For the past two years, as Special Envoy to Sudan, Air Force Major General (ret.) Scott Gration has repeatedly made serious errors of judgment, spoken inaccurately about a range of issues, and has alienated the political leadership in South Sudan, along with civil society, rebel leaders and the humanitarian aid community working in Darfur.
Now, the Obama administration has nominated him to be the U.S. ambassador to Kenya. Such a post would give him an important role in U.S. anti-terrorism efforts and would impact a range of African countries. General Gration’s missteps, miscalculations, and disingenuousness during his tenure in Sudan, which are fully outlined in a recent article by Sudan expert Eric Reeves, make him unfit to be ambassador to Kenya. The Senate should vote decisively against his confirmation and further recommend that he no longer continue in his role in Sudan.
General (ret.) Scott Gration as the U.S. ambassador to Kenya.
As Special Envoy to Sudan, General Gration has made ongoing errors of
judgment, has spoken inaccurately about a range of issues and has alienated
many parties in Sudan. His missteps, which are more fully outlined in a recent
article by Sudan expert Eric Reeves, partially include:
- His statement that the 2010 national elections would be “as free and fair
as possible” in spite of conspicuous evidence of fraud which made clear that
elections would not be representative of Sudanese political aspirations.
- His threat to Darfuris in March 2010 that if “a full-fledged peace agreement is
not reached before Sudan elections scheduled for mid-April [there] are going to
be a lot of things that are keeping us from focusing on Darfur.”
- His decision to “de-emphasize” Darfur and “de-couple” the Darfur genocide
from negotiations with Khartoum about Sudan’s status as a terrorism-sponsoring
- Perhaps most egregiously, General Gration has put Darfuri lives at risk by
consistently downplaying the dangerous humanitarian conditions and grossly
inadequate levels of aid. As recently as February 2011, he stated, “The
Government of Sudan has taken great steps to lift restrictions on UNAMID,”
he said. “We’ve seen great improvement of access for UNAMID and for the
international NGOs.” These statements are not supported by the evidence
widely available through multiple expert sources.
For a more complete picture of General Gration’s failures as Special Envoy to
Sudan, I encourage you to read Eric Reeves’ article titled, “The Senate Should
Not Confirm Scott Gration as U.S. Ambassador to Kenya” at
I sincerely hope that for the reasons outlined above you will vote against the
confirmation of General Gration as U.S. ambassador to Kenya and further
recommend that he no longer continue in his role in Sudan.