SUDAN WATCH: The guiding ideology fuelling U.S. policy in Sudan is to establish democracy in the country - U.S.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The guiding ideology fuelling U.S. policy in Sudan is to establish democracy in the country - U.S.

UPI analysis "U.S. Supports derided Darfur Peace Agreement" by Stephanie Sonntag June 29, 2006 [via CFD] excerpt:
Michael Ranneberger, senior Sudan representative for the U.S. State Department, told United Press International the United States doesn't support the current return of the refugees to their southern homes.

"Our position is that people should not go home until security is such that it would be safe," Ranneberger said.

The current foreign policy, as outlined by the U.S. State Department, supports a peace agreement to end the Sudan conflict, seeks cooperation against terrorism and "is deeply concerned" about human rights violations. According to current department statistics, the government provides 89 percent of the country's food aid and has sent more than $1.3 billion to fund reconstruction, humanitarian and peacekeeping efforts.

The guiding ideology fueling U.S. policy in Sudan is to establish democracy in the country by ending violence and genocide, Ranneberger said.

Washington is working through humanitarian groups to provide adequate food, clothing and health care to the millions of displaced people. Humanitarian groups have expressed frustration in the two peace agreements' limited power and large failures, as yet, to establish a safe environment.

The International Rescue Committee has many humanitarian officials entrenched throughout Sudan and is working on restoring these people to their homes. Experts assert that returning displaced people is a complex issue and often involves neighboring countries. Currently many refugees are resistant to return home.

J. Stephen Morrison, Africa program director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, offered several explanations for why many displaced Sudanese do not want to return.

"The population may be living a marginalized existence, but are somewhat protected," he said at a recent conference. "The movement of populations is highly political."

Amanya Michael Ebye, a deputy county representative for western Sudan, agreed that the returns process is a difficult road. He said many of the region's citizens are afraid to leave their houses, let alone take dangerous journeys back to their homes. Because traveling is difficult, Ebye said, travelers would need walking security and adequate space for humanitarian efforts.

"Looking at the whole process, the recovery needs to be putting into place basic needs... including the management of facilities so they can own this process," said Anne Mesopir, a member of the IRC's south Sudan program.

The African Union, a recently formed multinational coalition to provide "African solutions for African problems," has deployed nearly 7,000 troops to patrol an area the size of France. The United States and many United Nations' officials support a transfer of patrol power from the understaffed and poorly funded AU to the U.N., but the Sudanese government opposes the transfer.

Ranneberger said it is in the best interest of Sudan to allow the transfer.

"The African Union is doing great job in Darfur, but it is not set up to maintain forces for a sustained amount of time," Ranneberger told UPI. "The African Union could form the core of the force. Sudan will simply need to cooperate."

He said the United States expects the U.N. Security Council's full support in the transfer.
[If its true that "the guiding ideology fueling U.S. policy in Sudan is to establish democracy in the country by ending violence and genocide" one wonders what the Sudanese think when they hear the US wants to establish democracy in Sudan. It's a terribly arrogant statement for a U.S. official to make, don't you think? Some days, I wonder what's in the water over there. Americans can't hear themselves the way as the rest of the world hears them. I'm not alone in this thinking - see following item]

BUSH FACES CRITICS AT EU SUMMIT

Reuters, New York Times report via International Herald Tribune June 22, 2006 - excerpt:
On Wednesday, Bush issued an impassioned defence of his Iraq policy amid pointed reminders of how far the United States had fallen in the eyes of many Europeans.

"That's absurd!" Bush declared, dismissing a reporter's suggestion that most Europeans regard the United States as a bigger threat to global stability than North Korea, which has proclaimed it has nuclear arms, or Iran, which is suspected of developing them.

"I will do my best to explain our foreign policy," he said. "On the one hand, it's tough when it needs to be. On the other hand, it's compassionate. And we'll let the polls figure out - people can say what they want to say.
Note the report points out that Mr Bush fought back, citing U.S. aid to Africa to fight AIDS and his declaration recognizing genocide in Darfur.

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