News

Renewed Call for US Special Envoy for Sudan

With the International Criminal Court arrest warrant for Sudanese President al-Bashir and the expulsion of aid agencies, there's a renewed call for a US special envoy for Sudan. 

It comes from the Genocide Intervention Network, where Sam Bell is director of advocacy. In Washington, he says that President Obama must follow words with action.

"As a candidate for president, Senator Obama said that he would pledge unstinting resolve to address the crisis in Sudan. And we are 50 days into his administration and we have envoys for North Korea, the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, (and) climate change and there is no one working the Sudan portfolio at a high level. And this is show time for the Obama administration in terms of global leadership," he says.

The Genocide Intervention Network says that with the expulsion of aid agencies from Sudan, one million people risk losing food, water and health care in Darfur. "When we talk about global leadership, this is it. This is game time and we don't have a team in place to confront this crisis," says Bell.

He also says that despite the many crises facing Mr. Obama at this time, Sudan should receive a high level attention. "If we're going to wait until all the problems in the economy or all the other problems of the world are solved before we take on genocide and mass atrocities, we're going to be waiting for a long time and a lot of people are going to perish in the meantime."

Bell says that reports several weeks ago indicated that the Obama administration was considering a special envoy for Sudan. The Bush administration had appointed three of them, including former senator John Danforth, who helped broker the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, ending the long civil war between northern and southern Sudan.

"That was a monumental achievement in Sudan and for American foreign policy. And that sort of achievement can be replicated in the case of Darfur and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement can be secured by a new envoy, if only that person would be appointed and if only that person would be a high level envoy, as was Senator Danforth," he says.

Bell is not recommending any candidates for the post, but says that person must be a trusted confidante of both President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton.

"The Sudanese are not ignorant. They know who's high level. They know who has power and influence in Washington, DC. They know who had the ear of the previous president and they'll know who has the ear of this president. So, we can't get away with a minor appointment to this critical position," he says. 

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs