On Friday, Foreign Policy’s The Cable blog ran a piece about tension between U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and Sudan Envoy Scott Gration over Sudan policy ahead of the January referendum, and indicated that there were discussions about assigning Gration to replace Ranneberger as Ambassador to Kenya. This has been a topic of conversation in various forms for quite a long time, but so far as I know this is the first explicit media report since a mention in Al Kamen’s “In the Loop” column in Foreign Policy’s sister publication, the Washington Post in April. The Cable post was picked up by Kevin J. Kelley in the Saturday Nation.
The timing of this continues to get stickier as the date for the Sudan referendum approaches in January–in fact, it seems quite late to make a change in Sudan now. It has been said that the Administration was waiting for Gration to be available to make a change in Kenya. At the same time, Gration has drawn criticism from both sides of the aisle in Congress as well as from activists and the Administration may want a fresh face and voice even if there is no change in policy.