US Special Envoy to Sudan to be Appointed Ambassador to Kenya – Report

August 15, 2010 (Washington) — The United States special envoy to Sudan Major General (Ret.) Scott Gration may soon be nominated to replace Michael Ranneberger as US ambassador to Kenya, a Washington based blogger reports.

Josh Rogin, who owns the Washington insider blog, “The Cable”, cited “multiple administration sources” in his report as having provided him with credible information.

“The news comes in the wake of a contentious principals-level meeting at the White House last week, in which Gration clashed openly with U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice over the direction of Sudan policy”, Mr. Rogin wrote in his report.

Ragin added that “at the meeting, Rice was said to be "furious" when Gration proposed a plan that makes the January referendum a priority, deemphasizes the ongoing crisis in Darfur, and is devoid of any additional pressures on the government in Khartoum”.

The plan was later endorsed by all cabinet members including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 

One Washington Observer believes that Gration may have fallout with some influential figures within the administration.

"The fact that he’s being rotated out of this position suggests that he may have won a number of battles but lost the war. If people were overwhelmingly happy with his performance, it seems odd you would move him out to be ambassador of a neighboring country," said John Norris, executive director of the Enough Project, a leading Sudan anti-genocide advocacy organization, was quoted by “The Cable” as saying.

In June, Gration expressed his disappointment over violence in Darfur; he calls upon the government of Sudan and Darfur rebel forces to refrain from violence, and urged the African Union/United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to protect the people of Darfur.

“The recent spike in casualties caused by increased fighting between the Government of Sudan and JEM is deeply troubling. I’m also gravely concerned about reports of continued banditry, assaults, and gender-based violence targeting civilians, as well as recent kidnappings of peacekeepers and humanitarian workers”, Gration said in June.

The American special envoy also said that the international community is planning for January 9, 2011 – a reference to referendum on South Sudan independence.

The US special envoy to Sudan is a son of missionary parents, grew up in Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, and is fluent in Kiswahili, according to “The Cable”.

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