DIPLOMACY

White House Reaches Out to Sudan

After months of untangling a complicated internal debate, the Obama administration is set to announce a new Sudan policy, The Washington Post reports. Led by Obama's special envoy to Sudan, retired Air Force Maj. Gen J. Scott Gration, the U.S. will try to use "pressure and incentives" to push Sudan's government toward making peace in its violent Darfur region. The new softer approach is a shift from Obama's campaign rhetoric, when he suggested taking a tougher line against Sudan's leader, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, that would have included more sanctions and a no-fly zone to protect Darfur residents. Bashir is an indicted war criminal who is widely held responsible for the deaths of over 300,000 people in Darfur, making any engagement between countries difficult. Under the new policy, the American government will acknowledge that genocide "is taking place" in Darfur, a clarification of an earlier remark by Gration that what was happening there was "the remnants of genocide."