Ambassador Susan Rice's Hawkish Sudan Stance

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I fear the Sudan in the following months is going to feel the heel of American might, especially under the leadership of Ambassador Rice. Perhaps I am needlessly biased but from the Clinton days I have seen this obstinate individual dig her heels in when it comes to Khartoum.

[Global: Africa Commentary]

I have mentioned earlier that Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, in her usual manner of seeing Africa as her personal domain, is not going to help in the forthcoming Sudan difficulties. 

Her utterance last week concerning the Sudan --that she has a variety of diplomatic tools at her disposal including carrots and sticks-- is not only contemptible for some one holding such a high office within the UN, but has to come under severe criticism by Africa Watchers.

There can be no mistake about their meaning; “carrots” are the bribes in American dollars which have caused severe harm for decades in Africa and “sticks” are instruments of lethal force and ethnic division, as we know from past experience.

Now, Rice mounts her chariot, despite African protests, along with her bundle of “carrots” and shoulder-held container of “sticks” to ride in and bring troubles to this, the vast territory of the Sudan. With so many other troubles on our planet, many caused by the neo-imperialist plans of America, many of us feel that the coming violent concocted divisions will go unnoticed.

However, it will be the Sudanese people who will have to suffer once again. Carrots and sticks will not help. It should be  the sole concern of the UN. But with oil in this African soil, we all know what that means.

Already this weekend South Sudanese businessmen have rushed to buy US dollars from the Juba Dahabshil Exchange Bureau even, I am told, becoming violent to get their hands on the almighty American dollar.

The “carrot” is at work. It is disappointing to Africa Watchers to see the failure of President Barack Obama, himself brought up within African culture and well aware of the continent's difficulties, to retain his position as a man of
peace and be persuaded now to think of “sticks”. The Sudan needs his original belief in dialogue and peace which he promised when addressing the world during those exciting days of the electoral platform.

Alas this is fast being lost on the road to becoming yet another War President. He has made it clear within the last few weeks that he is extending the American defense umbrella over much of the Persian Gulf and boasts of the sale to undemocratic Saudi Arabia, sitting on most of the world’s oil, scores of new F-15 combat aircraft along with more than 175 attack and troop-transport helicopters. If subsequent negotiations are successful, ships and antimissile defenses will be added to the mix.

The Obama administration says the deal has been put together in quiet consultations with Israel, which has sought assurances that it will retain its technological edge over Saudi forces, even as Saudi Arabia improves its ability to face down a shared rival, the Iranians.

I fear the Sudan in the following months is going to feel the heel of American might, especially under the leadership of Ambassador Rice. Perhaps I am needlessly biased but from the Clinton days I have seen this obstinate individual dig her heels in when it comes to Khartoum. As American Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs under Bill Clinton, she stated during the early Congo problems that “anything was better than the Mobuto leadership”.

Now, with millions of lives lost, look at the present state of the Congo. Then, also within the Clinton administration, she made the criminally incompetent mistake, despite the help of Khartoum, of missing the chance to neutralize Osama bin Laden.

Sadly, I fear that we are going to see, with Susan Rice at the helm, little joy in the forth-coming Sudan referendum.


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