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Our Meeting with the President

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Our Meeting with the President

Posted by John Prendergast on March 31, 2009

Yesterday, Enough Senior Advisor Omer Ismail and I had the privilege of meeting with President Obama and his new Sudan special envoy, General Scott Gration. General Gration is a thoughtful, committed public servant whose tenure as envoy could be very successful if the president gives him the right policy and tools he needs to succeed. We discussed with the president that what has been missing in U.S. policy for some time now is a strategic vision aimed at ENDING the cycle of war and famine in Darfur rather than simply managing the genocidal consequences. This requires the U.S. to commit to helping to build a credible peace process in Darfur and to rebuild a viable mechanism to oversee the implementation of the North-South deal. There will always be crises to address, the latest being President Bashir’s expulsion of aid agencies from Darfur, and the U.S. of course must do everything it can to address these crises of the day. But as activists, we must keep our eyes on the longer-term prize: a peaceful, democratic Sudan. That should be President Obama’s top priority, and General Gration should organize U.S. efforts to achieve this objective.

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