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RELEASE: Sudan Advocacy Groups, in Letter to Obama, Seek Policy Changes

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RELEASE: Sudan Advocacy Groups, in Letter to Obama, Seek Policy Changes

Posted by Enough Team on September 9, 2009

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For Immediate Release
September 9, 2009
Eileen White Read, 202.741.6376
[email protected]
RELEASE: Sudan Advocacy Groups, in Letter to Obama, Seek Policy Changes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Obama Administration has almost completed its policy review on Sudan. There is, however, a major problem with the administration’s emerging policy, notes an open letter to President Obama from a group of Sudan advocacy organizations. While it is welcome that the U.S. government has agreed on the tactical pressures and incentives with which it will approach Sudan, the broader diplomatic strategy guiding this effort is fundamentally flawed.

The full text of the letter can be found here.
Signatories to the letter included members of the Sudan Now campaign – the Enough Project at the Center for American Progress, Investors Against Genocide, Stop Genocide Now, and Humanity United – along with the Genocide Intervention Network.
The letter, titled “Avoiding Total War in Sudan: The Urgent Need for a Different U.S. Strategy,” comments that the ruling National Congress Party, or NCP, is eager to undermine the self-determination referendum scheduled for 2011 that will determine if South Sudan is to become independent. In particular, there are mounting signs that the ruling NCP is again arming proxy militias in the South. Left unchecked, the NCP’s behavior will trigger a war in the South and make it all the more difficult to resolve the still-simmering crisis in Darfur.
Regarding the South, the current U.S. diplomatic strategy is making peace more difficult by opening the door to a renegotiation of key aspects of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement’s implementation through the current tripartite talks. The U.S. diplomatic strategy should instead refocus on strict adherence to the CPA, particularly the provisions associated with preparations for the referendum, and ensure that there will be consequences for any actions by the parties that undermine the CPA—either through non-implementation or by the arming of ethnic-based militias. 
Regarding Darfur, the current U.S. approach is inadvertently leading to further divisions among rebel factions in Darfur and lacks an endgame focused on specific proposals that will result in a lasting peace. Instead, the U.S. must adopt a diplomatic strategy that puts the horse before the cart in Darfur by developing a draft peace plan that is backed by the diplomatic structure and leverage necessary for success. 
Said Enough Co-founder John Prendergast, “To avert a plunge to full-scale national war in Sudan, the Obama administration must alter its diplomatic strategy in both the South and in Darfur. In the South, the U.S. should work to develop costs for the ruling National Congress Party’s provision of support to ethnic-based militias and deliberate obstruction of the implementation of the CPA. In Darfur, the U.S. should lay down a peace proposal that addresses the core issues of displaced and refugee Darfuri populations, and work to get the parties on board. Only when the diplomatic strategy is right will the new Obama policy framework have any chance for success.”
The full text of the letter can be found here.
For additional information:
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Sudan Now is a coalition of anti-genocide advocacy organizations committed to bringing meaningful and lasting peace to Sudan and encouraging strong American leadership and action to achieve this goal. For more information, visit
The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on crises in Sudan, Chad, eastern Congo, northern Uganda, Somalia, and Zimbabwe. 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, contact Eileen White Read, 202.741.6376; [email protected].
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