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sufi
08-12-2004, 10:45 PM
I've posted, blogged, commented about Darfur before in various places, i feel i have a conexion as i visited about 10 years ago & it left a strong impression.

here's some snaps:
http://railtonroad.com/album/albums/dunia/thumbnails/darfur1.jpg (http://railtonroad.com/6109/archives/darfur1.html) http://railtonroad.com/album/albums/dunia/thumbnails/darfur3.jpg (http://railtonroad.com/6109/archives/darfur3.html)http://railtonroad.com/album/albums/dunia/thumbnails/darfur2.jpg (http://railtonroad.com/6109/archives/darfur2.html) http://railtonroad.com/album/albums/dunia/thumbnails/10111.jpg (http://railtonroad.com/6109/archives/10111.html)

perhaps i'll write up some tales in a bit...

I've watched appalled as the situation (http://www.lrb.co.uk/v26/n15/waal01_.html) deteriorated for the last two years. What is most appallling is that there was a period when the issue had not entered the international media at all - then, more than 6 months ago articles started appearing and subsequently, as usual, appeals for aid started. at any stage the 'international community' could have made efforts to intervene, but there has been a lack of comprehension of the situation and complete absence of effective diplomatic or humanitarian action.

why is this? and what could or should have been done and what to do now and in the future?

Pearsall
08-12-2004, 11:23 PM
Not too sound too cynical, but mostly the 'international community' has been completely toothless in dealing with bloody situations in the last ten-fifteen years.

It took about 300,000 dead in the Balkan wars to do something, even with peacekeepers there for much of the time. Peacekeepers were in Rwanda the whole time - nothing happened to stop the Interahamwe, Peacekeepers have been in Congo for most of the civil war there - 3 million have still died since the mid-90's. You can go on and on down the list, but basically it's easier to set up committees and commission reports than it is to do anything. And even if something is done to stop the immediate fighting, there is usually little idea as to what to do next (see the continuing limbo in Bosnia and Kosovo). I think a large amount of the problem is that the UN is overly invested in the status quo as it were and, although officials clearly must know that the boundaries as drawn by the various colonial empires have been a disaster, they aren't sure how to re-draw the lines drawn so long ago (after all it was the Brits who incorporated Darfur into Sudan, if I recall correctly).

sufi
09-12-2004, 01:24 AM
what about somalia?
i had a similar experience - after visiting in 91, i watched aghast for 3 years until the us/un intervention.
that 1 followed closely gulf war 1 (which at least had a clearer ethical pretext than GWII )
i mean, look at the size of the AU forces in darfur (or UN in rwanda in 94) compared to iraq...

the somalia campaign was mainly unsuccessful due to the same idiotic gung-ho attitude that curses the us in iraq.
it always frustrates me that there is not even a pretence of concern or of wilingness to resolve the situation in darfur from the US or UK... not even a token PR effort to offset the blatant hypocrisy of their righteous war on terror.

Pearsall
09-12-2004, 04:09 AM
Well, tbh, it would be impossible for the US to commit troops to Darfur. And they have done more than most in actually calling it genocide. And US officials have certainly said a lot more than most about the situation.

Ok, you're Muslim, (not too put a fine point on it, just assuming you'd know better than me) is there much of a groundswell against it in the Arab/Muslim world? I mean, are al-Arabiya and al-Jazeera covering it much? I'm not surprised that the other Arab governments have been silent, but what is the people's reaction?

Anyways, I think it's too simplistic to blame the inaction on the US. The French and, especially, the Chinese are tied up with the Sudanese government over oil concessions (http://www.sudantribune.com/article.php3?id_article=5968), and they've been flying the flag for inertia with total abandon. The rest of the international community simply doesn't want to know, or otherwise representatives of the Sudanese government wouldn't be on the UN Human Rights Commission (http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu2/2/chrmem.htm).

sufi
09-12-2004, 11:41 AM
oooh lots of issues there!

Well, tbh, it would be impossible for the US to commit troops to Darfur. absolutely, i think that US troops would be utterly unacceptable to the Sudanese population


they have done more than most in actually calling it genocide. And US officials have certainly said a lot more than most about the situation.Aye but that's that's verbis non virtute


I'm not surprised that the other Arab governments have been silent, but what is the people's reaction? well, as always, there is a counterpoint that is absolutely never mentioned in the western press, as folows; a few sudanese people i know in london - refugees, who are in no way supporters of Govt of Sudan - have explained the situation to me in a different way - they link the rebel groups to Chad, whose president is after all Zaghawa, and they link the general spin in the western press to an attempt to demonise arabs. In the wider geopolitical strategy this is seen as an adjunct of TWOT - the war on terror, which has suffered a mission creep away from attacking islam towards attacking arabs, since the invasion of iraq.


Anyways, I think it's too simplistic to blame the inaction on the US. The French and, especially, the Chinese are tied up with the Sudanese government over oil concessions, and they've been flying the flag for inertia with total abandon. The rest of the international community simply doesn't want to know, or otherwise representatives of the Sudanese government wouldn't be on the UN Human Rights Commission.O Yes, I definitely wasn't trying to put the US in the frame,( tho i think ultimately they do bear a great deal of respoonsibility for the toothlessness of the UN) no doubt american troops would not be welcomed in Darfur (although wierdly there were a lot of rumors of US special forces activity in the hills of darfur before the ethnic cleansing began).
No they are always trying to put together this and that coalition for this and that brave mission - i just wish the 'international community' could muster some resources, even in terms of logistical support for the AU peacekeepers, they have the $$$ & the clout.

sufi
09-12-2004, 11:42 AM
you're Muslim
well actually i'm not, tho i'm flattered! :D

rewch
09-12-2004, 12:17 PM
important to ask why the US (& Powell in particular) has been so vocal on the subject...because it is unusual...though i suspect that Powell's reasons are slightly different to those of the administration in general...as to the conflict in general i have been struck by how media present a very simple polarized situation, when in fact, if you look into it there are important historical and political factors to take into account...i.e. agricultural/pastoral/religious that go back at least a couple of hundred years...

an important reason that the international community is playing down/trying to ignore it altogether is that it is happening in africa...it just keeps happening...the examples listed above could (with more or less difficulty) have been avoided, or fallout kept to a minimum, but it never happens...after the sack of mogadishu how long was it until troops turned up (not necessarily the right action, but...) or anyone even noticed? three years? four? in rwanda with the canadian peace keeping general (forgotten his name - apologies to you sir) desperately calling for action/reinforcements/anything...congo...sudan...angola...mozambique...t here is a long list of absolutely appallingly embarassing disgraces...f**king unreal...getting a bit steamed up now...off to calm down

Pearsall
09-12-2004, 08:40 PM
well, as always, there is a counterpoint that is absolutely never mentioned in the western press, as folows; a few sudanese people i know in london - refugees, who are in no way supporters of Govt of Sudan - have explained the situation to me in a different way - they link the rebel groups to Chad, whose president is after all Zaghawa, and they link the general spin in the western press to an attempt to demonise arabs. In the wider geopolitical strategy this is seen as an adjunct of TWOT - the war on terror, which has suffered a mission creep away from attacking islam towards attacking arabs, since the invasion of iraq.

Spin to demonise Arabs? Hrm, maybe it's about time the Sudanese government was hauled into the court of international public opinion isn't it? Considering the actions towards the south over the last twenty years.

Pearsall
09-12-2004, 08:55 PM
And the UN, surely, is the responsibility of not just the US but all democratic nations to fix. It's a wildly corrupt and dysfunctional institution and it's never going to change as long as the media in America (somewhat) and Europe (whole-heartedly) leaps to its defence on all occassions.

rewch
09-12-2004, 09:54 PM
i don't think there are many, if any, who would defend the sudanese government...(which reminds me that i was once threatened with a stabbing for referring to a president of yemen as a dog)...equally there are few who would argue that the un does not need reform...but there are even fewer with the will or the vision to achieve it...of the nations involved in any potential reform, the most important country - and currently the one acting in the least responsible way in respect to its position - is the us...but the naked self-interest that lies at the heart of all international relations is more accurately to blame...the european media generally regard the un in an idealistic way which can be blind, but this reflects european concerns about unilateral action and naked aggression...as well, obviously, as following their own naked self-interest

Pearsall
10-12-2004, 02:24 AM
Well, the US Congress has been demanding reforms at the UN for years, they even withheld American dues for a while (I think they've started paying them again). I don't think their particular plans for reform were up to much, but it's something.

I think part of the problem is that no one is even certain what the UN is for any more. There is nothing wrong with the original principles, but as an organization it has grown bloated and listless. Part of the problem is that just the existence of the UN in its current form is good for inertia, as in Sudan, because the various member countries (and especially the Security Council) can ignore dealing with serious issues in a concrete way by going through the UN and setting up committees to discuss whether to set up a commission who might write a report as to whether to set up a special council, etc etc. I think the UN continues to do good work on the soft side of crises, in dealing with refugees and landmines and that sort of stuff. On the hard side, peacekeeping, it's been mostly useless, as Bosnia, Rwanda, the Congo, and other conflicts show.

Plus there's the oil-for-food program in Iraq which led to spectacular levels of corruption and for which no one (undoubtedly) is going to get punished.

craner
10-12-2004, 12:26 PM
I read somewhere that the key to Darfur lies in what amounts to a palace coup: the result of a power struggle between Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Hassan al-Turabi and the current ruler and National Islamic Front leader, Omar al-Bashir, a former protegee of al-Turabi. al-Turabi has been exploiting ethnic, tribal and religious divisons in and around Darfur as a way of undermining the current NIF regime in Khartoum. Which is why black muslims were being killed too, not just by the Janjaweed, but by Darfur rebels sympathetic to al-Turabi.

It's an inter-Islamist thing and it's part of the larger Islamic, and global, debate: can a State be effective under Sharia law (introduced in Sudan in 1983)? Because a lot of non-Muslims have been killed for refusing to convert.

These pristine sharia states are theological fantasy, exclusive utopianism, and the consequences tend to be violent, and also tend not to deliver the basics: education, food, jobs. Then you get poverty and resentment, then the hardline gets harder, and aquires new recruits.

Darfur is part of the war on terror.

craner
10-12-2004, 12:32 PM
But, actually, I'd love to hear more about the Chad connection, Ed. And why your mates think that the Western media are demonizing Arabs in their Darfur reports...

sufi
13-12-2004, 04:51 PM
hey hey
lost patience with this thread - but you 2 nincompoops need yer heads bangin together so ...


It's a wildly corrupt and dysfunctional institution and it's never going to change as long as the media in America (somewhat) and Europe (whole-heartedly) leaps to its defence on all occassions. this is total bollocks what have the media got to do with it?
the UN cannot function without CA$H - the US has by far the biggest debt, as you go on to mention.Paying for the UN is not conditional on whether a funder agrees with organisation's policies, so the congress can demand wtf they like it doesn't entitle them to hold the UN to ransome
by witholding payments US is crippling the UN - cf. Rwanda where Dallaire bemoans that fact that the US did not even provide the minor logistical support that it had committed to.
America has been undermining the UN for years, financially and poitically - it's actions in Somalia, where it monopolised then unilaterally pulled out of the coalition set the stage for the UN's failure in Rwanda and ultimately in Darfur.

The way I see the Sudanese govt is like a jackal - it feasts happily on the carrion, stopping everyonce in a while to sniff the air and make sure the lions ain't around, then, reassured, it bites another chunk...

sufi
13-12-2004, 05:15 PM
is mixed up somehow - but he's still out of favor and out of power, most recently the racist khartoum govt have been insinuating that he is partly of african descent rather than 'pure arab' - there's a good article around somewhere - search for the 'Black Book of Darfur' or read the De Waal article I linked in me 1st post :rolleyes:


I read somewhere ... Muslim Brotherhood ... Turabi ... Bashir ... inter-Islamist thing ... Sharia law etc... i'm not quite sure what yr on about rilly olly ( i took a break from politix for the weekend cos i got a bit fed up with persil on this thread...) but a lot of this is jus kinda... wrong - so... jus to clarify

Darfur is an exclusively Muslim area, the conflict is broadly between Arabic speakers and non-arabic speakers, all are obviously 'african' and 'black' - though some tribes identify as 'arabs' and others don't. - in any case the political element of the conflict is shown by the fact that this boundary is not concrete - there are 'arabs' fighting against the GOS and 'african' tribes with the GOS.
the issue with sharia in Sudan is not forcible conversion as much as forcing non-muslims to abide by it e.g. the punishment for alcohol = 50 lashes for non-muslim 100 for muslim IIRC.
there are many brotherhoods in Sudan - a lot are international sufi brethrens like the Tijaniya, who have fingers in many political pies.


Darfur is part of the war on terroreh?


I think the question I asked has been followed up on the American Power thread (noone mention enron ;) ) so i'm off to stir up over there now i think...

craner
13-12-2004, 09:17 PM
To be perfectly honest with you, Ed, I was just quoting one stream of stuff from one particlaur article I'd read, because I wondered what you'd make of it. Anyway, I'll find the article and link it. It was just a Slate piece by some Brooklyn-based ME expert or something.

But the thing is, can you explain the forces that are at work here? Because I don't get it, and I'd like to. Who is, or who else is, actually involved? In find it far more confusing than DRCongo, which i thought was the most confusing thing ever.

I agree that the US holding back UN funds, and the general US attitude to the UN, is what undermines it so severely: that, in fact, was one of the big things illustrated in Rwanda, wasn't it?

Pearsall
13-12-2004, 10:27 PM
this is total bollocks what have the media got to do with it?

Because (imo) the only way in which the UN is going to be reformed (which I think we all agree it should be) is if there is a public demand for it. The status quo is pretty good for the major nations, but it is bad for the UN in terms of fulfilling its mission. The major media has been pretty derelict in exposing the UN's faults so there isn't much of a groundswell for it to be fixed.


the UN cannot function without CA$H - the US has by far the biggest debt, as you go on to mention.Paying for the UN is not conditional on whether a funder agrees with organisation's policies, so the congress can demand wtf they like it doesn't entitle them to hold the UN to ransome

The US is also by far the biggest provider of UN funds - we are at least entitled to voicing an opinion on how it is run. I don't think that the US Congress should completely dictate the parameters of reform, but because the largest chunk of the UN's budget is coming from the US taxpayer I think we deserve an important voice in the give-and-take process.


by witholding payments US is crippling the UN - cf. Rwanda where Dallaire bemoans that fact that the US did not even provide the minor logistical support that it had committed to.
America has been undermining the UN for years, financially and poitically - it's actions in Somalia, where it monopolised then unilaterally pulled out of the coalition set the stage for the UN's failure in Rwanda and ultimately in Darfur.

I agree on the failure in Rwanda, but you should remember that the French (in particular) were dead set against intervention (as they'd been arming Habyarimana and the Hutu extremists for decades). America did disastrously fail to intervene, but considering how much the French were against intervention this then leads back into the question of American power and how and when or even if it can be deployed unilaterally.


The way I see the Sudanese govt is like a jackal - it feasts happily on the carrion, stopping everyonce in a while to sniff the air and make sure the lions ain't around, then, reassured, it bites another chunk...

I agree with this.

sufi
13-12-2004, 11:18 PM
ok quickly cos it's late

The US is also by far the biggest provider of UN funds - we are at least entitled to voicing an opinion on how it is run. it depends to what extent you want an independent UN

the French were against intervention this then leads back into the question of American power and how and when or even if it can be deployed unilaterally. well yeah, but you can't say the french veto is as powerful as the US, for example , oh yes, iraq ?

olly sorry i was a bit dismissive - but you wuz contentious a bit yerself, easy there ;) !

more later
soofy

craner
13-12-2004, 11:38 PM
I think we need a Rwanda thread, seeing as Rwanda, quite rightly, keeps coming up.

craner
13-12-2004, 11:40 PM
Also, I will link the article because if anyone here can relate it to reality, then you can, Ed.

craner
13-12-2004, 11:42 PM
Also Ed, Chad, Chad, Chad! Don't leave us lingering!

sufi
14-12-2004, 11:54 AM
alright alright the chad conexion as follows:

1 factor about Darfur that is important and i don't know how obvious it is - the region's remoteness from khartoum. I travelled for about 1 week to get to darfur from khartoum, chased all the way by the GOS general secirity, who would nab me then expel me from each region because you need a visa to travel between each part of sudan (the same problem initially faced by aid workers i guess) i din't bothyer hanging about waiting for boracrats in khartoum, and each time i got busted i'd skip town early nex morning and head deeper into sudan rather than back to the capital. Back then Darfur was peaceful, and the area that GOS were worried about was the Nuba mountains, nearer khartoum on the way to the waest, from there it was another 5 days on the back of a truck thru roadless scrub to get to the first big town in Darfur - el-Fasher.

I felt remarkable impunity, i was asked at one stage by one darfuri - " what are you doing here foreigner, you must be a spy, obviously your disheveled appearence and lo-budget footware is an elaborate bluff, you must have a weapon concealed in your rather shabby luggage, so rest assured, stranger, on that basis you will have no trouble in darfur - everyone know that no white person will come here unarmed" i did see 1 other foreigner in darfur, but the region is very very cut off from the world.
Sudan is africa's biggest country, and darfur is pretty enormous, there is a slow and unreliable train from khartoum, but there is no covered road to the capital (of course when the GOS decides to expend resources on getting over there by antonov, suddenly it's not cut off any more....). In fact the transport links to the west are better, so Darfur in many ways is a bit of West Africa, unlike khartoum, which is in the mid-east/east africa. This is reflected in many ways - e.g the fellata people from Nigeria, who have had apresence in Sudan for generations & the sufi tariqas whiose influence stretches all the awy to the atlantic and the red sea, the pilgrimage routes have bought west african muslims thru darfur for centuries. I'm interested to know how the nigerians are involved in Darfur - my instinct puts them on the side of GOS, altho this is obviously against the racial divide in the conflict, but i've been interested to note that the peace talks have bene taking place in Nigeria and Chad.

I travelled up to a town called Melitt - this is the border of Libya, although Libya lies hundreds of Ks up thr the desert, there were trucks laden with water bottles heading off - check this route in your atlas - it's a mind-blowing trip, I got a lot of hassle for photographing those trucks.

finally i made it to Nyala and then to the top of Jebel marra, Sudan's highest peak. I was treated graciously and gently by the folk of Darfur, particularly out of the towns, where life was beautifully rural, the only place in the world i visited without seeing cigarettes, let alone anything driven by petrol.

So, the Geopolitics.
In the 80's gadaffi financed various groups - (Tinarawen, the algerian/Malian guitar band were originally his guerillas) Gadaffi financed arab militias in Chad, If i got it right, they were defeated by the Chadi govt - currently headed by idris Deby - a Zaghawa. De Waal proposes that these same arab groups took the opportunity of the nascent rebellion in Darfur to re-form and pursue their chauvanist agenda. So ignoring the National Boundaries, you can see that broadly the Chadis are, even by virtue of being enemies of enemies, siding with the Darfur rebels against the Janjaweed.

De Waal also examines the Arab/African nature of the conflict - it's a good article, here's another good link - (i originally saw this article published in ft, ta rewch! - ripped by a random blogga (http://www.casalotti.info/journal/index.php?p=437))

now i'm gonna see if i can google up a copy of the black book form JEM website...

sufi
14-12-2004, 12:00 PM
here it is from JEM (http://www.sudanjem.com/english/english.html) website

rewch
14-12-2004, 03:22 PM
and there are also the historical ethnic/religious rivalries with the migration of west african sufism eastward & militant islamic ideologies westward...(which i think is mentioned somewhere in that de waal article)...all to mix in a mélange of pastoral delight and sharing until whipped up by evil british colonialists and their heirs (!) the GOS (in your words)...which to go back several pages is a rather different scenario to the media simplicities...have to say i never underdstood the whole arab thing with sudan since all the sudanese arabs i've met have looked particularly african (which is not to say that i would deny their rightt to be arabs or anything they want really&c. &c....then again the bani rashid in eritrea/ethiopia look pretty arab but they did emigrate en masse at the end of the 19th century...will have to read that article again because i think de waal goes into that too

polystyle desu
23-12-2004, 04:45 PM
Sorry to come so late to the thread , but it's been quite busy /can't always write as the threads begin.
But today's news (Reuters) about Darfur compell me to comment on the ongoing horrible situation .
Thank you Sufi & Rewch for all the info and links along the way ,'natch .
It really helped ground the thread to rd about Sufi's travels in- country ,
and that just made me think about the fact that this situation is still 'hot' , unfolding day by day ,
person by person , Jangaweed shot by shot - all 'out of sight' in a remote area has made it possible for it to continue .
Todays news about the JEM and the SLA rejecting the AU's efforts and holding out for UN troops in -country
just gave me the feeling this will just keep going and going until the Sudan Gov. and Jangaweed crews get what they want , call it Genocide or what ever you want to call it .
The US Gov. has real problems with the UN , for many reasons , some of which have been previously highlighted in this thread .
I can only add that in this route (with UA perhaps not the go-to guys they should have been)
the people in harms way will have a long way to go to find any peaceful ground .
The US will not run to bk the UN - and the UN shows it's slow , dysfunctional face ,
possibly frozen in face of Oil For Food scandal and efforts to keep Kofi A afloat .
The UN has quite corrupt sections and has to be reformed , like many, many institutions.
A friend did work there in the last years in video & TV Production and between the entrenched old farts stuffing their pockets and the growing irritation of others in other divisions watching it and snipeing when the moment presented itself , it's all *ucked up over there.
When it came time to shoot the already late 'UN primer' - their video promo device ,
my friend was organized to shoot it only to be told all the budget had been ,uh 'used up' - gone .
One of those old cats with full pockets got moved to Iraq after my friend complained about the situation,
and within a few months , got blown up over there when the UN HQ was bombed .

And so the worms turn , guns shoot , pols stuff , others sit , some sweat their last days and the people sit and wonder how much time they have , out of sight and close to out of mind .

sufi
13-01-2005, 04:33 PM
from me homies in UN Nairobi (http://www.irinnews.org/)


CHAD-SUDAN: How credible is Darfur's third rebel movement?

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

NDJAMENA, 13 January (IRIN) - A third rebel movement has appeared in
Sudan's troubled Darfur region, but nobody seems to be taking it very
seriously, apart from the authorities in Khartoum and the government of
neighbouring Chad.

Recent weeks have seen a flurry of negotiations between this newcomer, the
National Movement for Reform and Development (NMRD) and Sudanese
government envoys in the Chadian capital N'Djamena and the border town of
Tine.

In contrast to the slow-moving peace negotiations with the two main rebel
groups in Darfur, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and
Equality Movement (JEM) in the Nigerian capital Abuja, Khartoum's talks
with the NMRD in Chad appear to have made rapid progress.

The two sides agreed a ceasefire on 17 December and on 3 January they
struck a deal to promote the return of refugees from Chad to areas which
the NMRD claims to control.

However, UN refugee officials in eastern Chad told IRIN they had seen no
evidence of fugitives from Darfur trekking back across the border, despite
images purporting to show such returns broadcast by Sudanese state
television and affirmations by Chadian officials that some Sudanese
refugees have gone home.

"In the camps there have been no massive refugee returns, as reported by
the press, and the refugees are sceptical of any return given the security
situation prevailing in the Sudan," Claire Bourgeois, the head of the UN
refugee agency UNHCR in the eastern town of Abeche, told IRIN.

Bourgeois said that on the contrary, new arrivals were continuing to
trickle into the semi-desert of eastern Chad to join the 200,000 who have
sought sanctuary there already.

Many of the new arrivals had fled to the mountains following fighting
inside Darfur, but were now crossing the border to camps near Iriba and
Bahai because they had run out of food, she added.

Both these Chadian towns are near Tine, the border settlement where the
NMRD signed a deal that was supposed to lead to refugees returning
voluntarily to Darfur.

Another UNHCR official in eastern Chad, Lino Bordin, said some refugees
had been making brief trips across the border to benefit from money and
assistance packages offered by the Sudanese authorities to returning
refugees. But once they had grabbed their cash and food parcels they
hurried back into Chad, he added

"All refugees questioned by the UN say they do not want to go back,"
Bordin told IRIN. He stressed that UNHCR had no plans to repatriate any of
them in the short term.

The NMRD claims to be a breakaway movement from JEM.

NMRD leader Nourene Manawi Bartcham, told an IRIN correspondent in
N'Djamena at the end of December that his group broke away from JEM in
April last year because it disagreed with the influence of Hassan Al
Tourabi, an Islamic fundamentalist politician, over the rebel movement.

Tourabi helped Sudan's current military head of state, Omar Hassan Al
Bashir, seize power in a 1989 coup and subsequently became an influential
figure in his administration. However, the two men fell out 10 years later
and Tourabi went into opposition.

Bartcham claimed that the NMRD had an important presence on the ground
throughout Darfur, an arid territory the size of France. He said the
movement controlled territory near the main border crossing at El Geneina.

"We have men and weapons and the capacity to be a real nuisance," he told
IRIN.

But Bartcham added: "We want peace and that is why we have accepted
President Deby's invitation to come to N'djamena to sign the ceasefire
agreement."

Ahmad Allami, an adviser of Chadian President Idriss Deby who has acted as
a mediator in several rounds of peace talks with all three rebel movements
in Darfur, said the NMRD were a force to be taken seriously.

He estimated that the movement had about 1,000 fighters on the ground.

"Contrary to what has been said, the NMRD do represent something in Darfur
as they managed to prompt a number of Sudanese refugees to return to
Sudan," Allami told IRIN.

A western diplomat based in N'Djamena also cautioned that the breakaway
rebel movement should not be dismissed too lightly. "Our indications are
that the NMRD should not be under-estimated since a sizeable part of JEM's
military capacity appears to be under their control," he told IRIN.

But as far as JEM itself is concerned, the NMRD is just a stooge of the
authorities in Khartoum.

"This group belongs to the Sudanese government…It is very strange that the
government negotiates with itself," said Mohamed Ahmed Tugod, a JEM
negotiator at the currently suspended peace talks in Abuja.

The conflict in Darfur erupted in February 2003 when rebels in the
territory, which was traditionally a key recruiting ground for the army,
took up arms against the government.

Since then, the United Nations estimates that tens of thousands of people
have been killed in fighting or have died from hunger and disease.

Nearly a third of the territory's six million inhabitants have been forced
to leave their homes, mainly as a result of raids on black African
villages by Arab nomads grouped in the pro-government Janjawid militia
movement.

The United Nations estimates that 1.65 million are internally displaced. A
further 200,000 have fled to Chad.

Briefing the UN Security Council on Tuesday this week, Jan Pronk, the
United Nations special envoy to Sudan, made no reference to the NMRD as a
player in the Darfur conflict.

But he warned that security situation was still bad, the humanitarian
situation was poor and the region was still in a political stalemate.

Pronk accused the rival factions in Darfur of rearming and pointed to a
recent increase in banditry and looting. He also drew attention to the
recent spread of armed conflict to the neighbouring province of Khordofan.

And the UN envoy was dismissive of all agreements signed so far to bring
an end to the fighting.

"Talks between the parties on Darfur have not yielded concrete results or
much narrowing of the gap on the issues concerned," Pronk said. "Despite
regular statements to the contrary, the parties have yet to commit in
practice to the implementation of the humanitarian ceasefire (agreed in
April 2004)."

However, hinting at the need to include other groups besides the SLA and
JEM in the political dialogue, Pronk said: "It would be useful to start
thinking of including tribal leaders in finding political solutions even
before reconciliation has taken place. That may include tribes that so far
were beyond control by the government or by the rebel movements and were
fighting to protect their own interests."

Could that perhaps point to a role for the NMRD in the overall negotiating
process?

Allami, the Chadian mediator, also advised that the peacebrokers in Darfur
should cast their net wider.

"We should involve all the political and military forces in a definitive
and global settlement of the crisis in Darfur," he told IRIN.

[ENDS]

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sufi
10-06-2005, 09:26 AM
Briton named as buyer of Darfur oil rights (http://www.guardian.co.uk/sudan/story/0,14658,1503470,00.html)

a swift google for this Friedhelm Eronat reveals a lot of really dodgy dealings, i wonder why his name has suddenly come up now?

where's Craner by the way?

mr epicurus
10-06-2005, 10:38 AM
n00b alert! Seriously though...


a swift google for this Friedhelm Eronat reveals a lot of really dodgy dealings, i wonder why his name has suddenly come up now?

Mmm. Major links to illegal oil shipments between Mobil and the Kazakstan government (link) (http://www.onlinejournal.com/archive/05-16-02_Chin-Pt_2.pdf) and Eli Calil (link) (http://www.channel4.com/news/special-reports/special-reports-storypage.jsp?id=245&parasStartAt=1), a cetain Lebanese businessman involved with the attempted coup of Equatorial Guinea.

Both men - naturally - deny everything.

However dodgy Eronat's dealing seem, they seem to be legally kosher. The International Criminal Court, currently investigating the Darfur 'crisis' (seems such a paltry word for genocide, doesn't it?), isn't, apparently, investigating him. The most interesting, and suspect, piece of information seems to be Eronat's switch to British nationality in 2003... just before the Darfur oil deal was struck. Maybe it's a coincedence; but if it is, it's a lucky one for Eronat: under US sanctions against Sudan, any American doing business with the Sudanese state oil company could face ten years in jail and fines of half a million dollars. No such restrictions on British citizens are in place.

Which calls into question whether British and US government were either directly involved or, the more likely option, had knowledge of the deal when it was struck.

sufi
01-08-2005, 04:01 PM
Tragic News for Sudan, & the peace process,
Riots in Khartoum and across the south

http://today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=worldNews&storyID=2005-08-01T151559Z_01_L0128099_RTRIDST_0_INTERNATIONAL-SUDAN-DC.XML

rewch
01-08-2005, 04:51 PM
lots of garbled reports... thought garang was in a plane flying back from uganda... obviously not if he was in a chopper... was apparently reported on the television news that he had touched down safely?!? lots of room for conspiratorial business... garang what a trooper...

sufi
03-08-2005, 08:03 PM
as i was saying rewch:

جون جرانج - اكبر مشكلة مات او حي؟

فهد - لسة بدون فائدة

he was problematic in life, but the timing of his death could not have been worse timed :(


(&fahd؟ - still useless!)