Roles of the U.S. in Darfur Region of Sudan

For many years now since former President Bush’s last few days in office, the United States of America has been actively participating and sending aid into Darfur to help with its recovery. The war in the Darfur region of Sudan started in February 2003 between the Sudanese government and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A), as well as with the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) group. The war lasted a little more than seven years and took hundreds of thousands of Darfurian lives. Millions of people have been left homeless because of the conflict, and the United Nations have named Darfur to be one of the world’s worst ongoing humanitarian crises.

The United States is one of the countries who offered help to recover Darfur. The U.S. government has tried to help by sending troops and airlift vehicles to Darfur, and driven campaigns to intervene and stop the genocide in Western Sudan’s Darfur region. The Darfur Peace Agreement was finally signed in 2011 but the Darfurian Referandum was scheduled to be held on July 2012.

The United States, along with other international partners, have been working to achieve peace and prevent the war in Sudan. Current President Obama was personally present and involved in the United Nations General Assembly in 2010 for the referendum. The U.S. national security team has also made efforts to travel and engage with Sudanese leaders. Only recently, on January 2012, the U.S. Senior Advisor has again met with the Darfur rebels to discuss peace along with the government. He participated in the second meeting of the Doha Document of Peace in Darfur (DDPD) and has also met with the leaders of Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and Justice and Equality (JEM).

There has been a roadmap developed by the Obama Administration for the Sudan government to move towards the stabilizing of its relationship with the United States. The Obama Administration has offered economic support to the government of Khartoum, with the condition that it should always follow and respect the rules of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. It should also help end the violence and war in Darfur. When Sudan began following the referendum in January, the United States started the long process of removing Sudan from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.

As long as Sudan honors and follows through with the referendum, the United States has agreed to help Sudan recover by exchanging ambassadors, allowing investments, and helping expand the opportunities for US-based international companies to do business in Sudan. These exchanges could prove to be helpful for the recovery and progress of South Sudan and Darfar, although it may be a long process ahead still. Also, the war in this region isn’t completely gone, which mean countries like the United States will need to continue their efforts in securing peace in Sudan.