Mohammed Ahmed Abadallah, MD, from Darfur, speaks to PHR staff and guests. (Ben Greenberg/PHR)
In the face of a rapidly escalating humanitarian crisis in Darfur, PHR staff met yesterday with our friend and colleague Mohammed Ahmed Abdallah, MD, a physician and Professor of Medicine at el-Fasher University in Darfur, Sudan and a member of the Sudanese Center for Rights Promotion and Peace Building. Dr. Mohammed was formerly the medical treatment director at the Amel Center for the Treatment & Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture in Darfur, offering services and support to survivors of torture and sexual violence while documenting violence and human rights abuses. He is a highly respected community leader, peace negotiator and human rights advocate in Darfur and around the world.
Dr. Ahmed is in the US for several weeks meeting with policy makers and NGOs on the crisis in Darfur. He met with all PHR staff for an hour today to update us on the situation on the ground in Darfur. His reports from the field are devastating and make real the desperation of the Darfuri people. In the last 3 weeks, the Sudanese government has expelled 13 foreign humanitarian aid groups and 3 Sudanese groups from Darfur. Groups which have been the lifeline for Darfuris for years—including Oxfam, CARE, MSF Holland, Save the Children UK, IRC and Mercy Corps—have had their licenses revolved and have had to leave the country.
Nasser Weddady, Civil Rights Director of the American Islamic Congress (left), asks Mohammed Ahmed Abdallah, MD (right), a question about the situation in Darfur. (Ben Greenberg/PHR)
Doctors, nurses and other medical personnel have been forced to leave their patients behind. Dr. Ahmed reports that up to one million people have no access to water. People have no medical care. And there is very little food. Human rights groups have been closed and cannot provide support for victims.His urgent plea to the US and to the international community: Something must be done now to stop the suffering in Darfur.
PHR staff and guests listen to Mohammed Abdallah, MD (center). On the right, in the foreground is Darfur Survival Campaign Director, Karen Hirschfeld. Directly behind Dr. Mohammed, is Nasser Weddady, Civil Rights Director of the American Islamic Congress. On the far left: Dr. Nidal M. Sliman from the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights. (Ben Greenberg/PHR)
In the face of this devastation, take action today. Text Hillary Clinton at 90822 to tell her to make the humanitarian crisis in Darfur a top priority. Visit DarfuriWomen.org and read about a group of courageous women leaders in Darfur—and leave them a message of hope and solidarity. Follow updates here on the PHR blog. Make a donation to support PHR’s work to stop genocide and promote human rights. Dr. Ahmed will return to Sudan later this week; let’s help ensure the Darfur he returns to has food, water, health care and protection—fundamental human rights we must fight for.