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A Public Dialogue on Darfur

Samantha Power, Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs for the National Security Council, reports on an interactive online town hall discussion discussing the Darfur Crisis in Sudan.

Yesterday I moderated an online town hall conversation with President Obama's Special Envoy to Sudan General Scott Gration, Jerry Fowler, the President of the Save Darfur Coalition, and Layla Amjadi, the Student Director of Stand (the student-led division of the Genocide Intervention Network).

Over the last five years the anti-genocide movement in the United States has done a tremendous job mobilizing public awareness and political resources to the crisis in Sudan. While General Gration and other senior officials have held meetings with advocates in Washington, DC, the "Ask US" town hall gave us a chance to create a more inclusive conversation, and to hear questions posed by citizens across the country. We hope to do more interactive sessions like this one very soon.

The advocates touched upon a range of pressing concerns, inquiring about the administration's benchmarks for incentives and pressures, the circumstances in which internally displaced persons in Darfur might return home, the ways to strengthen UNAMID's capacities for civilian protection, the risks surrounding the 2010 elections in south Sudan, the importance of engaging China and Russia on the path forward, and the indispensability of including Sudanese civil society in the peace process.

A video of our conversation is available below:


Samantha Power is the Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs for the National Security Council