Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sudanese Genocide Attention Fatigue?

By Austin Bay


Remember Darfur, site of the genocide in Western Sudan? Two years ago, in August 2009, the then-United Nations peacekeeping force commander claimed the war in Darfur had "effectively ended." He argued that major attacks had declined to the point that he thought the war would soon be over.

This month, September 2011, the U.N. issued a press statement that said attacks had declined 70 percent since late 2008.

Which, given the continued bloodletting, is an awkward way of saying that the war really isn't over. And it isn't. The Sudanese government -- meaning the Islamist Sudanese government seated in Khartoum, for there is now a separate South Sudan -- still occasionally employs heavily armed militias as proxy forces to attack, kill and disperse Darfuri civilians. Sudan's air force still launches air raids on rebel forces in Darfur and indiscriminately drop bombs in holdout rebel villages.

There are two reasons attacks have declined. The first is that the northern Sudanese government has driven several hundred thousand pro-rebel Darfuris from their land. They are now either dead or in refugee camps.

The second reason: The northern government is now engaged in several other wars against Sudanese civilians or former Sudanese civilians. In May, about six weeks before South Sudan became independent, Sudan attacked and occupied the Abyei area, a disputed border zone between the two nations. Over 100,000 people fled south to escape the northern attack. After U.N. sponsored negotiations, both sides agreed to let Ethiopia deploy a peacekeeping force in Abyei. Ethiopia, which borders both Sudans, does not want to see the north-south confrontation expand into a wider regional war. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sudan army attacks Darfur villages, 7 killed

KHARTOUM — The Sudanese army attacked two villages in North Darfur, killing seven of their inhabitants, a spokesman for one of the region's main rebel factions said on Friday.

"Last night, government troops attacked two villages in North Darfur, in the area of Seraf Umra. Seven residents were killed and a number of people fled the villages," Ibrahim al-Hilu, a spokesman for the branch of the Sudan Liberation Army led by Abdelwahid Nur, told AFP.

He said the fighting was ongoing.

The Sudanese army spokesman was not immediately available for comment, and the UN-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur (UNAMID) had no information on the violence.

UNAMID chief Ibrahim Gambari said last week that fighting in Darfur had dropped sharply between January and July and that the number of people living in camps for the displaced appeared to have dropped to 1.7 million, down by 1 million from the worst point in the conflict.

He said the peacekeeping force was still facing problems gaining access to some parts of Sudan's war-torn western region due to restrictions imposed by the Khartoum government and armed groups. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>

Friday, September 23, 2011

Darfur: Government-Backed Forces Commit Atrocities

Mornei/Garsila — A refugee from West Darfur's Mornei camp sustained serious injuries in the head on Wednesday after suffering an attack from armed men in military uniforms.

The injured was rushed to the hospital for treatment, one of her relatives told Radio Dabanga. The victim was stopped by the gunmen, suspected to be government-backed militia, while she was on her way back to the camp from a farm.
The armed men attempted to rape the refugee and when she resisted, they beat her fiercely with rifle butts and bayonets, which led to severe head injuries and wounds on her chest and neck.

She had to undergo an emergency surgery because of the serious nature of her injuries, the relative said.

On the other hand, refugees from the camps in Garsila, West Darfur, complained on Wednesday of frequent attacks by drunk government troops.

The incidences were reported to have taken place in Jebalin, Hardeba and Jeddah camps in Garsila. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Monday, September 05, 2011

Sudan: Governent Negotiating Purchase of Missiles From North Korea

Washington — The Sudanese government has been secretly conducting negotiations with North Korea for the purchase of medium-range ballistic missiles, short-range missiles, and anti-tank missiles, according to a leaked US diplomatic note. The United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in the cable marked secret that Washington has information that in 2008, Sudan was negotiating a weapons deal. "We want to raise this information with Sudanese officials, urge them not to engage in missile-related cooperation with North Korea, and emphasize that such a deal would be a clear violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1718" the cable reads. The UN sanctions imposed in 2006 include a ban on trade in nuclear and missile technology with North Korea, as well as an arms embargo. They also banned trade with a number of North Korean firms and called for asset freezes and travel bans on some North Korean individuals. "In addition, we want to note that the ballistic missiles North Korea sells, such as Scud and No Dong systems, are considered to be Category I missiles by the multilateral Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) because of their range and payload capabilities, and because they are inherently capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction (WMD). As such, Sudan should consider that its acquisition of WMD-capable ballistic missiles would be destabilizing to the region and negatively affect the international community's perception of Sudan's commitment to maintaining peace with the Southern Sudan". "Sudan should consider the effect of the acquisition of such ballistic missiles on neighboring countries. Sudan's purchase of ballistic missiles would be destabilizing to the region and a particular concern to neighbors within range of the missile. These countries would obviously question whether they were the intended targets of these weapons and whether Sudan intended to use these missiles to attack them". Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Darfur: Janjaweed leader slams VP Taha Nafie, blames NCP for Darfur crimes

September 3, 2011 (WASHINGTON) – A suspected leader of the notorious Janjaweed militias in Darfur was apologetic over the crimes committed in Sudan’s Western region but blamed it on the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and a core group of Islamists within it, a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable discloses.
The document says that on September 23, 2009 the U.S. Charge d’affaires (CDA) Alberto Fernandez attended a Ramadan Iftar held by Darfuri-American activist and prominent Arab tribal leader Walid Madibo who is also a USAID implementing partner.

In attendance also was Musa Hilal who is described by several rights groups and eyewitnesses as one who led terror campaign against the African tribes in the war ravaged region.

The UN Security Council (UNSC) imposed travel and financial sanctions on Hilal and three other individuals in April 2006. The US president George Bush issued an executive order enforcing similar sanctions on them.

At the event Fernandez met one-in-one with Hilal which was described as the third meeting of its kind with a U.S. official.

Hilal told the U.S. diplomat that the Arab tribes were manipulated by a hysterical Khartoum afraid that Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) leader John Garang was seeking to open a new front in Darfur just as negotiations reached their final stage on the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

"I was let out of prison and was angry at the world. My tribe had been attacked. Khartoum armed me and pushed tribal vengeance into something worse" the tribal leader was quoted as saying. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>