Entries in Scott Gration (2)


Human Rights, Anti-Genocide Groups Protest President's Nominated Ambassador to Kenya

Roger L. Wollenberg-Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In a rare move, some human rights and anti-genocide groups are writing to senators urging them to reject President Obama’s nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Air Force General Scott Gration (Ret.), accusing him of having done a poor job as President Obama’s special envoy to Sudan.

“As special envoy to Sudan, General Gration has made ongoing errors of judgment, has spoken inaccurately about a range of issues and has alienated many parties in Sudan,” says the letter from human rights and anti-genocide groups. “General Gration’s lack of experience and failures in diplomacy make him unqualified to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Kenya.”

Gration aroused the ire of some human rights groups by pursuing a strategy of engaging with the government of Sudan; the White House has always expressed support for Gration.

“The fact that the President has nominated Gration as his Ambassador to Kenya shows his confidence in General Gration’s work," said White House National Security Staff spokesman Tommy Vietor. "As Special Envoy, General Gration was tireless in his work on Sudan -- including on the successful referendum on southern secession brought about in no small part because of his efforts.”

The groups cite as evidence of Gration’s errors from a statement he made in 2010 saying that the Sudan national elections would be “as free and fair as possible,” despite evidence of fraud, their view that he downplayed “dangerous humanitarian conditions and grossly inadequate levels of aid in Darfur,” accusations that he took positions “favorable to the regime in Khartoum that were sometimes at odds with the established policy of the Obama Administration on Sudan,” and other matters.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama's Sudan Envoy to be Nominated for New Post in Kenya

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) - In a move that has been rumored for some time, Scott Gration, President Obama’s Special Envoy to Sudan and a longtime advisor, will be nominated as the next ambassador to Kenya.

“He is very enthusiastic about the challenge there in deepening democracy and also dealing with the spillover effects in Somalia,” State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley told ABC News.

The change comes as Sudan peacefully wrapped up a referendum last month that will result in Southern Sudan forming its own country.

“The referendum represented a perfect time to transition to a new special envoy,” Crowley said.

During his tenure, Gration clashed with other top officials in the administration, particularly United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice. In 2009, Gration refused to characterize the violence in Darfur as an ongoing genocide, touching off a major debate within the administration.

Gration also came under heat from advocacy groups when he focused more on the Southern Sudan referendum than on Darfur. There is no word yet on who will replace him.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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