- By Robert ZeligerRobert Zeliger is News Editor of Foreign Policy.
The White House announced today that U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice will lead the country’s delegation to South Sudan on July 9 to attend a ceremony marking the country’s Declaration of Independence. She will be joined by former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Other members of the delegation include Rep. Donald Payne (D- N.J.), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights; Johnnie Carson, assistant secretary of State for African Affairs; Princeton Lyman, the U.S. special envoy to Sudan; Brooke Anderson, deputy national security advisor; Gen. Carter Ham, commander of the U.S. Africa Command; Donald Steinberg, deputy administrator for USAID; Barrie Walkley, the consul general in Juba; and Ken Hackett, the president of Catholic Relief Services.
Notably absent from the delegation: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She was initially scheduled to make the trip, but the Washington Post reported last month that security concerns might prevent her from doing so.
Franklin Graham, an evangelical leader, will also be in attendance. He was supposed to travel with Sarah Palin, but Palin also canceled her plans to attend due to what she said were "scheduling problems."
Southerners backed independence in a January referendum — though since then clashes along the border with the north have led to growing fears that violence could escalate. Tensions between north and south Sudan are still high over the issues of oil revenue sharing and what’s to become of Abyei, a disputed region on the border.
And today the Harvard-based Satellite Sentinel Project released images taken July 4 showing what appears to be an 80-car convoy of Sudanese military forces traveling through the disputed border region of Southern Kordofan. 73,000 people have fled fighting there since June.
The U.N. Security Council will meet July 13 to discuss admitting South Sudan to the international body, making it the first state since Montenegro in 2006 to become a U.N. member.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |