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Pardes Yehuda: Something to post about--President Obama appoints official envoy to Sudan

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Something to post about--President Obama appoints official envoy to Sudan

It's been a long, long time since I've written here. But I came home to an email that made me smile big. It reads like this:
President Obama has appointed retired Major General J. Scott Gration as special envoy to Sudan.

General Gration traveled to Africa with President Obama in 2006, visiting refugee camps in Chad. His experience, gravitas and close relationship with President Obama will contribute greatly to his effectiveness. It remains to be seen if he will have the mandate and authority to drive U.S. policy on Sudan.

The appointment of a special envoy is an urgently needed step forward—and it wouldn't have happened if we hadn't raised our voices together. But our work isn't over.

The Sudanese government's recent decision to expel 13 international aid agencies has left about 1.1 million civilians without food aid, 1.5 million without health care and over a million without potable water—threatening starvation and disease on a massive scale.

General Gration has his work cut out for him. He will need to hit the ground running and spearhead an urgent and sustained diplomatic push to establish unimpeded humanitarian access in Darfur, as well as sustainable peace in all of Sudan. And we'll need your help again in the days and weeks to come.

Again, thank you for raising your voice for Darfur. Our constituency of conscience has had a powerful impact on our leaders—and made a difference in the lives of Darfuris. We will continue our fight together.


Jerry Fowler
Save Darfur Coalition

This is a major step in international efforts to end the genocide in Darfur. This move is incredibly important right now as the International Criminal Court in The Hague recently issued an arrest warrant for Omar al Bashir, the president of Sudan, which has caused some negative backlashes--including the expulsion of the aid workers mentioned in the letter above.

If you're able to help with your voice and body, click here and if you're able to also help with your pocketbook, click here. Mr. Bush famously wrote "Not on my watch," and ultimately let the genocide continue while in office; let's collectively urge President Obama to end this genocide.

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