As violence is feared to implode in Sudan in the face of a possible break up between the north and south, the U.S. is under pressure to step up its efforts to help contain the threat. Critics say Scott Gration, the Obama administration’s top envoy to Sudan, is too soft in handling the situation in the conflict-torn nation.

“Khartoum is stronger. [Southern Sudanese capital] Juba is weaker. The Darfuris feel forgotten,” Richard Williamson, Gration’s predecessor under President George W. Bush, told Time. “It’s an utter shock to everyone who follows this [issue].”

About the author

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    Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.