Sudan: New Obama strategy not tangible

October 21, 2009 - 0:0

Analysts say it is hard to know what is new in the U.S. policy announced by Clinton (right) and U.S. ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, because the administration is keeping many details secret.

The Sudanese Government says the new U.S. carrot-and-stick policy aimed at engaging the largest African nation, lacks practical and tangible steps.
“The strategy lacks practical steps that the American administration can commit to. It has assumed that actions only come from Sudan and Washington's role is only to evaluate,” Gazi Salaheddin, Sudan's top presidential advisor said on Monday.
He added that Khartoum hopes that the implementation of the details of the new strategy would turn out better then its theoretical content.
The remarks came hours after U.S. President Barack Obama said his country would offer Sudan incentives to end the crisis in Darfur.
Obama has however threatened that Washington would increase pressure on the impoverished nation, if the Sudanese government fails to respond.
“Words alone are not enough,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters on Monday, adding that assessments based on “verifiable changes in conditions on the ground” would be taken into consideration as progress.
For example, the Obama administration would watch for 'credible elections,' scheduled for next year under a fragile 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended the 22-year civil war in the south.
The elections, which have already been postponed twice, are scheduled for February 2010, while a historic independence referendum is due in 2011.
Obama believes that his new approach will ensure that Sudan does not become a 'safe haven for terrorists' and that the CPA peace deal is fully implemented.
However, aid groups expressed reservations Monday about the new U.S. policy.
“The key issue is what kind of diplomatic energy is the administration putting into this? Is it a piece of paper or a strategy?” Sam Bell, who heads the Genocide Intervention Network, told AFP.
Jerry Fowler, president of the Save Darfur Coalition, an umbrella group for more than 100 organizations, has also said that some issues remain unclear in the policy's implementation.
John Prendergast, a co-founder of the 'Enough Project,' an initiative to end genocide and crimes against humanity, has also said that the outlook for the troubled country “is not optimistic, as the Obama administration announces its new policy”.
Analysts believe that the Obama administration, which began a review of its Sudan policy in March, faces a complicated situation over Darfur, and also over an International Criminal Court arrest warrant issued against President Omar al-Bashir.
(Source: Press TV) -