The U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan, Maj. Gen. Scott Gration (Ret.), appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on May 12 to brief lawmakers on developments as the country prepares for a critical referendum in January 2011 that is likely to split Africa's largest country in two.
Senators John Kerry (D-Mass) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss) did the right thing in demanding more direct involvement from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ambassador Susan Rice on this issue. With a faltering peace process, increased violence in Darfur, rising tensions in the South, and the looming referendum—strong U.S. leadership is desperately needed. Absent the necessary conditions for a peaceful referendum, U.S. policy on Sudan demands the sustained attention of policymakers at the highest levels of our government, including President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and Ambassador Rice.
Thank the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for holding this critical oversight hearing on Sudan. Especially thank the Senators that were present at the hearing—Senators John Kerry, Richard Lugar, Roger Wicker, Johnny Isakson, Russ Feingold, Bob Casey, and Jim Risch—and urge them to keep up the pressure.