Green and others were arrested for civil disobedience at a protest opposing
attacks on civilians living near the border between North and South Sudan
AUSTIN –Congressman Al Green (TX-09) was arrested at the Embassy of Sudan for civil disobedience while participating in a peaceful protest against the aggression of the Sudanese armed forces toward the civilian populations of the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile regions. The protest was part of an effort by the group United to End Genocide to gain publicity for the violence and deteriorating conditions caused by Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir’s policies.
“This situation is becoming more critical by the minute. I am working to bring attention to this tragic humanitarian crisis that can be resolved if the Sudanese Army stops attacking civilians and allows them to receive food and humanitarian aid,” said Congressman Green.
The Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile regions are on the border area between Sudan and South Sudan, which seceded last summer. The secession has caused repeated episodes of violence with the Sudanese Army launching aerial attacks on these regions in pursuit of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), which Al-Bashir has deemed as an insurgent group. Although the Sudanese government maintains it is only pursuing the SPLA, American aid workers claim that civilians are the actual targets of the attacks, based on the frequency and number of attacks on people located far from military personnel. According to recent news reports, Al-Bashir and South Sudan are also fighting over the position of the border and what transit fees South Sudan pays its northern neighbor to export oil from its port. According to American officials, some 500,000 civilians in the region are being deprived of food, medicine and other necessities provided by international aid organizations.
“As Dr. King said, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We cannot allow the ongoing conflict in Sudan to continue and we must stand together to protect those who are innocent victims of these senseless acts of violence. The Sudanese people already suffered too much because of the atrocities that President Al-Bashir perpetrated in Darfur,” indicated Congressman Green.
Actor George Clooney told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a recent hearing that the United States needs to “do what we’re best at, real diplomacy starting with China.” He urged collaboration with China to provide humanitarian aid to Sudan, where the Chinese have major petroleum interests. Additionally, Clooney asked that the United States work with China to aid South Sudan, where he said civilians are the targets of “indiscriminate bombings.’’
Congressman Green was set free after posting bail at the Washington DC Metropolitan Police’s 2nd District Station. Rep. Green plans to appeal to President Obama to “discuss this when Obama meets with Chinese President Hu Jintao, (so) that we start helping save lives soon.”
Representatives of several humanitarian organizations, such as Amnesty International and the Enough Project, also participated in the protest.