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IRD Protests Sudan's Genocidal Officials at National Prayer Breakfast

"It is vital that perpetrators of genocide not be invited into the United States." -- Faith J. H. McDonnell, IRD Religious Liberty Program Director

Contact: Jeff Walton, Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-413-5639 cell, jwalton@TheIRD.org

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ -- Alarmed at the invitation of two alleged war criminals, Sudanese activists plan to protest outside the annual National Prayer Breakfast Thursday in Washington, D.C.

This year's breakfast commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, but breakfast organizers have invited two top level Sudanese government officials. Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti and National Congress Party Deputy Chairman Ibrahim Ghandur represent a regime accused of decades of atrocities in South Sudan, and of perpetrating ongoing genocidal war in the Sudanese regions of Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, and Blue Nile State.

The National Prayer Breakfast is hosted by members of the United States Congress and organized on their behalf by The Fellowship Foundation.

Members of the Sudanese Diaspora community and U.S. supporters will gather in front of the Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Avenue, NW, at 9 a.m. on February 5 to protest as people exit the breakfast, which concludes at 9:30 a.m.

An online petition to this year's Prayer Breakfast Co-Chairs, Senators Robert Casey (D-PA) and Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Fellowship Foundation head Doug Coe is available to sign at www.operationbrokensilence.org.

IRD Religious Liberty Program Director Faith J. H. McDonnell commented:

    "IRD's Church Alliance for a New Sudan will protest this insult to the millions who have died in Sudan and South Sudan because of this genocidal regime, and say 'Never Again.'

    "It is vital that perpetrators of genocide not be invited into the United States, and given credibility and a platform for waging a campaign to lift terrorism sanctions against Sudan.

    "Karti was commander of the Popular Defense Force militia in the 1990s, implicated in taking tens of thousands of Southern Sudanese women and children as slaves during raids that killed thousands and wiped out entire villages.

    "Karti is accused of instigating the 2014 slaughter of hundreds of Darfuri refugees in Bentiu, South Sudan in collaboration with South Sudan former VP Riek Machar. He is committed to starving the Nuba people to death, refusing to allow food aid.

    "While being complicit in the humanitarian blockade to civilians in these regions, and to aerial bombardment of civilians, Ghandur declares that the government of Sudan, 'has been tirelessly endeavoring for peace through negotiation with its rebels.'"