An interesting article making the rounds among Darfuri activists and others today seems to highlight why exactly we need a campaign like Sudan Now. In a Khartoum newspaper that is seen as having good sources within the ruling party, an article argues that the Sudanese Government is increasingly frustrated with American Special Envoy Scott Gration and may go so far as to suspend dialogue with him, (likely an empty threat.) The bone of contention: the ruling party feels that Gration is backtracking on alleged promises to move forward with lifting sanction on Sudan. Of course, one has to take what appears in Sudanese newspapers with a very large grain of salt, but the article does lend credence to the notion that both U.S. activists and the Sudanese Government interpreted Gration’s earlier comments to suggest that he favored lifting some sanctions on the government despite little discernible progress on the ground. A rough translation of the article follows:
Khartoum: Nuha Omer ElSheikh
Governmental circles open fire on Gration and hint to suspension of talks with him.
They see his explanations regarding sanctions, frustrating.
Governmental circles see that talks with the new American Administration are in vain, and hinted to its suspension. These circles pointed to numerous shortcomings of the Special Envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration, and described him as a contradictory man. These circles expressed their unhappiness with the explanations the Special Envoy cited regarding the sanctions. They (the circles) said that the Special Envoy needs a long time to win back their trust.
A reliable official source told ElSahafa yesterday that the latest round of talks with Gration during his recent stop in Khartoum was mainly concentrated on his statements (reversal) regarding sanctions. The government protested formally and demanded explanation from Gration about his reversal statements. But the explanation provided did not satisfy the government despite Gration’s excuses that he said what he said to fend off the growing pressure he is subjected to ( in U.S.A.) and he sees he has to be balanced in presenting the cases which is more beneficial to the dialogue. But the government circles find such talks with the Special Envoy frustrating and will not lead to lifting the sanctions in the near future. The same source said that Gration’s talks with the Government of the South Sudan and his focus to lift the sanctions from the South has created less trust and a mood of pessimism in Khartoum. The source described Gration as a contradictory for dealing with South Sudan as a sovereign country while at the same time claims that he is working for a united Sudan.
And if you read Arabic, here’s the original.