Africa Action Reacts to Sudan Policy Announcement by Sec. of State Clinton

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Telephone:   (202) 546-7961
Email:  africaaction@igc.org

Africa Action Reacts to Sudan Policy Announcement by Sec. of State Clinton

WASHINGTON - This week
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, and
General Gration finally announced a new U.S. – Sudan policy primarily
based on “incentives and disincentives” depending on verifiable
progress.

Africa Action welcomes the Administration’s policy that addresses
Darfur and all Sudan, and appears to be results driven. However, we
voice concern with the vague pronouncement of a new policy strategy
towards Sudan that relies heavily on classified information.

Gerald LeMelle, Executive Director of Africa Action said this morning, “At
this point, it is still unclear how the ‘incentives’ will be balanced
with ‘disincentives.’ We have seen in the past how the incentives
become purely counterintelligence considerations.  The disincentives
are dropped for the sake of relationships.”

Africa Action urges that as U.S. officials struggle to build leverage
against Khartoum, the U.S. must prioritize human rights, the full
implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and peace and
justice in Darfur over normalization of U.S. policy.  The State
Department should disclose in more detail when and what incentives
would be employed.

Michael Stulman, Associate Director of Policy and Communications said, “We
cannot fail to take into consideration the needs of Sudanese people.
Right now, there is still a need for security.  There is still a need
to disarm militia allied with the Government of Sudan, and there is
still a need for greater humanitarian aid in the region, currently
restricted by the Government of Sudan.” 

There are alarming new indicators of deteriorating conditions in Sudan.

According to field research by Human Rights Watch, civil society
activists and other political groups continue to face harassment.  The
25-page report, "The
Way Forward: Ending Human Rights Abuses and Repression across Sudan
"
also documents ongoing violence in Darfur, including indiscriminate
bombings killing civilians, including women and children as recent as
September 17th and 18th.

Africa Action calls the U.S. government and other multilateral partners
to gather the political will and follow through on its promises and
back up its commitments with real action, otherwise U.S. efforts to
bring peace in the region will continue to be unsuccessful.

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Africa Action is a national organization that works for political, economic and social justice in Africa. Through the provision of accessible information and analysis combined with the mobilization of public pressure we work to change the policies and policy-making processes of U.S. and multinational institutions toward Africa. The work of Africa Action is grounded in the history and purpose of its predecessor organizations, the American Committee on Africa (ACOA), The Africa Fund, and the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC), which have fought for freedom and justice in Africa since 1953. Continuing this tradition, Africa Action seeks to re-shape U.S. policy toward African countries.

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