Understanding THE NEW U.S. POLICY on SUDAN
October 20, 2009
The Obama Administration’s new policy on Sudan incorporates certain ideals that are worthy of support. However, this is only a first step. Success will require personal and deep involvement from President Obama – as well as Vice President Biden and Secretary of State Clinton – to ensure that consequences are swiftly put into practice for committing mass atrocities and undermining peace efforts. The following provides a brief overview of how U.S. policy has changed, and outlines the steps necessary to achieve lasting peace in Sudan.
Clear and Encouraging Shifts in U.S. Policy
The Obama Administration’s new Sudan policy:
- Represents a great deal of work within the Administration to build on lessons learned; correct missteps; and find a balanced approach that integrates peace, protection and accountability.
- Requires that decisions made regarding incentives and disincentives for parties in Sudan be based on “verifiable changes in conditions on the ground.”
- Prioritizes justice for the people of Sudan and accountability for war crimes – over cooperation for counterterrorism objectives, which have in the past displaced peace efforts.
- Acknowledges the strong likelihood that southern Sudanese will opt for independence, and that U.S. efforts should be designed to allow for support of a new state following the referendum.
- Signals an intention to establish a quarterly check-up for senior Administration official to assess which incentives and pressures should be applied to further the policy.
To successfully implement a fundamentally sound American policy, the Sudan Now campaign calls on the President to:
Build a coalition of countries that supports the new policy, will enforce strict implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), and is willing to use multilateral incentives and pressures.
Implement resolute consequences to counter the government-led offensive in Darfur, increasingly deadly attacks by militias in the South and other unacceptable obstacles to peace.
Ensure high-level Administration support for implementation of key benchmarks related to the 2010 national election – like assurance that displaced Darfuris can participate – as well as the 2011 self-determination referendum, such as creation of a post-2011 wealth-sharing agreement.