A coalition of Sudan/Darfur activist groups launched a new effort today they are calling Sudan Now. The timing is noteworthy. Since January, the administration has been unable to complete a Sudan policy review, something the president initially said would be concluded in the first 60 days. Some in the administration, like Sudan Special Envoy Scott Gration, believe that striking a more conciliatory tone with the Sudanese government will help secure cooperation on Darfur and on implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Accord with the south. Activists, and a number of other administration officials, think this is a wrongheaded approach; they argue that absent significant pressure on the government of Sudan, securing Khartoum’s cooperation is unrealistic. This basic strategic question is as of yet unresolved.
Enter Sudan Now. From the release:
With the U.S. administration planning to release its major policy review on Sudan any day, Sudan Now calls on President Obama to:
1. Lead a more effective and urgent peace process for Darfur; 2. Build an international coalition for strict implementation of the North-South peace deal; and 3. Implement a policy that creates real consequences for those in Sudan who continue to attack civilians, block life-saving aid, undermine peace, and obstruct justice.
As you can see from the ads, the group intends to use the Obama administration’s own words to show support for their preferred policy option. Ads like this one are appearing in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, a number of blogs and websites and for good measure, the Martha’s Vineyard Times and the Vineyard Gazette