U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan retired Maj. General Scott Gration briefed bloggers at a round table Friday claiming there was "agreement on the overall broad framework on what we call incentives and pressures." Asked about the SudanNow campaign he said "if anybody wants to come and help us, come on down."
He also said he did not rule out meeting with Sudan President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. "I’ve not met with Bashir, nor do I have plans to meet with him. But I’m not ruling it out if we have to do it to move the process forward," Gration told bloggers.
Gration claimed "the president is totally behind me and is very interested."
Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast told ForeignPolicy.com:
[I]f the U.S. collapsed under the weight of perceived expediency and sold its moral authority for some belief that meeting the big man, the strong man, would actually be dispositive in moving the peace process forward, I think it would be a tragic mistake. It would undermine what leverage the United States has, which is rooted in part in moral authority and in part in its advocacy for those victims and survivors of the wars in Southern Sudan and Darfur."
[We believe that U.S. policy, implemented by Gration, is] heading into dangerous territory in both Darfur and in the North-South process…[On the North-South issue,] a dangerous mistake that’s being made is to allow the U.S. government to be part of a process that includes the [ruling] National Congress Party, [southern] SPLM, and United States talking about renegotiating elements of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. This allows us to be perceived as willing to renegotiate certains things that have already been agreed upon…instead of renegotiating things that are hard, we need to demand strict implementation [of the peace process] and work to build a multilateral coalition that is willing to impose consequences for non-implemention."
For more reports on the Gration briefing, click here.