By Matt Chancey On September 14th, while the attention of America was focused on the "Tea Party" electoral upset in Delaware, the Obama Administration released a policy statement titled, "Intensifying Diplomacy in the Lead up to the Referenda in Sudan."
This document lays out the administration's plans to encourage a peaceful transition of Sudan into two independent countries. Under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that was signed in 2005, Southern Sudan has the right to vote on seceding to become its own country in 2011.
However, as has been pointed out by many experts, a vote on Southern secession could lead to war again in that troubled area of the world.
In the meantime, Sudan President, Omar al-Bashir, remains under indictment from the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes. Bashir has a rather inauspicious reputation as a world leader, considering there are millions of dead attributed to his murderous policies.
Now, to entice Bashir to behave himself, President Obama is employing a "carrot and stick" approach.
President Obama has been criticized from the Right and the Left for not making Sudan more of a priority. But apparently the administration realizes that allowing the situation in Sudan to tick away like a time bomb without seriously engaging could mean a new war far worse than the previous one that killed 2 million people.
Under the new Administration's policy in Sudan, the U.S. promises that if Bashir recognizes the results of the referendum in Southern Sudan, the U.S. will lift several economic sanctions against Northern Sudan. Furthermore, if Bashir's government complies with several post-referendum requirements, the U.S. may send an official ambassador to Sudan. Finally, if Bashir ends the war in Darfur, he wins the jackpot: access to foreign aid and debt relief, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer, and an end to all economic sanctions.
Keep in mind that this policy is basically more of the same from previous administrations. It is a policy of appeasement. Bashir is basically offered rewards for doing what he has already agreed to do.
Oh, and those 2 million Southern Sudanese Christians who were butchered? We'll just forget about that little misunderstanding. And the 400,000 Darfur people who have been murdered, and millions more burned out of their villages since 2003? No comment.
Such is the nature of diplomacy. In order to avoid a future war and more killing, the previous war and all its death and destruction must be swept aside. Bashir has lied to the world and broken numerous promises for years. He has created the humanitarian crisis that has cost millions of lives and $ billions in property damage and humanitarian relief programs to salvage the human carnage left in his wake. Now, if he gives way a little, he will be allowed to get away with murder.
This is how men handle a crisis. They make deals with the devil, or a devil, as in the case of Bashir.
But the way God handles a crisis is not by cooperating with evil, but by "overcoming evil with good." (Romans 12:21)
Persecution Project Foundation is not involved in diplomacy or politics. We are not focused on external policy victories. We are focused on the heart. The hearts of millions of Sudanese who either need to hear the Gospel, or be encouraged by fellow believers who hear their cries for help.
We know that regardless of whether Omar al-Bashir receives justice on earth, he will receive it in God's good time. We will focus not on revenge, but regeneration. Regeneration for all who our God of mercy calls to Himself.