Save Darfur: Success of Administration's Sudan Policy Will Depend on Implementation

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Sustained Presidential Leadership Is Essential

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In implementing this policy, the Administration needs to make clear to Khartoum that it must make a choice: The Government of Sudan can change its behavior and improve relations or it can continue to deny peace and security to the people of Darfur and Sudan and face increased pressure from the United States and the international community.

The Save Darfur Coalition cautiously welcomed the release today of the long awaited results of the Obama Administration's Sudan policy review, but emphasized that its success will depend on implementation backed by sustained presidential leadership. The policy is built around a balance of incentives and pressures similar to what Save Darfur and its partners have been calling for.

"Several things are critical for effective implementation," according to Jerry Fowler, President of the Save Darfur Coalition. "First, incentives should not be provided before there is concrete and lasting progress on resolving Sudan's interlocking crises, opening political space for Sudanese to determine their future and protecting human rights. Second, the U.S. must generate multilateral support for both incentives and pressures. And third, we need to see substantial personal involvement from President Obama - for example, he must make Sudan a priority when he goes to China next month."

Ruth Messinger, President of Coalition-member American Jewish World Service, which represents more than 100,000 constituents, said, "It is critical that an inclusive peace process move forward in Darfur, that the CPA between the North and South is fully implemented and that there is accountability for those who continue to attack civilians, obstruct humanitarian efforts and undermine peace. With an administration that is unified in its commitment to these priorities, we believe that lasting peace in Sudan is well within reach. Watching Gen. Gration, Sec. Clinton, and U.S. Ambassador Rice stand together behind a plan endorsed personally by President Obama is an important beginning for what we hope will be a renewed and strengthened commitment to the people of Sudan."

Tony Kireopoulos, chair of the Save Darfur board and Senior Program Director of the National Council of Churches, whose member communities represent 45 million Americans, added: "In implementing this policy, the Administration needs to make clear to Khartoum that it must make a choice: The Government of Sudan can change its behavior and improve relations or it can continue to deny peace and security to the people of Darfur and Sudan and face increased pressure from the United States and the international community."

In a policy brief released last April, Save Darfur Coalition and other Sudan advocacy groups outlined the key elements of a successful Sudan strategy. A Blueprint for Peace emphasized that the administration's policy must promote peace and security in Darfur, insist on full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and have strong leadership from President Obama in building a multilateral coalition to apply incentives and pressures to guarantee that progress is made. More than 110,000 activists signed a citizen letter to President Obama endorsing this approach.

As details become available, the Save Darfur Coalition will evaluate the policy to ensure that key elements are included. Save Darfur has published a Checklist for an Effective Sudan Policy (http://www.savedarfur.org/checklist ) that outlines the most critical components for the Sudan policy review.

Going forward, Save Darfur will monitor implementation and hold the Administration accountable for following through on an effective policy.

The Checklist includes the following items:

  •     Comprehensive Approach to Sudan. The plan must address all of the interconnected crises in Sudan
  •     Comprehensive U.S. Effort. The plan must ensure that the U.S. government is coordinated in their efforts regarding Sudan
  •     Multilateral Engagement from the U.S. The plan must emphasize the importance of building a strong multilateral coalition
  •     Multilateral Action Toward Sudan. The plan must include a coordinated international strategy
  •     Offering Earned Incentives. The plan must map out a clear but conditional process toward normalization of relations with the U.S. if the government of Sudan adheres to specific requirements
  •     Preparing Serious Consequences. Plan must make clear that if Sudan does not adhere to specific requirements, escalating costs will ensue
  •     The Imperative of Leadership. President Obama must direct and empower his administration to pursue a strategy of peace

To view the Checklist, please visit savedarfur.org/checklist.

About Save Darfur Coalition:
The Save Darfur Coalition - an alliance of more than 180 faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations - raises public awareness about the ongoing genocide in Darfur and mobilizes a unified response to the atrocities that threaten the lives of people throughout the Darfur region. The coalition's member organizations represent 130 million people of all ages, races, religions and political affiliations united together to help the people of Darfur. For more information on the coalition, please visit http://www.SaveDarfur.org .

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