The Darfur Consortium

. . .

Darfur in the News

U.S. and European media

March 18, 2023

New York Times: Adding Pressure to Sudan, Obama Will Tap Retired General as Special Envoy. President Obama plans to appoint a close adviser and retired general to be his special envoy to Sudan as the administration ratchets up pressure against the government in Khartoum for expelling humanitarian relief organizations from the ravaged region of Darfur, administration officials said Tuesday. During the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama lamented the "stain on our souls" left by the mass death in Darfur and vowed "never again." Mrs. Clinton called for a no-flight zone. And Susan E. Rice, a top Obama adviser, even envisioned a bombing campaign to save victims. But with the first major new humanitarian crisis on Mr. Obama's watch, advocates complained that the urgency of the campaign trail had given way to inertia, infighting and inaction. More than one million Darfuris are at risk while the new administration debates what to do, the advocates said. "Why is there a disconnect?" asked Jerry Fowler, the president of the Save Darfur Coalition, an umbrella organization, recalling Mr. Obama's strong words as a candidate. "We need presidential engagement and we need it now." The latest crisis in Darfur represents an early foreign test for a new president consumed by economic strife at home.

Reuters: Obama chooses Sudan envoy, to announce Wednesday. President Barack Obama has chosen retired Air Force General Scott Gration as his special envoy to Sudan, a U.S. official said on Tuesday, in the midst of a worsening humanitarian crisis in its Darfur region. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the formal announcement would likely come on Wednesday. "He's someone with deep experience in the region, who has personal and professional relationships with key leaders and most importantly has a close personal friendship with the president and has his ear," the official said. Gration, a decorated fighter pilot, was often seen with Obama on the presidential campaign trail last year. They got to know each other when Obama visited Africa in 2006 while still a senator. During that trip they visited Darfur refugees in Chad, which neighbors Sudan.

Reuters: US increases pressure on Sudan after expulsions. Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir will be responsible for "every single death" caused by the expulsion of 13 foreign aid groups from Sudan, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday. "This is a horrendous situation that is going to cause untold misery and suffering for the people of Darfur, particularly those in the refugee camps," Clinton said of Sudan's decision to expel the aid groups earlier this month. "The real question is what kind of pressure can be brought to bear on President Bashir and the government in Khartoum to understand that they will be held responsible for every single death that occurs in those camps," she told reporters. Clinton said Bashir's government now had assumed "an even greater sense of responsibility and infamy in the eyes of the world." She called on governments supporting him to push for the return of the aid workers, or fill the gaps themselves. "They must replace with money and personnel those who have been expelled so that innocent lives are not lost and further undermined," Clinton said.

Reuters: Darfur peacekeeper killed in ambush - spokesman. Eight gunmen attacked a group of international peacekeepers on patrol in Sudan's Darfur region on Tuesday, killing one in what the force's spokesman described as a "cold-blooded ambush." "UNAMID peacekeepers coming back from a patrol in Nyala were ambushed by eight unidentified gunmen," said Kemal Saiki, spokesman for the joint United Nations/African Union force. "This was not a carjacking gone wrong," he said. "This was a cold-blooded ambush. They were waiting for us." One peacekeeper was wounded in the exchange of fire and died en route to El Fasher, the UNAMID headquarters in north Darfur, Saiki said. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described the incident as a "deliberate attack on a UNAMID patrol." "The secretary-general condemns this attack and is deeply concerned by the increased security threats faced by UNAMID in Darfur," Ban's spokeswoman Marie Okabe said in a statement.

The Darfur Daily News is a service of the Save Darfur Coalition. To subscribe to the Daily News, please email [email protected]. For media inquiries, please contact Ashley Roberts at (202) 478-6181, or [email protected].



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