February 15, 2013
US Lawmaker Calls for High-Profile Envoy for Sudans
A US congressman with long-time links to Sudan urged Secretary of State John Kerry to appoint a high-profile special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, to reinvigorate relations with the two countries and stop what he called an ongoing "low-grade genocide."
"Our approach to Sudan and South Sudan needs reinvigorating. It demands a renewed sense of moral clarity about who we are dealing with in Khartoum—namely genocidaires," Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf said in a letter to Kerry.
"It necessitates someone who can speak candidly with our friends in South Sudan about their own internal challenges, including corruption, and shortcomings as a new nation."
Wolf, who led the first Congressional visit to Darfur in 2004, even went as far as suggesting former Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold should be appointed to the key role.
Feingold, who served with Kerry on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and chaired the Subcommittee on African Affairs, “possesses both the stature and the knowledge necessary for the task at hand,” the lawmaker from Virginia said in a letter sent to Kerry this week.
Wolf praised the work of former Senator John Danforth who served as special envoy to Sudan under President George W. Bush. Danforth played a key role in negotiations to end Sudan's 22-year civil war.
The current special envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, Ambassador Princeton Lyman, says he will leave the post when his successor is named.
Wolf was the driving force behind the creation of a special envoy to Sudan in 2001.