A coalition of advocacy groups has sent
an open letter to President Obama describing current US policy toward Sudan as
letter, titled Avoiding Total War in Sudan, comes at the start of a five-day
visit to Sudan by US Special Envoy Scott Gration.
Enough Project, Sudan Now, Genocide Intervention Network, Stop Genocide Now,
Investors Against Genocide and Humanity United say, "The human stakes in Sudan
have few parallels globally."
Prendergast, co-founder of the Enough Project, says, "We're concerned that the
developing policy review…is not addressing the deeper issue of what the
diplomatic strategy actually is both in the South and in Darfur."
Obama administration is expected to soon complete its policy review of Sudan.
feeling is right now that the approach that the American government is taking
through its special envoy is one that is fundamentally flawed and that will
potentially lead to further war…in Darfur and a resumption of war in Southern
Sudan," he says.
the Darfur side, what we have is the equivalent of a diplomatic bridge to
nowhere. The administration is furiously
working to build different components of the process, but there is no end
game. There is no proposal…that says
these are the issues that the Darfuri people believe are fundamental to peace,"
letter also raises concern about the ruling National Congress Party (NCP).
used these ethnic-based militias now for two decades to undermine peace and
stability in Sudan…. This is what this government does. So, we're very concerned that they're
resuming this policy again in Southern Sudan in advance of the elections and
referendum for self-determination and thus will drive the south back to war."
Prendergast says both the NCP and the
SPLM, which governs Southern Sudan, "need to experience consequences for any
effort to undertake to undermine peace, to obstruct the implementation of that
(2005) peace agreement…that ended the north/south war," he says.
critical of what he calls "an endless discussion and renegotiation of
particular points. That needs to stop."
"There needs to be the construction of
a peace proposal and then the building of leveragebehind that peace proposal
that allows the incentives and pressures that the Obama administration is about
to authorize to be used for a positive end," he says.
advocacy groups say the current US approach is "leading to further divisions
among rebel factions."
They say if a different approach is
not taken in Southern Sudan and Darfur, "The worst could yet be coming."