Sudan Prepares for Tougher US Stance

Obama's team of humanitarians prepare shift on Darfur
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2008 7:53 AM CST
Sudanese refugee women collect water supplies at a refugee camp in eastern Chad Friday, Aug. 1, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The government of Sudan is getting nervous about the Barack Obama White House. The Bush administration called the situation in Darfur genocide, but did little to stop the carnage that has left 450,000 dead and 2.5 million displaced in western Sudan. But several members of Obama's foreign policy team, from Joe Biden to Hillary Clinton to future UN ambassador Susan Rice, have taken hawkish lines on Darfur, the Washington Post reports.

In recent years the war in Darfur has become more complex, with multiple Arab militias fighting one another. Obama has not called for direct intervention, but he has also insisted that the US has a "moral obligation" to stop humanitarian catastrophes, and his foreign policy lieutenants have called for measures from a no-fly zone to a naval blockade to use of US forces. At the same time, many diplomats in Sudan warn that an invasion would do more harm than good; one says that destabilizing the Sudanese government "will invite in a flood of radical Islamists."