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How Obama Went from Calling to Save Darfur to De-Sanctioning Sudan in His Final Days in Office.

In one of the Obama administration's last major foreign policy decisions, the outgoing president issued an executive order on January 13 lifting most of its sanctions against the government of Sudan, whose nominally Islamist regime had been accused of aiding terrorist groups and committing grave human rights abuses against its citizens. The move could bring an end to the National Congress Party regime's decades of isolation and reverse the country's economic plunge. More subtly, it exposes a shift in American Jewish political priorities.

Around 10 years ago, the Save Darfur movementwhich sprang from a July 2004 summit that the American Jewish World Service, the Holocaust Museum, and Elie Wiesel organizedgalvanized Jewish activists, who saw atrocities prevention as a special cause for a politically influential and historically persecuted community. Stopping the Sudanese regime's alleged genocide against non-Arab ethnic groups in western Sudan became one of the great Jewish causes of the middle Bush years: On April 30th, 2006, tens of thousands of people flocked to a Save Darfur rally on the National Mall, to hear Wiesel, George Clooney, then-Senator Barack Obama, and others urge greater US action in ending the conflict's atrocities. But when the US's change in policy was announced earlier this month, the news barely registered beyond a small community of Middle East watchers and sanctions experts. There's nothing on the move on the Save Darfur Coalition's websitethe group's blog hasn't been updated since 2015.

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Author:Rosen, Armin
Publication:Tablet Magazine
Geographic Code:6SUDA
Date:Jan 24, 2017
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