Upon learning that the U.S. government sent a representative to the inauguration yesterday of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, Enough and partners Stop Genocide Now and Investors Against Genocide issued a statement today condemning this decision.
“The administration missed an opportunity to build leverage and lead by example,” said Enough’s John Prendergast. “An announcement a week before the inauguration that the U.S. would not participate would have stiffened the spines of other wavering countries and highlighted the issue, reasserting U.S. leadership on principle. Getting nothing in return for this reversal of long-standing U.S. policy is baffling and ineffective diplomacy."
The Associated Press solicited a response from the State Department, which defended its decision to send a foreign service officer to the celebration. "The State Department notes that the inauguration also was for a vice president, Salva Kiir, from the largest party representing southern Sudan," AP reported.
Photo: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir at his inauguration in Khartoum (AP)