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U.S. suspends invitation to senior Sudanese official over row with Juba


June 20, 2013, (WASHINGTON) - The United States informed the Sudanese government that its invitation to presidential assistant and vice chairman of ruling National Congress Party (NCP) Nafie Ali Nafie is on hold following Khartoum’s decision to freeze cooperation agreements with South Sudan.

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Sudanese presidential assistant and vice chairman of ruling National Congress Party Nafie Ali Nafie

This month the Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir ordered his government to shut down the pipelines that transport the oil produced in landlocked South Sudan to export terminals in Port Sudan for it to reach international markets.

Sudanese officials said the closure will be effective within 60 days of Bashir’s directive and oil companies were asked to provide a timetable and a plan of how to implement it.

Khartoum also announced that a series of deals signed with Juba last year will be put on hold until it gives up support to the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) umbrella of rebel groups which has recently stepped up its military offensive in South Kordofan, Darfur and even launched a daring attack on North Kordofan’s second largest town of Um Rawaba.

The African Union (AU) and China have launched a diplomatic push to bring the two countries back from the brinkmanship while the U.S. has urged Khartoum to reverse its decision regarding oil shutdown.

On Wednesday a U.S. official announced that Nafie’s controversial visit to Washington will no longer take place as a result of Sudan’s move.

Larry André, Director of the Office of the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan at the U.S. State Department, also defended the decision by Obama’s administration to invite Nafie at a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives on the human rights situation in Sudan.

"You heard me in my briefing mention that we are looking for any avenue to get our message to senior decision maker level in Khartoum," André said.

Representative James McGovern questioned why the U.S. would bring a "well known torturer" and "human rights abuser" and asked whether this should be construed as a "new angle of diplomacy".

"When the decision was made in March to invite a delegation led by Nafie Ali Nafie it wasn’t made within the illusions as to his background. It was [made] with the idea of trying to do all we can to end these conflicts," André responded.

The U.S. official noted that U.S. policy prohibits dialogue with Bashir who was indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and others such as the defense minister Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein.

"We needed a way to get our policies expressed to the senior leadership. We don’t talk the president [Bashir]. There are no senior leaders of this government that have nice past," he stressed.

He said that a condition was attached to the invitation when extended that has now not been met.

"When that decision was made a caveat was and was expressed to Khartoum at the time is that this visit could only take place in the context of a Sudan that is implementing its cooperation agreements with South Sudan," André said.

"As of earlier this month Sudan ceased implementing these agreements. We have passed the message back to Nafie Ali Nafie that as long as the government of Khartoum is suspending the implementation of these agreement we are suspending this invitation" he added.

Andre also revealed that the U.S. is working to press countries to refrain from receiving with Sudanese official wanted by the ICC.

"We just recently communicated to quite a number of our embassies where we think that some of those indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) may travel; language for them to use with the government, their host government to make certain that it is well understood our opposition to that travel. We continue to have a policy of not meeting or conducting business with those individuals who have been indicted" he said.

"We look at what is happening in Sudan and know that their own personal calculations about their own future is dictating their government policy" Andre added.

But Representative Frank Wolf, a vocal critic of Khartoum, blasted the Obama administration calling its Sudan policy an "absolute failure".

"The very thought that you are going to bring Nafie here is just incredible…The standard of this town [Washington] has sunk so low..it shows there are no standards….it is immoral…it is absolutely immoral" Wolf said.

He argued that those meeting with Nafie need to apply "heavy sanitizer on their hands".

It has been a number of years since the US received a high-level delegation from Sudan, which Washington has considered a state sponsor of terrorism since 1993, imposing a raft of sanctions on the country in 1997.


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  • 21 June 2013 10:15, by Aaban

    Ahaha the criminal cowardice dream has come to end, those who sold their soul evil are not allowed to move free in the land of freedom, I heard three week ago that Nafia is being inversitigate for breaching of some agreement and prison of some reformist, now the south won again, waw,

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    • 21 June 2013 11:06, by Wicdail

      It does’t really make sense when the Obama administrations can keep working with Bishar’s administrations who cannot even maintained the cooperation agreements they made with the republic of South Sudan to. And what are differences any way, between inviting Bishar himself and his advisers to Washington?

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  • 21 June 2013 10:20, by LL Reuben

    Read Anne Bartlett article under the Lastest Comments & Analysis here on this website to find out exactly who the true sponsors of these conflicts are. As Tutbol and myself always stated: Europe (Britain, France) rich Arabs countries (Qatar, UAE), and their Bulldog the United States all know what is happening between RSS and Sudan.

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    • 21 June 2013 12:43, by Peter Mading

      That is a good decision. Khartuom should make projects on the expenses of the West. These huge amount dollars being spent between Khartuom and Juba should not as a waste. Either AU or Khartuom should account for such expenses.

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      • 21 June 2013 13:20, by zulu

        this is very nice. the mockery of justice by the sudanese elite, who benefit from the poor and the black majority has to end. south sudan must not cease to establish strong ties with the rebels who will one day become the government or rulling party instead of these thugs

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    • 21 June 2013 16:59, by Peacocktail

      What is the right for US is to sponsor SRF with ammunitions and food-Logistics, weapons and they shall bring to Justice those purgitive leaders and ringleaders of Genocides and rapes in Sudanese Territories-Darfurs, Bluenile and Nuba Mountain. Why should the criminal Government be allow to kills it citizens on fabrication of being Non Arab-Black. Racist.recognize SRF as legitmate political represe

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  • 21 June 2013 13:33, by Kenyang

    "He argued that those meeting with Nafie need to apply "heavy sanitizer on their hands". - Frank Wolf

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  • 21 June 2013 13:49, by Mabor

    By: Whitten Golden.
    Bravo! US for that wonderfull decision not even to host and extremist, islamist or terrorist in your States. Thanks alot this Nafie is the real instigator and ochestrator of all this atrocitious and dubious act caused by Bashir Governement.

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  • 21 June 2013 16:46, by Uncle J

    God Bless The United States Of America!!!!!!!!!!!
    God Bless The United States Of America!!!!!!!!!!!
    God Bless The United States Of America!!!!!!!!!!!
    God Bless The United States Of America!!!!!!!!!!!
    One Day, South Sudan Will Be One Of The Strongest Nation
    Either In Military or ...So with the U.S back up everything is possible.

    repondre message

    • 21 June 2013 17:08, by Peacocktail

      The Calculation is simple, Apply No VISA to US for Sudanses Leaders from 60 days onwards, No Recognition of NCP as sudanese representing leadership.No financial aid to Sudan NCP genocidal regime.no different btw Syria and Sudan crisis,Syria kill hundredth while Sudan NCP murdered Million of citizens.Change is possible with SRF! SRF! SRF oyee, US State Dept oyee,South Sudan oyee,CHANGE in Sudan oye

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  • 21 June 2013 18:15, by Duduka Abaraga

    Thanks U.S government for taking this just decision. No room to entertain criminals in a free and democratic land. Let the criminals enjoy their previliges in the devil land; Africa.

    repondre message

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