New U.S. Policy Towards Sudan
The Obama Administration outlined a new strategy for engaging Sudan this past week. The “incentives and pressures” strategy is meant to avoid isolating Khartoum, while pushing Sudan to build international confidence by ensuring the safe return of Darfuri refugees, a successful referendum process, and accountability for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Sudan. Major General Scott Gration, the administration’s special envoy to Sudan, is implementing the new policy by listening and talking to Omar Hassan Al-Bashir’s government. The Obama Administration believes engagement will work in Sudan because Al-Bashir fears for his survival, wants to be a player on the international stage, and wants to work President Obama. The strategy offers up the potential for lightened sanctions, so long as Al-Bashir’s government ensures that Sudan does not shelter terrorists. According to Sudan experts, history indicates that Al-Bashir cannot be trusted, however many policy makers believe that engaging Khartoum is the best way to prevent a resumption of civil war between north and south Sudan.