Gateway to the World: Port Sudan's Great Potential

Posted by Scott Gration
February 8, 2011
Special Envoy Gration Meets With Local Goverment Officials
Special Envoy Gration in Port Sudan
Special Envoy Gration Tours Port Sudan With Local Government Officials
Looking At Port Sudan

About the Author: Major General (Ret) Scott Gration serves as the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan.

As I continue my 25th trip as Special Envoy to Sudan, I'm struck by the remarkable potential that an improved relationship between the United States and Sudan holds for the Sudanese people. While much of my time has been spent on Darfur and North-South issues, it's important to recognize that we seek to broaden our engagement with all of Sudan -- north, south, east, and west. Since writing from Juba, I traveled north to Khartoum, and then east for my first visit to the Red Sea State as Special Envoy.

On February 4-5, I visited Port Sudan, a city on Sudan's eastern coast and a vital economic hub. Its port and oil terminal are critical to the Sudanese economy, and though I was impressed by the superb efforts of local humanitarian workers, it's clear that eastern Sudan's citizens would benefit from additional investment in education, health care, critical infrastructure, and improved access to basic services, especially safe drinking water.

Meetings with local government officials impressed upon me the important role that Eastern Sudan's three states play in Sudan's political, economic, and cultural life. I encouraged them to work toward our shared vision of a more open and inclusive society -- one where all Sudanese can enjoy a better future, whether Dinka or Misseriya, Darfuri, or Beja. We appreciate the government's efforts to fulfill its commitments under the Eastern Peace Agreement and encourage it to do everything possible to keep people safe and create the conditions for economic growth. Families cannot thrive where people feel excluded and economic opportunity is scarce.

For the north to reach its full potential, it must be strong and united from east to west. I shared this in my meetings with the deputy wali (the Sudanese term for local governor), and challenged him to consider how an improved relationship between the United States and Sudan could benefit his province's people. A visit to the port facility revealed a wealth of potential opportunity. In the next decade, Port Sudan could emerge as a major maritime hub and gateway to the rest of the world, and the east could play a major role in the north's economic stability.

I'm grateful to the people of Port Sudan for their hospitality, and look forward to future opportunities to strengthen the ties forged during this initial visit.



West Virginia, USA
February 8, 2011

Pamela G. in West Virginia writes:

Hopefully the leaders of Sudan can find the advantage of becoming US allies in order to improve the lives of its citizens.

John P.
February 8, 2011

John P. in Greece writes:

@ Major General Scott Gration:

Anyone having the slightest idea of how much difficult things are in Sudan, would easily understand that all of you there are HEROES!

Thank you very much for serving in a such difficult environment and I wish that God will give you the strength to keep on trying for making a better world for all of us and the Sudanese people.

I understand how much valuable your time is. However, in a future post of yours, please Sir, share with us some of your everyday, human, simple impressions and difficulties of being there.

Best Regards Sir!

Abdelrahim A.
Virginia, USA
February 24, 2011

Abdelrahim A. in Virginia writes:

Thanks for all, States and individuals who spent their inconceivable efforts to bring peace to Sudan, it could be considered that the separation of South Sudan is part of Southerns' long time suffer. As some of us gave their thanks to G.Scott Gration, I believe that he did do enough to bring peace to the whole of Sudan as his mandate was classified, he may did some good things but not not at all, yes he played some role in keeping the tension between North criminal government and Southern semi-independent government before the referendum. But generally instead of biasing to the civilians he was basing or standing in the side of the government for his own interests, that why he was criticized so many times by the Secretary of State Mrs. Hilary Clinton and Susan Rice the US envoy to UN.

In 2008 G. Gration was played a very strong negative role to re-erupting the conflict in Jebel Marra Area in Darfur, he was clearly stood up in the said of the Sudan government, that was surprised us so much as human rights and peace national observers in Sudan and Dafur, as many of international diplomatic agencies and human rights organizations were wondering that is that was the task the the G. Gration was assigned by the US government, then finally we were hoping so much as Darfurians to see Mr Gration replaced by any one else so that the new envoy could play more positive role in Darfur and Sudan in general, we subsequently urged the president Obama to do so, which is now been achieved.


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