Home | News    Friday 4 December 2009

US envoy denies existence of secret ’annex’ to Sudan policy document

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By Daniel Van Oudenaren

December 3, 2009 (WASHINGTON) – The U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan, Major General (Ret.) Scott Gration, in an apparent contradiction of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, today testified to a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives that there is no classified "annex" to the official Sudan policy document released in October.

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U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan Scott Gration (Reuters)

Secretary Clinton had referred to "a classified annex to our strategy," containing "a menu of incentives and disincentives." She announced this on October 19 as part of the public roll-out of a U.S. strategy on Sudan. The annex was thought to include specific benchmarks for monitoring progress made or lost on achieving U.S. goals.

Today Mr. Gration instead alluded to "working papers and policy deliberations that we went through." He said, "I don’t know of any quote ’annex’, but I do know that there are working papers that we use as we deliberate."

His disclosure came while he was under questioning by critical lawmakers. Two New Jersey congressmen and a Kansas senator led the subcommittee in open criticism of the U.S. policy on Sudan.

Congressman Christopher Smith (R-NJ) first raised the issue, complaining that he had requested five times for a classified briefing on the unreleased portions of the policy. "The Secretary of State pointed out that it’s classified," he said, adding that he saw this refusal as "very, very troubling."

"There is no annex," Mr. Gration insisted when pressed by Rep. Smith, though he did assent to give a briefing. "I’m telling you that I’ve never seen one. The only thing I’ve seen is the classified working papers that are part of the NSC [National Security Council]."

Mr. Gration’s remark raises questions about what status the Administration conferred on the so-called "classified annex." It is unclear whether the National Security Council ever in fact endorsed any classified portion of the U.S. policy document released on October 19, 2009.

Senior officials forming part of an interagency team will meet in early 2010 for the first in a series of quarterly reviews of implementation of the U.S. strategy.

LAWMAKERS AND ENVOY AT ODDS OVER STRATEGY

Today’s event was further marked by moments of tense exchange between Senator Samuel Brownback and Special Envoy Gration.

Since his appointment in March of this year, Mr. Gration has engaged with Sudan’s dominant political party in order to mediate in the country’s multiple peace processes. Senator Brownback pressed Mr. Gration to acknowledge that he is negotiating with high-level officials who are involved in perpetrating an “ongoing genocide in Sudan.” The envoy, who was forcefully questioned on this point, finally effectively acknowledged this to be the case.

In a statement to the chamber, Senator Brownback said that the Obama administration has settled on a policy that would "flaunt the fundamental principles of justice and accountability. I strongly oppose any approach towards Sudan that gives incentives and rewards to a genocidal regime headed by the Sudanese president who is an indicted war criminal himself."

However, Mr. Gration defended his engagement with government officials. "That is the only way we have been able to reach agreements on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. It is the only way we have been able to reach agreements on humanitarian assistance in Darfur, it is the only way we have been able to reach agreements on Chad and border conflicts."

Mr. Gration pointed to several key indicators of progress in preventing a slide back toward civil war between the National Congress Party and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement. He said that the parties have resolved 10 out of 12 major outstanding issues. The two remaining disputes relate to the census results and border demarcation.

After giving his testimony, Mr. Gration approached Senator Brownback to continue their discussion. They are in disagreement.

Another lawmaker who voiced criticism was Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ), the chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health. He favors tougher sanctions and invited Enrico Carisch, a Swiss finance expert involved in monitoring arms trafficking.

Mr. Carisch testified, "In contrast to that leadership of 2004 and 2005, the United States appears to have now joined the group of influential states who sit by quietly and do nothing to ensure that sanctions work to protect Darfurians."

(ST)

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  • 4 December 2009 07:27, by johnmaker

    I urged Obama administration to get ride of retired general scott gration.This man is after no good.He is favoring the NCP toward Durfur genocide, and he is forcing SPLM to accept out buge issued.Iam requseting Obama administration to replace this man.He is coursing more genocide in sudan as whole.He is easily brain washed.

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    • 4 December 2009 07:43, by Riangnom

      I agreed Gration ought be remove in no time, that man is being bias toward SPLM and Darfurians victims of genocide. Simply Gration is a NCP favoring no doubt about it.

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    • 4 December 2009 15:54, by Lukudu

      Those who argue with Gration are correct and need to be supported. Since Gration was appointed, we have not seen any change or heard any outcomes of what he has been doing. He has not highlighted anyone on what was and is going on. What everyone knows is that he has always been engaging in discussions with Beshir. The question is what have they been discussing? What outcome do they intended?

      Today he claimed to have solved 11 issues out of 12, what are the outcomes of his discussion with Beshir on border demarcation when Beshir always insists to put aside the issue of border demarcation at Abyei?

      People should ask what are the rest of the issues he reached an agreement with Beshir? It has been a long time now since his appointment to mediate with Sudanese parties engaged in disputes, where is an official report put forward for Sudanese and other parties that were involved in the CPA that everyone could see, read and understand about the progress of the implementation of their discussions with Beshir?

      The lawmakers were right in telling Gration that he has been discussing with criminal people. Indeed, the NCP are people who intended to achieve their hidden goal and continue to dodge Gration like a child simply because he has limited understanding about what NCP is and what NCP wants. They are buying and selling time with Gration here and there.

      Mr Gration should have a committee down at the ground to monitor the progress of their discussions and the promises of the government of Beshir. He should not rely entirely on what he hears from the NCP government but to hear from people from the ground whether in Southern Sudan or Darfur.

      Has Gration ever visited areas like South Sudan or Darfur? If he has not done so, he need to see the situation himself not to hear or read from papers and false reports. We in diaspora are seriously monitoring what is going on in every part of Sudan and I in particular believe there is nothing called progress between NCP and Southern Sudan government issues on the table and between Darfur and NCP.

      If peace keepers in Darfur are hindered everyday from their duties by militias and NCP soldiers, then where is the progress that Mr Gration is claiming about?

      If Gration can not proceed further than where he is at the moment, he should ask for support from his other US government officials or accept criticism and build on the advice from others rather than insisting he has accopmplished 90% of his or US mission he was assigned to carry out.

      Tensions are very high in Southern Sudan between NCP/North and South Sudan/SPLA/M and no one is certainly sure that the CPA that was signed will be followed as it was expected.

      Gration need to schedule a tour of the areas affected to see with his own eyes if what they have discussed with Beshir have been put into practice or not. NCP is wasting time and playing politics with someone like Gration.

      NCP do not need a soft person to discuss with them but a person who has full understanding of the issues and tactics of the NCP.

      U S administration should look critically into this problem and appoint someone who has engaged in the CPA negotions not appointing someone who has never been to the ground during the discussions and signing of the CPA in 2005.

      I do not blame Gration for his weaknesses but I blame those who appointed him because US has hundreds or thousands of officials who know Sudan from in and out and know what politics and games are the Sudanese NCP officials playing with people from outside world who try to mediate issues and disputes among Sudanese opposing parties.

      I can conclude here by saying that Mr Gration should not let USA down by letting criminals playing games with him all the times on their dirty tables which are full of blood shaded during their plans drawn on those tables.

      Gration should also stop talking politics of incentives and disincentives with Beshir. A person’s right is a right and everyone deserve to be granted their rights. Tell Beshir the rights of every Sudanese not incentives he will get when he accepts your requests. Beshir is aware that even if he grants everyone their right he still is wanted and will face justice, therefore he never care as he knows he will face justice and die in jail.

      For those who like reading, please read and make comments that are sensful not writing senseless childish matters.

      repondre message

  • 4 December 2009 07:35, by Oracle

    Anyboby who is awake will realise the scripted drama that these clowns are playing behind the smokescreen of trying to broker the implementation of the CPA. America shall always look out for its interests before anything or anybody else. Lets not be blinded, we must not display incompetence in dealing with these stealthy imperialists when we finally finish off the northern enemy. We are fighting not to be second class citizens in our country, so let us keep that up and fight for our peoples rights and resources when the multinational corporations arrive. Hopefully the border is drawn up as soon as possible then we should catch the US and Khartoum offgaurd by having the wits to declare unilateral independence. I hope we Southern Sudanese are questioning the US instead of hurriedly being in lock step with their selfish plan of Sudanese stagnation in poverty and political strife, then only realise it when its too late and on a slippery slope into war.

    repondre message

    • 4 December 2009 10:34, by mohammed ali

      Oracle,

      You 100% right,but saying that we are enemy is not right.We are not your enemy and we do not want to be you enemy! That is not because I do not want to secede,on the contrary I want to do whatever you think is right and good for you.Now you are awake, tou have to look after your interest southeners interest!

      What had had happened can not be reversed, but we can always look forward.We have been fighting a war which was not ours and was not in our interest, and we suffered ,north and south, big losses both socially and economically.There must not be any war again, it is not in our interest.Every problem could be solved amicably in our interest.We should not be pushed to fight a war which is not ours!To secede or not is your choice and we are happy both ways.

      repondre message

      • 4 December 2009 18:20, by KingTaharqa

        Mr. Mohammed, as you can see, I mostly only comment on your nonsense, none factual, and unrealistic analysis of the historical struggle, and problems of my African people in the Sudan, since the arrival of the Arabs in Egypt in the 700 AD, with their Jihads war, that they waged in the middle ages, which is still continuing in the occupied land of the Sudan.
        And to my African brothers, yes the US has its interest, and they carry that along with others interest in mind if you know what you want, and how to negotiate, something the criminals in Khartoum understand, and they use it more often, from Carlos the terrorist (birds of on feather…) to bin laden, to the war on terror, and the list goes on, not to mention the CPA, which, and without the US nothing would have happened.
        When you try to get something be prepared to offer something in return, why are you expecting charity, and free services. if you want respect, you have to earn it.
        When the South secede, that will not be the End of war in the Sudan, remember the war in the Sudan is an Ethnic, Ideological, economical, and a religious war that will intensify by 2011, if positive transformation didn’t take place by then (the fanatics don’t know what that means), so we know the War will continue. Do not forget the Nuba, the Fur, the Funj, and the hadendua, who will keep the fire burning until.
        Mr. Mohammed, your interest, is never our interest, never will be knowing what we know, about our history.
        Never in your wildest dreams for you to imagine an Arab Islamic state in the Land of the Blacks, and the Land of the prophet Musa (you don’t know nothing about that)
        The war is not your, it is ours, we have a higher cause than Jihad, and killings for Allah, and the Arabs, and happiness will not visit Sudan without comprehensive JUSTICE.

        repondre message

  • 4 December 2009 07:42, by Time1

    Gration is doing well, let him carry on but he has to be more alert as he does his job, as NCP is a very dishonest partner.

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  • 4 December 2009 07:43, by Paul Chadrack

    God bless, American congressmen who are now seriously following up the events in sudan.dear American congress it is very crucial for you, American government and international community to be with marginalize and the oppressed in sudan from now onward to the end of 2010, because the terrorist NIF/NCP is planning to talk its genocidal campign back to south sudan for acomplishment of what was not acomplished during the 21 years of civil war.nobody is happy with the way NCP is running sudan government this days except their allies the shilluks as represented in the puppet party the so call SPLM-DC.History will judge them.

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    • 4 December 2009 08:04, by Wende Yongaptheeth

      President Obama should fire Gration.

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      • 4 December 2009 09:39, by okucu pa lotinokwan

        Oboma administration,should release General Scolt Gration from his post,as specail Envoy for Sudan,because i do disagree with Gration,s statement which he said to congressmen that,the goverment of Khartoum and government of Juda has agreed on 10 issues out of 12,that is misleading report,what now we are aware of there is complete deadlock between NCP party and the SPLM party,where the secrater general of SPLM Pagan Amum said the CPA implemenation should be under the monitor of the countries who put their signiture in the CPA document.President of America HE Mr Oboma should release Gration Now.Because General Gration reside with NCP party ideas only.

        repondre message

    • 4 December 2009 08:19, by Oduck Bol

      To Paul.

      Tribal man you should know that there is nothing easy any more like CPA that let Salva Kiir got V.P of Sudan by luck. This time up ward, you must be qualified to by leader, it is not just bunch of permittivite person who does not know security and democracy.

      Leadership it does not means to loot public properties or make violent.It means to give good services to the people and protect them.

      repondre message

      • 4 December 2009 14:01, by Paul Chadrack

        God bless, American congressmen who are now seriously following up the events in sudan.dear American congress it is very crucial for you, American government and international community to be with marginalize and the oppressed in sudan from now onward to the end of 2010, because the terrorist NIF/NCP is planning to talk its genocidal campign back to south sudan for acomplishment of what was not acomplished during the 21 years of civil war.nobody is happy with the way NCP is running sudan government this days except their allies the shilluks as represented in the puppet party the so call SPLM-DC.History will judge them.to hell with the south sudan traitors (shilluks).

        repondre message

        • 4 December 2009 17:35, by telfajbago

          I do not know why Obama Administration until now is reluctant to fire Gration.Gration who recently rubber stamped the ongoing rigged election registration process and as a result seven IDPs were killed in Darfur;for sure,will put Obama Administration in a very critical situation,if he was to continue with his duties.Furthermore,why U.S policy makers waiting Gration to spark the rigged post-election crisis,and after that think on how to solve it.The conventional wisdom says that,you do not wait for a situation to get out of hand and then you intervene,because the cost will be high,unless you are intending to be part of it.

          repondre message

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