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USIS Washington File

09 November 1999

Text: Scheffer Delivers Albright Message to Hill Summit on Sudan

(November 9 statement by State Dept. Spokesman Rubin) (790)
U.S. policy is "to isolate the government of Sudan" and "to press for
fundamental change" there, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said
November 9 in a message to the Hill Summit on Sudan, which was
organized by faith-based organizations to discuss Sudan's war.
Ambassador at Large for War Crimes David Scheffer delivered the
message for Albright, who was unable to attend the gathering,
according to a press statement the same day by State Department
Spokesman James Rubin.
In her message, Albright outlined U.S. efforts to help the warring
parties in Sudan reach a comprehensive peace settlement. "To this
end," she said, "the United States has worked intensely this year to
revitalize the peace process led by Sudan's East African neighbors
through the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)."
Following is the text of Rubin's press statement:
(In the text, "billion" means 1,000 million.)
(begin text)
U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement
Press Statement by James P. Rubin, Spokesman
November 9, 1999
Ambassador at Large for War Crimes, David Scheffer, delivered the
following statement on behalf of Secretary Albright this afternoon at
the Hill Summit on Sudan, organized by a number of faith-based
organizations
Message from Secretary Albright to Sudan Summit
I regret that I could not join you today to discuss the tragic war in
Sudan--one of the most destructive civil conflicts in the world today.
Last month, I met in Kenya with opposition leaders and members of
civil society from northern and southern Sudan. I heard firsthand from
them stories of the devastating impact of 16 years of war -- and of
the brutal policies of the Government of Sudan. I returned more
determined than ever that the United States will do all we can to
achieve a just, lasting resolution.
Since the National Islamic Front seized power from a democratically
elected government in 1989, the United States has been at odds with
the Government of Sudan. That regime has actively supported
international terrorist organizations and regional insurgencies. It
has compiled an appalling human rights record, including torture,
religious persecution, and forced imposition of Sharia law. And it has
prolonged a vicious and inhumane war, not hesitating to enslave,
starve and bomb civilians in violation of international humanitarian
law.
Our policy is to isolate the Government of Sudan; to counter the
threat it poses to the United States, its neighbors, and its own
people; and to press for fundamental change in its policies.
But security and democracy will come to Sudan only when the warring
parties themselves reach a comprehensive peace settlement. To this
end, the United States has worked intensely this year to revitalize
the peace process led by Sudan's East African neighbors through the
Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
Our efforts have led to the appointment of a full-time Kenyan envoy
and the establishment of a peace process Secretariat and technical
committees. We now expect the warring parties to begin negotiations
under this newly revitalized process this month.
The United States is funding one-half of the secretariat's costs for
its first six months. To make our role as strong and effective as
possible, the President and I named former Congressman Harry Johnston
as our Special Envoy for Sudan.
We also continue to meet the significant humanitarian needs created by
this devastating war. The United States has provided more than $1
billion in relief aid since 1989; we will continue to do all that is
necessary to care for those in need.
And we are helping build the foundations for democracy by supporting
civil society and civil governance through our Sudan Transitional
Assistance for Rehabilitation (STAR) program, which we have just
expanded to include opposition-controlled areas in northern and
eastern Sudan.
I know some of you are engaged in a campaign to encourage divestment
from companies investing in Sudan. As you know, President Clinton
imposed comprehensive economic and trade sanctions against Sudan in
November 1997. We share your concerns about the role foreign
investment plays in buttressing the Khartoum regime's capacity to
intensify its brutal war in the south and lessening its inclination to
participate seriously in the IGAD peace process.
Many of you present today have struggled long and hard for the cause
of peace in Sudan. It is an honor to share this struggle with you --
and I pledge this Administration's commitment to working as partners
toward a Sudan that is peaceful, democratic, and free. I congratulate
those who are receiving awards -- and I wish you Godspeed.
(end text)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State)



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