Friday, July 31, 2009

Obama Administration split on Sudan policy

The Washington Times reports. Basically, it's a Gration vs. Rice split here.

Gration: the Darfur genocide is over. It ended in 2004. We should take Khartoum off the list of state sponsors of terrorism because they haven't done that in years. We should remove a lot of the sanctions too, so we can build roads in South Sudan and work with the South Sudanese to deal with whatever happens after the 2011 referendum on independence.

Rice: It's still a genocide. Once a genocidal regime, always a genocidal regime. The sanctions are good. Bashir should go to the Hague.

Couple points: as the article points out, this is good. It's nice to see a US Administration actually debate policy for a change.

Second of all, if my summations above didn't give it away, I'm firmly in Gration's camp here. Only 2000 people were killed in Darfur in all of last year from violence, and most of those were soldiers or rebels or victims of banditry. The humanitarian situation is still dire but the sanctions aren't really helping to change that. And a peaceful resolution of the North-South dispute is way more important than whatever happens in Darfur in the long run anyway. Solving Sudan's many political schisms must come first. Justice might have to wait for a while.

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