Sudan: Opportunity in the Midst of Crisis

ENOUGH
 

September 23, 2008

Sudan: Opportunity in the Midst of Crisis

Following the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court’s request for an arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, and in the lead up to this week’s United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, the Sudanese government launched a diplomatic offensive to pressure the United Nations Security Council to suspend the ICC investigation. ENOUGH’s latest report argues that the ICC’s actions actually creates a new opening for peace, the first of three significant opportunities that the international community must urgently seize.

Click here to read the report.

“The Chief Prosecutor’s actions have given Bashir a vested interest in reaching a peace deal in Darfur, possibly for the first time since the crisis began,” says the report’s co-author and ENOUGH Co-Chair John Prendergast. “Bashir and his government are finally confronting real consequences for their actions, consequences that go well beyond the harsh rhetoric and empty threats that have characterized the world’s response since 2003.”

Click here to read the report

The second opportunity is the renewed prospect of an inclusive peace process for Darfur. The third is a drive toward national elections in 2009 and a self-determination referendum for southern Sudan in 2011, which will concentrate Sudanese and international actors on implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, or CPA. “In the waning days of the Bush administration and during the transition to a new government, the United States must demonstrate leadership and clarity of purpose to leverage these opportunities into genuine progress toward democratic transformation and sustainable peace,” says report co-author and policy advisor Colin Thomas-Jensen. “The grim alternative is a destructive new phase in Sudan’s civil wars.”

Click here to hear Colin Thomas-Jensen’s podcast about the report.

Tomorrow, September 24, John Prendergast will testify about the report before the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom at a hearing, from 10am to 12:30pm, at the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2359 in Washington, D.C. Ambassador Richard Williamson, the President’s Special Envoy to Sudan, and representatives of NGOs concerned about Sudan and Darfur, will also testify at the hearing.  The hearing is open to the public.


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