Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Bush Intensifies Pressure on Sudan

Bush Intensifies Pressure on Sudan

By Michael Abramowitz and Debbi Wilgoren
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, May 29, 2007; 12:10 PM

President Bush today announced broader sanctions on the government of Sudanese president Lt. Gen. Omar Hassam al-Bashir in an effort to halt violence in the troubled Darfur region, nearly three years after the White House described the conflict there as genocide.

In a brief address that included sharp criticism of Bashir, Bush said the Treasury Department will step up efforts to squeeze the Sudanese economy by targeting government-run ventures involved with its booming oil business, which does many of its transactions in U.S. dollars.


The United States will also seek new U.N. Security Council sanctions against Khartoum, including a provision preventing the Sudanese government from conducting military flights in Darfur, Bush said. The United Nations has accused Sudan's government of bombing Darfur villages.


Bush and his aides say Bashir and other senior Sudanese officials have thwarted efforts at cooperation even after Bush explicitly warned them of the consequences. The president said the Sudanese government bombed a rebel camp a day after Bush's speech at the Holocaust Museum. Sudanese officials have continued to give speeches rejecting the full complement of peacekeepers, U.S. officials say.

"For too long, the people of Darfur have suffered at the hands of a government that is complicit in the bombing, murder and rape of innocent civilians," Bush said.

" . . . President Bashir's actions over the past few weeks follow a long pattern of promising cooperation while finding new methods for obstruction."

The timing of today's announcement appears certain to anger U.N. diplomats, who have been reporting progress in negotiations with Bashir and have been aggressively lobbying U.S. officials to delay sanctions. Sudan's official news agency reported Saturday that Ban has agreed to travel to Khartoum to negotiate a deal on a United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force for Darfur. full article

This may be too little too late. If W is serious about ending this the best thing he could do is get China on board in ending the conflict. Somehow I just don't see that happening anytime soon.