Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) today released the attached letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice officially asking that a special envoy to Sudan be appointed to focus on ending the genocide in Darfur and ensuring that the North-South peace agreement holds.
Wolf, co-chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Human Rights Caucus and chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee with oversight of the State Department, recommended that former Ohio Congressman Tony Hall be named envoy. Hall is presently the U.S. ambassador to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations in Rome.
''The appointment of a special envoy will send a clear message to Khartoum that the international community will not back down on Darfur and that we will not let the [Comprehensive Peace Agreement] fail,'' wrote Wolf, who has been to Sudan five times. ''While no one can guarantee that this approach will work, we owe it to the women and children clinging to life in refugee camps to try everything.''
March 31, 2006
The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
2201 C St NW Ste 7276
Washington DC 20520
Dear Secretary Rice:
As a follow-up to our dialogue at the appropriations subcommittee hearing a few weeks ago, I want to reiterate my strong support for the appointment of a special envoy for Sudan.
I commend the dedication that both you and the president have shown to the issue of peace in Sudan. From the early days of his administration, the president has made Sudan a major foreign policy priority - - first by appointing former Senator John Danforth as his special envoy to find a peaceful resolution to the North-South conflict, then by maintaining pressure on the government of Sudan, and by rightfully declaring the atrocities in Darfur as genocide.
The appointment of John Danforth as a special envoy, and the administrations strong engagement, was instrumental in bringing an end to the horrific civil war that took the lives of over 2 million people in southern Sudan. Special envoys can be a valuable tool to breathe renewed energy into a complicated situation and Senator Danforth was successful in pushing the parties over the finish line. While we all had great hopes for peace in the South, current indications show that Khartoum is only selectively complying with its obligations and deliberately slow-rolling implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The untimely death of the leader of the Sudan Peoples's liberation Movement, Dr. John Garang, a key architect of the CPA, has slowed progress. Commissions that are critical to the implementation of the CPA are not being established which further delays the peace process. Another special envoy is needed to help hold this fragile agreement together.
A special envoy is also needed to focus on ending the genocide in Darfur. Under your leadership, Deputy Secretary Robert Zoellick has made a valiant effort to try to bring about a political settlement in Darfur. Traveling there four times over the last year is no small task, and no one can questions the dedication the administration has to Sudan. But as you well know, the situation in Darfur continues to deteriorate. A renewed effort is needed to try to bring about peace and security to the millions of people at risk in Darfur.
It is not too late for Sudan. There are clear steps that can be taken. The appointment of a special envoy with a clear mandate and authority, as was the case with Senator Danforth, will make a difference.
I strongly recommend that you appoint Ambassador Tony Hall to that position. I have known Tony for over two decades. He is a passionate defender of human rights and knows the issues that Sudan is facing. As the current ambassador to the Food and Agricultural Organization in Rome, Tony has worked to alleviate hunger and poverty across the globe. He is respected by members of both parties and is someone in whom you could have complete confidence. He is well suited for this position and would serve you well.
The appointment of a special envoy will send a clear message to Khartoum that the international community will not back down on Darfur and that we will not let the CPA fail. While no one can guarantee that this approach will work, we owe it to the women and children clinging to life in refugee camps to try everything.
I ask that you appoint Tony as quickly as possible.
Thank you and best wishes.
Frank R. Wolf
Member of Congress