Shortly after coming to office, President Obama told the world that "Sudan is a priority for this Administration, particularly at a time when it cries out for peace and justice." More than a year later, however, Sudan is inching closer to a total breakdown of the fragile peace that has held since 2005, a peace which the United States helped broker and to which it remains a chief guarantor.
National elections -- mandated by the 2005 peace agreement as means to build a stable, representative democracy -- were held for the first time in April and were riddled with irregularity. The people of southern Sudan are as dis-empowered as ever, and substantial violations of the peace agreement by the northern-based government make the prospects for long-term power sharing elusive.
Next January will bring a referendum by the southern people on whether to secede and form a separate country, and many observers fear that the vote will be followed by a resumption of the violence between north and south that filled the 40+ years prior to the 2005 peace agreement.
TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR PEACE. Your voice is needed now to tell President Obama to lead the world in escalating real pressures on the parties in Sudan, calling for a strengthened civilian protection mandate and deploying more full-time diplomats on the ground in Sudan to accelerate peace efforts. The United States and the world must prepare for the 2011 secession referendum in the south, and commit publicly to fully recognizing, diplomatically, the will of the southern people. Click here to send a message to President Obama TODAY.