Africa Matters is a blog that follows the news and offers analysis of African affairs. Our aim is to delve deeper into the issues of African politics and development. We don’t presume to be experts, and we don’t presume to have all the answers—we are just trying to ask the right questions.

Friday, June 1

Plan B Response

President Bush’s announcement of increased pressure on the Khartoum regime – “Plan B” – provoked a wide range of responses. On one end of the spectrum was John Ukec Lueth Ukec, the Sudanese ambassador to Washington. His farce of a news conference at the National Press Club Wednesday became an hour-long rant in which he described a situation in Darfur that “bore no relation to reality,” as the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank put it.

On the other end of the spectrum was the ENOUGH Campaign's response. The group’s statement asks several difficult questions about the efficacy of the new sanctions:

“Three people? After four years? And not one of them the real ringleader of the policy to divide and destroy Darfur? And once again the U.S. is going alone? This is not leadership. This will not create missing leverage. This will not build multilateral pressure. And this will not end the crisis in Darfur.”

Several important news outlets took note of this assessment, and tempered their coverage of the White House’s announcement with ENOUGH’s major point: the current Plan B is too unilateral in nature and too weak to have an impact on the violence’s perpetrators.

Finally, the Save Darfur Coalition was lauded by the Washington Post for its lobbying efforts. The article credits SDC with keeping Darfur on the public agenda and with spurring President Bush's decision to impose the new sanctions.