During the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama called Darfur a “stain on our souls.” As president, he reiterated his charge that the regime in Khartoum was responsible for genocide. But in stark contrast to his rhetoric as a senator and a presidential candidate, President Obama’s administration has sought rapprochement with the very same regime that he had long excoriated.
Indeed, all his moral indignation has mattered very little in the eight years during which U.S. policy toward the regime has been guided by the view of Obama’s former special envoy for Sudan, Princeton Lyman: “We [the Obama administration] do not want to see the ouster of the [Khartoum] regime, nor regime change.… Seguir leyendo »
Darfur may have dropped out of international headlines, but that does not mean the region enjoys peace. Far from it. A renewed escalation of violence by the Sudanese government against non-Arab ethnic groups threatens to compound a humanitarian disaster that, according to United Nations estimates, over the past 13 years displaced more than 2.7 million people in Darfur and an additional 380,000 refugees to eastern Chad.
Darfur has become a focus again because the regime in Khartoum is desperate to end one of three active rebellions in the country, conflicts that have left its military badly overstretched while a failing economy is causing civil unrest.… Seguir leyendo »
It is now a year since the guilty plea by BNP Paribas, the French banking giant, to charges by the Department of Justice that it had done clandestine business with the governments of Sudan, Iran and Cuba, countries that were subject to economic sanctions. Over the period covered in the indictment, from 2004 to 2012, the amount that was criminally laundered came to more than $8.8 billion, which determined the size of the penalty.
The bulk of these illegal transactions — about $6.4 billion, or more than 70 percent — involved Sudan, whose president, Omar al-Bashir, was indicted in 2009-10 by the International Criminal Court for multiple counts of crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur.… Seguir leyendo »
The Darfur genocide in western Sudan — the first genocide of the 21st century and the longest one in more than a century — is about to achieve another distinction. It will be the first genocide in which the victims will be abandoned. An international peacekeeping force designed to halt violence against civilians and humanitarians — the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur, or UNAMID — is on the verge of being gutted or perhaps eliminated altogether.
This is despite the fact that some 3 million people have been internally displaced or turned into refugees; almost 500,000 were displaced last year alone.… Seguir leyendo »
After years of obscurity and little reliable international reporting, the vast human catastrophe in Sudan’s Darfur region is again in the news. It was regularly making headlines before 2008, when the then-five-year-old genocide in Darfur had claimed hundreds of thousands of African lives, but a lack of sustained mainstream attention meant that the surging violence fell off the radar.
Few could have predicted that this remote and obscure region in western Sudan would galvanize American civil society. Then again, how could the loss of attention have been so rapid?
The United Nations recently estimated that 300,000 Darfuris had been displaced in the first five months of this year; more than 1 million civilians have been displaced since the fall of 2008.… Seguir leyendo »
Sudan is once again at war with itself — or, more accurately, the ruthless regime in Khartoum is again waging war on peoples at the marginalized peripheries as a means of crushing growing rebellion. The primary target in this widespread conflict is not the people of Darfur, although they continue to languish amid ghastly violence and deprivation. No, these latest targets are the African people of the border regions between northern Sudan and the new Republic of South Sudan: the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
Last May, Khartoum’s military seized Abyei, a contested border region where Khartoum had refused to allow a promised referendum on self-determination in January 2011.… Seguir leyendo »
We are, once again, on the verge of genocidal counterinsurgency in Sudan. History must not be allowed to repeat itself.
By early 2004, it was clear that the ideologically Arabist and Islamist regime in Khartoum was waging a genocidal counterinsurgency war throughout the western region of Darfur. Yet months passed before a broad range of human rights, government and academic voices said as much, even as the consequences of silence and inaction were conspicuous. In February 2004 I argued on this page that a “credible peace forum must be rapidly created. Immediate plans for humanitarian intervention should begin. The alternative is to allow tens of thousands of civilians to die in the weeks and months ahead in what will be continuing genocidal destruction.”
This prediction was borne out in the months that followed, the most destructive phase of the Darfur genocide, in which African tribal groups were mercilessly targeted by soldiers and militias.… Seguir leyendo »