New White House Policy on Sudan

October 21, 2009

This week, the Obama Administration released its new Sudan policy.

The violence and chaos in Darfur has gone on for far too long, while efforts to create a stable and functioning government in Southern Sudan have been unfairly frustrated. I am encouraged that the Administration's long-awaited policy review emphasizes: "The United States has a clear obligation to the Sudanese people both in our role as witness to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and as the first country that unequivocally identified events in Darfur as genocide."

I recognize that engagement with the Government of Khartoum may be necessary to achieve those ends. I am not, however, ready to embrace President al-Bashir's government as a changed entity. It still has important baseline expectations — such as implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement — it must live up to.

At the same time, it is critically important to take concerted action, with other nations and with all parties to the conflict, to halt the violence and promote peace. Effective implementation of the policy and follow-through will be key. I applaud President Obama and key members of his administration in committing resources and crucial diplomatic energies to these objectives."