Navigating the North-South divide

August 12, 2009

Scott Gration, the Obama’s Special Envoy to Sudan, reports on his team’s current work in the country, This I Believe style.

What struck me was this:

While the current US sanctions against the government in Khartoum explicitly exclude Southern Sudan, in practical terms they do not.  Large equipment needed for infrastructure or economic development in the South must go through Port Sudan and/or Khartoum in the North, which makes these necessary investments for the South subject to our sanctions. “Smart,” targeted sanctions are absolutely necessary and desirable against key components of the government in Khartoum. I want to be clear. These sanctions should not be lifted.  However, I believe that we must consider specific exceptions or selective rollbacks to facilitate development in the South and fully implement the CPA. We need more flexibility to achieve our desired results, which are: pressuring the North, developing the South, and incentivizing good behavior on all sides.

This almost never happens: admitting failure, acknowledging complexity, avoiding paralysis,  suggesting solutions, and  maintaining clarity about big-picture goals—all at the same time!

(CPA provisions here)



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