Friday, July 31, 2015

Thursday, July 16, 2015

04 Khartoum 0147: AF Acting A/AS Snyder and USAID A/A Winter Press Darfur and Abyei with Sudanese Foreign Minister

Also see journal entries below.

Journal entry for February 12:  It's been an intense 48 hours. Some of the most intensive bureaucratics I've ever seen and with the good guys -- Charlie -- on the ropes and the bad guys -- USAID -- running the ship toward an iceberg. Not sure where things stand or will stand when the dust settles.

I'm tired but have to await two visitors return. Charlie leaves at 2am but I have said my good-byes. This has been too intense for me, not the diplomacy or policy stuff but the shear degree of human stupidity, smallness and meanness involved while real people struggle with life and death matters.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

04 Khartoum 0254: Darfur Diplomacy Update

 Also, see note below.

From my journal of March 2:
"Had a pleasant and productive lunch with the Foreign Minister at his Blue Nile-side residence. With British ambassador and Dutch charge. Lasted three hours. We refined the formula for the meeting in Chad. When I got back, learned that USAID is still doing some free-lancing, except since they are in charge, they think it's me doing the free-lancing. But we appear to be on track. In the end, may have to bow out and let them take the seats and – they think – the glory. The way we do foreign policy has degraded mightily in the years I have been in the business."

Monday, July 6, 2015

04 Khartoum 0252: Government and Darfur Rebels Accept Chad Plus Meeting

Also, see note below.

Note:  The reference to an "external player" mentioned in para 2 was to political appointees from USAID.  They were trying to prevent a Darfur negotiation from moving forward unless it was folded into the North-South peace process.  These USAID officials were pro-SPLM and very much opposed to the Khartoum regime.  They saw bringing the Darfur conflict into the wider negotiations with the government as a way to increase pressure on it and perhaps further dismember Sudan.  These USAID appointees came from the Christian fundamentalist NGO community supportive of the SPLM as Christian black Africans vs Islamic Arabs.  They originally sought to keep Darfur off our agenda because they saw it as a distraction to the "main show."

The following is from my journal entry for March 8.  The "perfect storm" I was hoping to avoid was the reaction from USAID Washington to our joint EU/US effort to get Darfur talks going without bringing in extra issues.

"I think missed a weekend somewhere. I had 15 minutes of free time in the office today and didn't know what to do with it. Started at 8:15 with the UK ambassador and wound up at 8pm after a two hour meeting with a senior official. Along the way, spent another 1½ hours with the French Ambassador. Got home to a dark house and microwaved one of the dishes James left for me. Of course, at least I have a cook and don't have to clean my own dishes.

I've been doing a bunch of stuff – to avoid a “perfect storm” – without DC reaction. Won't have any until tomorrow given time difference. Another consequence of not having a weekend."