Administration officials ducked questions about specifics throughout the day, but a backgrounder briefing at the State Department with two senior administration officials does provide some interesting details about the new U.S. approach. Read More »
Finally, after months marked by speculation, alarming hints of appeasement toward Khartoum (cookies, anyone?) and rumors of sharp division, the Obama administration announced its new Sudan policy Monday.
A robust round of media coverage and statements from the administration and Capitol Hill reinforced the significance of the long-awaited announcement. Read More »
Finally, after months marked by speculation, alarming hints of appeasement toward Khartoum (cookies, anyone?) and rumors of sharp division, the Obama administration announced its new Sudan policy Monday. At the State Dept. podium with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and Sudan Special Envoy Maj. General Scott Gration, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced policy in which, "Assessment of progress and decisions regarding incentives and disincentives will be based on verifiable changes in conditions on the ground."
Many activists and experts breathed a sigh of relief, at the same time noting that the crucial part, implementation, must begin now.
A robust round of media coverage and statements from the administration and Capitol Hill reinforced the significance of the long-awaited announcement.
On the NewsHour, PBS correspondent Ray Suarez nicely spotlighted the nuances of the new policy and the stakes for Sudan. The story includes an interview with Enough co-founder John Prendergast, as well as a hard-hitting interview with Gen. Gration, who unfortunately refused to offer specific examples of the types of pressures the U.S. would apply toward Khartoum:
"Well, there's a wide variety of things and most of these are in a list that we would look at very carefully, and choose the ones that are appropriate, ones that would acheive the desired effect," Gen. Gration told Suarez. "The pressures include those that are political, economic -- and you can figure out what they are."
Voice of America added to the mix with a detailed wrapup featuring analysis from Enough executive director John Norris:
In print, Enough executive director John Norris offered a Sudan policy score card for Foreign Policy, and John Prendergast warned of “Sudan's State-Sponsored Pyromania” in the LA Times.
The Washington Post, way ahead of the pack on covering the policy formulation, moved the story forward after the announcement with this spotlight on the North-South conflict.
Stories from NPR, Reuters and CNN, to name just a few, rounded out the day.
Additional statements around the policy poured in from across Washington. President Obama, of course, issued a statement. Senator Russ Feingold echoed many activists in his desire "to learn more about the specific pressures being considered to make the Sudanese government comply and under what specific conditions these steps would be triggered." The State Department issued a transcript of an interesting background briefing conducted after the policy announcement.
Even Gen. Gration posted on the State Department's blog, concluding, "The situation is urgent. Time is short. Failure is not an option."
If you missed the announcement, check it out here from C-SPAN:
A Cold War Man, a Hot War and a Legal Gray Area Reagan Aide's Dealings Raise Questions on Americans' Involvement With Sudan
By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The government of Sudan, eager to curry favor with a U.S. government that accused it of genocide, sought help last fall from an unlikely source: a former Reagan administration official known for his role in the Iran-contra scandal.
The approach by Sudanese officials led to a $1.3 million contract for former national security adviser Robert "Bud" McFarlane, who went on to meet with two of the Obama administration's top policymakers on Sudan and its strife-torn Darfur region, according to documents and interviews.
The unusual talks between Sudan and McFarlane featured meetings in Middle Eastern capitals, clandestine communications with Sudan's intelligence service and a final agreement with the government of Qatar, which is employing McFarlane as part of its peacemaking role in the eastern African region. Read more
The human cost of Operation Kimia II—the ongoing joint offensive by the Congolese army and United Nations peacekeepers against Rwandan rebels in eastern Congo—outweighs its benefits. To prevent this crisis from deteriorating further, and to ensure that those military gains that have been achieved can be secured, the Congolese government should suspend new offensive operations and work vigorously with the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo, or MONUC, and international donors to put in place a more effective counterinsurgency approach.
By Colin Thomas-Jensen, Noel Atama and Olivia Caeymaex | Sep 28, 2009
Among the positive developments coming out of Secretary Clinton’s trip thus far are her unabashed comments in support of the International Criminal Court, or ICC. On two occasions, she called the US decision to not ratify the Rome Statute that established the ICC a “great regret.” Read More »