By Faith J. H. McDonnell (@Cuchulain09)
Spurred by tens of thousands facing government-orchestrated starvation and continuous aerial bombardment in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile State, and the continuing violence in genocide-wracked Darfur, U.S. Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA) has declared that “it is time for a fresh policy and a renewed commitment to peace and justice in Sudan.” In a statement released on Thursday, April 11, 2013, the congressman from Virginia’s 10th District also asked for the “swift appointment of a high-profile Sudan special envoy.” Wolf, a repeat visitor to Sudan and South Sudan, is a hero to advocates for human rights and religious freedom.
“To date, this president has offered nothing more than an abdication of leadership and a failure of vision, which has culminated in human suffering and misery,” said Wolf. He contrasted a policy that seemed to indicate “a president that has all but forsaken the people of Sudan” with Obama’s deep concern and commitment to bold action as a presidential candidate. But “have we seen a fraction of that concern or anything close to bold action since he became president?” Wolf demanded.
“Candidate Obama was sharp in his criticism of President Bush’s handling of Sudan,” Wolf continued. “Have we seen President Obama take even fleeting interest, beyond the occasional talking point, in the deteriorating situation in Sudan marked in part by a growing humanitarian crisis in the Nuba Mountains?” he inquired. Instead, says Wolf, “inexplicably this administration has embraced a policy of engagement marked by conciliatory outreach to Khartoum, including the prospect of debt relief for a genocidal government, and a perverse sense of moral equivalence in dealing with South Sudan and Sudan.”
Wolf refers to groups such as Act for Sudan and a coalition of genocide scholars that have recently written to Secretary of State John Kerry and to President Obama urging a strong, influential Sudan special envoy. Like Wolf, these groups are disappointed with the current Sudan policy. Wolf also suggests several options that he believes would strengthen and improve U.S. policy on Sudan in his statement.