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Obama to call on retired Air Force general to lead Sudan policy


March 17, 2009 (WASHINGTON) — US President Barack Obama is prepared to name retired Air Force General Scott Gration as his special envoy to Sudan, where aid programmes benefiting 4.7 million people in Darfur were forcibly ended in recent weeks.

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Retired Maj. Gen. Scott Gration (left) stands behind US President Barak Obama during the presidential election campaign, March 2008 (AP)

The decision, which is yet to be formally announced, was reported by the Associated Press, The New York Times and Reuters, who cited administration officials not authorized to speak about the move. The new appointee will be tasked with leading the administration’s policy toward Sudan, succeeding a series of special envoys appointed by President George W. Bush.

Gration, who earlier was reportedly considered to head the US space programme known as NASA, had accompanied Obama on a 15-day tour of Africa in August 2006 and campaigned extensively on his behalf.

The general was raised in the Congo and speaks fluent Swahili. He served in the US Air Force from 1974 to 2006, where his last assignment was as director of strategy, policy and assessments for the US European Command based in Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany.

As a fighter pilot, he flew 274 combat missions over Iraq during the first Persian Gulf War from 1990 to 1991. He is a highly decorated commander and among other awards he won the Purple Heart, an award given to those wounded in combat, and the Legion of Merit, an exceptional military honour, according to the website of the US Air Force.

In a speech to the Democratic National Convention in August last year, Gration described his trip to Africa with then-Senator Obama, saying that Obama had “listened to the stories of refugees from Darfur” and describing the current president as “a leader committed to end that genocide.”

The top US diplomat in Sudan is designated as chargé d’affaires, since the United States has not had any ambassador in the country since 1996 when President Bill Clinton withdrew the last ambassador before later launching cruise missile strikes in Khartoum.

Bush’s envoys were former Senator John Danforth, former USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios and finally Ambassador Richard Williamson.


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  • 18 March 2009 08:35, by DAVID N.

    I never voted Barak Obama, just because he is a black personnel, which all en-slaved African nationalism voted Obama no matter what he believes!
    The Africa ever will be struggled TODAY with "Gay Marriage", and "Abortionists"...
    Today, so called African slaves by WEST even considers itself included Kenyan Tribes, not even proud of themselves being Western Slave of Uncle Sam!, by historically they were en-slaved by Portuguese, like Ocampo today!
    Whatch with this administration will attach SUDAN pretty soon.
    The Sudan should prepare for the American colonialism...
    Make Northern Sudan separated from South to leave
    Middle Eastern and African tribes under European colonized determinational minded peoples who will be a stumbling block for Nobiin for future!
    We don’t need en-slaved minded tribes from Kenya.
    In 2011, Nobiin will be Independent from East Africans.
    Even though Northern Sudan, Nubian Peoples will PRAISE the GOD OF ISRAEL in JESUS’ NAME, all Nubians were oldest Christian peoples in Africa before Axum of Ethiopian invation took place, even Kushite were first en-slaved by Assyrian and Babylonian, todays IRAQ, before all kinds of Bantu Africans came into Basra, IRAQ by Omani Traders, after Islam came 1300 years ago.

    repondre message

  • 18 March 2009 14:37, by Nicholas Nuer

    very good Obama, let him be entelgeint man such that he may come to deal out the difficulties on CPA and out standing issues between Sout& North Sudan.

    repondre message

    • 19 March 2009 07:35, by Atem Deng malek

      Mr Nuer thnak you so much for what you have air out I can also say one thing to Onbama that you have to open your eyes with international community for the problem of sudan to take him does not make any thing to the CPA, Garang died but we are still making the implementation of peace process in sudan.Why for him to affect peace?

      repondre message

  • 18 March 2009 19:07, by Klashenkov

    Rossia envoy is in Sudan since from last four month already. we care about Sudan more than West.we do not like Jewish but they cannot fock wit mighty Rossia.

    repondre message

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