25 September 2023

UNITED STATES: Ex-diplomat to form Sudan policy

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The US Department of State has announced that former diplomat Donald Booth (pictured) has agreed to come out of retirement to craft US policy towards Sudan.

The move comes after the Administration of President, Donald Trump was accused of inaction on Sudan, a country that is fast descending into anarchy following the ousting two months ago of its long-time ruler.

Mr Booth, a seasoned former ambassador with extensive experience in Africa, will serve as a Special Envoy on Sudan, working alongside the US’s top diplomat on Africa, Tibor Nagy.

The appointment comes as the Trump Administration faces growing calls to step up its efforts to stabilise Sudan.

Critics have accused Washington of being missing in action while powerful Persian Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have taken on a larger behind-the-scenes role in the African country’s Transitional Government.

A former State Department and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) official who worked on Sudan, Cameron Hudson said anybody who had been paying attention to Sudan would have recognised its protest movement was fundamentally different.

“We should’ve expected this; we should’ve anticipated this,” Mr Hudson said.

“The fact we didn’t have a strategy in place, we didn’t have personnel in place … is really worrying.”

Another US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was even blunter: “There’s no leadership on this issue in [the Department of] State or the White House.”

United Nations officials have warned the country could face mass atrocities without a strong US voice and international support for a peaceful transition to civilian rule.

Washington, DC, 16 June 2019

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