7 September 2009
The Obama Administration, with US Brigadier General Scott Gration as the Special Envoy to Sudan, recently undertook a review of its policy toward Sudan. It was announced on 4 September by Gration that the administration came to a consensus “on the overall broad framework on what we call incentives and pressures” (‘U.S. Sudan Envoy Might be Willing to Meet with Bashir’, Foreign Policy Passport, 4 September 2009).
While the official policy has not yet been released Gration met with bloggers and reporters at the State Department on the fourth of September to discuss the new US policy toward Sudan. In a question about the Sudan Now Ad Campaign posed by Chris Good of The Atlantic, Gration stated that he welcomes help on the issue and invited people to “come on down” (‘Sudan Envoy On Ad Campaign: If Anyone Wants to Help, Come on Down’, The Atlantic, 6 September 2009).
On the US approach toward Sudan, Gration stated that no American solution can be imposed and that an important element “is to create an environment where [Sudan] themselves are part of the process, where when we are done it’s durable, lasting and sustainable without our help and without our money” (‘Sudan Envoy On Ad Campaign: If Anyone Wants to Help, Come on Down’, The Atlantic, 6 September 2009).
The Sudan Now Campaign urges everyone to join the movement and get active both online and within the community. Individuals can participate by joining the Sudan Now campaign on facebook and on twitter, as well as calling and/or emailing the White House. Add to the conversation by tweeting your thoughts on the administration’s Sudan policy in 140 words or less for the hashtag #SudanNow.
The Sudan Now: Keep the Promise campaign was launched by Humanity United, the Enough Project, Stop Genocide Now and Investors Against Genocide during the US Administration’s review of its Sudan policy. The campaign launched a website, SudanActionNow.com, and put out advertisements that quote the actions on Sudan promised by Obama during his presidential campaign.
The Sudan Now advertisements cite Obama saying, “There must be real pressure on the Sudanese government. We know from past experience it will take them a great deal to do the right thing,” while another advertisement quotes Hilary Clinton with, “the genocide in Darfur must be brought to an end, and the US has a responsibility to act as a world leader.”
The Sudan Now advertisements point out that not only was action promised by the Obama Administration, but the United States has a responsibility to protect the people of Darfur. The Sudan Now campaign uses these quotes to illustrate that promises are merely words unless action is undertaken. In this area, the United States has many tools far stronger than words at its disposal.
The Sudan Now: Keep the Promise campaign puts forth the following actions/steps the US Administration should incorporate in its strategy toward Sudan:
1) Lead a more effective and urgent peace process for Darfur.
2) Build and international coalition for strict implementation of the North-South peace deal; and
3) Implement a policy that creates real consequences for those in Sudan who continue to attack civilians, block life-saving aid, undermine peace and obstruct justice.
For further information about the Sudan Now: Keep the Promise Campaign and background on the conflict in Darfur, visit the website at SudanActionNow.org.