Washington, District of Columbia – Voices for Sudan Inc. welcomes the speech of US Special Envoy for Sudan/South Sudan: Donald Booth, who spoke at the Atlantic Council this past Thursday, October 9th to offer future insight and reflect upon his past year of service in regards to U.S. policy on Sudan and South Sudan.
Booth’s speech entitled U.S. Policy on Sudan and South Sudan: The Way Forward, highlights the problems, devised steps, and processes necessary to address these problems in both Sudan and South Sudan. The speech also places the issues in a holistic context, offering insight in regards to the role of the United States, as well as the relationship between Sudan and South Sudan.
Voices for Sudan especially commends Booth for stressing the important issue of interconnectivity between Sudan and South Sudan. Since it’s inception Voices for Sudan has long argued for a holistic approach to peace in the region. In accordance to Booth’s speech VFS president Jimmy Mulla states:
Voices for Sudan advocates for a comprehensive approach to issues in all of Sudan (Sudan and South Sudan).”
The leading theme in Booth’s speech was inclusivity- both in South Sudan where authoritarian tendencies and a concentration on the interests of elites led the new nation to conflict and eventual civil war, as well as in Sudan, where the concentration of power and resources fell to a select group, and neglected the needs of those who’s identity did not match. In both circumstances Booth argues the need for inclusivity, which is necessary to avoid future fragmentation and conflict. Booth also declares the necessity of a national dialogue in both countries that address these issues and outline steps for resolution.
In Sudan Booth highlighted the problems with regional and compartmentalized approaches to peacemaking. Booth states:
These conflicts- in Darfur, in the Two Areas, like those previously in the East and in the South, each have unique manifestations, but they are all symptoms of a common national ill. For too long, the focus on conflict resolution efforts in the peripheries- and the supporting of international architecture- was focused regionally.
Booth concludes his speech explaining that while the relationship between Khartoum and the United States has been strained, the United States’ objectives and and interest in Sudan, South Sudan, and every country for that matter is in fostering a normal bilateral relationship in which we can work together on common interests. The U.S. interest and commitment is thus a peaceful and prosperous Sudan with whom the U.S. can trade, partner, and contribute to. As Booth goes on the explain, this also means a peaceful and prosperous South Sudan- who’s stability and well being form an inter-connected relationship with Sudan.
Voices for Sudan applauds Booth for his speech and the issues he raises. It is up the parties involved to take charge and act responsibly in accordance with his suggestions. Only then, if leaders and citizens can agree to make use of the support being offered, can a transition to peace be attained.
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