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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Statement on the Completion of the Southern Sudan Referendum

January 17, 2011


The completion of a peaceful, orderly Southern Sudan referendum marks a significant achievement for the Sudanese people and a historic step toward full implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The United States commends the millions of Southern Sudanese people who participated in this historic process, and applauds both northern and southern leaders for creating conditions that allowed voters to cast their ballots freely and without fear, intimidation, or coercion. The successful vote was also a credit to the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission, the Southern Sudan Referendum Bureau, and more than 40 countries and international organizations.

We welcome the positive statements issued in recent days by international observer missions from the African Union, Arab League, Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, European Union, and the Carter Center.As we await the official results of the referendum, we reaffirm our commitment to remain a steadfast partner to both parties as they continue to work toward full implementation of the CPA and to develop their post-CPA relationship. The parties have an opportunity to forge a durable peace between the North and the South, and to build positive relationships with the international community. We hope they will seize this moment, and the United States supports their efforts to ensure a peaceful, more prosperous future for all Sudanese.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lulu permalink
    January 17, 2011 4:51 pm

    Preliminary reports say the results will show overwhelming support for secession. The question is, will the North recognize it and how will the issue of Abyei be resolved.

    Stacy- I am curious as to whether you think the Obama administration would normalize relations with Khartoum and lift sanctions in return for Bashir’s promise to play nice and honor referendum results? If so it would mean that Bashir would likely never have to appear before the ICC for war crimes and the genocide would go unpunished.

    • January 17, 2011 6:01 pm

      Lulu- I have heard the idea floated that if Bashir plays nice we might lift sanctions. I really think if the US wanted Bashir held accountable at the ICC he’d have been magically spirited off to some country where he would be magically apprehended (*cough* CIA *cough) kind of like we helped covertly round up Bosnian Serbs alleged to be war criminals.

      I really think if Bashir does not stand up in front of the ICC then it will send a dangerous precedent that genocide will largely go unpunished. After Rwanda, that is unacceptable.

      This article will make you sick to your stomach if you think Bashir deserves to spend the rest of his life in a really small prison cell (you have to have an account to see this archived article so I’ll post a long excerpt below):

      Instead of actually changing its behavior, Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party wants to return to favor in Washington the old-fashioned way: by swamping a bunch of high-powered lobbyists in a sea of money to make its case. Thanks to two excellent recent articles by the Washington Post’s Dan Eggen, we have gained a much clearer window into the behind-the-scenes machinations of the National Congress Party and the greedy inside-the-Beltway types lining up to do the party’s bidding. In the process, we have also gained some alarming insight into how the administration is dealing with this mess. As actress Lily Tomlin once said, “No matter how cynical you get, you just can’t keep up.”

      The first bombshell dropped when former U.S. National Security Advisor Bud McFarlane of Iran-Contra fame was outed by the Post as having accepted $1.3 million, passed through the government of Qatar, to represent the Sudanese government as it tried to warm relations with Washington. McFarlane somehow forgot that this kind of representation usually requires registering as a lobbyist on behalf of a foreign government, something he did not do for either Qatar or Sudan. Making matters worse, Sudan is still on the state sponsors of terrorism list. But the niceties of paperwork never appear to have been McFarlane’s strong suit.

      So what did the Sudanese get for their $1.3 million? According to the White House, current National Security Advisor James L. Jones and the special envoy for Sudan, retired Maj. Gen. Scott Gration, had “conversations” with McFarlane to discuss “the urgent need to improve the security situation in Sudan and the need for development in southern Sudan.” It does not pass the laugh test to believe that the Sudanese government was spending more than a million dollars to express its concerns, via McFarlane, about development prospects for South Sudan given that the ruling party views the South as a mortal enemy. On one level, you can certainly understand how Jones and Gration got mousetrapped into taking the meeting with McFarlane; he is a former national security advisor after all. But Jones has also failed to detail whether he has held any other meetings with outsiders on Sudan, leaving as a real likelihood that the only outsider he has consulted on Sudan policy is a disgraced former national security advisor on the take from Khartoum.

      The second shoe fell with Eggen’s article revealing that Robert B. Crowe, a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough (and a prominent fundraiser for the Democratic Party), has been working behind the scenes to lock down a lobbying contract with the Sudanese government. Crowe, who might be every bit as ethically challenged as McFarlane, at least had the good sense to try and garner support from Gration and Sen. John Kerry, with whom he reportedly has good ties, to ensure that he could get legal approval to sign a lobbying contract. And because truth is invariably stranger than fiction in this business, celebrity television doctor Bob Arnot also appears mixed up in all of this.


      This passage may shed light on a curious exchange Gration had when testifying before Kerry in July. At that hearing, when discussing Sudan, Gration declared, “At some point we’re going to have to unwind some of these sanctions.” Many were baffled by Gration’s comments at the time because exemptions already exist for humanitarian relief and South Sudan has argued strongly that sanctions against the government should stay in place. What Gration might actually have been doing, with a wink and a nod, was offering the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee assurance that his favored lobbyist would also be eligible for a piece of Khartoum’s pie.

      None of these stories looks very good for an administration that promised to take a very tough line with Khartoum upon entering office. Perhaps a shorter response from the administration would be more appropriate when addressing those who seek to lobby on Khartoum’s behalf at a time when almost 3 million Darfuris remain displaced: Get lost.

      When I read articles like that I sort of struggle to not totally lose faith in US foreign policy across the board. Also, when I read articles like this I’m just stunned:

      Perhaps I am naive but I like to think that while much of our policies understandably revolve around insuring the stability of US economic and security interests, we also will stand firm on basic principles of human rights, particularly when it comes to genocide. So far, I’ve been a little disappointed and I honestly struggle with how best to deal with that given I run a blog devoted not only to US foreign policy, but the nation’s top diplomat, whom I greatly admire.

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