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Jayapal Statement Recognizing One Year of War in Sudan

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement marking one year since the start of war in Sudan:

“The people of Sudan have been suffering for far too long. For decades, brutal military dictatorships have denied the Sudanese people their basic human rights. And since the onset of the current conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) more than 12,000 people have been killed, 6 million have been internally displaced, 1.5 million have fled the country as refugees, and human rights groups have documented extremely high rates of sexual violence against women and girls in the region. Estimates also forecast that as many as 250,000 children and pregnant women could die of malnutrition in the coming months and only 30 percent of hospitals in Sudan are functioning.

“In 2019, the Sudanese people inspired the entire world when they rose up and demanded an end to the dictatorship of President Omar al Bashir and a transition to democracy. In 2020, I had the opportunity to visit Sudan as part of a Congressional Delegation to meet with the new President in a celebratory moment. I met many of the leaders of the peaceful nonviolent movement, and seeing their courage and resilience continued to give me hope. It breaks my heart to see the country plunged back into chaos and widespread suffering. Too many of the Sudanese people have been displaced from their homes, and face not only the violence and cruelty of war, but also critical shortages of food, water, medicine, and electricity.

“I have been in close touch with the U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan, Tom Perriello, and I appreciate his hard work towards a resolution to this horrific conflict. I urge the White House to utilize every tool in its toolbox — including sanctions for those involved in furthering this violence — to push for successful peace talks that implement the Sudanese people’s vision of civilian democracy and towards funding immediate humanitarian assistance from all our global partners. I am also working hard to ensure that all Americans understand the human consequences of what is happening in Sudan and become engaged in protecting innocent Sudanese civilians. We cannot turn a blind eye to the loss of life and suffering of the Sudanese people and their clear desire for a constitutional transition.”

More than 1,800 people with Sudanese roots live in Washington State, greatly affecting many in Jayapal’s district. Below are some of their personal notes on the violence occurring in Sudan:

“The war in Sudan has endured for one year too long, inflicting immense suffering upon the country and its people.  The impact of the war is very personal to me. My family has been displaced and they had to seek safety and refuge in other countries. It is devastating for my parents to leave their family, their home and everything they worked for all their life. More than 25 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. This is by far the world’s largest displacement crisis and no one is paying attention,” said Mubarak Elamin, Washington State Sudanese Community Leader.

“The war in Sudan is something that I never fathomed would occur, at least not to the extent that it has become. Like many others,  my family has been displaced, many of them who are elders, and are required to start over again. All that I have now are my childhood memories of summer vacations in Khartoum, in Burri and I’m still in shock that going back isn’t an option,” said Duha Mohamed, Washington State Sudanese Community Leader.

“The war has inflicted trauma upon millions of people across Sudan. Many have depleted through the little savings that they had and are unable to find work due to the war. Those in the diaspora are now emotionally and financially stressed from having to care of their relatives in Sudan while worrying about their safety,” said Ahmed Salih, Graduate Student, University of Washington.

“Beyond the headlines are very real stories that for those who are removed from the situation may forget, especially in a time where it seems like death and calamities have become all too regular. However, for people like me, they aren’t just headlines but have very real impacts on our very being. The recent massacres in various towns in El Gezira by the RSF have left many in my own family dead. While I am geographically far from the situation, my heart is still painfully affected by the senseless violence inflicted upon relatives and family friends,” Mo Ibrahim, MBA Student, Seattle University.