News / Africa

US Reaffirms Backing for Sudan Envoy Scott Gration

US Special Envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration attends the 14th Extraordinary Summit of Inter-Governmental Authority (IGAD) Heads of State and Government in Nairobi, 09 Mar  2010
US Special Envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration attends the 14th Extraordinary Summit of Inter-Governmental Authority (IGAD) Heads of State and Government in Nairobi, 09 Mar 2010
TEXT SIZE - +

The State Department has reaffirmed administration support for U.S. Sudan envoy Scott Gration in the face of a call by a key Republican congressman Wednesday for other top officials to take over the Sudan policy role. Gration is in Sudan on his first visit there since disputed elections last month.

The State Department says Gration continues to have the full confidence and support of the Obama administration and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - this, in the face of heavy criticism of Gration by Sudan activists and a key member of Congress.

In a letter to President Obama, a senior Republican Congressman - Frank Wolf of Virginia - urged Mr. Obama to put Secretary Clinton and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice in control of he termed a languishing U.S. policy toward Sudan.

Wolf criticized efforts by Gration, a retired U.S. Air Force General to engage the Sudanese government of President Omar al-Bashir. He said Gration has failed to recognize the true nature of the Sudanese leader, who is accused of crimes against humanity in Darfur.

"What we're asking is that Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rice take this policy back into the head office, " said Congressman Wolf. "Rice knows this policy. I worked with Susan Rice when she was in the Clinton administration. She is tough, pragmatic and understands the whole issue of Darfur, the north-south agreement. But the Secretary has got to start engaging."

A coalition of 25 Sudan and Darfur activist groups endorsed Wolf's appeal, voicing concern in a joint statement about what was termed the administration's weak implementation of its stated Sudan policy.

But briefing reporters, State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley reaffirmed administration backing for Gration, who began a trip to Sudan Monday to assess the situation in the aftermath of elections last month marred by boycotts and fraud allegations.

The United States acknowledged the elections did not meet international standards though the White House said they were none-the-less an essential step in Sudan's north-south peace process under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement.

That process is to be climaxed by a referendum in southern Sudanese regions next January on whether the already-autonomous south will become an independent country.

Spokesman Crowley said Gration's mission now is to help the Sudanese parties climb what he termed a very steep hill to prepare for the referendum, and that time is of the essence.

"There's no time to waste," said P.J. Crowley. "There's a lot of very complex and important issues that have to be resolved: border demarcation, how to resolve and share energy resources within Sudan. So that has been our focus.  Scott Gration has helped us shape this policy. And he has the full confidence of the administration and the Secretary of State."

Crowley said a vote for an independent southern Sudan is a probability and that much needs to be done to prepare for the birth of a new state, which would occur six months after the voting.

He said Gration met in the southern regional capital Juba Wednesday with the newly re-elected southern Sudanese president Salva Kir Mayardit, and will visit the troubled western Darfur region Thursday to meet United Nations and African Union officials.

Gration began the trip in Khartoum, though he has shunned direct meetings with President al-Bashir amid the war crimes charges against him by the International Criminal Court.

You May Like

Multimedia Parents of Disaster Ferry Passengers Lash Out at Authorities

Twenty-nine bodies recovered from water but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid