FP: What Biden is Really Doing in Africa (it’s all about Sudan says Josh Rogin)

In The Cable blog at Foreign Policy, Rogin reports that Biden will meet with Southern Sudanese President Salva Kir tomorrow and that Sudan was a key topic for the V.P. and his entourage, which includes Asst. Sec. Johnnie Carson and Envoy Scott Gration, in Egypt, and later in the week in South Africa.

Rogin suggests that Biden’s involvement reflects growing demands for higher level involvement to address a continuing and disabling deep divide within the administration on how and to what extent to deal with Bashir as well as growing concern about the possibility of violence with the referendum on Southern independence quickly approaching in January.

On the spillover in Congress:

“I have expressed concern at different times, including in the run-up to last month’s election, that the administration has not spoken out more forcefully about abuses by the NCP or sought to hold them accountable,” said Sen. Russ Feingold, D-WI, referring to Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party. “Although I am not opposed to engagement, we need to be firm and to ensure any engagement is based on evidence that the NCP is willing to cooperate and has made concrete progress on previous promises.”

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