In January 2008, President Bush selected Richard Williamson, a Chicago native, to serve as presidential envoy to Sudan. Williamson has had a wide-ranging career in the State Department and served in senior posts for Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

President-elect Barack Obama is very likely to appoint new personnel to execute his Sudan strategy, but key Democrats have supported President Bush's policies, including international peacekeepers in Sudan's Darfur region, economic sanctions on the regime in Khartoum, and ongoing support to undergird peace in southern Sudan. In late November, Williamson spoke at length with Timothy C. Morgan, CT's deputy managing editor.

Southern Sudanese say they don't see many fruits from the 2005 peace agreement. Is that true?

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement was an enormous historic step for Sudan. The agreement ended a devastating war. The bad news is that you ended up with an imperfect peace. The agreement is implemented over five years, ending in 2011 with an opportunity for southern Sudan to have a referendum on whether they want to stay part of Sudan or gain independence.

It's still a rocky road. People are suffering. Furthermore, if war happens again in the South, any chance of progress in Darfur, where the situation is more acute, becomes impossible. The potential downside is enormous.

Are race and religion genuine factors in feeding ongoing conflict in Sudan?

Like most genocide and mass murder, the crimes in Sudan have been driven mostly by powerful people trying to stay in power. But there is an element of race in this that should disturb anyone. There is an element of religion in this that should disturb anyone. If you are non-Arab and non-Muslim, you are a target.

After genocide ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

July/August
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Also in this Issue
Building a Peace Beyond Understanding Subscriber Access Only
Amid ongoing violence, southern Sudan's Christians model a different kind of hope.
RecommendedWhy We Need Wonder Woman
Why We Need Wonder Woman
Even when it falters, the new female-led film brings freshness to the superhero flick.
TrendingKay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Kay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Through God's work in our lives, we've beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union.
Editor's PickMelvin Banks Had a Dream
Melvin Banks Had a Dream
An interview with the founder of the largest African American Christian publishing house.
Christianity Today
Bush's Envoy's Advice: 'Raise Cain'
hide thisJanuary January

In the Magazine

January 2009

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.