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mia farrow

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October 20, 2009

"thunder clouds" massing in North Darfur

Sudanese military forces are massing in North Darfur near the villages of Sortony and Kabkabiya. UNAMID communications chief Kemal Saiki told Reuters;

"It is like when you look at the sky and see thunder clouds massing ... We have seen a build up in the number of troops, movements of troops."


Below find excerpts from John Prendergast's excellent analysis of the new U.S.Policy in Sudan. The piece in its entirety can be linked here

The ideals spelled out in the Obama administration's new paper on U.S. policy to Sudan are worthy of considerable support. The policy review represents a great deal of work inside the administration to learn lessons from past policy, to correct missteps of the administration over the past seven months, and to find a balanced approach that integrates peace, protection and accountability.

The policy paper, if translated into reality, suggests a series of subtle shifts in U.S. policy that will be crucial to supporting peace, human rights and justice in Sudan.

As stated, the policy as written is solid, but success requires a fierce urgency regarding implementation at the highest levels of the U.S. government, with the close involvement of Congress and civil society organizations.

U.S. officials must recognize that the status quo in Darfur, the South, and the transitional areas (Abyei <http://www.enoughproject.org/glossary/term/100?Array> , Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile) is unacceptable and progress must be seen soon to avoid the triggering of the use of additional pressures.

Close to three million people remain displaced from their homes and living in camps suffering difficult conditions. No efforts have been made to disarm the janjaweed <http://www.enoughproject.org/glossary/term/47?Array> militias, and no single Sudanese official has been held accountable for orchestrating what the administration itself terms genocide. The UN force on the ground remains largely ineffectual. The current government offensive in Darfur and the increasingly deadly attacks by militias in the South, including some by militias that were previously supported by the ruling National Congress Party, are unacceptable obstacles to peace and the achievement of U.S. policy objectives.

At best, the completed policy review is a chance to start anew, and get the policy and diplomacy back on track. At worst, it is an effort to rhetorically paper over an issue that has been treated as a fairly low foreign policy priority by the administration.
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