Sudan and South Sudan

The Arab League and Bashir

President Bashir at Arab League summit

President Obama's Statement on Darfur March 30 2009

Here is the complete transcript of President Obama's comments after his meeting with new Special Envoy Scott Gration:


Roosevelt Room
March 30 2009 
5:24 P.M. EDT
  "Hello, everybody.  Obviously on a busy news day, I wanted us to make sure that we weren't losing sight of something that has been an ongoing international crisis, and that is the situation in Darfur . 
As many of you know, there has been a longstanding humanitarian crisis there, prompted by displacement and genocide that has been taking place.  There have been a series of negotiations around resolving this crisis in Sudan .  It has not gotten resolved, and it is now worsening. 
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.
General Gration is one of my top national security advisors.  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.  And so I can't think of somebody who is better equipped to travel to Africa, the continent where he grew up, and communicate to Sudan a couple of important points:  Number one, we have an immediate crisis prompted by the Khartoum government's expulsion of nongovernmental organizations that are providing aid to displaced persons inside of Sudan .  And 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 a enormous humanitarian crisis. 
Even as we're dealing with that immediate issue, we can't take our eyes off the longstanding conflicts in Sudan that have resulted in all these persons being displaced.  And that means that General Gration's task is going to be to see if we can reinvigorate the North-South agreement, make sure that it's implemented in an effective way, and that we are also exploring a mechanism whereby we can get talks between rebels and the Khartoum government that could help, once and for all, resolve the Darfur situation. 
This is going to be a very difficult task.  It will be a time-consuming task.  We don't expect any solutions overnight to the long standing problems there.  Fortunately, what's happened in Darfur has touched so many people around the world, and we have seen such an extraordinary mobilization of advocates, many of who are sitting at this table -- we've got bipartisan interest on the part of members of Congress around this issue -- that I actually think that America can speak effectively with one voice and bring the moral and other elements of our stature to bear in trying to deal with this situation. 
I can't think of a person who's better than Scott Gration to represent us in this critical task, and 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. 
So, thank you, Scott, for the great work."
GENERAL GRATION:  Thank you, sir. 
THE PRESIDENT:  All right, everybody.  Thank you. 
END           5:28 P.M. EDT

Lititz Church Puts Darfur on its "Watch" - Lancaster Online

Mar 30, 2009
Susan Lindt

 A small group in Lititz connected with the other side of the world Sunday night as members joined in prayer for an end to genocide, famine and war in Sudan's Darfur region.

Lititz United Methodist Church was just one of many U.S. churches tapped into a satellite feed from Dayton, Ohio, called "Not on Our Watch."

Continue reading here.

Exclusive Interview: Colin Thomas-Jensen, Enough Project Policy Advisor - ICC Observers

Mar 29, 2009

 Q. You recently authored a strategy paper for ENOUGH outlining different mechanisms for peace building and conflict resolution in Eastern Congo. In the report you argued that Court should investigate and prosecute cases in North and South Kivu. Specifically, what role do you think the Court can play in conflict resolution in the DRC? You say the Court should increase pressure on international actors to develop an apprehension strategy for Ntaganda - how can it do this? More generally, what should be the political role of the Court?

A. One of the big issues that’s fueling conflict and atrocities and human rights violations across Congo is impunity. 

Continue reading here

Making Sense of Statistics

Burned out village

More on Violence in Jonglei

Some Speculations on the Summit

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