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Thursday, March 11, 2010

OBAMA IS WRONG - GRATION HAS GOT TO GO

On March 10, 2010, the following post about our disaster of a US Special Envoy to Sudan, General Scott Gration was posted:

Source:
www1.voanews.com/english/news/africa/US-Envoy-Darfur-Crisis-Overshadowed-South-Sudan-87244592.html

US Envoy says Darfur Crisis Overshadowed South Sudan

Alan Boswell | Nairobi 10 March 2010
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Photo: AFP
US Special Envoy to Sudan, Scott Gration attends the 14th Extra Ordinary Summit of Inter-Governmental Authority (IGAD) Heads of State and Government in Nairobi, 09 Mar 2010
U.S. Special Envoy Scott Gration says the peace process between North and South Sudan was "overshadowed" by the crisis in Darfur, causing the international community to shift its attention away from the 2005 Sudanese peace deal. An estimated two-million people died during the two-decade North-South civil war.

Speaking in Nairobi, U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan Scott Gration says the focus on North-South Sudanese peace relations suffered because of the Darfur crisis that broke out in 2003. A final Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the southern SPLM rebels and the northern ruling NCP party was signed in January 2005.

"Frankly we were pulled off message and off focus when Darfur happened, and Darfur sort of overshadowed what was happening in terms of implementation of the CPA," said Gration. "So things just sort of muddled along. Last June, we pulled together a conference for supporters of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and we started at that time talks," he said.

Gration's remarks have been matched by the private, and sometimes public, views of U.N. and aid officials based in Sudan's south, who say the international community's focus on Sudan's western region of Darfur has often come at the expense of the southern Sudanese people.

In a January interview with VOA, U.N. Deputy Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan Lise Grande said South Sudan humanitarian operations received only one-fifth the funds allotted to Darfur last year.

"If you have such desperate social, economic, and humanitarian conditions, and you have so little money to address them, this is why we say what we say - that we had a fraction of the money which is going to Darfur," said Grande.

About 300,000 people are thought to have died in Darfur since 2003 during a counter-insurgency campaign in which Khartoum enlisted proxy Arab militias that have terrorized the mostly black-African population of the region. The people of Darfur say the region has suffered from severe economic and political marginalization.

An average of 100,000 people a year, mostly Southerners, are thought to have been killed during the North-South civil war, fought over issues of religion, race, political ideologies, and oil.

The U.S. special envoy to Sudan traveled to Kenya to attend a special summit on Sudan organized by IGAD, a bloc of Horn of African nations that was instrumental in forging the original peace deal.

Speakers at the conference warned that a number of outstanding issues threaten the final implementation of the peace deal, which is to culminate in a Southern secession referendum scheduled less than one year from now.
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The sides have yet to fully agree on where the North-South border lies, and no deal has been struck on revenue from Southern oil fields or on Sudan's sizable foreign debt.

Southern officials have on many occasions warned that a return to war would be imminent if they are denied their self-determination portion of the 2005 CPA. Most expect Southerners to overwhelmingly vote for independence if given the chance.

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, as well as other top Khartoum officials, has recently stated publicly that the South's choice in the poll will be respected.

Gration said he was encouraged by the increasing involvement of Sudan's neighbors in the peace process. He said a viable independent South will only be possible if ties in the region are strengthened.

"IGAD countries and the bordering countries on the south are going to have to increase significantly their communication and transportation links and trade with the South [Sudan]," he said. "I think that in order for the South to be successful, it is going to have to maintain and build on the relationship it has with the North, and it is going to have to strengthen the relationship that it has with [countries to] the south," he added.

A recent national census put Darfur's population at 7.5 million and that of South Sudan's at more than 8 million, though the counting has been criticized by some as highly flawed.

________________________

I am one of the state leaders as a part of the 50 days running up to the Sudan elections, scheduled to happen April 11-13, 2010. The campaign is Sudan Sham 2010 and you can visit our website: sudansham2010

From Crunch Time for Sudan
“I just wander if Pol Pot was running in Cambodia would we send in an election observer mission?” asks a bemused John Prendergast, co-founder of enough!, a project to end genocide and crimes against humanity. “Would we send an election observer mission to Uganda if Idi Amin held an election? This is what we’re talking about here.” Source:
www.sudantribune.com

The USA government is spending $95 million on the Sudan elections. The President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir is having activists rounded up, detained, intimidated, murdered at this time. And he is indicted by the International Criminal Court for "crimes against humanity" and "war crimes". So, free and fair elections will be fraud elections. And yet Scott Gration is cutting deals with him and working with him as if he was worthy of trust. Well, Gration is wrong. Gration is either stupid, uninformed about Bashir or chooses to be naive. And President Obama is wrong to have appointed him in the first place. Since the beginning, Gration has made statements that prove that. Obama doesn't care about Darfur as he stated he did. The proof is that he keeps Gration in a job that he clearly is ill-suited for. And one can only conclude that doing nothing about Darfuris and justice for them and the genocidal regime that has marginalized them - is what Obama wants. He wants to do nothing. He has said nothing about Darfur of importance or shown any proof that he plans to be engaged.

This is the thread that I started in our Sudan Sham 2010 campaign after reading the above article - only my name appears:

This is so disturbing.

In this statement, does Gration mean Bashir, when he says "with the North"?
. "I think that in order for the South to be successful, it is going to have to maintain and build on the relationship it has with the North...
Sandra Hammel

Answer
from a Darfuri:
Yes, of course, he does mean al-Bashir. simply because Gration consider him a representative of the North. Thus why he is doing all he can to create a convenient atmosphere for al-bashir to run and succeed in the upcoming elections. Then to push the south to maintain his relationship theories with the North of al-Bashir.
**********************
My comment:

What can we do to get Gration out of this job? He makes no sense. I can't imagine Obama thinking like Gration, if he relied on his own brain to do what needs to be done for Darfur and southern Sudan. Obama is just letting Darfur hang. It just looks to me like Obama has a "suit" (Gration) in this job so that he can do nothing and pretend he has appeased us.

I would like to hear Obama answer some pointed questions. I don't know how Gration ever operated as a General. He sounds weak just listening to him deliver a sentence.

Sandra

GENOCIDE WILL only STOP WITH US - Our leaders have taught us this


Another state leader's comment:

What scares me the most is the tone of Gration explanation.

"Frankly we were pulled off message and off focus when Darfur happened, and Darfur sort of overshadowed what was happening in terms of implementation of the CPA," said Gration. "So things just sort of muddled along. Last June, we pulled together a conference for supporters of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, and we started at that time talks," he said.

Frankly, With in this statement we can see the Obama Sudan policy clearly. The General will downplay what happened in Darfur to the press and speak the praises of the GoS and their “progress” toward a “free and fair” election and implementation of the CPA. The General doesn’t even have the guts to say what happened in Darfur was Genocide he just says “Darfur happened”. This administration isn’t going to do anything about Darfur or South Sudan other then buddy up with a Bashir and lift the sanctions.

They are going to paint a pretty picture about Sudan that the general media will eat up and spit out to the masses. Let’s face it, the vast majority of people don’t know about or care about what has or is happening in Sudan so they will eat up the “good” news on Fox or CNN and never give it another thought. For those that do care (us and others) it is almost a slap in the face. To think that we would buy what Gration is selling. Anyone with half a brain cell can see that the scum bag Bashir unleashed the dogs of hell on Darfur to not just send a message to any resistance looking to mobilize BUT to stall the CPA implementation as well. He NEVER planned to implement the CPA and if you believe that he will respect the South’s decision to succeed if they should vote to do so, well then you should be the next Special Envoy for the Obama administration.

am so utterly disappointed with this administrations Sudan policy at this point that unless I see some “Change” in their direction, I will refuse to vote from Obama again. You say no I can’t or shouldn’t do that? I say “Yes I Can”.
Gration sucks.

Well, as I was writing my comment re Scott, you had sent yours, so I pasted my comment on the thread with your email. I think we need a Gration Has Got to Go walk in Washington, D.C.

I remember sitting with Senator Lincoln Chafee's two legislative assistants the lobby day after our first DC rally. And I told them how moved I was watching the streams of people come up out of the metro stop I was stationed at to steer them to the mall as my volunteer job. And said, "The people didn't have to come, but they did." And one of them stopped the conversation and said, "They DO have to come." It took me a minute to get inside his train of thought. He meant of course that we do have to come to give our leaders the direction that they must take. And without us showing up - nothing will get done. Of course, mistakenly we thought, well I thought, that this "leader" would be different. He has proven me wrong.

Obama has decided he will lose nothing politicallly if he lets his words die that he spouted during the campaign. Senator Obama was better than President Obama. About Darfur and Sudan anyway. And that pretty much says more than I want to believe about him and his character, but we, I, must face the facts.

In Samantha Power's book A Problem From Hell - America and The Age of Genocide in the Rwanda Chapter, segment Society-Wide Silence on page 373-374 - I always remember this sentence: "No group or groups in the United States made Clinton administration decisionmakers feel or fear that they would pay a political price for doing nothing to save Rwandans." This sentence is followed up with" Indeed, all the signals told them to steer clear. Only after the genocide would it become possible to identify an American "constituency" for action."

Obama must be shamed.

He is not going to lead us, or the world in this deeply defining issue. We must lead him. HIS DEFINING MOMENT is now. And I am not happy. His organization continues to call and ask me to do more door knocking for democratic Senators, this health care bill. Well, that isn't going to happen - I'm busy working on this issue.

I am tired of leaders not leading from a sense of justice. I am tired of the media not doing its job. I happen to think Patrick Kennedy made a relevant and valid point - though MSNBC has been putting him down for what he said yesterday about the media failing and reporting on Massa and not real news.

Sandra
_____________________________________________

Sudan Is Still Up To No Good

www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/03/11/sudan_is_still_up_to_no_good

Sudanese leader Omar Hassan al-Bashir is playing a breathtakingly cynical double game: harboring a notorious Ugandan death cult while pledging to work for peace in Darfur.


The Lord's Resistance Army has come to Darfur, Sudan, and that is not good news for anyone. The Lord's Resistance Army is a vicious militia led by self-proclaimed messiah Joseph Kony, and though he does not appear to be with the contingent that has moved into Darfur, Kony is widely and rightly regarded as one of the most heinous war criminals still on the loose in the entire world.

The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) has long operated as a hybrid between a cult and a rebel army. Kony and the LRA originally sprang up in northern Uganda and waged a brutal campaign trying to overthrow that country's government. Millions of Ugandans fled the fighting, and the LRA engaged in virtually every depravity known in warfare. The LRA's ranks have been swelled with kidnapped child soldiers, girls are regularly treated as sex slaves, and innocent civilians are maimed and killed in a fashion too brutal to describe.

In recent years, Kony and his forces have fallen on harder times, though their brutality has not diminished. Dislodged from northern Uganda, Kony and his troops first fled into northeastern Congo and then the Central African Republic. However, the Ugandan army -- with quiet assistance from the United States -- has remained in dogged pursuit of Kony and his forces. The LRA is a relatively small force these days, probably numbering less than 1,000 hard-core fighters who remain loyal to Kony, but it is still causing mayhem and suffering well disproportionate to its size. Kony and his men have killed around 2,000 civilians in the last year and driven another 450,000 from their homes. Although the Ugandan offensive against Kony has suffered some significant missteps along the way, it has put increasing pressure on the LRA.

For More
Read Sean Brooks's article on the current state of peace negotiations in Darfur, and check out the Middle East Channel for insights and ground truth on one of the world's most volatile regions.

Just this week, the Enough Project learned from multiple, credible sources in the field that elements of the LRA had crossed into Darfur. These forces appear to be seeking safe haven under the protection of the Sudanese military, and Sudan's notorious president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, has been a longtime LRA patron, so this does not come as a surprise. Clearly, Kony and his deputies believe that Sudan is one of the few places left where the Ugandan army will not pursue them, and they are likely increasingly desperate.

The even larger story is what all of this says about Sudan and Bashir at a time when U.S. diplomacy has been geared to striking a new tone in the relationship. Although Bashir has been eager to portray himself as willing to repair relations with the world after last year's International Criminal Court indictment, and the United States in particular, giving safe haven to the LRA is yet another slap at Darfuris, at Washington, and at fundamental human decency. The evidence clearly suggests that advance LRA scouts coordinated with Sudanese armed forces well in advance of the LRA's arrival in Darfur, and it seems implausible that local Sudanese armed forces commanders would welcome the group in Darfur without seeking approval from Khartoum, including Bashir. There are also suggestions that the LRA has received direct logistical support from the Sudanese army since arriving in Darfur.

The last two weeks have offered breathtaking examples of Bashir's duplicity. Even as he traveled to Doha to proudly declare "the war is finished" in Darfur after signing a preliminary peace deal with a rebel faction, Sudanese troops intensified military attacks in Darfur that killed hundreds and displaced thousands, according to the United Nations. During a recent campaign speech in southern Sudan, Bashir equally proudly declared that his party is working to end "insurgent attacks by the Lord's Resistance Army in the south." As he spoke, Bashir's own armed forces were providing the LRA with the cover it needs to regroup in Darfur, rearm, and again terrorize innocent civilians across the region.

International diplomats are already deeply concerned that an independence referendum for South Sudan in January 2011 could result in a return to the North-South civil war that claimed 2 million lives in a conflict that ran for 20 years. The LRA's arrival in Darfur and a recent uptick of its activities in southern Sudan suggest that Bashir and his allies remain willing to once again use proxy forces as their favorite method for sowing mayhem and maintaining their grip on power. In Darfur and South Sudan, the Sudanese government has used proxy militias, such as the LRA and the janjaweed, to carry out the most egregious attacks against its enemies while trying to maintain a thin veneer of plausible deniability.

The news of the LRA's arrival in Darfur should be a clear wake-up call for not only U.S. President Barack Obama's administration, but the entire international community. It is precisely because Bashir has never been held accountable for his past actions that he feels fully empowered to welcome the LRA into his arms and engage in dangerous adventurism on multiple fronts. In recent months, there has been an increasing push by some elements within the Obama administration to ease sanctions against Sudan. The arrival of the Lord's Resistance Army in Darfur will likely let the air out of that particular balloon, and congressional oversight committees might take some genuine umbrage that they were not informed of these developments in a timely or transparent manner. Both Kony and Bashir deserve to face their charges fairly at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, but that will only happen if the world no longer treats accountability as an afterthought.


Click on this post's title to read Darfur conflict is on the backburner, Russian envoy says posted Friday, March 12, 2010


Campaign intimidation hampers elections Sudan
Listen to this article. Powered by Odiogo.com

Contact the President:
whitehouse
Comments: 202-456-1111
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
1-800-GENOCIDE

Contact the following:

President Obama:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
or for organizations at
http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/organizations

Secretary of State Clinton:
http://contact-us.state.gov/cgi-bin/state.cfg/php/enduser/ask.php

Ambassador Susan Rice:
http://archive.usun.state.gov/Issues/Contact2.html

Vice President Biden:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
or for organizations at
http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/organizations

And at http://sudansham2010.org/page3/page3.html
do the tweets but replace any reference to Senate Resolution 404 with something important like "Gration has got to go"
in words of your choosing.

Thanks for your support of justice.







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