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Sudan: A Status Report

Tim Shortley, U.S. Senior Representative for Sudan
Washington, DC
October 20, 2008

Nigerian soldier with UNAMID at a checkpoint on outskirts of El Geneina, Sudan, Mar. 14 2008. [AP]

About the Author: Tim Shortley is the Senior Representative for Sudan at the U.S. Department of State. Read Mr. Shortley's previous entry from New York.

I just wanted to send a quick update on my meetings in New York and my recent travel to Sudan.

First, about New York: The USG delivered a strong message to the Sudanese government – we need to see positive changes on the ground in Darfur. This message was carried by Secretary of State Rice, the President’s Special Envoy for Sudan Richard Williamson, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer, and me. I also met with UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and Department of Field Support (DFS) officials. UN Under-Secretary Le Roy and Under-Secretary Malcorra briefed us on their efforts to have 60 percent of the 26,000 peacekeepers for the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) on the ground by the end of the year and 80 percent by the end of the first quarter of 2009. We also discussed U.S. readiness to begin an airlift operation to support UNAMID, which would provide for moving equipment from El Obeid and El Fasher to El Geneina for new UNAMID troops. We are also sending out feelers through our embassies abroad to potential troop- and police-contributing countries to shore up their UNAMID contributions.

On Sudan: My trip to Sudan last week with Special Envoy Richard Williamson was a solid step in moving things forward, particularly on Darfur. The Sudanese announced their intention to hold a "Sudanese People’s Initiative" on the Darfur peace process (which opened Thursday, October 16), followed by a week of discussions with Sudan’s political parties in an effort to finalize a Darfur peace package. The initiative could provide us with an early framework for negotiations between the Government and the Darfur rebels. The day before we arrived in Sudan, Vice President Taha and First Vice President Kiir agreed on the members of the Abyei Administration, representing a step in the implementation of the Abyei Roadmap. We will continue to help drive these processes.


Kathryn writes:

Here's to hoping this actually gets done. Here's to also hoping that the UN authorizes more troops because I don't think 26,000 is going to cut it.

Posted on Mon Nov 10, 2008

Robert in Virginia writes:

Appreciate your good works, Tim.

Posted on Fri Nov 07, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

Is there not some way to unify within the African Nations?

Would it not be more viable to build refugee camps on sites where it is peaceful or neighboring countries where it is peaceful/democratic/stable and the land fertile? Then let the people start building their own infrastructure and create a city there, using the tent cities as a base to work from, not wait in controled exile?

The problem is so vast only because it is spread out so far and all countries of Major Power are more concerned with the Natural Resources of the country than the people, there are 50 fires to put out, not one; yet the basic problems are the exact same.

Why not channel all energy toward creating new cities of development with water and fertile ground first, instead of just pumping billions into large Tent cities which only subsidize existence and are not developmental?

By building strong cities from within of the people and by the people, it would empower them in every aspect. It would then be much easier to use military intervention if they are attacked as the foundation is established within the parameters of an existing democracy. If we must, why not use the UN to develop NEW NATIONS, protected by the UN?

Evil is winning because they can spend little, spread it out and work with no protocol....Kind of the way America lost the Free Market: because ,everyone didn't play by the same rules and there were no restrictions. They created an Evil System and chaos prevailed.

Posted on Tue Oct 21, 2008

Ron in New York writes:

Not much time left....Sudan has lost all status...US is not far behind...

Posted on Mon Oct 20, 2008

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