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Darfur Advocacy Groups Call on President Obama to Unveil Sudan Policy

Darfur advocacy groups are urging President Barack Obama to unveil his Sudan policy. The Save Darfur Coalition says the world is looking to the United States to lead.

Delegates representing the Sudanese government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPlM) are in Washington to attend a conference on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

Sam Bell, executive director of Genocide Intervention Network said President Obama should get directly involved if the international community is to succeed in reinforcing peace and protecting civilians in Sudan.

"We've laid out a number of aspects that we think should be part of the plan. But the main goal is to get a comprehensive peace for all of Sudan," he said.

Bell said the Darfur Coalition has some concerns about what he called the limitation of the CPA.

"Specifically unresolved questions about where the border (between the north and south (would be, how wealth-sharing will happen going forward, what would be the outcome of a potential referendum in southern Sudan in 2011," Bell said.

He said the main problem with the CPA is that it left Darfur out of the picture.

"And so while we're implementing the CPA we need to hook Darfur into those efforts because without a peace deal in Darfur, we can't disarm militias, we can't bring people home," he said.

Bell said the Darfur Coalition has made it known that the Sudan crisis is too big to be left to US Special Envoy Scott Gration alone to handle.

"This has to be a whole government approach, and President Obama has to get involved directly," Bell said.

Special Envoy Gration last week described the situation in Darfur as "remnants of genocide".

Bell said the debate about whether there is genocide or no genocide in Darfur is a distraction.

"The fact of the matter is we have an obligation and an opportunity to do something about it," he said.

Bell said the United States has incredible influence in Sudan with which it can negotiate sustainable peace not just for Darfur but for the whole country.