News / USA

    US Congressional Human-Rights Panel Condemns Sudan

    Cindy Saine
    Members of a U.S. Congressional human-rights panel are calling on Sudan to stop alleged state-sponsored violence and abuses against civilians. The government is fighting rebel movements in the western Darfur region and two southern states, and stands accused of a long string of rights violations, including alleged "scorched earth" tactics against villages in Blue Nile State. At a hearing Wednesday, the panel also examined U.S. policy on Sudan and how to best help suffering civilians.  

    Senior State Department official Larry Andre had strong words for the government of Sudan, saying the country is again the scene of horrendous human-rights abuses and widespread starvation.

    "Sudan must stop bombing its own citizens and depriving them of humanitarian relief. The pathway to peace is open dialogue, democracy and respect for human rights. We are looking at ways to deliver that message directly to senior decision makers in Khartoum," said Andre.

    Witnesses at the hearing said five million people in Sudan are now in need of humanitarian assistance, and called on the government in Khartoum and all of the groups involved in the armed conflict to allow unfettered access for relief groups to provide food and medical aid to civilians.

    Ken Isaacs, vice president of the humanitarian group Samaritan's Purse, recently traveled to Sudan. He said tens of thousands of people are suffering.

    "People are terrorized and they are living like animals. They are living like animals in rocks and in caves and they are eating leaves and bugs," said Isaacs.

    Wednesday's hearing was held by the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bipartisan panel in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    Some lawmakers criticized President Barack Obama and the State Department for inviting a senior Sudanese official, Nafi al Nafi, who was involved in the genocide in Darfur, to come to Washington for talks.  The commission's co-chairman, Republican Congressman Frank Wolf, was outraged.

    "And you are inviting a genocidal person to Washington! I mean, he is going to drive right by the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial," said Wolf. "It is immoral!"

    Andre explained that the State Department has now withdrawn its invitation to the Sudanese delegation because the planned visit was linked to Sudan's respecting the peace agreements with South Sudan, which he said Khartoum is now violating.

    He said most people now in power in Khartoum do not have a very nice past, but Washington needs to talk to them to try to help suffering civilians.

    The commission's other co-chairman, Democratic Congressman James McGovern, said he is also happy that the planned visit is now off. But he reserved his criticism for countries like Iran and China, which he said are funding Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

    "I am not quite sure what it is, but there ought to be some sort of consequence to those countries that welcome him to their countries for visits, and that supply him arms," said McGovern.

    Human-rights activists testifying at the hearing called on the U.S. Congress to keep the spotlight on the plight of millions of innocent civilians in Sudan.

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora