Tag Archives: Darfur

I’m A Man Of Peace Insists Sudan President Al-Bashir

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir greeted supporters in Darfur as part of his program to deny claims on the part of the International Criminal Court(ICC) that he has supported genocide in the region. He traveled in a convoy accompanied by a helicopter and with soldiers, police and national security riding vehicles mounted with machine guns, one assumes they were present to protect the peace loving leader from any attempt on the part of the ICC to seize him. Local government officials said they were ordered to attend the rally which greeted the president which witnessed Bashir dancing to nationalistic music as he waved his walking stick in the air.

Bashir told the crowd, “I come here to Darfur to say one thing. That every internally displace person(IDP) must return to their village and then the government must supply social services.” A journalist, Adil el-Baz, commented: “It makes him look politically very good if the people of Darfur welcome him and observers see thousands of people rushing to welcome him.”

A photo op will not make up for the 300,000 dead people and the 2.2 million who barely survive in refugee camps.

China Insists Not Us, It’s Them In Darfur

The Chinese government is furious at a BBC documentary which showed Chinese made trucks which were sold after the 2005 embargo operating in Darfur. The BBC also charges China is training fighter pilots for the Sudan air force. Liu Guijinm, China’s special envoy to Darfur charges the BBC with b eing biased and singling out his country while ignoring what other nations have done in Darfur. “the program is strongly biased. China’s arms sales were very small in scale and never made to non-sovereign entities. We have strict end-user certificates.” Recent figures indicate China is only responsible for 8% of the Sudan’s arms purchases between 2003 to 2007. The Chinese insist western nations are m ore involved in arms sales in Africa than any Asian nation. Liu charged “a minister of an African country told me at an international conference in March that the Darfur has been dragging primarily because rebels keep getting arms from Western countries… and those arms are more advanced than the ones being used by government forces.”

One can agree that China alone is not responsible for the war in the Sudan, but it certainly has not done anything to support UN sanctions on the Sudan. China just vetoed efforts to halt the brutality in Zimbabwe which again illustrates its indifference to the forces of violence being curbed. The Janjaweed who are used by the Sudan government to kill, burn and rape use modern weapons and airplanes as part of their attacks on innocent civilians. China is supporting a government that has killed thousands and driven a million from their homes. If China wants respect from the world, it is about time it showed respect for the oppressed people of Africa.

Janjaweed Commander Blames Sudan

A high ranking commander in the Sudan forces who led Janjaweed forces on their terrorist campaign to kill, rape, and brutalize people, confessed he conducted these operations at the behest of the Sudanese government. Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court are using a deposition made by Arbab Idries, who was a key Janjaweed commander between 2003 to 2007, as a key piece of evidence in bringing forth the case against President Omar Hassan al-Bashr of Sudan. In a filmed interview with a British journalist, Idries described how he was instructed by a senior government official to recruit Islamic Arabic speakers from the north of Sudan, then personally led 5,000 horsemen in a murderous campaign against black southerners who did not share their religion. He admitted his troops raped and killed children and the elderly. “We were attacking villages where there were only the blacks. These people were civilians. They had no weapons.”

Ironically, Idries and many of his own men had black skin, but apparently, they had the right religion. The government of the Sudan for years has insisted the Janjaweed attacks were linked to tribal disputes but the Idries testimony demonstrates conclusively, the Sudan government is responsible for the massacres in Darfur.

Unfortunately, the International Criminal Court has no power to force Sudan leaders to appear in court. Given the reluctance of African leaders to even deal with a brutal leader like Mugabe of Zimbabwe, there is scant hope they will turn on Sudan leaders.

Darfur Tragedy Continues Unabated

The Darfur situation has been the subject of hundreds of articles, thousands of cries for peace and expressions of dismay by concerned people in the world, but the situation has not improved one iota. The latest manifestation of lack of interest in the welfare of the people of Darfur has emerged in fighting around the Abyei region where thousands of new Darfurians have been displaced or killed due to fighting between government forces from the north and rebels from the south. The object of their dispute is the 500,000 barrel-a-day oil pouring from the Abyei area and each side seeks to control this enormous source of wealth. Of course, neither north nor south cares about the people living over this treasure since they are simply irritations which must be removed in order to gain access to the oil. A Sudan expert, John Ashworth notes: “I would be very surprised if the fighting has gone away. everybody recognizes Abyei as one of the most flammable flash points of the many which are likely to derail the Comprehensive Peace Agreement(CPA).”

As refugees who got away without being killed clustered around a UN camp, Anne Marie Ask commented: “They will be here until it is safe and secure. It will be some time.” The fighting over oil will go on and on as the innocent victims of this dispute linger in refugee camps. It is quite clear the thirst for oil is all that counts in Darfur.

The Rape Of Women-War’s Tragedy

A recent study by the UN agency, UNICEF, revels that sexual violence is spreading like a disease in many parts of Africa where there is violence. Women are increasingly becoming the first casualties of war and are compelled to spend a live in shame because enemy soldiers physically abused them. n Darfu, janjaweed militia kidnapped a 12 year-old girl and gange raped her for a week resulting in the crippling of her legs and castigating her as a woman who has shamed the community. Under Shariah law, rapded women may be prosecuted f or adultery or fornication. As Refugees International observes: “The government is more likely to take action against those who report and document rape than those who commit it.”

In the savage civil war currently raging in the Democratic Republic of Congo, rape victims take most of the blame for seemingly allowing themsevles to be captured and raped. After being raped, Congolese women are banished by their husbands and ostracized by their communities. Often they are genitally mutilated by a gunshot or tossed on a fire naked.

In cutures wher egirls and women are married off and chastity iss central to womanhood, all is lost for a woman wo loses her honor. The subsequent stigma often is a heavier burden than the assualt itself. So, it should not be surprising that most of these wounded girls and women remain silent about the assault.

The tragedy of Darfur is most impacting both young girls and women who are more likely to be physically assaulted than their husbands or fathers. The world talks about Darfur but the killing and raping continue unabated in Darfur. In the end, it is always the women who most suffer.

Sudan Bombs Darfur Villages-Seeks Economic Aid!

The Sudan government is seeking about $6 billion in aid from the world to help rebuild its devastated nation, particularly Darfur, where 200,000 have died and 2.5 million been displaced. Yesterday, a Sudan Antonov plane hovered over the village of Shegeg Karo for several minutes, surveyed the scene, and then dropped bombs on the market place and on a primary school. At least seven children were killed when bombs hit their primary school classrooms. Villagers said: “the Antonov hovered for a long time and then bombed repeatedly.” At least 30 children were wounded in the attack and the bombing of the marketplace area resulted in six dead and 20 wounded.

The government of Sudan denies any bombing took place although it was confirmed by the UN/African Union peacekeeping mission. One can only assume the Sudan government wants to be compensated by the world for destroying its own nation with these repeated bombings of Darfur. The killing of rape of Darfur continues and what is most sad is the lack of any outcry on the part of Arab nations for the genocidal policies of the government of Sudan. Gaza yes, Darfur no.

Sudan Threatens War In Chad

The government of the Sudan has done more to destabilize northern regions of Africa than any other nation on the continent. Its brutal policies in Darfur have left hundreds of thousands dead and wounded or refugees in other lands. The government of Chad reports tht thousands of rebels, who were trained and armed by the Sudan government, are massed on its border and prepared to invade. Defence Minister Mahamat Al Abdallah claimed: “Once again the regime (of Sudanese President) Omar al-Bashir, as part of the its determination to destabilize Chad, is massing, training and heavily arming thousands of its mercenaries to launch attacks in the next few days.” The Defence Minister believes the Sudan seeks to control central Africa as part of its plan to spread the Islamic faith in the region.

Many Muslims leaders are quick to attack Israel or the United States for actions they claim destabilize the Middle East and Africa, but they remain silent when the Sudan engages in genocidal policies or attacks neutral nations. This failure to seek stability in the end will only result in ongoing destablization and chaos for the people of northern and central Africa.

Darfur–Another Iraq Looming Ahead?

The legacy of George Bush continues haunting efforts to bring stabiliy to many areas of the world. His lies, incompetence, and bravado have transformed the United States into among the most distrusted nations in the world. Sudan officials claim their nation does not believe any statements made by American leaders. Former Foreign Minister Suliman Aba Salih, exclaimed: “The US says it is not against Islam, but it lies. If their policies do not change they will destroy Sudan politiically, diplomatically, and economically.” There is no question Sudan officials have been engaged in nonstop lying about the janjawed and their genocidal policies in Darfur. But, correspondingly, few nations now trust the word of George Bush.

There is growing concern the lack of a coherent political or military plan for handling the Darfur issue may result in an incremental process that would only create low scale and eventually high scale militant operations against a UN or African Union armed force. Chad rebels already are fighting against French forces and they have significantly destabilized the government of Chad.

It is one thing to dramatize the plight of the oppressed people of Darfur, but another to develop a plan of action that is feasible and will result in both stabillity for the people of that terrified nation, but move the region towards some resolution of existing problems.

Remember Darfur? It’s Happening Again

Darfur enters and slips out of the news with frequency. It appears the organized process of death and destruction on the part of the Sudan government has been renewed with ever increasing fury as janjaweed and Sudanese military resume their scorched earth policy of driving out the people of Darfur. The same old tactics are being used. Air bombings, followed by sending in ground forces, looting, killing and rape while the world stands idly by engaged in its endless debate on how to persuade the government of the Sudan to behave in a civilized manner. The Independent reports the village of Sileah, which once had a population of about 20,000, was found by UN officials now to have a few hundred left after the latest attacks by janjaweed and Sudan forces. Witnesses say girls as young as 10 were mass-raped by government troops. Most people are fleeing with whatever they have on their bodies and all possessions are left behind.

The Sudan government basically doesn’t care what Hollywood celebrities or if the world issues concerned statements, it goes on and on with the massacre of the innocent. In fact, the Sudan air force parks its bombers at the same airport which has UN planes. A tiny Africa Union force of 7,500 is blocked and frustrated by the Sudan government at every turn and despite more speeches by western politicians, the killing has resumed with ever increasing ferocity.

Bandits Badger Darfur Food Deliveries

The people of Darfur have been confronted with ongoing harassment and brutality on the part of the Sudan government and its janjaweed mercenaries, but a new impediment has arisen in the form of gangs of bandits who steal food being sent to the area. The World Food Program(WFP) has been forced to halve food deliveries in Darfur due to the actions of hijackers and thieves. Kenro Oshidari, WFP repesentative, commented: “This is an unprecedented situation. Our humanitarian operatioon for aid workers could be forced to stop flying because we have no money at a time when our helicopters and aircraft are needed because of high insecurity on the roads.”

So far this year hijckers have attacked five WFP pasengeer vehicles and 45 trucks. If the WFP cannot maintain deliveries it will be compelled to half the amount of food being given people. The cost of the program is about $6 million a month, an amount that probably equals what is spent in a few hours in Iraq. There is something tragic is not being able to secure a few helicopters. No, not sad, tragic.