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Public Statements

Letter to The Honorable Barack Obama President of the United States

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) has again implored the Obama Administration to address the growing humanitarian crisis along the border of Sudan and South Sudan.

In a letter today to President Obama, Wolf said the world, including the United States, appears to be ignoring what is going on.

Wolf sent the president a recent piece by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof -- who is again in Sudan's beleaguered Nuba mountains -- that ends with following statement: "President Obama, you harshly criticized President Bush for failing to stand up to Sudan's slaughter in Darfur. So now what are you going to do as Sudan kills again -- on your watch."

Wolf ended his letter by saying this is a "haunting question -- one which I will hope will prompt this administration to act before it's too late."

Wolf, who was in the border region himself in February, wrote the president on May 25 after receiving disturbing reports that conditions were rapidly deteriorating in the Yida Refugee Camp in South Sudan and across the border in the Nuba mountains. Kristof's recent reporting confirms what Wolf was hearing.

"Time is running out," Wolf wrote in May. "Lives hang in the balance. The marginalized people of these areas are yearning for our help."

Following Wolf's February visit, he sent a series of recommendations to the White House. Wolf blames Sudanese President Omar Bashir for the man-made crisis, saying the daily bombing raids have prevented the people of the Nuba mountains from planting crops.

"Bashir is not only bombarding his own people, but is effectively starving them to death -- using food as a weapon of war," Wolf said. "The blood of the Nuban people is on his hands."

Earlier this month the House Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment to the fiscal year 2013 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill to cut off non-humanitarian aid to any nation that allows Bashir into their country as a way to isolate the internationally indicted war criminal. Wolf authored the amendment.

Below is the complete text of Wolf's letter today to the president:

The Honorable Barack H. Obama
The President
The White House
Washington, DC 20501

Dear Mr. President:

Enclosed is New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof's piece from this past Sunday in which he paints a grim picture of the unfolding humanitarian disaster in Sudan.

Kristof, to his credit, again travelled to Sudan's beleaguered Nuba Mountains and saw firsthand the starvation and suffering of the people of that region. He spoke with a woman who recently lost her 2-year old daughter to starvation and who grimly wondered whether the same fate would befall her remaining four children.

Khartoum's intransigence is not merely a diplomatic challenge. President Omar Hassan Bashir and his government are once again callously exterminating their own people. The world, including the U.S., seems unable to muster much of a response.

Kristof closed his column with the following: "President Obama, you harshly criticized President Bush for failing to stand up to Sudan's slaughter in Darfur. So now what are you going to do as Sudan kills again -- on your watch?" A haunting question--one which I hope will prompt this administration to act before it's too late.

Best wishes.

Frank Wolf
Member of Congress


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