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

Apr 1, 2011 2:03pm

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 US 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 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.

You can read the letter HERE. 

-Jake Tapper

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