Does Obama have a Panacea to End Genocide in Sudan?

By: Fatah Arman

April 1, 2012 (SSNA) — When the United States former President George Bush met the Southern Sudanese President Salva Kiir at the Oval Office on January 6, 2009, I was one of the journalists who accompanied President Kiir to this meeting. After the two leaders wrapped up their meeting, I asked one of Kiir’s prominent aides about the outcome of their meeting. He informed me that President Bush asked Kiir not to be timid and “to screw up the National Congress Party (NCP)” by winning the upcoming presidential elections to keep the country intact. The Bush administration had a holistic approach on how to deal with dictator Bashir; the President of Sudan, by implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that President Bush brokered in 2005. This agreement ended two decades of war between Khartoum’s genocidal regime and Southern Sudan. The Bush administration pushed for the implementation of this agreement and supported the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), hoping that if the SPLM would win the presidential election and transform Sudan by resolving Darfur conflict because the SPLM maintained a good relationship with Darfur liberation movements, and democratizing the country. Unfortunately, President Bush’s two terms were up, and he wasn’t able to finish what he started.

On the other hand, when Senator Barrack Obama decided to run for President, myself and other Sudanese American youth decided to take part in his campaign because he promised to put an end to the genocide in Darfur and pressure dictator Bashir to impellent the CPA to the letter. When Senator Obama was elected, the marginalized people of Sudan received this news with jubilation hoping that he would not sit back and allow genocide like Rwanda’s to unfold before his eyes. Obama adopted salami’s strategy toward Sudan; one piece at a time! In other words, Obama is dealing with Sudan’s problems such as street vendors; he sees Darfur genocide as something separate from what is happening in the Nuba Mountains or Eastern Sudan, despite the fact that these crises are the symptoms of the illness, and the problem lies in Khartoum where dictator Bashir and his gang plan their aerial bombardment and shelling of these regions indiscriminatory.

When President Obama appointed retired Gen. Scott Gration as Special Envoy for Sudan in 2009, Gration called the crisis in Darfur “a ruminant of genocide” but did nothing except broker a peace agreement in Doha between one Darfuri movement and the Bashir government; which resulted in a huge fiasco.

With regards to the CPA, the Obama administration failed to press on the NCP to impellent it. Bashir’s regime dishonored the CPA, and continued its business as usual by disfranchising opposition parties, banning independent newspapers, arresting protesting youth who were protesting against the regime and continued on bombardment and shelling of villagers in Darfur. President Obama allowed dictator Bashir to rig the presidential elections in return Bashir would let the South break away. Indeed, after the South secession, dictator Bashir didn’t stop waging war against the new sovereign state of Southern Sudan; in addition he orchestrated another genocidal war in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile to disarm the Northern wing of the SPLM that fought alongside the SPLM in the South. The marginalized people in these two areas called on the Obama administration to intervene and stop the mass killing and to ease the pain that inflected upon them by dictator Bashir’s regime, but these calls fell on deaf ears. President Obama called on both parties to declare a cease fire and to go back to the negotiation table with no clear vision on how a new peace deal can be achieved with such a regime that has dishonored many treaties. We should realize that only a peace between equals can last; the NCP leadership doesn’t respond to “good intentions” but  respond only to “saber-rattling”, which is why it is necessary to squeezes them until "the pips squeak".The U.S sanctions on Sudan are hurting the middle class Sudanese who are protesting against the regime in Khartoum. The Obama administration needs to put teeth into these sanctions to loosen the grip of Khartoum’s dictator.

Last week, the U.S Special Envoy’s office called the Sudan Revolutionary Front’s leadership (SRF) to halt its military operations on the border between the Sudan and South Sudan, to allow dictator Bashir to participle in the Juba Summit that was scheduled for this Sunday in the capital of Southern Sudan. The aim of this summit was to address to the oil issue between the two states and the fighting along the border of the two countries borders. The Obama administration was optimistic that this summit would diffuse the rising tension between the two countries, but it’s obvious that dictator Bashir is eager to reach an agreement with the South for resumption of oil through the North’s pipeline; which would allow him to obtain oil revenues to save his country’s economy from imminent collapse.

There is no solution for Sudan’s crises, but regime change. As late Dr. John Garang said “This regime is too deformed to be reformed.” The U.S has changed regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan and supported the Libyans in toppling the late Gaddafi’s regime. Sudanese are not calling for military intervention, but are asking the U.S government to impose a no-fly zone over Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile and to support Khartoum’s oppositions politically and diplomatically as a panacea to all Sudan’s problems. At the end of the day, the Sudanese people will not remember the rhetoric of their enemies, but the silence of their friends.

The Author can be reached at [email protected]

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