When I read in the April 23 article “Hundreds Killed in S. Sudan Slaughter” about the massacre of civilians of all ages, including refugees from the Sudanese genocide in Darfur, by Nuer rebels in the town of Bentiu in South Sudan, preceded by hate messages on local radio, I was appalled. The repetition of the genocidal pattern that led to the mass slaughter of Rwandans in an intertribal conflict 20 years ago shows how little the international community has learned about preventing these atrocities.
I, along with the other members of the Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition (www.pittsburghdarfur.org), have advocated for civilians caught in the conflicts in Sudan and South Sudan since reports emerged 10 years ago of mass murder and displacements in Darfur. Our latest action was organizing a forum, held April 6 and attended by local activists, area members of the Sudanese diaspora, U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle and Jacqueline Burns, a representative from the office of the special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, to discuss the situation in the two Sudans (“Discussion Focuses on Sudan Violence,” April 7).
I am very disappointed that the new nation of South Sudan, brought into existence three years ago by international efforts in which the United States played a large role, after separating from the genocidal Sudanese regime, is deteriorating into the same pattern of violence. However, for the sake of innocent victims, I must disagree with the prescription advocated in the PG editorial “African Trap” (April 7), which was simply to cut off all aid until the warring factions stop fighting and start governing.
Instead, the United States and the international community need to exert more pressure on corrupt leaders in both Sudans to allow true democratic reform and find a way to bypass them in helping their citizens to survive, even while dealing with other crises in Syria and Ukraine.
MARY DAWN EDWARDS