Home | News    Friday 19 June 2009

US State Dept. still characterizes Darfur situation as genocide


June 19, 2009 (WASHINGTON) – The Assistant Secretary of the US State Department today said "We continue to characterize the circumstances in Darfur as genocide," contradicting remarks made the previous day the US Special Envoy to Sudan, who had said that Darfur is experiencing only "remnants of genocide."

U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan Scott Gration (Reuters)

President Obama’s chosen envoy to the Sudan, Scott Gration said Wednesday, "What we see is the remnants of genocide. What we see are the consequences of genocide, the results of genocide."

He was speaking with the press in Washington, D.C. after a series of visits he made to engage the Government of Sudan and international players.

Assistant Secretary Philip Crowley’s statement today represents a strong definitional position, one that officials have avoided using despite the US Secretary of State’s declaration in 2004 that "genocide has been committed in Darfur… and genocide may still be occurring."

Mr. Crowley said that there is room in the administration for debate about the interpretation of the facts that go into this judgement.

Nevertheless, Mr. Gration’s remarks yesterday, which discarded some of the discordant rhetoric used by officials of both the Bush and Obama administrations, reflected his open embrace of the long-downplayed tactical partnership between the United States and Sudan, which is grounded in counter-terrorism cooperation.

He took the opportunity of the press briefing to defend his approach of "constructive engagement" with the Government of Sudan and other parties, pointing to results in the field of humanitarian access and potentially in Sudan’s peace processes.

After Mr. Gration’s comments yesterday, Ambassador Susan Rice was furious, ABC News reported, citing US officials.

The Special Envoy position is not accorded access to information flow from US-Sudanese intelligence sharing, according to remarks last September by then-US Envoy Ambassador Richard Williamson.

CIA’s cooperation with the Sudanese intelligence apparatus won the praise of Senator Johnny Isakson last month in a piece in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution after he and Senator Bob Corker were hosted at a dinner by intelligence chief Salah Abdallah Gosh.

US envoys to Sudan manage the bilateral relationship within the framework of the existing counter-terrorism partnership.

However, the partnership is complicated for the United States because some politicians are under pressure from lobbyist organizations advocating on behalf of civilians in Darfur.

Today, Assistant Secretary of State Philip Crowley referred to the challenges facing the Sudan. He said, "We recognize that in dealing with all of these challenges, we will have to deal with the Sudanese Government in some way, and we hope that the Sudanese Government will, in turn, constructively work with the United States and the international community to help resolve not only what’s happening in Darfur, but the challenges that happen in other parts of the country."


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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 19 June 2009 16:17, by J. Noon

    This is a game of "old classic dirty politics", this is actually means that al-Basir is responsible, and who is responsible for the current wars around the globe, that endless to count them, the world will never be as used to be, and this will be up to no one.

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