Humanitarian and Advocacy Information

mia farrow

mia farrow's images on flickr

|    PHOTOS     
|    FEATURES     

Follow Mia's blog

Click here to see my photo journal from Central African Republic and Chad
Read "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" by Ursula K. Le Guin
View a timeline of events in the humanitarian crisis in Darfur


« Newer Posts | Older Posts »

December 3, 2009

Frustration in Congress Over US Policy for Sudan

There was a palpable and bipartisan level of frustration at today's House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health hearing on the Obama administration's Sudan policy. In his testimony John Prendergast focused on the upcoming elections, emphasizing that the U.S. should not recognize the outcome of the elections if they are not held under free and fair conditions.
To date, not one of the CPA's preconditions for holding credible elections has been met. The risks of ignoring preconditions and holding a non-credible election are enormous.
Non-credible elections should not be financed and legitimized by American taxpayers. Until the parties meet the agreed conditions for a credible election, the United States and broader international community should suspend all electoral assistance.
The U.S. should work within and outside the UN Security Council to develop a coalition of countries willing to impose consequences on the NCP for its obstruction of basic conditions for peace.

While the special envoy has made consistently positive and inadvertently misleading statements
about levels of aid, relief organizations clearly do not have access to large areas of Darfur, and those that do have access to vulnerable populations no longer publicize their assessments for fear of expulsion. Darfuris struggling to get information out to the world are imprisoned and silenced. Journalists cannot get travel permits and when they do their visits are stage managed by Khartoum. The NCP's recent statements about a plan to force displaced persons to return home in early 2010 should set alarm bells ringing. The regime's policy of divide and destroy continues, but it is just a different phase, and much more secretive.

Most importantly, this peace surge needs to be backed by credible pressures. Contrary to conventional wisdom, there are actually many such diplomatic levers that have not yet been utilized. They include:

- Multilateral asset freezes aimed at key members of the NCP who have enriched themselves as a
result of the oil boom of the last decade in Sudan

- Multilateral travel bans that act as a scarlet letter on the shirts of key officials who aspire to be taken seriously internationally
- Multilateral enforcement of the U.N. Security Council's arms embargo through the enhancement
of the sanctions committee or another enforcement mechanism if the U.N. Security Council once
again fails to discharge its duties

- Multilateral support to the International Criminal Court's cases against key Sudanese officials,
both in terms of existing indictments and a further expansion of the caseload

- Multilateral denial of debt relief that the NCP is aggressively seeking in the context of declining
energy price

Watch Prendergasts's testimony here
Read his Huffingtonpost blog here

What to do about Sudan now

«Newer Posts | Older Posts »