A Comprehensive Strategy for Sudan

Posted by Scott Gration
October 19, 2009

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

This morning Secretary Clinton announced the results of this Administration’s Sudan policy review, accompanied by Ambassador Rice and myself. The strategy is the result of months of serious and extensive deliberations and considerations of the complex challenges by the most senior levels of this Administration. It provides the integrated and comprehensive approach that the issues in Sudan require, and it is focused on achieving verifiable progress on the ground.

This strategy includes three primary strategic objectives: first, a definitive end to conflict, gross human rights abuses, and genocide in Darfur; second, implementation of the North-South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that results in a peaceful post-2011 Sudan, or an orderly path toward two separate and viable states at peace with each other; and third, ensuring that Sudan does not provide a safe haven for international terrorists.

To achieve these objectives, we are committed to using all levers of American influence. Fundamental to our approach is a policy of broad, deep engagement for lasting change on the ground . That includes engagement with the National Congress Party (NCP), the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), Darfuri armed movements and civil society, as well as countries in the region and the broader international community.

Crucial to these efforts will be a frank dialog with the Government of Sudan about what needs to be accomplished, how the bilateral relationship can improve with verifiable improvements in conditions on the ground, and how strong pressures will be exerted on Sudan if conditions remain the same or worsen.

The situation is urgent. Time is short. Failure is not an option. The United States is committed to working for a sustainable, lasting peace in Darfur and full implementation of the North-South CPA. We are focused on verifiable progress on the ground. If you want to read more information about our new comprehensive strategy for Sudan, I encourage you to read Secretary President Obama’s statement Clinton’s remarks, and the public strategy document.

I thank you for your support, and encourage you to remain committed and involved on this critical issue. Thank you, Scott.



Tennessee, USA
October 19, 2009

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Why is it always the U.S.? Other countries have productive investments which reap fiscal rewards, where are they in helping the people?

While I understand that the United States has to find a way to procure power and doing so by productive involvements is evident, somewhere there has to be more immediate returns on our investments, don't you think?

We feed over Seventy percent of the worlds population, yet, we now have 15 million people out of work HERE competing for one million jobs ...somehow, what is out there seems less relevant. Without a strong U.S., there is no future for any democracy and THAT SEEMS TO BE IGNORED.

It is not heartless, it is not ignorant, it is a reality ...take care of your own first...

New York, USA
October 19, 2009

Ron in New York writes:

Engage, but verify:

There's no doubt that engagement and dialogue is the preferred approach. This is particularly important in situations where "diplomatic blackouts" play into genocidal regimes who prefer disengagement and the cover of "Paraiah Status". One thing is for sure, the USG must reinforce a strong, clear and non-negotiable definition of Genocide, and take appropriate early-intervention when it occurs. Rwanda, Darfur, .....Next?

As for incentives not to commit crimes against humanity... Absurd... To be a member of the International Community, good governance is a prerequisite, not an add-on after aid.

Abraham A.
Vermont, USA
October 21, 2009

Abraham in Vermont writes:

I am a Southern Sudanese living in the United States. I just finished my master degree in Public Administration at Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. I have been seriously following the debate in the White House and State Department about the right approach toward the Sudan.

First of all I would like to thank President Obama and his entire team for taking the time to arrive at this policy. Secondly, I want to thank Secretary Clinton, Dr. Susan Rice and General Gration for their commitment to the cause of the Sudanese people.

We the Southern Sudanese were very anxious to hear about this policy counting on President Obama's campaign promise. As time goes without any policy and many conflicting reports about General Gration's approach toward the NIF we became so concern. These concerns were exacerbated recently when news outlets started reporting about lobbyists. These concerns have been swayed today with the announcement of the new comprehensive policy which I consider fair and balance policy toward the Sudan. I am particularly impressed with the administration's sense of urgency toward the CPA. What remains to be seen is its implementation.

The Southern Sudanese are nervous about the CPA and particularly about the referendum. It was so easy for Khartoum Government to manipulate the census results to achieve some political and economic objectives; so there is even greater fear about the NCP manipulating the referendum results. We are ready to become a separate country and the NCP knows it and that is why they are coming up with ridiculous positions to try and renegotiate the CPA through legislation

We will closely follow this policy and we will make sure to bring grievances to your attention in case you do not notice. We are also asking the leadership in Washington to see if there is a way to engage the Southern Sudanese here in the United States particular the so called "lost boys." These individuals are so committed to the cause of their people and they are ready to help the Obama Administration to implement this policy and to help the new country to be to realize full independence and live in peace.

Thank you

Maryland, USA
October 21, 2009

Patrick in Maryland writes:

Hi, Major Gen. Scott Gration, and Friends of The Department of States.

I Too Love our special ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice & our Secretary Hillary clinton, who doesn't, they are both very lovable people :) .

I am very glad to see you three are working on a better stratagy to help the people of the Sudan. I am hoping your working together on this important mission will help resolve some of the disagreements in the Sudan faster . I know there problems are very complex, but you are very smart people, and i believe in time things will get better .

Your Supporter and friend Patrick ....

...Your work is Appreciated....

.....Cya..Scott,Susan and Hillary..... :)...:)....:)

October 21, 2009

John in Greece writes:

Joe is absolutely right!

First of all, you make your own house secure. Then, you help all others...

What other nations are doing?

Virginia, USA
October 21, 2009

Jack in Virginia writes:

I applaud the roll-out of the new strategy and, what's more, the fact that the Secretary, herself, was there to talk about it demonstrates that the administration is taking this very seriously. The mere use of the word "geonicide" by senior administration officials is an important step forward - I seem to recall some kerfuffle with the previous administration over the use of that word.

I suppose I am left with only one question: with international committments to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and a continuing civilian committment to Iraq, will there be resources dedicated for tackling the Sudan issue?

As with every speech and every roll-out, time will tell. It's a good start, though, and I support what Secretary Clinton, Ambassador Rice, and General Gration are trying to do.


New Mexico, USA
October 21, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

To; Major General (Ret.) Scott Gration: I don't think anyone could say the populaton of Sudan is out of the woods yet. But if the peace holds, just maybe folks will come to grips with the common regional threats to the viability of habitable areas.

Time isn't exactly on the side of populations at risk, as experts have testified to;


Thanks for helping to create the conditions for a sustainable peace, one which the parties will hopefully build upon to create a sustainable future.

Best Regards.

South Korea
October 25, 2009

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Ethiopia asks for urgent food aid

Virginia, USA
October 25, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:


I had to spend some time thinking about this one, I have seen the documentaries like most people on Sudan. The biggest problem is there are no attractions to get people to visit Sudan. No parks, no amusement centers, no roller coaster rides for kids. We have world wonders around the globe, natural wonders, and what do we have in Sudan? Plagues, sickness, deaths, diseases, poor drinking water, shortages of food, a human rights disaster. In Scotland, you have "Loch Ness" and people are still looking for the monster. In Egypt people from around the world enjoy visiting the Pyramids. In Iraq many moons ago, the greatest wonder of the world was the "Hanging Gardens" vanished off the face of the earth. So what is in Sudan to help attract business people, or toursim? NOTHING

No natural resources, like oil, gas, or diamonds

Then you also have the other problem in Sudan, where it's own Government is destroying its people. Truly a sad story for people to grasp. A possible solution:

Create and build the biggest wonder of the world in Sudan for people to visit. It would have to do with a water display, around something fascinating to watch. Give them hope and faith for something special. Find a method to control the violence and above all enforce the Security of it's State so people in Sudan can live in peace, not poverty. Staying away from any religious symbol but something for everyone! This is where President Jimmy Carter talients would come into place, building homes for people in Sudan that need to live. This would be the ideal situation for Mr. Jimmy Carter to help build homes helping those poor people. I can actually say that one thing will always stand out about Mr. Jimmy Carter was his ability to help build homes, the goodness in that alone will never be forgotten.

"My heart goes out to those people on many levels of magnitude, how on earth can the Sudan Government treat its people in such disgrace, in horrible conditions, shocking deaths of babies, constant human rights violations, not treating the sicknesses." Poverty at its worst. Villagers I read were trying to get into Kenya because of the disaster the Sudan Government created on it's people."

A humble prayer for the Sudan people, we are all born in this world, we see a light shining, we struggle to make a living, we deal with the challenges ahead, we never lose faith or hope and above all we survive the test of time. In the hour glass the sand melts away, but the courage of a lion will guide your way! The hawk's eyes will find the treasure of peace, the snakes will always be a lesson of evil on earth. Place twelve stones in a circle, each stone represents something mystical. The color of stone makes no difference but in life everything has color and meaning. God created all things, in our hearts he created the healing power, first step in healing is to forgive and allow this power to happen.

(THE HOLY GRAIL) it's whats inside that counts, that is what makes people who they are today not what is outside! I have perished many times but live to see another day, who am I? Godspeed everyone! Peace and Prosperty to all!

New Mexico, USA
October 27, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

News Item:

(CNN) -- The human rights group Amnesty International is calling on Nigeria to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir if he attends an African Union Summit there on Thursday.

-October 26, 2009


To Scott Gration,

How much difficulty would the international community ( by UN SEC. Council Resolution as mandate), have in prosecuting the warrant for Bashir's arrest regardless of where he was detained and violating soverign space of a nation to do so if nessesary?

I want to know if the US has the guts to unilaterally serve this warrant anytime, anyplace, if need be, and the rest of the international community has a continual bad case of cowardice in not doing so; Regardless of whether we are party to the international criminal court and thus not obligated to uphold its judgements or serve its warrants.

Will we do it because it's the right thing to do?

Or do we as a nation of laws have a problem with defining the goal; "This strategy includes three primary strategic objectives: first, a definitive end to conflict, gross human rights abuses, and genocide in Darfur..."

...by the arrest and incarceration till justice may be served in court, as a concrete example of the above stated strategic objective manifest in actuality, with some permanence associated with the outcome?

I sincerely hope you will consider this topic as subject of a future post, as I believe we must in this new century, establish some precedents to see humanity through to the next.

Thanks for taking the question. I hope I've framed the parameters to logical satisfaction.


October 28, 2009

Aden in Sudan writes:

Bravo Graiton and team! In my view, the strategy seems multi-track and acceptable to all but I sincerely hope that you keep reviewing it periodically depending tangible progress on the ground. In 2001, I remember Senator Danforth's landmark four confidence building proposals that pave the way for the 2005 CPA encountered and weathered lots of criticism. But working together with GoS and SPLM and absorbing all exisited intitiatives and bringing every and all neighbouring countries on board made it happen....your efforts are moving seriously towards bringing stability and development to Sudan. Thank you

New Mexico, USA
October 28, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

In regards to "The Question" submitted in my previous post of Oct 26, I ran across this released statement today in the process of catching up on my reading and research.

As follow-up to....
"Will we do it because it's the right thing to do?

Or do we as a nation of laws have a problem with defining the goal; "This strategy includes three primary strategic objectives: first, a definitive end to conflict, gross human rights abuses, and genocide in Darfur..."

...by the arrest and incarceration till justice may be served in court, as a concrete example of the above stated strategic objective manifest in actuality, with some permanence associated with the outcome?"
...It seems my basic question has already been asked in a manner of speaking, and I might suggest at this point that there is an possible answer to the question of how we define "universal jurisdiction" by the parameters outlined in the question I have asked above.

There is a perceptual component of moral certitude that must manifest in the application of international law, for without that confidence in what the right thing is , in any given situation, the result is inevitably that of inaction hiding behind legal semantics.

Now I really don't know if anyone there @ State will agree with what I might opine here thrugh my perspective or vantage point, but I sure would like to find out if anyone is brave enough to take this issue up in debate in this taxpayer funded public fora...officially.

As a citizen, I can accept the parameter of statecraft that dictates that our values as a nation are constantly being refined, and re-defined as an imput driven result of the changing world we live in.

The question boils down to how do we define these things in the "now" as policy, so they remain relevent to the future, having drawn from the experience of the past, and the lessons learned in the process of discovery of what is considered truth.

And that goes way beyond international politics or law in my opinion...

Statement by the Honorable Wellington Webb, Senior Advisor to the Permanent Representative of the United States to the Sixty-fourth Session of the General Assembly, on Agenda Item 84: The Scope and Application of the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction, in the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly


Mr. Chairman, we welcome the opportunity to provide our views on this agenda item and to learn about the views of other Member States.

From the outset, we wish to note that the definition of "universal jurisdiction" remains unsettled, and we expect that Member States may have differing views about the meaning of this term. Given this, we think our initial discussion in this Committee will likely raise more questions than answers about the scope and application of this principle under international law.

For purposes of this discussion, the United States understands universal jurisdiction to refer to the assertion of criminal jurisdiction by a State, for certain grave offenses, where the State's only link to the particular crime is the presence in its territory of the alleged offender. Under this principle, jurisdiction would be established regardless of where the offense took place, the nationality of either the victim or the perpetrator, or the effect of the crime on the State exercising jurisdiction.

Some criminal conduct comes within the scope of international conventions, such as the UN Convention Against Torture, that expressly authorize parties to assert criminal jurisdiction under the circumstances covered by the convention.

In the view of the United States, it would be beneficial to exchange information about the practice of Member States with regard to the assertion of universal jurisdiction. Under U.S. law, federal courts are empowered to assert jurisdiction over crimes of serious international concern -- such as piracy, torture, genocide, and various crimes covered by the counterterrorism conventions -- even in the absence of a significant U.S. nexus to the underlying criminal acts. Typically, U.S. courts are empowered to exercise such jurisdiction only where the alleged perpetrator is physically present in the United States.

We would be interested to learn more about how other Member States define the term "universal jurisdiction," and how they have empowered their own domestic courts to exercise universal jurisdiction -- for which crimes and under what circumstances. We believe that gathering such information is necessary prior to any further consideration of this topic.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


U.S. Mission to the United Nations
Honorable Wellington Webb, Senior Advisor
New York, NY
October 21, 2009
--end post--

November 5, 2009

Khalaf in Sudan writes:

In order to achieve peace in Darfur and to implement the CPA, more presuures shuold done to the NCP. They would not have accepted to sign the CPA, if not pressures imposed on them.They were well known of dishonouring agreements.Also they have no good records in committments to democracy or human right issues.The more you press is the more they yield.

District Of Columbia, USA
November 5, 2009

Hashim in Washington, DC writes:

Dear Gen. Scott Gration:

Congratulations for taking this responsibility and welcome in joining Sudan's quest for justice and peace.


Hashim El-Tinay

Salam Sudan Foundation (SSF)
International Peace Quest Institute (IPQI)

Suhair A.
November 12, 2009

Suhair in Sudan writes:

I have no post


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