alert the national conscience to
catastrophe--through public programs, through a display in the museum
will open Nov. 15 and through communications with policymakers.
We cannot do otherwise. Remembrance of the Holocaust has instilled in us
profound appreciation for the cost of silence.
Rabbi Greenberg is chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial
Council, and Jerome Shestack is chairman of its Committee on Conscience.
Distributed by Sudan Infonet: An information and education service of
the Sudan Working Group -- USA
Web Site: http://SudanInfonet.tripod.com/