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Resolving Conflict in Africa: Is Sudan a Model?

Recorded on November 22, 2002

The Heritage Foundation's Van Andel Center

Despite the vibrancy of the continent's inhabitants and vast economic potential, Africa remains plagued by political instability and grinding poverty. For years, Western efforts to resolve these problems have been frustratingly elusive.

The Bush Administration's recently released National Security Strategy of the United States of America identified Africa's instability and poverty as national security concerns. To address this concern, the strategy charts a policy course that focuses on working with America's allies to "help strengthen Africa's fragile states, help build indigenous capability to secure porous borders, and help build up the law enforcement and intelligence infrastructure to deny havens for terrorists."

No better case study in the practical application of this policy exists than Sudan. Wracked by years of civil war, unspeakable humanitarian crises, regional instability pressures, and the presence of international terrorists, Sudan is nearly a perfect example for Africa's troubles. Yet despite these formidable shortcomings, the prospect for Sudan's return to stability through peace and international cooperation are within reach. For the past year, the United States has pursued close diplomatic consultations and fostered international partnerships that have been successful in moving the rival factions to resume peace talks in Kenya. Moreover, President Bush signed the Sudan Peace Act of 2002, sending a clear message that the U.S. intends to end the fighting and stem the humanitarian crisis in Sudan.

If this policy course leads to solid prospects for peace in Sudan, what then are the implications for America's strategy toward the region?

Join us for a speech on the President's agenda for resolving conflict in Africa by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Walter Kansteiner.