At Susan Rice’s Senate confirmation hearing this morning for the post of United States ambassador to the United Nations, Senator John Kerry asked how the U.S approach to ending the conflicts in Darfur, Congo and Zimbabwe would be different in the incoming Obama administration.
Rice asserted that the U.S. would take a leading role at the United Nations in addressing the “thorny challenges of peacekeeping in the context of Darfur and Congo and the autocracy in the context of Zimbabwe.”
Rice cited two main challenges the international community faces with regard to ending the conflicts in Darfur and Congo: Lack of capacity among U.N. member states to deploy well-trained and equipped peacekeeping troops on a timely basis; and lack of political will on behalf of member states to commit the resources necessary to make U.N.-peacekeeping missions successful. Rice pledged her commitment to “work to strengthen international will to take on Darfur, Congo, and Zimbabwe,” clearly showing her intent to engage with key allies who can bring pressure to bear on hostile regimes such as Khartoum.
Later in the hearing, Rice said the “lack of an underlying peace” is at the root of problems in Darfur and throughout Sudan. Her message is consistent with Enough’s calls for a “peace surge” and an “all-Sudan solution,” and we are pleased to see that the incoming Obama administration is already demonstrating their commitment, as Rice put it, “to do more to end the genocide in Darfur.”
Maggie Fick contributed to this post.