Sudan: Peace, Justice, and Reconciliation

Posted by Scott Gration
October 29, 2009
Refugees at a Refugee Camp in Sudan

About the Author: Major General (Ret) Scott Gration serves as the President’s Special Envoy to Sudan.

Today marks the release of the much-anticipated report by the African Union’s (AU) High Level Panel on Darfur. The Panel, led by former President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, was convened earlier this year to examine the situation in Darfur and to come up with recommendations to address issues of accountability, combating impunity, and bringing about healing and reconciliation for the people of Darfur. I am attending a special session of AU Peace and Security Council in Abuja, Nigeria, where a number of African heads of state are reviewing the Panel’s findings.

We welcome the release of this report and applaud the efforts of the AU, President Mbeki, and his panel of experts. We will study the Panel’s results and recommendations closely. It is critical that we begin laying the groundwork for peace, justice, and reconciliation in Sudan. As articulated in the United States policy on Sudan, accountability for the genocide and atrocities in Darfur is fundamental and necessary for reconciliation and lasting peace. As such, we will continue to work with the AU, Darfuri armed movements, Darfuri civil society, the Government of Sudan, and the international community to address these critical issues and to bring peace, justice, and reconciliation to Sudan. We will also continue to be supportive of finding a way forward that is deemed credible and unbiased by the standards of international justice and that enjoys the confidence of the people of Darfur.

Thank you for your continued interest, Scott.



New York, USA
October 29, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

Darfur Revisionism: Are we engaged in a clean-up of the Darfur Genocides in the name of future peace and stability?

Will we need Truth and Reconciliation on the revisionist outcomes of this holocaust? This is a dangerous model which can lead to more Darfurs and more agreements to clean up the history.

Virginia, USA
October 29, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

Remember in the movie, "Fields of Dreams" BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME!!! The challenges and footprints for Sudan are written, the time has come to move forward and build a beautiful Wonder for the people. In life everyone needs a light, a whisper of hope, above all something that makes them feel good inside. You can't change the past, you can press ahead with might and strength of 1000 angels. God will bless the country of Sudan. It will also take the people willing to follow their hearts and bestow a trust in the Lord and he will help the people. This is almost as powerful as an Oracle. Faith is something you can't see, or hear but believe in something that happens before your eyes and it does!

Godbless and Peace be upon those who believe in the Lord! Then they will be saved!!!

New York, USA
October 30, 2009

Haydar in New York writes:

Muslims, too, love America!
A familiar evil has reached our beloved sanctuary of freedom
From the Charlotte Observer (Sept.15, 2001)

The time was 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 11. A few minutes earlier my wife, Asmaa, left for work and my 7-year-old son, Haddif, left for school. After helping my 4-year-old daughter, Samah, board her pre-K bus, I turned the TV on and went to prepare a bottle for my 9-month-old daughter, Amna. We both were extremely happy. She joyfully followed my moves, as she usually does, while I sang for her and headed toward the kitchen. Then CNN brought home news that changed the whole mood. My dear friend and neighbor Omer called to share his agonies with me. He told me that all his colleagues in the company he works for are in a state of shock and dismay as a result of the attack on America, so they were practically dismissed. He had hurriedly come home.

As we were talking, the first tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. Shocked, stunned, enraged, terrified, I couldn't control my tears. "Omer, will you come over, please?" I said. I was wiping my tears as he entered the house. Twenty years ago Omer and I were roommates at the University of Khartoum in Sudan. We both belong to the Republican Movement, an Islamic reform organization. We both came to this country on Fulbright scholarships. We both received graduate degrees from Ohio universities. We both moved to Charlotte and bought houses in this beautiful city to raise our children in the same neighborhood. My wife and his wife got jobs at First Union, in the same department.

The Republican Movement to which Omer and I belong calls for the abrogation of Islamic Sahr'ia laws and the institution of Sunnah, Prophet Mohammed's example and code of conduct. Furthermore, it calls for equality between men and women, based on the original precepts of Islam on individual responsibility before God and before the law. It calls for the equality of men and women of all races, creeds and religions, in all walks of life. This conception of Islam runs contrary to Islamic fundamentalism. Omer and I have worked hard but peacefully to combat the fanaticism that breeds in the minds of Muslim fundamentalists in the Sudan and elsewhere in the Middle East.

On Jan. 18, 1985, the Sudanese government executed Ustadh Mahmoud Mohammed Taha, founder of the Republican Movement. All the Republicans, consequently, endured tremendous torture, humiliation and pain. Trade unions and some political organizations rallied the country into a huge rage against Islamic fundamentalism, which resulted in a full-fledged uprising that resulted in the overthrow of the dictatorship on April 6, 1985. A transitional military government took over to arrange for elections. One year later, there was an elected civilian government ruling the country.

I jubilantly left university teaching to join the diplomatic corps of Sudan, and Omer took a prominent position with Save the Children, an American organization that worked in Khartoum. We had a sense that our days with misery were over. But not for long.

In less than four years, fanaticism returned. A military coup again, this time with an extra dose of fanaticism and rage. More than 2 million Sudanese perished as a result of war, torture and inhumane detention. And it was under this government, which still rules the country, that the lord of terror, Osama bin Laden, found refuge and sanctuary before leaving for Afghanistan.

After finishing our graduate degrees, Omer and I decided to seek political asylum in the United States. I could not conceive going back to my post as a diplomat to represent such a terrible government. Islamic fundamentalists have wreaked havoc on our native land, Sudan, and other areas in the Middle East and North Africa since then. And now they attack us in our new home, our beloved America.

All my children are American-born. They belong to this beautiful sanctuary of freedom. About a month ago my wife and I interviewed for American citizenship, culminating our hard struggle from terror to freedom. Or so we thought. We even thought we might forever be beyond the reach of evil. How little we knew!

As I hugged, kissed, fed and sang with my beautiful 9-month-old American, there were other American fathers and mothers being killed by the same forces of hate that drove me and Omer out of our native land to America. Our quest and struggle for freedom continues, as America, with all its might, comes under siege.

I have always loved this country, long before I came to it. But I never knew the depth of this love until Tuesday morning, until I cried for the pain this country is enduring, until I grieved for our human losses and the loss of freedom. But we won't let go. I, for one, will, as in the past, work to hit fanaticism of every kind, of every creed, head on, but through peaceful and thoughtful means. God bless America, and with America, by America, bless the world.

Maryland, USA
October 31, 2009

Patrick in Maryland writes:

Hi. Major General, Scott

I'm happy to see you are writing in again. I hope things are going well for you on our Mission towards a peaceful Region in the Sudan,Dafur and Africa. You are a very inspiring person, and i am still interested
in your work on behalf of the people of our country and the people of the Sudan . :)

We are lucky to have a person like you working for our Country.

..Cya.. Scott :)


Latest Stories

December 10, 2016

Why Human Rights Matter

December 10, marks the 68th annual Human Rights Day in which the United States and countries around the world recall… more