As New Violence Displaces Many Tens of Thousands of Darfuris,
as humanitarian security deteriorates badly, threatening hundreds of thousands, the Bush administration decides these people are no longer victims of genocide
February 4, 2006
In a stunning act of moral and political betrayal, committed for the most expedient of reasons, the Bush administration State Department has suddenly decided that Darfur isn’t the site of genocide after all. Despite various reiterations of a September 2004 genocide determination by, among others, President Bush and Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick, yesterday (February 3, 2006) Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer was reported by Agence France Presse to have refused a further reiteration of this most important of judgments:
“The United States has backed away from describing the current violence in Sudan’s Darfur region as genocide, calling it very serious but mostly a series of small attacks by different parties. [Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer said] the current situation ‘is very different than it was. It’s not as systematic.’ ‘It is a very serious situation and it’s a series of small attacks and incidents,’ ‘It is not the government directing the militia attacking civilians.’ [ ] Frazer would not respond to a direct question on whether the bloodshed in Darfur still constituted genocide, as then-US secretary of state Colin Powell alleged 17 months ago. ‘The United States has said that genocide has occurred in Sudan, and we continue to be concerned about the security environment in Darfur,’ Ms Frazer said.” (Agence France Presse [dateline: Washington, DC], February 3, 2006)
A review of the official State Department transcript of Frazer’s February 3, 2006 remarks clearly reveals that the Bush administration State Department has indeed abandoned its previous genocide determination.
Frazer’s various factual errors in her statements and her perversely tendentious misrepresentations of ongoing civilian destruction are addressed below, in the context of highly significant recent dispatches and reports on Darfur. But it must be said first that seventeen months ago there was no equivocation or indirection, no expedient evasion in speaking of Darfur’s realities as what they were, and have remained: genocide. At the time, former Secretary of State Colin Powell declared, in formal testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
“Genocide has been committed in Darfur, and the government of Sudan and the Janjawid bear responsibility.” (September 9, 2004 Senate transcript)
This judgment had previously been voiced in a unanimous, bipartisan, bicameral vote by the US Congress. It is a judgment that has also been made by the Committee on Conscience of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, by the Parliament of the European Union (in a September 2004 vote, 566 to 6), by senior officials of the British and German governments, by Physicians for Human Rights (including the distinguished international jurist Richard Goldstone), by the US Committee for Refugees and Immigration, Africa Action, Yad Vashem (Jerusalem), Africa Confidential, Justice Africa (UK), Genocide Watch, and numerous genocide and human rights scholars.
But none of these is of concern to Frazer, who represents what is clearly current Bush administration thinking on Darfur: “if we don’t have an effective policy, let’s re-name the crisis.” With such a perspective, it matters little to Frazer that Secretary Powell’s formal determination was explicitly made on the basis of extensive research conducted by a large, well-resourced team of professionals, working under the auspices of the Coalition for International Justice, and which collected nearly 1,200 interviews from Darfuri survivors living at various points along the lengthy Chad/Darfur border. The evidence assembled, at the direction of the State Department, pointed unequivocally to genocide.
It evidently matters even less to Frazer that Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has, within the past month, produced what stands as our most authoritative indictment of Khartoum and its Janjaweed Arab militia allies for the crime of genocide (“Darfur: Assault on Survival; A Call for Security, Justice, and Restitution,” January 2006, http://www.phrusa.org/research/sudan/news_2006-01-11.html). Indeed, one must conclude that Frazer has read neither the PHR report nor the language of the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, specifically Article 2:
“In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
[a] Killing members of the group;
[b] Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
[c] Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
[d] Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
[e] Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
While all of these acts continue to be perpetrated by the Janjaweed in Darfur (and in eastern Chad), as well as by Khartoum’s regular military forces, it is clause [c] that undergirds the findings of Physicians for Human Rights:
“Physicians for Human Rights has paid particular attention to the intense destruction of land holdings, communities, families, as well as the disruption of all means of sustaining livelihoods and procuring basic necessities. By eliminating access to food, water and medicine, expelling people into inhospitable terrain and then, in many cases, blocking crucial outside assistance, the Government of Sudan and the Janjaweed have created conditions calculated to destroy the non-Arab people of Darfur in contravention of the [1948 UN] ‘Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.'” (Executive Summary)
These terrible realities cannot be wished away simply because the Bush administration now finds them inconvenient in dealing with the genocidaires who make up Khartoum’s National Islamic Front (NIF). A US desire for terrorist intelligence from the likes of Major General Saleh Abdalla ‘Gosh,’ head of the NIF’s National Security and Intelligence Service (the Mukhabarat), cannot change the desperate plight of more than 3.5 million people the UN now judges to be “conflict-affected,” or the more than 2 million displaced persons, or the growing likelihood that many more hundreds of thousands of these desperate and acutely vulnerable people will be cut off from all humanitarian access.
Moreover, this refusal to hold Khartoum accountable for the ultimate crime will only embolden the NIF regime: with its unerring nose for expediency, the NIF will conclude that the US is looking for some end-game that will remove Darfur as a political and diplomatic issue, no matter how many tens of thousands of civilian lives are required to pay for this ghastly “deal.” This is the most despicable implication of Assistant Secretary Jendayi Frazer’s remarks.
And because what is occurring in Darfur isn’t any longer viewed as genocide—but rather “a series of small attacks and incidents”—there is a corresponding diminishment of urgency at the UN, where the US holds the Presidency of the Security Council during the month of February. This re-calibrated assessment of Darfur’s realities goes a great distance in explaining why the Bush administration ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, has introduced not a resolution authorizing a peacemaking force under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, but only a “Statement by the President of the Security Council” (issued February 3, 2006), an action that serves chiefly as a diplomatic placeholder, and merely enables planning for a possible deployment.
Moreover, highly authoritative sources within the UN report that Security Council members, including the US, are pushing for a mission in Darfur that is far smaller, far less robust, and far less well-equipped than the sort of force proposed by a growing number of human rights and policy organizations. For example, in a joint statement, as well as in letters to President Bush and to the UN Security Council, the International Crisis Group and Human Rights Watch have urged:
“[T]hat the Security Council authorize, on an urgent basis, a transition of the African Union force in Darfur to a UN mission under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Such a mission should have a strong and clear mandate that will allow it to protect itself and civilians by force if necessary, and to disarm and disband the government-sponsored Janjaweed forces that have confiscated land or pose a threat to the civilian population. The mission should also be specifically empowered to provide appropriate assistance to the International Criminal Court’s investigations in Darfur including the arrest of individuals indicted for crimes against humanity and war crimes. [I]t should be a force large enough to provide security throughout Darfur—some 20,000 strong—with capabilities that, realistically, only countries with significant military assets and mobility will be able to provide.”
By way of ensuring that such a force deploys within a so-called “permissive” environment, Khartoum is to be confronted with sanctions:
“If the government of Sudan resists the introduction of such a force, the Security Council should impose additional targeted sanctions until Khartoum assents—above those sanctions the Security Council has already agreed to impose, which it should in any case promptly enforce.”
But there is no evidence that the US will use the occasion of its Presidency of the Security Council to push for anything approximating a force such as described by the International Crisis Group and Human Rights Watch. On the contrary, highly authoritative UN sources report that the US-led Security Council is pushing for a ceiling of fewer than 10,000 personnel for Darfur—and a force that would be without attack aircraft, without appropriate helicopter lift capacity, without sophisticated weaponry, and without significant Western military presence. As described in detail to this writer, the force as currently conceived will be little more than a UN “re-hatting” of the existing AU forces, with some UN logistical augmentation, some additional UN-purchased equipment, and a small increase in the number of non-African troops (perhaps redeployed from the dilatory UN peacekeeping mission in southern Sudan). But it is distinctly not a force that can provide the security required by acutely vulnerable civilians and humanitarians on the ground. Most ominously, the task of providing protection for those displaced persons who wish to return to their lands and villages, and to resume agriculturally productive lives, has been explicitly deemed too force-consumptive.
Certainly not under consideration is a force such as proposed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in mid-January, with “tactical air support, helicopters, and the ability to respond very quickly.” Asked if such a force would include rich countries, like the US and European nations, Annan said at the time, “Those are the countries with the kind of capabilities we will need, so when the time comes, we will be turning to them. We will need very sophisticated equipment, logistical support. I will be turning to governments with capacity to join in that peacekeeping operation if we were to be given the mandate” (Reuters, January 13, 2006).
None of this is under consideration, and will not come under consideration, within the US-led Security Council. It is hardly surprising, then, that the US has made no commitment to support a UN mission of the sort outlined by Annan, one that would need resources only the US and European countries can provide. A transition from the AU to the UN may be “inevitable,” as Annan argued in a Washington Post op/ed (“Darfur Descending,” January 25, 2006); but there is no evidence that such a “transition” will have real meaning on the ground in Darfur. Again unsurprisingly, Jendayi Frazer resorted to indirection when asked about the US commitment to a new UN mission in Darfur:
“Frazer sidestepped a question on the possibility of contributing US troops, saying the focus was on maintaining any new UN force as an African-led mission. She said the United States already contributed heavily in financing and logistical support. ‘We will continue to play an important role. I don’t know what the character of that role will be at this point.'” (Agence France Presse, February 3, 2006)
The present lack of US political will at the UN, as well as a refusal to make a significant military commitment, virtually assures that ethnically targeted human destruction will only accelerate in Darfur, as the AU becomes ever more paralyzed and defensive, and millions of civilians at risk in this desperate and chaotic region slip further and further from rescue. The modest augmentation of the AU that is presently all the UN Security Council will contemplate cannot address the fundamental security crisis on the ground. Indeed, the unspoken but clear goal is to make the new force so unthreatening to Khartoum that the regime will accept UN augmentation of the present AU mission as the price of forestalling any further, more robust international efforts.
February 3, 2006 will be recorded as a unique moment in the history of the international response to genocide—a moment in which a powerful country, with the political and military abilities to help stop genocide, has declared for expedient political reasons that it will do nothing other than renege on its previous genocide determination. Lacking a policy to stop genocide in Darfur, the US chosen simply to characterize it in less urgent terms—“it’s a series of small attacks and incidents”; “it’s not the government directing the militia attacking civilians.”
These are lies, as all available reports and evidence make painfully clear. But the Bush administration has evidently concluded that truth is simply another casualty of the Darfur genocide.
THE REALITIES OF ONGOING GENOCIDE IN DARFUR
What must be Ms. Frazer’s scale of reference when she refers to “a series of small attacks and incidents” in Darfur as defining of present violence? Is she aware of what has recently occurred in the Mershing and Shearia areas of South Darfur? It is worth noting at length a dispatch from the UN Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) (February 1, 2006):
“An estimated 70,000 people have been displaced by recent attacks on two towns in the war-ravaged Sudanese state of South Darfur, humanitarian workers in the region said. At least 50,000 were displaced in a series of attacks on camps for internally displaced people [IDPs] in Mershing town, while more than 15,000 were displaced in separate attacks on nearby Shearia. ‘Roughly 20,000 residents and up to 35,000 IDPs from Mershing have arrived in [the nearby town of] Menawashi,’ said [UN spokeswoman] Dawn Blalock on Wednesday [February 1, 2006].”
“The first attack occurred on 24 January , when Arab militia attacked Mershing—approximately 80 km north of the state capital, Nyala. They looted the central market as well as the houses and shelters of town residents and IDPs.
According to ACT-Caritas, which has programmes in South Darfur, gunmen on camels and horses prompted the mass exodus. Gillian Sandford, the NGO’s field communicator, said the movement of people from Mershing started when Kele camp was looted. Attacks were also launched against Silo, Tege, and Um Gozein camps. The next day, Ton Kittir was attacked with the militia driving their camels and horses into the camp, firing their guns and looting shops. Another attack was carried out on the market three days later. According to ACT-Caritas, the 55,000 IDPs from Mershing were now huddled on exposed ground in Manawashi.”
A British correspondent reporting from Manawashi has today confirmed that a force of about 400 Janjaweed attacked camps for displaced persons in Mershing, forcing 55,000 civilians to flee ten miles to Manawashi town (The Telegraph [UK], February 4, 2006)
By most standards, though evidently not those of Ms. Frazer, these events represent a major humanitarian crisis, even within the larger catastrophe of Darfur. UN IRIN continues:
“‘Shearia is now completely deserted,’ an aid worker in the town said. ‘Approximately 15,000 people have moved into the hills south of Shearia.’
The attacks were reportedly perpetrated by Janjawid militia supported by Sudanese armed forces. Reports also said the IDPs who fled Shearia were predominantly Zaghawa, the ethnic group from which the SLA in this part of Darfur draws much of its support. According to aid workers, the series of attacks seemed to be in retaliation for an SLA attack on Golo town in the nearby Jebel Marra Mountains on 24 January .”
These last sentences demand particular attention, because they clearly suggest that Khartoum has chosen to respond to a rebel assault on its military forces by attacking civilians belonging to the ethnic group from which the rebel movement draws its strength in this part of Darfur. This replicates the basic pattern of genocidal behavior that has been in evidence for almost three years: rather than attack the rebel forces directly, Khartoum and its Janjaweed proxies have attacked defenseless civilians. By destroying what it deems the civilian base of support for the insurgency movement—children, women, and men defined simply in terms of their ethnicity—Khartoum hopes to crush the will and ability of the rebels.
Though it is certainly the case that the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) has behaved irresponsibly and cruelly, both on the battlefield and in its diplomacy in Abuja, this cannot be a justification for genocidal violence—in the case of Shearia and the Mershing camps, Khartoum’s deliberate orchestration of the destruction of members of the Zaghawa tribal group…”as such.”
But this is far from the only recent large-scale assault on defenseless non-Arab or African civilians. Another very recent dispatch from the Chad/Darfur border (UN IRIN, February 3, 2006) reveals yet further carnage and displacement:
“[80-year-old Kaltouma Yaya] Ato is one of some 1,000 refugees from Sudan’s Darfur region to have turned up at the Gaga camp in eastern Chad since the beginning of the year, citing fresh Janjawid attacks. ‘They show no pity to anyone,’ she whispered [she had been savagely beaten by the Janajweed].”
“Ato made the journey from the Mornei camp for internally displaced people in Darfur to Gaga by pick-up truck. [ ] For many of the new arrivals, it is the second or third time they have been forced to flee. Some have come from camps for the internally displaced or border villages in Darfur. They complain of food shortages and being attacked as they ventured out to collect firewood or graze their animals. There are others who sought shelter in villages just inside Chad but soon found that the Kalashnikov-wielding Sudanese militia paid no heed to international boundaries, staging raids across the border on horses and camels.” (UN IRIN [dateline: Gaga refugee camp, eastern Chad], February 3, 2006)
In both his current and previous reports on Darfur, Kofi Annan highlighted another brutal Janjaweed attack in West Darfur, against the village of Abu Sarouj (“I would like to reiterate my condemnation of the vicious attack on Abu Sorouj”), an attack detailed in the January 3, 2006 UN Sudan ‘sit rep’:
“Abu Sarouj (Kulbus locality) was attacked on 19 December  by approximately 500 armed tribesman. The perpetrators were suspected to be Arab militia. Casualties were allegedly 18 villagers from the Aringa tribe [who] were killed [ ]. Additional, 50 shelters were burned and approximately 700 cattle looted. Later the same day, an attack was reported on Siliea.”
Again, it is difficult to imagine the frame of reference in which such an attack might be described as part of what Jendayi Frazer suggests are “a series of small attacks and incidents.” But what is outright mendacity is Frazer’s further claim that “it’s not the government directing the militia attacking civilians.” The very recent attacks on Mershing and Shearia were clearly Khartoum’s military retaliations, by means of Janjaweed militia, for the SLA assault on the regime’s garrison in Golo. As Human Rights Watch (HRW) has demonstrated, over many months and beyond any doubt, Khartoum continues precisely to “direct the militia attacking civilians” on a broad scale; and responsibility clearly reaches to the most senior levels of the National Islamic Front regime.
In its December 2005 report (“Entrenching Impunity: Government Responsibility for International Crimes in Darfur,” December 2005, http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2005/12/09/sudan12186.htm), HRW establishes that chains of command for military operations—as well as recruitment, supply, and direction of the Janjaweed—lead directly to the most senior members of the NIF: President (and Commander-in-Chief) Omar el-Bashir; former First Vice-President and current Second Vice-President (and still arguably the most powerful political figure in Sudan) Ali Osman Taha; the head of Khartoum’s viciously efficient security and intelligence services, Major General Saleh Abdallah ‘Gosh’; former Minister of the Interior and current Minister of Defense Abdul Rahim Mohamed Hussein; Major General Bakri Hassan Salih, former Minister of Defense and now Minister for Presidential Affairs; Abbas Arabi, Chief of Staff of the Sudanese Armed Forces.
[Several of these men are among those that the US government, all too well represented by Jendayi Frazer, is seeking to have removed from the list of names to be referred to the UN Security Council for sanctioning (per the terms of Resolution 1591, March 2005)].
HRW factual findings about NIF responsibility for the military actions of the Janjaweed are unambiguous:
“Since early 2003, the leadership in Khartoum has relied on civilian administration, the Sudanese military and Janjaweed militias to implement a counterinsurgency policy that deliberately and systematically targeted civilians in violation of international law. Ultimate responsibility for the creation and coordination of the policy lies in Khartoum, with the highest levels of the Sudanese leadership, including President Omar El Bashir, Vice-President Ali Osman Taha, and key national ministers and security chiefs.”
“The widespread and systematic abuses by government and Janjaweed forces against [non-Arab or African] ethnic groups believed to be linked to the rebels amount to an attack on a civil population within the definition of crimes against humanity. The pattern of similar crimes against civilian populations in different areas of Darfur, as well as documentary and eyewitness evidence linking senior government officials with abusive military operations, point to a policy at the highest levels of the Sudanese government.” (page 74)
“Overwhelmingly targeted were communities sharing the ethnicity of or geographic proximity to the two main rebel movements. These ethnic groups initially included the Masalit, Fur, and Zaghawa, and later expanded to include communities of Dajo, Tunjur, Meidob, Jebel, Berti, and other non-Arab tribes. In many cases documented by HRW, there was little to no rebel or armed presence in the targeted villages at the time of the attacks, and the attacks were clearly aimed at the civilian population.” (page 7)
As uncomfortable as these realities may be for Ms. Frazer and the Bush administration, they cannot be wished away or ignored. It is not the case, as President Bush suggested recently at Kansas State University, that “when Colin [Powell] was still the Secretary of State, he declared the policy of the US and our deep concern that we are headed toward genocide [in Darfur]” (transcript, White House Press Office, January 23, 2006). No, former Secretary of State Powell declared deliberately, in so many words: “Genocide has been committed in Darfur, and the government of Sudan and the Janjawid bear responsibility.” Darfur is not “headed toward genocide”: genocide was occurring in September 2004 and is still occurring, if under evolving circumstances. This was no slip of the tongue by the President: this was a clear effort to move the US away from a highly consequential judgment that Mr. Bush himself previously had the courage to defend.
HUMANITARIAN CRISIS CONTINUES TO GROW
The number of humanitarian evacuations continues to grow throughout Darfur, especially in West and South Darfur. And ominously, the UN has recently informed international humanitarian organizations operating in West Darfur that in the event of emergency evacuation—an eventuality that daily grows more likely—the UN will be able to evacuate a total of only 90 personnel, from all operational organizations. This creates an intolerable security crisis for these organizations: given the rapidly rising military tensions between Chad and Sudan, given the extraordinary levels of violence and insecurity that prevail throughout West Darfur, humanitarian organizations simply cannot leave personnel on the ground with no evacuation contingency plan. But if the UN can guarantee the evacuation of only 90 workers, from all organizations, then some must begin to evacuate now, before security conditions actually dictate withdrawal. And as humanitarians withdraw, life-saving services for vulnerable populations are attenuated.
The UN decision is a reflection not simply of incapacity (though it is certainly this) but of a brutal realism: the AU can’t protect these personnel in an emergency evacuation; helicopter transport is limited; the time-frame for safe evacuation may be short; it is, then, better to give a low figure now rather than promise rescue to humanitarian workers who would in fact be abandoned in the event of a security emergency. The recent death of a young humanitarian worker for the Irish agency GOAL during an emergency helicopter evacuation in the contested Jebel Marra region (Reuters, January 26, 2006) underscores the dangers currently faced by the extraordinarily courageous people who are attempting to assist civilians throughout Darfur.
We can gather a fuller sense of the implications of the security crisis for humanitarian operations in Darfur from Kofi Annan’s current monthly report to the Security Council:
“The widespread climate of insecurity is having a significant impact on the ability of the humanitarian community to access people in need. Steps have been taken to continue assisting the affected populations in the face of current constraints, including through the use of helicopters and private contractors, but these are costly and may be untenable over the long run.” [ ]
“[F]ighting between the Government [of Sudan] forces and rebels in Masteri, Kongo Haraza and Beida [West Darfur], together with militia attacks in the Jebel Moon, Silea and Kulbus areas, have forced the withdrawal of all international non-governmental organizations from these areas, leaving approximately 140,000 people without assistance. Efforts were underway to air drop food aid supplies to the area. Militia attacks on Tawilla in North Darfur have similarly forced international non-governmental organisations in the area to temporarily relocate their staff.”
“Throughout Darfur, banditry has affected humanitarian convoys on an almost daily basis. In North Darfur, a Sudan Red Crescent Society driver was killed in an apparent act of banditry. In Geneina and some other parts of West Darfur, I have come to the conclusion that insecurity has increased to such an extent that it is no longer possible for the United Nations to carry out activities there other than life-saving work.” (Advance copy of the monthly report of the Secretary-General on Darfur, paragraphs 17-19, January 30, 2006)
Annan also offers a grim overview of the deadly status quo, and an even more deadly future:
“[W]ith ongoing displacement of people as a result of militia attacks, the humanitarian community faces an uphill struggle. Surveys show that outlying villages and rural areas continue to suffer from high malnutrition rates, despite the fact that crops are being harvested.”
“It is regrettable that significant returns of displaced people to their homes now seem unlikely to take place in early 2006, when preparations for the next harvesting season are due to start. In the best-case scenario, the close to 1.8 million internally displaced people currently residing in camps will remain in their temporary settlements for the foreseeable future. If violence continues, their numbers may dramatically swell over the next months.”
“I am particularly concerned by the ongoing and deliberate destruction of significant areas of cultivated land by militia and nomadic groups. [ ] I was particularly appalled by the reports that militia destroyed all water points constructed by the humanitarian community in Masteri.” (paragraphs 20-22)
The AU’s Baba Gana Kingibe also recently emphasized that “the Janjaweed/Arab militia continue to cause havoc on farmlands and crops ready to be harvested by farmers [ ] from nearby camps for internally displaced persons” (Transcript of press conference from AU headquarters [Khartoum], February 2, 2006).
The deliberate destruction of water points, the deliberate destruction of cultivated lands—destruction animated by ethnic hatred—are, in the context of Darfur’s harsh and unforgiving terrain, genocidal actions. They are the very actions contemplated by those who framed the 1948 Genocide Convention:
“deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”
No amount of expediency on the part of the Bush administration can diminish these realities, or their clear delineation by the language of the Genocide Convention.
THE ILLUSION OF A PEACE MADE IN ABUJA
Negotiations in Abuja, Nigeria, conducted under the auspices of the African Union, have yielded very little of significance in more than a year. There is currently no indication that a peace agreement can be reached in the coming weeks, despite the recent suggestion by AU negotiator Sam Ibok. Much of the difficulty lies in a rebel movement that is fragmented, inconsistent, and unwilling to move effectively for the good of the people the rebels claim to represent. But there has been entirely too much optimism about what an agreement in Abuja might signal, were it to be signed.
Such an agreement certainly can’t change the fact that the National Islamic Front has reneged on every agreement it has ever signed—a fact that daily becomes more conspicuous as the southern SPLM loses patience with Khartoum’s bad faith, ruthless arrogation of national power and wealth, and refusal to honor the essential security features of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Salva Kiir, leader of the SPLM and the Government of South Sudan (and nominally First Vice President of the “Government of National Unity” in Khartoum) has recently become outspoken in his criticism. Some within the SPLM speak of resuming war.
Peace in Darfur can be made only when the Janjaweed are disarmed, when there is a robust international peacemaking force on the ground, when civilians in both camps and rural areas can live their lives with reasonable security. The US decision to abandon its genocide determination, and to work for only a very modest increase in the security force on the ground in Darfur, must embolden Khartoum and ensure that such a peace will not come soon.
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