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US President confers with his envoy, sends him to Sudan


March 30, 2009 (WASHINGTON) — US President Barack Obama today conferred with his envoy to Sudan, former Air Force Major General J. Scott Gration, before sending him to Khartoum.

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: U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with Sudan envoy Scott Gration in the Roosevelt Room of the White House March 30, 2009 in Washington, DC (AFP)

“General Gration is one of my top national security advisors,” said Obama at a press conference after the meeting. “He’s somebody who I’ve known for a long time. We’ve traveled together in Africa. He was a close associate during the campaign.”

Obama said that he thinks that America can “bring the moral and other elements of our stature to bear in trying to deal with this situation."

Activists and members of Congress were also present at the late afternoon meeting in the White House; as they left some activists implied to reporters that military measures for establishing “humanitarian corridors” in Darfur are possible.

"We have to figure out a mechanism to get those NGOs back in place, to reverse that decision, or to find some mechanism whereby we avert an enormous humanitarian crisis," Obama said, referring to expelled aid agencies.

Jerry Fowler, Save Darfur Coalition president, told The New York Times after leaving the meeting, “If we get several weeks down the road and there hasn’t been any action, other options will have to be looked at.”

He also pointed to expectations that the new envoy would be visiting key foreign capitals to raise international pressure on the Sudanese government.

Gration, who will receive a delegation this week from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, is expected to depart thereafter for Sudan. His visit begins Thursday, according to the official news agency SUNA, which cited Nasr-Eddin Wali, a Foreign Affairs official who heard the news from US Charge d’Affaires in Khartoum, Alberto Fernandez.

Gration is expected to visit Khartoum, Darfur and Southern Sudan, according to Wali.

“I am sending him off with my full confidence. He will be speaking for the administration, and he will be coming back to report to me very shortly about what he’s found there and additional steps that we can take to deal with this situation. And so I wanted to publicly affirm the importance of General Scott Gration, who has been appointed as Special Envoy to Sudan, to work on a whole host of issues that I think are of importance to the international community and should touch the conscience of all of us,” said Obama.

Last week Gration met in Washington with the Ambassador of Sudan and the Head of Mission of the Government of Southern Sudan, who commented afterwards that the new envoy “is a very serious man.”

During the US presidential campaign, Obama made several campaign promises on Darfur. At a presidential debate on October 7, 2008, he said he intended to “help mobilize the international community and lead” to impose a no-fly zone over Darfur and provide logistical support to the UN-African Union peacekeeping mission.

Obama’s vice president, Joe Biden, repeatedly took the floor of the Senate to lambaste the Government of Sudan and advocate for sending NATO forces into Darfur, imposing a no-fly zone, and authorizing a Chapter VII mandate for the peacekeepers.


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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 2 April 2009 15:19, by lokutaweng

    Welcom,Mr.former air force General J Scott Gration to whole Sudan, south Sudan and Darfur iam advising you my dear American to take greater cares of your movement in the Sudan. I hope some changes will come for humanitarian violation specially Darfur and south Sudan. Therefore he will complement the policy of President Barack Obama

    by Oduho kuto

    repondre message

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