US Envoy Heads to Sudan

Today, newly-appointed US special envoy to Sudan Scott Gration met with US President Barack Obama. Tomorrow, he will depart for Africa.

Gration is expected to visit Darfur, Khartoum, and South Sudan.

President Obama on Gration and his trip –

I am sending him off with my full confidence. He will be speaking for the administration, and he will be coming back to report to me very shortly about what he’s found there and additional steps that we can take to deal with this situation.

President Obama on the US and Darfur –

I actually think that America can speak effectively with one voice and bring the moral and other elements of our stature to bear in trying to deal with this situation.

Envoy Officially Appointed

It’s official –

Today, retired Air Force General Scott Gration was named US special envoy to Sudan.

In a statement announcing the appointment, US President Barack Obama had this to say –

Sudan is a priority for this administration…Sudan cries out for peace and for justice…the worsening humanitarian crisis there makes our task all the more urgent.

US to Appoint Special Envoy

While no formal announcement has been made, several media outlets are reporting that US President Barack Obama will appoint retired Air Force General Scott Gration as his special envoy to Sudan. Such a formal announcement may come as early as tomorrow.

Gration has an interesting history – raised in the Congo, served as a fighter pilot, won a Purple Heart. He also traveled to Africa with Obama in 2006 and referred to the president as a “leader committed to end that genocide (Darfur)”.

Also Tuesday, the US State Department delivered harsh words to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and the “catastrophe” he has created by kicking aid organizations out of the country.

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton appeared ready to take Bashir head-on –

They will be held responsible for every single death that occurs in those camps because by their expulsion of the aid workers, they are putting those 1.4 million lives at risk.

Thank you to those who urged the White House to wake up to the Darfur crisis and appoint a special envoy to Sudan.