Obama Sets Softer Sudan Policy

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2009 8:51 AM CDT
Obama Sets Softer Sudan Policy
President Barack Obama talks with reporters after a meeting with the U.S. Envoy for Sudan Major General J. Scott Gration in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Monday, March 30, 2009.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Though Obama advocated a confrontational approach to Sudan on the campaign trail, his administration will announce a somewhat soft policy toward the country on Monday. Ending months of internal wrangling, the policy is designed use to "pressure and incentives" to bend the government to address US concerns over the killings in Darfur and a slow-to-be-implemented peace accord between the north and south, along with fears that Sudan may provide a haven to terrorists.

Under the new policy, reports the Washington Post, the US will maintain that genocide is occurring in Darfur, will keep Sudan on its list of state sponsors of terrorism, and will not allow special envoy retired Air Force Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration to negotiate directly with President Omar Hassan Bashir, who has been indicted for war crimes. Obama had earlier pushed for tougher sanctions and the establishment of a no-fly zone over Darfurian villages. The policy is expected to be presented as part of a larger effort to engage US enemies. (More foreign policy stories.)

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