Home | News    Tuesday 29 September 2009

US prepares to unveil its new Sudan policy


September 28, 2009 (WASHINGTON) — Senior US administration officials are scheduled to meet tomorrow to put the final touches on the long awaited policy review of dealings with Sudan, the Washington Post reported today.

The Obama presidential campaign team has promised to release the policy early in the administration term but divisions within the government agencies has slowed down the process.

The US special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration appointed last March by Obama has been pushing for a softer approach with Sudan’s ruling party, the National Congress Party (NCP).

Gration has called for unwinding some of the sanctions on Sudan and lifting the East African country from the list of states that sponsor terrorism calling it a “political” decision.

The public position of the retired air general while lauded by Khartoum, put him at odds with advocacy groups in Washington, Darfur rebels, South Sudan and even some US officials namely Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice.

Even though Gration later appeared to back down from his earlier asserting he was misunderstood he still believes that engagement and carrots are the way forward.

“We’ve got to think about giving out cookies,” said Gration. “Kids, countries — they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement,” he told the Washington Post.

Gration said that in his view, the ruling party deserves credit lately for allowing some foreign aid groups to return after Bashir expelled others following his March indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes in Darfur.

Even though Khartoum said it will allow new aid groups to come and replace the evicted ones, there has been no announcement of any new relief organization actually starting work in Darfur.

Furthermore, aid workers still in the region told Gration that Khartoum was still delaying their permits and access to the camps. He said he was surprised that these problems are still occurring saying there maybe a “disconnect” between Khartoum and low-level bureaucrats.

The Sudanese presidential adviser Ghazi Salah Al-Deen in his speech before the UN General Assembly today hailed the new tone in Washington toward his country.

“We welcome the declaration made by the American President, Barack Obama, before the UN General Assembly on his country’s readiness to help find solution to the question of Darfur. Noting the positive tone in the statements voiced by the American President vis-à-vis the developing countries in general,” Salah Al-Deen was quoted by state media.

“We hope that his words will be translated into actions in order to correct the misguided policies of the previous American administration which compromised bilateral relations and aggravated the region’s problems. This requires first and foremost lifting the unilateral sanctions and removing the name of the Sudan from the American list of terrorism” he added.

But on the other side Gration is growing widely unpopular among Darfuris and those opposed to NCP’s rule.

In southern Sudan’s capital of Juba, the region’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, told Gration he is concerned that the envoy’s approach is emboldening the ruling party to dictate unfavorable terms for the south’s secession vote, such as demanding 75 percent turnout.

Southerners have repeatedly accused the government of arming militias to create chaos ahead of the vote, and tribal violence has killed 2,000 people in the south this year.

But in his meeting with Kiir, Gration backed the ruling party’s argument, saying it had legitimate concerns about the referendum. Gration urged southerners to trust the government that waged a brutal war against them for 20 years.

“It is the other side that can build trust,” Kiir countered during a news conference. “How will you trust that person that was killing you yesterday?”

Darfur IDP’s bluntly told Gration that they have concerns that “he will go to Bashir and ask him what to do”.

Gration told the IDP’s that he cannot change the past but he can try and make life better for their children.

He also said that despite the advices he received on the stalling and delaying tactics deployed by Khartoum “he is willing to take the risk that he may be betrayed”.

“And if that trust is violated, then I believe pressure should come” he said.

But Sudan activists issued a statement reacting to Gration’s interview describing what they see as a “devastating portrait” of the special envoy.

“The quotes from Special Envoy Gration are deeply troubling. The time is well past for the President, Vice President and Secretary of State to exert much-needed leadership over U.S. diplomatic efforts with Sudan or face the prospect that Sudan will descend into much broader violence” The Enough Project, Save Darfur Coalition, and Genocide Intervention Network said in a press release.

John Norris, Executive Director of the Enough Project, noted, “It is incredibly offensive for the Special Envoy to argue that ’psychological stuff’ is the main impediment keeping Darfuri refugees and the displaced from going home. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, government-backed Janjaweed militias still roam freely in Darfur, and U.N. peacekeepers can’t even protect themselves. The Special Envoy seems to lack even a rudimentary understanding of humanitarian principles or the real situation on the ground. People aren’t going home because they fear being killed, raped and robbed”.

Jerry Fowler of the Save Darfur Coalition added, “It’s jarring to hear talk of ’gold stars’ and ’smiley faces’ for a regime headed by an indicted war criminal. We have always insisted that the best way to deal with Khartoum is a sensible balance of pressures and incentives. The pressures part of that calculation seems to be missing in General Gration’s comments. The Sudanese government is primarily responsible for creating the political instability in Sudan and bears the brunt of the responsibility for ending it. And blaming the victims for not being more open minded towards their oppressors defies logic”.

This week the Darfur Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Chief Khalil Ibrahim blasted Gration saying that he has “no strategy or program for a solution”.

Washington has also been grappling with how to deal with Khartoum over violence in Darfur, where UN estimates say up to 300,000 people have died and 2.7 million have fled their homes amid violence the United States has labeled genocide


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  • 29 September 2009 10:07, by Ahmed Chol

    Gration lacks understanding about what is going on either in Southern Sudan or in Darfur. Every time, he lands in Khartoum and he gets his brain washed by the NCP. This allows him not to see their(NCP’s) deceptions.
    Gration needs to talk and listen to Eric Reeves, the man who knows about Sudan and the NCP’s tactics in particular.
    The US government should consider removing Gration and replacing him with someone who will help in solving the Sudanese problems.

    Ahmed Chol, the future commander of Anya-nya III

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    • 29 September 2009 10:17, by Gatwech

      More than 90% of the people of South Sudan are waiting for the US and the other frienldy country (name withheld) to bring in that ’mac mi riaw how’ that would render the Khartoum’s airforce supremacy useless. "With ballot or bullet, South Sudan shall be free," Dr. Riek Machar.

      If the referendum fails, the South will be forced to unilaterally declare independence and defend its territory against the North. All the Divisions of the SPLA forces are being controlled by separatists who are ready to talk loud should any body temper with the right of self-determination.

      So, US and the other friendly country should quickly bring in that ’mac mi riaw how’. We have oil to acquire that air defense system even if it may take us ten years to pay off the bill.

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      • 30 September 2009 05:23, by Paul

        While I believe that we, Sudanese, are the one to supposedly solve our own problems, I simultaneously believe that Mr. Gration is completely out of touch with the suffering of Sudanese people. Khartoum rulers are nothing less than hyenas, whereby, if you don’t possess a big and strong stick in your hand, they will never relent to your manly voice. I regret that Obama appointed him instead of Mr. Williams Richardson. Oh, Richardson was in the same flock as those of bush and Cheney. They were not as soft as you (Obama) and for that you will pay for it comes 2012.

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    • 29 September 2009 13:26, by Samani

      You people are a joke. You still dont get the message, the international community, US & UN are sick and tired hearing your winging and crying. You people have proved nothing in terms of setting up a sustainable and viable country. You constantly complain, mostly about things that can be easily resolved. Your not cooperative, your always causing trouble. Your tribal, corrupt and primitive, always blaming your problems on the North. Get some balls and solve your own problems. Stay away from the North or else this time we will wipe you off the Map.

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      • 29 September 2009 18:45, by Sudani Logik

        Blah blah blah.... Stop making noise Samani! The current situation in Sudan is because of southerners ability to resolve their problems through dialogue and the gun. they resisted, they fought, they negotiated and they won the right to self-determination coupled with the dignity of self rule in the south.

        Your hollow words are just that, HOLLOW. You should advise sleeping masses in Khartoum to improve on their freedom from the very repressive NCP! If those issues southerners complain about could easily be resolved, I don’t think you would open your ignorant mouth instead you would witness those issues being easily resolved but the issues are not that simple!!

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  • 29 September 2009 10:08, by jalabi

    Although Obama administration is odd regarding how to deal with Sudan nevertheless the sanction could come to an end.

    We don’t care about western countries but we do care about keeping our country unite, we have two magic weapons that will enable us to fulfill our ultimate goal: 1. the power. 2. the money.

    One way or another we will win at the end, I promise, as Egyptians say: just put big watermelon in your belly.

    Jalabi (Abo Jalabia)

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    • 29 September 2009 10:28, by Gatwech

      Oh, really? Let us wait and see who will survive the coming storm in 14 months.

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      • 29 September 2009 15:22, by Abu sala

        take it easy, not as Ngundeng predicts relax and for sure Arab words are alway actions...
        of course, time has come for the host to give up..
        what we need is more wider open brain to manuvor with more tactic and approach in the bush to defeat Bashir by war if at all we southerners are strong. doubtifully in this game... i give in as third class citizen in own country......
        Abu sala

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    • 29 September 2009 13:22, by Ahmed Chol


      United the country by force and it will just fall apart in the next war of Anya-nya III. SPLA will give birth to ANYA-NYA III when it gets old. It is just a matter of time. We will never be united with you so as long as your dumb arabs are blinded by prejudice and religion. As a result Sudan will never witness any progress in any front. It will fall behind mainly in education and this doesn’t concern us since most of us, the Southerners are getting advanced education from industrialized countries. All resource will just be spent towards war and destruction which is what you want.

      Ahmed Chol, the future commander of Anya-nya III

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      • 29 September 2009 20:28, by jalabi

        Mr. Ahmed,

        Don’t worry about religion, we will amend our constitution and will give everyone the right to practise any religion, freedom of religion and believe is must.
        Your name is Ahmed so what happened to you?? did you abandon Islam??

        Jalabi (Abo Jalabia)

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  • 29 September 2009 10:37, by oshay

    As usual the policy will favour the US’s puppets I.E dinka SPLM and will discriminate against all others. Obama is the same as all his predecessors.

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    • 29 September 2009 13:03, by Ajawuk Juma

      To Oshay,

      It come to my attentions that we young Southern Sudanese are making more damages to the future of this great nation called S. Sudan. How would you guys make a joke about the issues concerning your future. There is no link between US preparations to unveilits new Sudan policy and the Dinka you are talking about. Unless you have a reading problems and understanding English.

      We should focus on separation and leave out those who are politically blind. We can not be deceive again unless you Southerners choose to be second class citizens in your own country. I don’t believe in this stupid unity people talks about. It is too late now!!!!

      What do we need from the North while we got everything in South Sudan???

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  • 29 September 2009 10:46, by Njara Ndarago

    No, Khartuom and Bashir have not done enough in Darfur. Though Bashir allowed some aid groups back to Darfur but the number of IDs and the death toll continue to rise in Darfur. Khartuom (Sudan) does not need new policies with Washington but tougher sanctions instead and travel ban on NCPs top politicians including the mother fish. This way, Bashir will call all the aid groups back to Darfur then new policy will be unveiled. Not now.


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  • 29 September 2009 11:44, by okucu pa lotinokwan

    President Obama act today for the new Sudan policy,NCP the ruling party currently in Sudan is not interested in implemention the CPA agree between the Sudan government and the SPLA/M in agood faith as it was signed in 2005 instant they full of creating bad condition to let people go back to war, you can understand from the question of Darfur itself what they are doing over there continuing killing civilians,stopping Humanterians organization in not giving Aid to the IDPs,last but laest let your Specail Envoy for Sudan should not be a flectsible person to the current government in Sudan.God bless you

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    • 29 September 2009 12:35, by Lokorai

      Mr. Envoy,

      Do your best to stand by your new administration policy of engagement and dialoque, don’t listen to those who only interested in prolonging the suffering of the Sudanese.

      Besides, the Sudan is at a critical stages of transformation; you have to go carefully and ensures that peace is given a first priority.

      Remove therefore sanctions and other hurdles, makes efforts to guide this country to Referendum in 2011. Never give in to activists for Darfur who for them the only option is removing this government; this plot would work.


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      • 29 September 2009 12:36, by Lokorai

        ...won’t work!

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        • 29 September 2009 13:30, by Ajuscommando

          Dear US officals,

          We are waiting your help to Dafur people who die day and night due to militias and SAF froce attackers. Also we need your action on case of South Sudan referendum as there is big fighting between SPLM & and NCP terorrists party. Bashir crime need immmediately action from security councils like US and others since this person don’t want to bring into the country.


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          • 29 September 2009 16:00, by Abu sala

            Democrate of USA.... Should wake up.. Bill Clinton during his time has never seen/heard believed anything wrong in Sudan....... everyone could remember from frontline to displace CAMP, and from displace CAMPS to REFUGEE CAMPS specailly Ethiopia. US Visitors special envoy and many delegates being cheated, deceived and they never find the truth about sudan......
            Another Clinton is trying to free a criminal man (Bashir)... Now i believed in George Adminstration and specailly his approach to sudan peace talk.
            Another days of 1992 to 2000 of SPLM/A hard time ... i mean geting support from Cuba and many others west and Neighbouring countries i not suppose to mention.. are coming.. to soon...
            Shame democrate.... i remembered those days, clinton’s days... we used to sing a song Bill Clinton bring peace we refused ISLAM...... as little child anyone who was there could remember.... are back again.. too soon to believed...
            SHAME DEMOCRAT>>>> SHAME>>>.... they put SPLA down together with Bashir for eight years...

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  • 29 September 2009 14:20, by Lukudu

    Gration has been doing nothing in Sudan pretending he has been looking into problems facing the oppressed people of South Sudan and Darfur. Gration may be an inexperienced person who never know what has been happening and is happening at this moment in Sudan. President Obama should appoint someone who knows Sudan properly from A to Z, its policies towards the minority groups such as the people of Darfur and Southern Sudanese. How can such official who represents a superpower nation listen to a killer like Beshir and his team to play politics with him as if they are people who are really concerned about human rights.

    President Obama should appoint a knowledgeable person to deal with Sudan not someone who know little or nothing about Sudan politically, economically and socially.

    Mr Gration need to open his ears and listen to what ordinary Sudanese tell him not what the government lie to him.

    The US envoy should listen to what aid workers tell him and what those who were involved in the 2005 Copmrehensive Peace Agreement told him. Where is the evidence of the implementation of CPA in Sudan in particular South Sudan? Now that the Islamic government of Khartoum is approaching the 2011, it is trying many avenues to destablize the situation in South Sudan which is characterized by uncontrolable killings of civilians by armed groups and tribal conflicts which when happen, leaves dozens of people died. These armed groups or tribes I believe have been armed by the NCP government. The NCP has tried several ways of worsening the situation in Southern Sudan not only now but right after the signing of the peace agreement between NCP and SPLM/A. Before the peace agreement was signed, the people of Southern Sudan particularly the Equatorians did not experience lootings, raping and killing of people living in villages such as what happened in the villages of Wonduruba and Katigiri and many villages in Western Equatoria. This armed group was mobilized soon after the CPA to create confusion among the Southern Sudanese so that they will not develope trust with their government and turn against it.

    If Obama’s administration wants complete peace and stability in Sudan, they need to look closely and monitor the current actions in Sudan especially South Sudan and Darfur.

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  • 29 September 2009 15:24, by Abyei

    Dear Reader’s.
    I’m just a dumb yank here but I cant help but wonder about some people that write in.
    I dont think they have ever picked up a history book in their life such people’s like Jalaba,Osha .

    Appeasing dictators does not work. PERIOD
    Please refer to the sudentland and Englands’ Neville Chamberlain
    and Frances Edourard Daladier trying to appease Hitler.
    It never works out.

    Why are so few people and so few countries willing to stand up for whats "right".?
    Someone out there please explain this to me.
    these politcal veiws are a waste of every one time. At one time the Sudanese Government lead them self to beleave that they are in power or that there cartle famliy made the sickist imprints though out the world. every Sudanese has a right to undergo feild leader. now when the united nations mialatary forces rowed though each El-Bashir and others. That just what they believe it. There piorimal intentions where to educate new law as fare.Speaking of witch if the ICC order him now you will see North cowards they will soppurted united or separations "well’

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    • 29 September 2009 15:58, by DASODIKO

      In fact we are not optimistic about American plan over Sudan, because all plans are directly linked to what America would get? Not how many lives will be saved on the ground. It’s not the first time, the war in South Sudan lasted for 20 years 2 million and half lost their lives no one cried for them only the relatives. And also see today in Darfur, because of America interests, the criminals were set free to continue killing the innocent civilians in Darfur. In his meeting with Kiir, Gration backed the ruling party’s argument, saying it had legitimate concerns about the referendum. Is it not rubbish that Gration is talking about NCP concerns? NCPs’ concerns are only to keep the masses of the Sudanese people under their feet.

      So when China started consuming the oil all over Sudan, the new American plan came up to save the oil from China. Therefore; they came up with the CPA plan.

      Yeah no doubt that America is a great nation it has good citizens who are living for others. But the politic of the administration is the worst, I believe.

      America to show good will for the entire Sudanese they must fire this guy called Gration or they will lose the Sudanese in the future.

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      • 29 September 2009 18:34, by telfajbago

        Gration calling Southerners to trust the NCP.What a mess!!! U.S.A Presidential envoy turned in to Khartoum’s radical Islamists propaganda machine;it’s really pity;if not disgrace to the lofty human rights values.I do not know whether Gration had give himself a time to read a book entitled (too many agreements dishonored-written by Southern lawyer Alier ) ;or to read the history of his won country America during the civil war( the war between the north states and the 11 Confederate states of the south).Mr.envoy if the trust was left to be build by the southern States of America at that time ,your country would have shattered into states long a go.I want to remind the honorable U.S envoy that,there is a situation where by trust becomes like virginity if lost never back;and because of continuous dishonoring of agreements by the northerners,that trust was not only lost,but was killed and buried long time ago,since it was crushed by northerners a disrespect to any agreement and rule of law to build the nationhood that the Sudanese people are yearning for;my humble advice for the honorable envoy who totally lost sense of direction; by blaming the victim who reached position of power in shaky, violated and already- dishonored partnership,to build one -sided trust,to do his best,to convince the national congress party,who stole power and consolidated it be stolen elections to implement the CPA to the letter and spirit and address the root causes of the problem in Darfur,that is the only way to keep us united as a nation.and Gration,off course,has the right to do his worse if he likes,and the unconquerable will of the Sudanese masses will defeat him a long with the regime he is now backing,to secure the interests of his Country;

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  • 29 September 2009 21:20, by mohammed osman

    The USA is baised on the sudanese issues, why favor the savages southerns becoures we northerns we all also suffers like anyone else, there is no survices outside khartoum,here in al gezeera states we only relays on our farmings camels and conkeys to earn daily living, it is a struggle, this NCP has taken all our moneys in corruptions and mismanagements in khartoum.i hope USA will take care of mr basher and put him in jail for crimes in darfur and also here in north sudan.

    We the great Arab jaaleya tribes has been brave and honest but this man Omer basher he has messes our names and criminalized our societys here in north sudan and all sudan in the general.
    we used to be the best known peoples in terms of honesty and kindness but now we ranks on the buttom levels of this earth, every bodys is hates us, why? i blame the stupid coward Shaiigeya tribes here in north sudan for misleading the president.

    i hope they hang Omer bashers soon mr OBAMA if your the hearing me and give us back our country under new good president.

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    • 30 September 2009 00:40, by Alier Mareet

      Hey Mr. Gration,
      You are out of touch with marginalized people whom claimed to be working for. Your intentions are similar with rogue NCP politicians who have hijacked the country for their own greed of power. Be advised to stay away from making those imflammatory statements regarding Sudan problems. If you are economic hit man or regime hired gun feel to resign and give chance to someone who knows what it means to person’s people. Clarify yourself from the double standard statements you have been making that gives the regime breathing space and stop pretending to be an envoy.

      Your misguiding policies have hurt the CPA implementation you took the post. You deserve to discredited and disgraced for your closeness with regime and its policies.

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  • 30 September 2009 06:46, by Samson Shawel Ambaye

    God be with ICC UN Security Council. God of victims of Darfur arrest Bashir.

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    • 30 September 2009 12:02, by Sudan virus

      Why do the elders of the United states of the greater America keeps quite when the black American president is messing up in
      Sudan and Somalia?

      Please STOP RACISM . Cooperate with your president to perpetuate reputation of world glory. Things in the current resume are working against even what the greater Americans vision.

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