Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sudan In US Foreign Policy: Who Could Anticipate Normal Relations?

Sudan Vision News Daily


Sudan in US Foreign Policy :Who Could Anticipate Normal Relations?

Ibrahim Al-Jack

According to Foreign Minister's statement released recently the Sudanese/American relations are fluctuating.

Some time ago President Al Bashir emphasized that US Administration promises a lot but delivers none.

The U.S Administration still is holding a “carrot” for Sudan in case it changes its positions toward opening the door before foreign organizations to bring in relief aids to victims in Blue Nile and South Kordufan states. The government sees that for the organizations to operate in these particular regions will help provide supplies, ammunition and needed equipment to rebels, which will strengthen their will to launch more wars in the regions after the quelling of the rebellion has become clear to all. The government also wants signal a message to the U.S Administration that it has got tired of promises that have never been honored, and that whenever the government agrees to a condition, the U.S Administration sets other conditions. The government paints the U.S policies toward Sudan as “transferable agenda”.

New promises

The U.S Administration through its special envoy for Khartoum Princeton Lyman called for supporting the United Nations, African Union and Arab League Tripartite Initiative to provide humanitarian assistance to the needy in South Kordufan and Blue Nile states.

The Sudanese government affirmed to the envoy, who concluded a 2-day visit to Khartoum that it would soon reply to the tripartite initiative after consideration and assessment, pointing out that a report prepared by a task forces made up of representatives from the World Food Organization and UNICEF and Sudan would be announced soon.

The Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Ambassador El-Ebeid Ahmed Marawah, following a series of meetings with the U.S envoy and Sudanese government’s delegation to Addis Ababa negotiations with the government of South Sudan, said that the Minister of Foreign Ali Ahmed Karti discussed with the U.S delegation a number of issues concerning relations between the two countries and development of situation in Sudan, pointing out that Lyman believes that among other reasons for not reaching an agreement is attributed to a great degree to weak confidence between Sudan and South Sudan. The U.S envoy hoped that the two countries would overcome the barrier of confidence in next rounds, noting his welcome of Sudan government’s design to assess humanitarian situation in South Kordufan and Blue Nile through involving regional and international organizations.

Marawah said the Sudanese government represented by the Foreign Minister demanded the U.S and the international community focus on the heart of the problem, not just deal with its side-effects, indicating that the state’s institutions are still considering the proposal of the tripartite move regarding humanitarian situation in South Kordufan and Blue Nile.

He affirmed that Lyman demonstrated his country keenness to ease tension between Juba and Khartoum, adding it hopes that the two countries will avoid all acts that may contribute to increasing tension. He noted that his country meant to send a positive signal to Sudan by signaling to support steps toward writing off its debts by including that in the U.S budget for next year.

NCP Rejects U.S conditions

The ruling National Congress Party has rejected conditions the U.S administration announced to write off Sudan’s foreign debts in return for the government’s consent to allow in foreign organizations in South Kordufan and Blue Nile states and hold a plebiscite in the region of Abyei. The party stressed that it does not trust Washington’s steps toward Khartoum no matter it dispatches one envoy or thousands, saying that normalization of the relations is conditional on dealing with it as a rival and respect.

The NCP officer for mobilization Haj Majid Suwar said in press statements yesterday that the successive U.S administration has been dealing with Sudan with more attempts of ignorance “therefore we don’t trust them and their positions because it promised prior to the signing of Naivasha agreement to remove Sudan’s name from terror list and cancelling sanctions on it but has not delivered and repeated the same behavior in Abuja agreement and backed down on its obligations.” He added: “the agreements we are making now are according to our political will. We are carrying on with them. We are satisfied with them and don’t need U.S administration’s incentives in this connection.”

Suwar affirmed that his party would continue to implement the agreement, which stipulated a plebiscite in Abyei, but the party that doesn’t acknowledge and want that is Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), which is controlling South Sudan and holding citizens hostages in South Kordufan using them as human shields, in addition to committing crimes by SPLA division 9 in the region.

The officer for mobilizations affirmed his party’s rejection of the U.S conditions saying: “We don’t approve any of it and that if it is [U.S] willing to improve relations with Sudan, it is more willing, but if it responds to internal pressure groups, that is its business.”

In a reference to the U.S envoy for Darfur, he said: “if the U.S administration dispatched on envoy or thousands, we don’t trust steps it is taking because it has preconceived conviction and steps against the government…I don’t think it will add anything new.”

He criticized the remarks of South Sudan chief negotiator, Pagan Amum regarding the ejection of Chinese oil companies accusing them of involvement with Sudan in theft of South Sudan oil, saying that Amum’s remarks will contribute to further tensions between Sudan and South Sudan so that no agreement will be reached. He added that South Sudan has the right to expel Chinese companies or leave them, but the equation of oil production and sharing revenues is pretty clear because the wells are limited and known, citing that the last minister of oil was a southerner when Sudan was united, who knows the amount of oil and operating wells.

We will not bet on U.S promises

The NCP reiterated its rejection of U.S promises and allowing in foreign organizations to operate in Blue Nile and South Kordufan. The head of political sector with the party, Dr. Qutbi Al Mahdi in statements to the press pointed out diminishing confidence in Washington, and demanded it be more serious if it wanted to reach understanding and normalize relations with the government.

He noted that some organizations wants enter those regions to acknowledge reality created by the SPLM by violating the agreement, affirming they will not “reward” SPLM for the crimes it committed and humanitarian situation it has brought about in areas under its control.

Qutbi showed cautious welcome to the U.S Congress’ step calling for lifting support to organization that have been taking a hostile line against Khartoum such as Save Darfur and International Crisis Group. “We showed good will towards the U.S Congress’ step, although we have not seen its translation into actions…we have regard it as a natural response to positive development Darfur is seeing, especially in the sphere of development,” Al Mahdi said.

He noted that huge amount of money was gathered in the name of Darfur by those organizations, but the money has not gone to Darfur. he reiterated the government’s call for slimming down UNAMID in Darfur and transforming its budget to reconstruction and development in the regions estimated at hundreds of billion dollars.

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