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US Senator Kerry to visit Darfur


April 9, 2009 (KHARTOUM) — US Democratic Senator John Kerry, a former presidential candidate and the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will visit Darfur next week, a US official said on Monday, amid ongoing diplomatic engagement with the Sudan government.

Sen. John Kerry (AP)

"John Kerry will arrive in the middle of next week, he will visit Darfur and meet with officials in the country. His visit will last a few days," the Sudanese foreign ministry said earlier this week.

Kerry, who will be heading a congressional delegation, will arrive as congress reportedly readies to throw some more weight behind the regional government of Southern Sudan, which the United States treats with separately from Darfur.

His visit follows that of US Special Envoy Scott Gration, whom President Barack Obama sent to assess the situation and give a personal report.

The Obama administration seems looking for an approach allowing it to resolve the ongoing conflict in Darfur without hurting the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended two decades of war in southern Sudan.

The Democrats during the electoral campaign for the presidency gave priority to the Darfur issue; however they now seem undetermined to take concrete steps in this direction.

In a roundtable hosted by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last February, Senator Kerry queried guest witnesses over the feasibility of a no-fly zone proposal over Darfur. "I’m eager to hear the panelists’ thoughts on the pros and cons of a no-fly zone in Darfur," he prefaced.

At the same event, Senator Kerry said Secretary Clinton was favorable toward the concept of the no-fly zone and other "concrete steps."

But according to the former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, the new special envoy position is just a way of distancing Secretary Clinton from the issue. A State Department spokesman speaking on March 24 disclosed that she was not at the time involved in any direct contacts over the issue.

Her one public statement on the matter called on President Omer Al-Bashir to change his mind about the aid expulsion, a decision he has since called irreversible.

However, Kerry had been confident about the adminstration’s interest in Darfur: "I am absolutely confident that this administration is going to focus on this issue … and I personally am interested in this no-fly zone concept,” he said at the February roundtable event.

Gration during his recent meetings with Sudanese officials has adopted a reconciling tone. He emphasized US friendship with the Sudan government, referring to the strategic alignment of the US toward Khartoum since about 2001 — a rapprochement publicly signalled in May 2004 when the US government removed Sudan from its list of states not cooperating in its “war on terror.”

Despite that the US State Department has persistently been telling US media that aid groups should be granted return to Sudan, Gration backed down from this position in public statements during his visit, proposing an alternative humanitarian plan.


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  • 10 April 2009 06:55, by AUGUSTINO DENG

    Mr John Kerry,

    Your visiting to Darfur regions is highly welcomes so that you can have some views of understanding about what is going on in Darfur region due to the poor management being imposed by Sudan government under the selfish leadership of Omar Bashir and his supporters members.

    repondre message

    • 10 April 2009 15:44, by Michel Fleury

      But do not forget to visit also the zones where live displaced people around Khartoum. They are for the greater part from the South Sudan. They are still two millions and the whole world seems to have forgotten them. All the attention of the media is concentrated on Darfour, while they live in a situation which is not better - regrettably - than the situation of displaced people of Darfour. They also need attention and help.

      repondre message

      • 10 April 2009 17:39, by MADIT MAJAK CHOL

        HI Sudanese, Mr. Senator John Kerry he is wonderful guy, he will make some different changing in Darfur problem. I remember four years ago when he was running for presidential with former president Bush. He almost won election because American people love him, and I like him too, I was supporting him at the presidential companies in 2004, but I didn’t vote for him because I wasn’t American citizen yet, but now I am. also last year he was supporting president Barach Obama when he was running with Senator John MCCain. Senator Kerry He is great man, I hope he will change the situation in Darfur. I would like to gave thank to Mr Senator Jonn Kerry for his first time visit Darfur. Please Sudenese people, can all of you highly welcome Mr Senator Kerry in Sudan.
        Thank you Mr Senator John Kerry I hope you will be having fun in Sudan by seeing a new different things, and learning different cultures. Good luck may God be with you in your trip to Darfur
        Happy Easter everyone!!!
        by Abraham

        repondre message

        • 10 April 2009 18:54, by kuc thon

          Dear; Senator Kerry.
          Greetting to you in the name of our lord juses christ.
          Dear sudanese generaly can we clap our hands welcome mr.senator to see the sitution in darfur region so mr senator you are highly welcome to sudan to see how mr bashir is killing darfurian so your visit will make changes in the region hopefuly you will offer something to those who are suffuring in darfur region,but remmber you American if you wants the problems in sudan to go away then to bashir awy in sudan.

          repondre message

  • 10 April 2009 21:31, by Zol Waskan

    Dear, Kerry,
    Your visit is most welcome, it is importance to know the problem of Darfurain rather than imagining the situation in the Whitehouse, may it mark the end of hostility in Sudan.

    repondre message

  • 11 April 2009 11:22, by garang peter majok

    well,senator you are welcome and here is all you need to know about sudan.
    1-sudan gov.agree to help US gov. on war on terror and secretly provived weopon to hamas and finance al qaeda if U.S intelligent doesn,t know that.it is simply a matter of "I will give them the real but not important information about you mr. Bin Ladin and have this money and well trained people to care on a job on American,Isreal and the whole world of pegans.
    2-the only way to destroy them is to make oposited powerfull nations strong economically by giving them oil business this will difinitely shift the power.
    3-dispite the value gain of U.S.D sudan,s central bank still sells dolars at 200 sdg caughting 65sdg at lost of central bank and the plan was aiming at weakening USD.

    WELCOME to Darfuor,here what ever the tell you don,t forget the right of the inonocent people and go to the real camps because this gov.of sudan is very,very ticky,they can collect people and tells you here is the camp.

    repondre message

    • 11 April 2009 19:16, by kuc thon

      Dear Mr. Kerry,
      Welcome to Western region of Sudan,Darfur and have an ample time to oversee Bashir’s destruction over Darfur and other marginalised areas.

      repondre message

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