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Report: Avoiding the Train Wreck in Sudan: U.S. Leverage for Peace

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Report: Avoiding the Train Wreck in Sudan: U.S. Leverage for Peace

Posted by Enough Team on August 19, 2010
Contact: Jonathan Hutson,, 202-386-1618


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars has released a new Enough Project paper, “Avoiding the Train Wreck in Sudan: U.S. Leverage for Peace,” which challenges the assertion by top U.S. administration officials that the United States lacks leverage with the government of Sudan.

This notion has led to sharp debates within the U.S. government about whether pressures or incentives, or a combination of both, could possibly affect the calculations of the conflicting parties in Sudan.

The Woodrow Wilson Center published the paper as part of a two-piece publication that examines international engagement in Sudan. The paper’s authors, the Enough Project’s John Prendergast and Laura Jones, point out eight areas in which the United States, either alone or with allies, does in fact possess leverage that it is currently under-utilizing. The authors go on to argue that there are five areas in which the United States could be creating additional leverage in support of African Union and United Nations peace efforts already underway in the country.

"Expanded U.S. leverage will be a key ingredient if there is to be a successful formula for peace in all of Sudan,” argues Prendergast, Co-Founder of the Enough Project. “That leverage comes from the construction of viable and robust benefits and consequences in response to peace or war. The points of influence need to be new and big enough to affect the calculations of the parties in Sudan. And they need to be focused on peace and rights promotion in the entire country, not allowing Darfur to be played off against the South.”

“The Obama administration will help secure peace only if the president takes a lesson from the process that produced the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 and uses all the tools at his disposal,” said Jones. “If the Obama administration demonstrates to the government of Sudan its commitment to seeing peace, then its leverage will be increased. U.S. commitment can best be shown by presenting a well-coordinated policy, sanctioned by the president, and implemented by full-time diplomatic staff on the ground and in negotiations.

Read the full paper: “Avoiding the Train Wreck in Sudan: U.S. Leverage for Peace”


Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a “3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit