Ellen Thorburn December 19, 2018
Deputy Chief of Mission
US Embassy Khartoum
P.O. Box 699
Kilo 10, Soba
Dear Deputy Chief Thorburn,
It is with a profound sense of disbelief that the leadership of the SLM/A acknowledges your recent meeting with the Governor of North Darfur State, Al Sharif Mohamed Abbad and your subsequent, wildly fictive pronouncement that the security climate in Darfur overall had clearly improved. Were you referring to improved access for the genocidaire Rapid Support Forces to raid IDP camps, as the all but impotent UNAMID contingent draws down and prepares to withdraw in no small part due to the United States having significantly defunded UN global peacekeeping operations?
Where you making reference to the sixteen villages in South Jebel Marra razed to the ground by multiple rocket battery barrages just last week or the seventy thousand new internally displaced people to join the ranks of four million wretched refugees in the last year, the UN only counts as half the total figure? Did your empirical study of the situation that brought forth such good news refer to a miraculous calculus that has reduced the true primarily civilian death toll in Darfur from six hundred thousand fatalities to the deliberately erroneous butchers’ bill of three hundred thousand commonly cited by the UN?
Did you mean that the torturers, rapists and death squads of the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service can now operate with greater impunity? Or did you wish to convey that Sudanese mass murderers like President Omar al Bashir or the RSF Commander, General Mohamed Hamdan Dugulu, and some of those compliant token figures participating in the sham peace process, as utterly divorced from reality as your recent rosy assessment of the unending suffering of Darfur, you promote, need not fear an extended vacation at the Hague, since your nation like the African and European Union or Arab League and indeed the UN will do nothing to enforce the warrants issued by the International Criminal Court against the Sudanese State for War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide?
Washington’s exceptional hostility towards the ICC and disdain for international law, where it doesn’t suit its jingoistic America First foreign policy objectives under the current administration, is well known to us. But it is nonetheless still difficult for us to grasp that the United States of America, the greatest and most powerful democracy on earth, no matter how flawed at present, as it too like so many Western free societies increasingly embraces ultra-nationalist, nativist, ethno-sectarian and neo-fascist currents, is a willing apologist for a cabal of active genocidaires, hardline Islamist demagogues and state terrorists that slaughter their own people to ensure dictatorship crushes the voice of freedom. We wonder if your generals now routinely meeting with their Sudanese counterparts to discuss military cooperation, find it distasteful to sit down with senior officers that have overseen the wholesale extra-judicial execution of civilians to include numerous women and children? Presumably wiping out civilian villages is not part of the curriculum taught to aspiring US Army officer cadets at West Point, or are we wrong given what you did to the Sioux, Cheyenne and in the Phillippines in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries?
Thus, although it pains us deeply, we have no choice but to recognize that you and your superior, Charge d’Affairs, Steven Koutsis, have callously to use your own parlance “decoupled,” human rights from policy directives on Sudan. It is a cynical expedient policy that reflects poorly on your nation, the US State Department and history will now forever associate your names with another African genocide, where Washington averts its eyes from bestial conduct once again, together with Rwanda and Somalia’s Isaaq genocide. Unless you redact all official communiques your epitaph is already written. On your watch Lady Liberty’s torch of freedom has gone out.
Given it is a matter of Realpolitik that you and your superior are both career diplomats simply following orders, the moral and legal failure of the Nuremberg defense and the irony of the United States then together with its allies shaping the core foundation of international legal precepts for the prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity, as the Nazi architects of the Holocaust faced justice in 1945, aside , in light of your professional acumen, despite your reticence towards the truth, though we expect you haven’t smelled the corpses in the mass graves of Darfur, you cannot fail to see all the signs of the regime’s inexorable deterioration you witness in Khartoum.
It is convenient for the purposes of selling the manufactured lie that the Sudanese regime is a credible and sincere partner in the War on Terror, a source of stability in the continent of Africa, the tragi-comic Darfur peace talks are not a negotiated surrender with now solely marginal players and Darfur somehow has become akin to Switzerland so peacekeepers no matter how weak are no longer needed; that the absence of freedom of the press, as with all truncated civil and human rights under the regime, and the indifference of the international media, means the outside world has little understanding of Sudan’s true condition. It helps you a great deal to spin your official mendacity. Who would have imagined that the US State Department is the purveyor of fake news?
But since you are not merely an amateur political appointee do you also fail to see the hyper-inflation, the scarcity of fuel, bread and cash, that sees many thousands across Sudan angrily protest the kleptocracy that has brought a nation to ruin over three decades? How has this eluded you, together with the growing discontent within the armed forces themselves, where al Bashir is increasingly reliant on the RSF as his Praetorian Guard, given he cannot trust his own soldiers? And have your field officers failed to relay to you, the poor morale of government troops, the increasing use of child soldiers and that officers have to press gang and beat their troops they barely feed and pay to force them into the line? And surely you cannot fail to register the internal rot and growing dissent in the ever more dysfunctional machinery of the state and the ruling party? If none of this is readily apparent to you, then your embassy may well be located in a different Sudan than we inhabit or we must ascribe to you supernatural powers of foresight.
What is most astonishing in the context of the Kremlin’s hostile action against the US and deliberate sabotage of your electoral process, national discourse and collusion with potentially treasonous conduct all the way to the White House, is the soft pedaling towards al Bashir’s overtures to Moscow.
In Russia’s equally adversarial position in the Middle East and growing role in Sub-Saharan Africa contrary to Washington’s strategic goals, how is it you defend a murderous dictator that has openly courted Vladimir Putin’s favor as a safeguard against you? When Russian mercenaries fresh from Syria and Ukraine now have a foothold in both Darfur and the Central African Republic, with a mission agenda entirely contrary to that of US Africa Command, and overnight, Russia enabled al Bashir to meet with the Syrian butcher Bashar al Assad in Damascus, your ill- considered policy towards Sudan is self-evidently not serving you well. Your Realpolitik is not working. We are reminded adapted to current circumstances of wisdom uttered by the evil, Bolshevik, mastermind Vladimir Lenin, that “the West will sell us the rope to hang them with.”
In hanging us, by aiding our murderers, you ultimately only hang yourselves, even when you don’t care about us. We urge you read the writing on the wall more lucidly and adjust your moral compass to set a navigation course that will no longer run against the tide of history, where the collapse of the Sudanese regime is an inexorable reality you still dare not face. Your efforts will all come to naught and all you will have accomplished is to instruct not just the people of Sudan but an entire continent, your own president labeled a “shithole,” that democracy and the struggle for justice, liberty, equality and fair play in Africa, means nothing to the United States; that we can only expect a new neo-colonialism from America no different from the imperialist designs of all the other great outside powers that sacrifice us without a thought or moral inkling. We will not forget your glaring betrayal of the universal principles of human decency, when we fight for a secular, free, pluralist, democratic Sudan and you whitewash tyrants and mass murderers to your unending shame. Join us and be on the right side of history and we will learn to forgive you, you will wash away the stain and gain in us a stalwart ally committed to uphold democracy and unyielding in confronting Islamist extremism.
May you soon chose to write a different epitaph than the moral collapse you’ve chosen and find your own road to redemption. In our commitment to the people of Sudan, our hearts and minds are perfectly clear as to where our duty lies and we need no instruction from you, when you have so hideously lost your way and chosen barbarism over civilization. Come back to the light and abandon the darkness and be worthy of your great nation not in mere words but by your tangible, demonstrable deeds for the sake of humanity, not solely self-interest. Reminds us what American altruism truly means. Be the beacon of freedom you say you are.
Abdul Wahid al Nur, Chairman Sudan Liberation Movement and Commander in Chief Sudan Liberation Army.