We have learned that Steven Feldstein, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, will be visiting Sudan so on and as early as next week. His visit is coming at a crucial time for the Sudanese people, and they will expect it to help in sharply focusing the attention on the gross human rights violations being committed every day by the Sudan government, which include but are not limited to:
1) The Sudan government may be the only government in Africa today that is using its air force against its own civilian populations in a wide geographical range from Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains to Darfur. In addition, air force is targeting hospitals, clinics, water points and school, which constitute a war crime in international humanitarian law.
2) Prominent leaders of democratic organizations and civil societies are imprisoned at the time when this visit is occurring; among them is Faruk Abu Issa, Dr. Amen Makki, and Farah Alagar.
3) The Sudan government is denying access for humanitarian assistance to the Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan and Blue Nile despite UN Security Council Resolution 2046.
4) War crimes are committed on a daily basis in Darfur and the Two Areas, and the visit is coming at a time when an elaborate report was released by Human Rights Watch regarding the Tabit village in Darfur, which is categorically denied by the Sudan government; however the government adamantly refuses to allow an independent investigation.
5) Three days ago, the Sudan security agencies confiscated 14 newspapers, which is a daily practice against basic freedoms, especially after the recent constitutional amendment.
6) The visit is coming when the National Congress Party is going for a one-party system election, backtracking from the National Constitutional Dialogue, which the United States supported as a positive way forward.
7) The Sudan government legalized the Janjaweed militia as a regular force, naming it the Rapid Support Force, which continues to target the civilian populations in the war zones.
8) It is known that the Sudan government is deeply involved in providing arms to Libyan terrorist organizations as well as having a clear link with what is taking place in Central Africa, and Sudan is an ideological training ground for many terrorist organizations including Boko Haram of Nigeria.
The Sudanese people will expect the engagement between the Sudan government and the U.S. to improve the human rights situation and to restrain the Sudan government from continuing its ugly practices; and the visit should not be allowed to be used by the Sudan government to continue its three decades practice of gross violations of human rights.