Tags: Bush | Names | Danforth | Envoy | Sudan

Bush Names Danforth Envoy to Sudan

Thursday, 06 September 2001 12:00 AM

The long-awaited appointment is designed to give new life to administration efforts to help the devastated nation.

The Muslim regime in Khartoum has been attacking the mainly Christian south for 18 years.

"We're committed to bringing stability to the Sudan, so that many loving Americans, nongovernmental organizations, will be able to perform their duties of love and compassion within that country without fear of reprisal," Bush said at a ceremony announcing Danforth.

Bush had harsh words for the Sudanese regime.

"For nearly two decades, the government of Sudan has waged a brutal and shameful war against its own people. And this isn't right, and this must stop," said Bush. "The government has targeted civilians for violence and terror. It permits and encourages slavery. And the responsibility to end the war is on their shoulders. The must now seek the peace, and we want to help."

Danforth, who served three terms as a Republican senator from Missouri, has been in private practice as an attorney since 1995, when he retired from the Senate. As special counsel appointed by then-Attorney General Janet Reno, he conducted a 14-month inquiry into the deaths in 1993 of about 80 Branch Davidians near Waco, Texas. His investigation cleared the FBI of wrongdoing.

At Thursday's ceremony, Danforth said, "In appointing me special envoy, President Bush has asked me to determine if there is anything useful the United States can do to help end the misery in Sudan, in addition to what we are already doing on the humanitarian side."

Bush appointed Danforth after his first choice, Chester Crocker, a former State Department official in charge of African affairs under President Ronald Reagan, declined the offer in June.

In an interview after his decision to turn down the Bush administration given to the Web site AllAfrica.com, Crocker said he did not think the "situation in Sudan proper and around Sudan is all that prospective for a substantive peace process."

In April, while on a tour of Africa, Secretary of State Colin Powell said he would take steps to further engage the United States in seeking a solution to the conflict in Sudan. At one point, he even said he would consider restaffing the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, which has been vacant since 1996, when U.S. personnel were asked to leave for security reasons.

On Thursday, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said there were "three fundamental objectives to his [Danforth's] role." These goals include reaching a "just and lasting peace," securing safety for international aid workers in Sudan, and persuading Sudan to end its support for international terrorism.

Sudan is one of seven countries labeled "state sponsors of terrorism" by the United States, making it ineligible for most forms of non-humanitarian aid. But the latest State Department report on patterns of global terrorism said Khartoum had taken steps to get off the list.

On Wednesday, French diplomats in New York said unrelated U.N. sanctions against Sudan would likely be lifted in the Security Council session later this month. Boucher, however, said only that the State Department was aware of Sudan's request to reassess these sanctions.

The U.S. Agency for International Development says that since 1989, it has donated $1.2 billion in assistance to Sudan. But under the Clinton administration, nearly all direct contact - even in the aid community - ended with the government in Khartoum. In April, however, USAID Director Andrew Natsios directed a shipment of food to a port in the north, the first such U.S. shipment since the first Bush administration.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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The long-awaited appointment is designed to give new life to administration efforts to help the devastated nation. The Muslim regime in Khartoum has been attacking the mainly Christian south for 18 years. We're committed to bringing stability to the Sudan, so that many...
Bush,Names,Danforth,Envoy,Sudan
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2001-00-06
Thursday, 06 September 2001 12:00 AM
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