"Ask U.S.": Engaging on Sudan Strategy

Posted by Scott Gration
November 4, 2009
Special Envoy Gration Speaks During NGO Event on Darfur

Submit Your Questions:Save Darfur Coalition | STAND: Genocide Intervention NetworkAbout the Author: Major General (Ret) Scott Gration serves as the President’s Special Envoy to Sudan.

On October 19, Secretary Clinton, accompanied by Ambassador Rice and myself, released the Obama Administration’s new comprehensive strategy to confront the serious and urgent situation in Sudan. As mentioned in my past blog post, the strategy focuses on three major areas: ending the conflict in Darfur, implementing the North-South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), and ensuring that Sudan does not become a safe haven for terrorists.

This approach involves engaging with all stakeholders, in and out of Sudan, and calls for addressing the myriad set of issues facing Sudan in a coordinated and comprehensive way, based on verifiable progress on the ground.

Today, we continue this engagement and conversation in a new and unique way.

The Sudan advocacy community is extremely active and deeply committed to raising critical awareness about the situation in Sudan. The Obama Administration is eager to continue an active dialogue with the advocacy community, and as such the White House and the State Department are partnering with the Save Darfur Coalition and STAND, the student-led division of Genocide Intervention Network, to launch “Ask U.S.”

“Ask U.S.” is an effort to reach out to the advocacy communities and to solicit questions on the U.S. Sudan policy from activists deeply and passionately engaged on this critical issue. As part of the “Ask U.S.” campaign, the Save Darfur Coalition and STAND will collect questions from their members over the course of this week and weekend. Next Tuesday, November 10, leaders from these organizations will come to the White House and, in a live streamed video event, will pose selected questions to myself and Samantha Power, NSC Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs.

I would like to invite you to join the conversation and to watch the live stream at 3:00 p.m. EST, Tuesday, November 10. Through the State Department page on Facebook you can watch as members of the advocacy community have their questions posed to us, and I also encourage you to participate by inviting your friends and family on Facebook to join in the chat as this conversation unfolds.

We look forward to opening up this dialogue, listening and learning and ultimately building ways that we can work together to support the Sudanese people in their quest for peace, security and prosperity.

The advocacy community has had a major impact by raising awareness about the situation in Sudan. By maintaining an open conversation and working together, we can make a real difference with real progress for the Sudanese people.

We hope you will join us.



New York, USA
November 5, 2009

Haydar in New York writes:

Dear General,

Thanks for continuing to listen to us! As a Sudanese-American, I will continue to support your efforts as long as you continue to not only hear us, but also "listen" to us!

You are a good man, whose passion for peace is so obvious in the tireless effort you are putting in making it happen in Sudan.

May Allah continue to bless you!

Maryland, USA
November 5, 2009

Patrick in Maryland writes:

Hi, Major Gen...Scott and fellow Netizens of the Dep...

I think you have a very special view of the country you are in, and the people you are helping. Especially seeing it is your second home. You have a very intuitive, introspective of the people living in Africa. Which is something i believe, is important in the work your doing there. :)

...See...Ya ...Scott :)


Virginia, USA
November 5, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

I still think Sudan could use a sparkle, a waterfall of hope, a water display so big people come from miles to visit. something that brings good luck and fortune to the people of Sudan. Why doesn't the United States try and get world leaders to donate to the country of Sudan, to help with its economy and make something wonderful. We all are deeply moved by the sorrows of deaths surrounding Darfur. Our prayers and hopes the country can stablize and rebuild into something great!

November 8, 2009

Sam in Australia writes:

The current situation in Sudan, assessed from an objective examination of its political, economic, social and security aspects, calls for the urgent adoption of a new course based on national solidarity, and the country should place unity over division and the collective over individual. Only this will prepare Sudan for a national revival and start a tangible drive for development.

The first challenge facing today's Sudan is ideological. The so-called "New Sudan" scheme, dividing the country into various parts, is closely linked to the global plans of messianic U.S. politicians and champions of the Project for the New American Century, drawn up under former U.S. president George W Bush. The scheme aims to change the identity of Sudan, erasing its history and sapping the power of its people.

The implementation of this scheme in Sudan would promote goals that transcend Sudanese geographical borders and national territories. Eliminating Arab and Islamic culture in Sudan is only one of the declared goals of this scheme. The aim of the New Sudan project is to reshape conditions in Sudan in a way that benefits only pro-Africa, pro- Christianity and pro-American groups. Once Sudan is severed from its Arab fabric, Egypt's southern flank would be exposed, Red Sea security would be compromised and Sudan would become a thorn in the side of the Arab world.

The New Sudan scheme aims to undermine the essence of Arab national security through four main points, which include weakening the national security of Egypt and Libya by depriving them of the strategic depth Sudan now offers; threatening the security of Red Sea littoral countries; eliminating the function of Sudan as a strategic source for Arab food security; ending the role of Sudan as a bridge between Arab and African areas, and terminating cultural exchange between the Arab world and sub-Saharan Africa.

The second challenge facing Sudan is external. This external challenge has grown with the rise of the US as the world's sole superpower, a development that has given a boost to a global project spearheaded by the forces of Zionism and evangelical Christianity and their allies in Africa. The nature of the external challenge has changed over the past 20 years or so. At times, foreign threats have taken the shape of an economic, military and diplomatic blockade. At other times, foreign powers have interfered in favour of local players on the political scene, and neighbouring countries have been used as instruments of pressure and blackmail.

P.S. I bet your boss's didn't tell you that !

Camille D.
Maryland, USA
November 9, 2009

Camille in Maryland writes:

I think that an important question to discuss is how the members of the special envoy team are educated/prepared for being stationed in Sudan. How involved are the Sudanese in this preparation. Those traveling to maintain and enforce the jurisdictions of the Peace Agreement must have a grasp on the past, present, and future initiatives that drive the state of the country. Listening to the advocacy community on these issues is of great importance and this "Ask U.S." live stream discussion is very progressive and inclusive. U.S. involvement is undoubtedly intertwined in the current status. We must work together to create comprehensive peace keeping strategies. They should not undermine the multifaceted Sudanese traditions and cultures, while squandering oppressive governmental practices that fuel conflict and prevent lasting stabilized livelihood.

Sharon C.
Ohio, USA
November 10, 2009

Sharon in Ohio writes:

Is there any way to add the release of women help in prison for supposed Islamic infractions? There are over 700 women awaiting payment of fines in Omdurman prison. Some are under 18 and some are Christians. None of the women should be in prion.

In addition to Darfur, can the release of these women be added to our position on the Sudan?

Laura T.
November 10, 2009

Laura in Sudan writes:

i am excited and hopeful about this dialogue!!!

Virginia, USA
November 11, 2009

Robert in Virginia writes:

I am grateful that General Gration has taken the risks he has. It is much easier to condemn the government, and perhaps rightly so, than to work with it to solve the problem. General Gration seems to care about relieving the pain of suffering people and moving their rulers to a kinder place. The detractors seem to care more about outrage.

November 14, 2009

Sam in Australia writes:

Whether you like it or not, the US is going to lift sanctions! They do not like us, we don't like them; they do not like Southern Sudanese either. You would be stupid to think so! They like their interest..their own interest only. In the past South Sudanese have been fighting their (US) war to weaken and destroy our country, in the vain hope that the SPLA will rule the country. SPLA/M has failed them miserably!

Now they want to look after their own interest. Obviously it is in the North! This is why they are against secession, they want to keep South Sudan as a fish-bone in our throat, we could neither swallow it nor vomit it out!! If their interest is in the South they could have separated it more than 20 years ago. But if you stand in the way of their interest they will move them away like garbage and continue moving! They won't wait for South Sudanese and leave China, Russia "and even France is coming up" to reap all the richness of NORTH SUDAN,while SPLM patriotic leaders are looting the billions of their poor and marginalized people.


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