March 1, 2017 (WASHINGTON) - U.S United States Congressmen including senators and representatives have called on President Donald Trump to appoint a special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan to back the regional efforts for peace in the two countries.
- U.S. Special Envoy Donald Booth, speaks at the U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa, on April 28, 2016 (ST Photo)
With the end of President Barack Obama’s second term, the former U.S. Special Envoy Donald Booth stepped down, leaving hot files on the crises in the two countries waiting for his successor who will be the sixth special envoy for Sudan.
“We write to urge you to appoint a high-level special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan with the international stature to bring urgently needed diplomatic leadership to international efforts to achieve a sustainable peace in and between the two countries”, reads a letter signed by eight senators and two representatives all of them are Republicans.
In their letter of 24 February, the lawmakers pointed to the potential of genocide in the South Sudan saying that attacks on civilians during the fighting of July 2016 in Juba "served to demonstrate that the August 2015 peace agreement has failed".
Also, they blamed Juba government for obstructing the deployment of the additional 4000 peacekeepers to protect civilians adding that the IGAD efforts for a political solution have so far been unsuccessful.
The signatories of the letter seen by Sudan Tribune are: Senator Benjamin Cardin, Senator John Boozman, Senator Edward Markey, Senator Johnny Isakson, Member of Congress Karen Bass, Member of Congress Michael Capuano, Senator Jeffery Markley, Senator James Inhofe, Senator Richard Durbin, Senator Christopher Coons, Senator Cory Booker and Member of Congress Barbara Lee.
Regarding the ongoing armed conflicts in Sudan’s Darfur and the Two Areas, the congressmen urged to put pressure on Khartoum to observe the cessation of hostilities brokered by the former U.S. envoy for Sudan and "allow free and unfettered humanitarian access to all parts of Sudan".
They also urged President Trump to ensure that Khartoum stops supporting rebel groups in South Sudan. Further, they pointed to the arrest warrants by the International Criminal Court for President against President Omer al-Bashir.
"United States leadership is critical to helping bring about a lasting peace in Sudan and South Sudan. Your swift action on this matter will make a difference in millions of lives," they further reiterated.
Next June the American Administration has to decide on the left of sanctions on Sudan, as several administrations are supposed to terminate a review of Sudan’s implementation of several commitments including humanitarian access, cessation of hostilities, non-support to south Sudan rebel groups.
Since the election of President Trump midlevel career diplomats are working as acting managers for most of the State Department’s bureaus, as key positions remain vacant awaiting appointments including the undersecretary for African affairs.
Last month, the Washington Post reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and President Trump are keen to reorganise the department’s management structure and likely get rid of many of the politically appointed positions that have swelled in number since the late 1970s".