Daily Darfur

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Daily Darfur

The JEM has declared that it will not take part in peace talks until war crimes suspects have been referred to the International Criminal Court.

AFP reports
The House of Representatives Appropriations Committee narrowly voted Tuesday to boost emergency US food aid to Sudan by 150 million dollars.

The committee approved the measure by a vote of 32 to 31.
Of course, if you look at the press release itself you see that they simply replaced the aid that they stripped out last week.

Yesterday, the International Crisis Group released a report entitled "Darfur: The Failure to Protect" that made some important points
UN humanitarian officials have repeatedly stated that the presence of expatriate relief workers should not be considered a solution to insecurity in Darfur. There is an increasing trend in conflict zones throughout the world for governments to substitute humanitarian assistance and "protection by presence" for a more robust and realistic approach to atrocity prevention. "Protection by presence" is hollow if that presence is withdrawn when a situation deteriorates so that civilians must fend for themselves. But the UN rightly points out that humanitarian workers cannot stand between two fighting forces. The strategy becomes even less tenable when armed AU elements, too few as they are, are not willing or able to step in to contain the situation.
I also thought that this section on "Khartoum's Chaos Theory" was important
The government's objective is not to resolve the conflict, but rather to weaken the negotiating position of the rebels, bog them down in local conflict to prevent them from possibly expanding beyond Darfur, and portray itself as an innocent bystander of a complex, decades-old local conflict. It has made no serious attempt to find a solution other than by the gun.


Khartoum's strategy in Darfur is one of organised chaos. It has played a game of cat and mouse with the UN and the international community at large, promising much but delivering little, while attempting to conceal that it was its own counter-insurgency strategy that exacerbated the tribal elements and polarised the ethnic divide in the region.
Finally, there is this, which may or may not be important but certainly is interesting
Contacts between Arab leaders, in some cases Janjaweed, and the SLA have been increasing since mid-2004, when international pressure to disarm the Janjaweed was at a peak. Fearing they would become scapegoats, some Janjaweed opened channels to explore an alliance.

Some contacts go back even further. A meeting was scheduled in December 2003 between some Arab leaders fighting for the government and then SLA Secretary General Abdallah Abaker, who was killed the following month in a government attack. The government learned of the meeting and bombed the site before it could take place, thus increasing mistrust among the Arab tribes involved and the SLA. The elements within Arab tribes which have concluded the conflict does not serve their interests are now reportedly trying to establish a standalone Arab movement in Darfur, to fight against the government and establish ties on equal footing with the SLA and JEM. Khorbaj may be a manifestation of this but too little is known to be certain.

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