Washington (CNN) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Friday that violence is rising in Sudan, where human suffering in Darfur continues "on a mass scale."
Speaking on the fifth anniversary of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Clinton said Sudan is "at a critical juncture." While the ceasefire between the Sudanese government and the main rebel group has mostly held, "threats to progress are real," she said.
"The parties in Sudan have a choice," Clinton said. "They can revert back to a dark era of conflict or they can move forward together toward a lasting peace."
In April, Sudan will hold its first national elections in 24 years. Less than a year later the people of southern Sudan will vote on whether to break off and form an independent country.
Clinton called on all parties to work to ensure that those elections take place "on time with their outcomes respected." She said Norway and Britain have pledged to cooperate with the United States in achieving the goal.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Obama administration has made no decision on whether to remove Sudan from a list of terrorism-sponsoring countries, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday, a day after another administration official spoke in favor of its removal.
Sudan is hoping to improve diplomatic ties with the United States, which is now reviewing how best to deal with that government and the crisis in the nation's Darfur region, where an estimated 300,000 people have been killed and more than 2 million forced to fell their homes.
"We have made no decision to lift the listing on the terrorist list of Sudan," Clinton said at the State Department during a picture-taking session Friday. "As you know, there is a very intensive review going on within the administration concerning our policy toward Sudan, but no decisions have been made."
On Thursday, the Obama administration's special envoy to Sudan made headlines saying there is no evidence to keep Sudan on the terror-sponsor list. Envoy Scott Gration said at a Senate hearing called the terrorism designation "a political decision" and said it is hindering his work.
He said lifting sanctions against Sudan would allow heavy equipment and other assistance to flow more easily to people desperately in need.
The State Department denies there is any split on Sudan policy inside the administration.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Members of the Congressional Black Caucus urged President Obama on Tuesday to act on the humanitarian crisis in Sudan, including pressuring China to intervene in the mass killing of civilians in the African nation.
"We have to act," said Rep. John Lewis, a Democrat from Georgia. "If we fail to act, we fail to do something, history will not be kind to any of us. This is genocide."
The Darfur conflict started in February 2003 when black African rebel groups attacked government property, accusing the government of neglecting Darfur in favor of the Arab population in Sudan. Darfur is a region in Sudan.
Lewis, who is also a civil rights activist, was arrested during a protest last month outside the embassy of Sudan in Washington. He and others called for expressions of solidarity such as fasting, petition drives and meetings with top U.S. envoys.
Actress Mia Farrow was a keynote speaker at a news conference lawmakers held near the U.S. Capitol. The actress said Obama has yet to affirm his strong statements made as a senator against the situation in Sudan.