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U.S. Launches New Strategy for Dealing With Sudan

The Obama administration announced a new strategy on Sudan, which includes offering incentives in exchange for a resolution on the crisis in Darfur. Ray Suarez speaks with General Scott Gration, special envoy to Sudan, for more.

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    Now: trying different ways to bring peace to Darfur.

    Ray Suarez that story.


    After nearly seven years of conflict in Darfur, at least 300,000 killed and two million more displaced, the Obama administration today unveiled a new policy, saying it wanted to end what it calls genocide in Darfur.

    In a statement issued by the president and in an announcement by his secretary of state, the administration said it would pursue a new regime of engagement with the government in Khartoum, instead of continuing a policy of isolation.


    We are looking to achieve results through broad engagement and frank dialogue. But words alone are not enough. Assessment of progress and decisions regarding incentives and disincentives will be based on verifiable changes in conditions on the ground. Backsliding by any party will be met with credible pressure in the form of disincentives, leverage by our government and our international partners.


    The administration hopes to end the Darfur conflict. It also hopes to implement the 2005 peace treaty meant to end a separate civil war between north and south Sudan.

    Administration officials also said the U.S. wants to ensure Sudan does not become a safe haven for international terrorist groups. Sudan was once home to Osama bin Laden and was bombed in 1998 following al Qaeda attacks on U.S. embassies in Africa.

    The government of Sudan responded cautiously, saying the proposal had positive points, while bristling at the use of the term genocide.

    Secretary Clinton was joined today by the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, and the administration's special envoy for Sudan, Major General Scott Gration. The two reportedly had clashed over Sudan policy prior to today's announcement, with Gration favoring engagement and Rice advocating a harder line.


    There will be significant consequences for parties that backslide or simply stand still. All parties will be held to account.

    President Obama's Sudan strategy is smart, tough, and balanced. It takes a clear view of history, which reminds us that, for years, paths to peace have been littered with broken promises and unfulfilled commitments by the government of Sudan.


    That government is led by Omar al-Bashir, who was indicted last year by the International Criminal Court, or the ICC, for crimes against humanity and war crimes. The ICC allegations Bashir orchestrated genocide in Darfur.

    He spoke with the NewsHour this summer.