The Obama administration is preparing to welcome a senior Sudanese delegation to the United States for some rare highest-level diplomacy between the countries.
State Department spokeswoman Hilary Renner says Sudanese presidential adviser Nafie Ali Nafie and other officials have accepted an invitation to Washington for a “candid discussion on the conflicts and humanitarian crises within Sudan.”
Sudanese Presidential Advisor Nafie Ali Nafie is also the former Chief of the National Intelligence and Security Services NISS and continues to be a leading figure, if not the leading figure, in control of the military and intelligence apparatus in Sudan.
The appropriate comparison is with Heinrich Himmler, the Director of the SS in the Nazi regime. Would the United States have “invited” Himmler to meet at the State Department during the Holocaust to talk about “the humanitarian crises” within Germany, after he played a leading role in the genocide? The question is absurd and thus must this action be so viewed. This kind of meeting is an honor undeserving of anyone who participated in genocide. In fact, so inconceivable is the callousness demonstrated by this invitation that it almost certainly cannot be a simple matter of a candid discussion about the humanitarian crisis created and sustained in no small part through the actions of Nafie Ali Nafie. Human Rights Watch’s report on Sudan from 2012
is replete with references to the NISS with which Nafie continues to be heavily involved.
It is unfortunately reasonable in my opinion that this visit has little to do with the humanitarian crises or peace with South Sudan and more to do with terrorism against the US and its allies (Al Qaeda), fighting in Syria, Iran activity in the region and events in the Central African Republic CAR (where the Islamist Seleka rebels recently took over with help from Chad, Eretria, Sudan and the Lord’s Resistance Army, turning the CAR in a terrorist haven).
The State Dept. could be trying to get Sudan to be less cooperative with radical elements or even to help the US and France deal with militants in the region, especially the situation in the CAR. In the past, there has been cooperation between the CIA and the NISS. This cooperation occurred through much of the 2000s according to an article in the Sudan Tribune
. Note that while US intelligence agencies were working with Sudanese intelligence agencies, a genocide was ongoing in Darfur.
Nafie’s NISS may well have much information about the militant groups of concern to the United States today. Of that, there can be little doubt. Evil men tend to cooperate. Nafie and the NISS may well know these militant groups well.
Meanwhile, the situation in the region at this point is frightening and of great concern to the US, Europe, Russia and others:
- The Seleka rebel (Islamist) takeover of CAR,
- Mali rebels relaxing in Darfur and ongoing conflict in Mali against the French,
- The potential of thousands of militants fleeing Syria for other opportunities to fight if the situation there gets out of hand,
- Weak new Islamist regimes (Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, CAR) across the north of Africa,
- Unrest in Jonglei province of South Sudan,
- Ongoing rebel action against the Sudanese government in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile,
- Ongoing Sudanese Armed Forces activities against the rebels and against civilians in rebel held areas,
- Major financial crises in both Sudan and South Sudan,
and add to these:
- The recent International Monetary Fund IMF pressure brought to bear on both Sudan and South Sudan to pay off the massive debt owed, and
- Ongoing peace talks between Sudan and South Sudan,
- Talks which center around achieving both prosperity and peace through the transfer of oil through a single largely indefensible pipeline that any number of groups would have an interest to put out of operation.
The situation is a powder keg.
So it is in this context that the State Department reached out to honor Heinrich Himmler, excuse me, Nafie Ali Nafie, with “discussions.”
One would think, however, that should this meeting be absolutely necessary for American security, it could take place at another location and without the honor granted by being hosted at the US State Department. For that reason alone, this invitation should be reconsidered. It is simply wrong to honor a genocidaire and even worse to honor him while blood is being spilled from his hands.