Thursday, March 5, 2009

Obama policy on Sudan/Darfur

1. Quickly coordinate expelled aid agencies to relocate their personnel and programs to South Sudan. The need for humanitarian assistance is huge in South Sudan, and now that a dangerous war criminal faces an arrest warrant in Khartoum it is more important than ever for South Sudan to be stable and prospering. Plus, relocation is an immediate way to pressure/leverage northern Sudanese already suffering as the economy goes into a tailspin. Also, will make invasion of South Sudan by Khartoum more difficult, as there will be hundreds of foreign aid workers in the country. Finally, will give Salva Kiir and SPLA even more leverage over what happens in the country.

2. Relocate embassies and aid missions to headquarter in South Sudan. Make a simple statement about solidarity with southern Sudanese by allowing personnel who do not want to live in ordinary living conditions in the south the chance to be located elsewhere. Accept that personnel in South Sudan will have lower productivity because they are not 24/7 in air conditioned cocoons. Yes, it will be uncomfortable.

3. Immediately create dozens of Youtube videos to explain the nature of the ICC charge and recast nationalism as not equal to al-Bashir. "I am Sudanese, and I think al-Bashir must prove his innocence before a court of law." Make sure Sudanese voices are heard on al-Jazira making the simple argument that a war criminal who organizing the killings of Muslms should not be a head of state in the Islamic World.

4. Ramp up monitoring of situation on Sudan/Chad border, providing much asisstantance to refugees and making sure Sudan proxy forces are not allowed to attack N'Djamena. Use diplomatic contacts to leverage greater liberalization and respect for human rights in Chad in return for protection.

5. Create an international team of Arabic-speaking scholars on sovereignty to begin advising the GOSS on its constitutional role in the so-called government of national unity, on the modalities of the 2011 referendum, and the verification of the census.

6. Use leverage on GOSS to insist on transparency in governance and zero-tolerance for corruption. South Sudan must be ready to take the reins of power in Khartoum when the al-Bashir regime falls apart.

7. Offer witness protection and asylum in South Sudan to witnesses who will give new or strongly corroborating evidence against al-Bashir.

8. Reprint in Arabic the prosecutor's application for arrest warrant, with introduction by leading Sudanese thinkers opposed to the Khartoum regime, and circulate widely in Arabic speaking region, especially in Southern Sudan and Darfur, areas where Khartoum has little ability to control reading. many of these books will find their way to Khartoum population.

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