by Faith McDonnell
While defending the Obama Administration’s policy of engagement with Sudan’s genocidal Islamist National Congress Party (NCP), Sudan Special Envoy Major General R. Scott Gration (R) put a new spin on the carrot-and-stick approach to engagement. He told reporters,
“We’ve got to think about giving out cookies. . . Kids, countries – they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement.”
Hold on to your cookies, General Gration. This is definitely not the time to reward Khartoum.
Carrots and sticks in U.S. Sudan policy is nothing new. Promises of rewards for good behavior and warnings of punishment for bad were used frequently by the Bush Administration to coax the Islamist regime to the peace table, to complete the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the NCP and the SudanPeople’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), and to try to stop the Darfur genocide waged by the NCP through its proxy janjaweed.
But Khartoum has exploited every approach and managed to avoid every stick. The United States has doled out so many carrots to Khartoum that the Islamists should be suffering from carotenemia. And the only reward the United States has received has been empty promises. Contracts and covenants mean nothing to a regime permitted by the law of taqiyya to lie to infidels and promote Islam.
Taqiyya has been practiced in Sudan for over 1200 years. After the death of Mohammed, Arab armies from the Middle East attempted to conquer Sudan, then called Kush. Because they were defeated and humiliated militarily for 600 years by fierce Nubian warriors and archers (known as the Pupil Smiters), they entered into a treaty of “non-aggression,” or a baqt, with the Christian kingdoms of Kush. That action was Christian Sudan’s downfall. Just as the Arab Islamists used thebaqt to gain time until they could achieve domination, Khartoum gains time through both the signing of the CPA and the Darfur Peace Agreement, and through its constant reneging of both of these modern treaties of so-called non-aggression.
Even if the slate of past atrocities were to be wiped clean, the regime’s behaviorhas not changed. Its agenda of delay, deceit, and destruction remains the same. Khartoum refuses to implement key provisions of the CPA to which it agreedwhen it signed with the SPLM in January 2005. Some of these provisions have been re-negotiated, to Khartoum’s advantage and in a manner which is unjust and unfair to the SPLM.
Remaining issues have to do with the upcoming election in 2010 and the referendum on secession by South Sudan in 2011. Next year Sudan will hold its first presidential, parliamentary, and local elections in 24 years. In the provisions of the CPA, this election must take place in order for the secession referendum to go forward. But Khartoum continues to delay passing vital laws concerning voting eligibility, border demarcation, and security. Recent events demonstrate how far Khartoum is willing to go to obstruct the process of registration for voting.
Registration for Sudanese living in the United States to vote in Sudan’s 2010 election took place on November 28 and 29, 2009. But in the Washington, DC area, the registration process was like participating in a progressive dinner without food. First the people were told – more