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Blinken names former Virginia Congressman Tom Perriello to Sudan envoy post

Chris Graham
tom perriello
Tom Perriello. Photo: Twitter

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has appointed former Virginia Congressman Tom Perriello to serve as the Special Envoy for Sudan.

The focus for Perriello in the post will be leading U.S. diplomatic efforts to end the civil war in Sudan that has killed more than 10,000, displaced more than 4.8 million and put 25 million Sudanese in need of humanitarian assistance.

“Special Envoy Perriello will work to empower Sudanese civilian leaders and drive our engagement with partners in Africa, the Middle East, and the international community to forge a united approach to stop this senseless conflict, prevent further atrocities, and promote accountability for crimes already committed,” Blinken said in a statement released on Monday.

Perriello served one term in Congress after being elected in the Fifth District in the 2008 election cycle.

After falling short in his bid for re-election in 2010, Perriello was appointed as U.S. Special Representative for the State Department’s second Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review by President Barack Obama. He also served as Special Envoy to the African Great Lakes and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Perriello previously worked for the United Nations Special Court for Sierra Leone and at the International Center for Transitional Justice in Kosovo, Darfur, and Afghanistan.

“I’m honored to accept the role of U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan,” Perriello said. “President Biden and Secretary Blinken are clear about the urgency and importance of ending this war, its atrocities, and the risk of catastrophic famine. I also want to thank the many members of Congress – Republicans and Democrats, senators and representatives – for continuing to demand action and attention for the people of Sudan.

“In 2018, the people of Sudan inspired us all with a peaceful revolution that promised a stable, inclusive, and democratic Sudan. With support of President Biden and Secretary Blinken, we will work tirelessly to ensure that promise once again becomes real for this and future generations,” Perriello said.

Virginia’s two U.S. senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both voiced their support for Blinken’s move to send Perriello to Sudan.

“The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Sudan has left millions of civilians in need of urgent assistance. I am glad to see the Biden Administration appoint my friend Tom Perriello as U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan,” said Warner, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I know that Tom’s diplomatic experience will better our efforts in the region to deliver immediate humanitarian aid and prioritize the safety of civilians who have been displaced by incessant violence. Tom brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role and I look forward to working with him to continue our efforts to support the Sudanese people.”

“The rapidly worsening crisis in Sudan urgently necessitates the delivery of humanitarian assistance and meaningful steps to protect civilians. I’m pleased President Biden appointed Tom Perriello as U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan to help see those priorities through,” said Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Tom has the experience and skills needed to lead our strong diplomatic efforts in Sudan. Virginia is home to a large Sudanese diaspora, and I expect he will bring these perspectives with him in this new role. I look forward to working closely with him.”

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].