AJWS Opposes Visit to U.S. by Sudanese War Criminal

Global Human Rights Group Demands that the U.S. Lead Serious Effort to Achieve Peace

NEW YORK, NY — Ruth Messinger, president of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), released the following statement today regarding the possible visit to the United States by Nafie Ali Nafie, a senior advisor to Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir. President Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“Nafie Ali Nafie is an admitted torturer, and he has served as a top lieutenant to Omar Al Bashir, an indicted war criminal responsible for committing heinous human rights violations, including the Darfur genocide. The crimes against the Sudanese people, which Nafie has abetted, are crimes against humanity, and he should not be welcome in the United States, especially by our government.

“If Nafie visits Washington, D.C. with our government’s approval, it is incumbent upon the Obama administration to make a concerted effort to achieve peace in Sudan through a renewed and deepened diplomatic strategy by the U.S. And since Nafie’s visit would badly undermine the civil society and opposition groups working for a better future in Sudan, we call for a redoubled effort by the U.S. to support these Sudanese groups and ensure they play a meaningful role in shaping Sudan’s future.

“Our nation has failed to address the fundamental problems at the center of Sudan’s many civil wars, ethnic, religious, and regional conflicts, including the concentration of resources and power with the country’s ruling elite in Khartoum. Now is the time to change our fundamental approach to Sudan through a sustained high-level engagement.

Since news of the genocide emerged in 2004, AJWS has been at the forefront of the campaign to bring the plight of Darfur and Sudan into the national and international political spotlight and make it a top priority of the American Jewish community. AJWS co-founded the Save Darfur Coalition and continues to lead Jewish and interfaith advocacy in collaboration with allied organizations working to bring an end to the bloodshed.

For More Information

If you are a member of the press and wish to obtain information about our work or speak to a member of our global team on deadline, please contact Tanyanika Davis, Director of Media Relations, at tdavis@ajws.org.