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.
Please keep up the pressure on the Obama Administration for peace in Sudan, asking President Obama to empower Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice to provide their personal, sustained leadership in implementing America’s Sudan policy, including a renewed diplomatic push for peace backed by pressure-based leverage.
At the hearing, the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan, Maj. Gen. Scott Gration (Ret.) rightly said, "We can’t waste another minute" in ensuring long-awaited peace for the people of Sudan. The issues to be addressed in the brief period before the scheduled January 2011 independence referendum for South Sudan are urgent and enormous. With the Sudanese peace process remaining stagnant, increased violence in Darfur, and the real risk of a return to full-scale war, the Obama administration must not allow U.S. leadership to languish.
I would especially like to 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.
Thank you for your dedication to this important issue. Please keep up the pressure for peace in Sudan, now.