Darfur in 2014: A nightmare impossible to “slumber” through: A detailed timeline for events leading to present intensifying threats of displacement and violence against civilians throughout Darfur: Part One .
Eric Reeves, December 30, 2014
Overview (all references are in the detailed timeline that follows in two parts; the two parts of this account may be found, with all links and formatting preserved, at:
PART ONE: http://wp.me/p45rOG-1y6
PART TWO: http://wp.me/p45rOG-1y3
There have been no meaningful or consequential statements from the international community about the broad character of the latest phase of Darfur’s ongoing catastrophe, or about the strategy of the Khartoum regime in orchestrating a policy of destruction of the region by military and political means. The former entails loosing the “new Janjaweed“—the Rapid Support Forces (RSF)—and regular army units in widespread village destruction reminiscent of the early years of the genocide. The massing of SRF forces in North Darfur, reported only by Radio Dabanga, can have only one purpose, one made clear by numerous recent attacks and widespread destruction. Much of the recent activity has been reported near Tabit (scene of a massive sexual assault on girls and women by Khartoum’s regular army forces) and Tawilla, which has long been the center of violence and displacement in North Darfur. Scores of villages have been destroyed in recent months, and the campaign is far from over. Political means for the destruction of Darfur are discussed below.
The New Janjaweed…the Rapid Support Forces (SRF)
[I have rendered in bold names, phrases, locations, and dates of significance, often repeatedly; emphases in quotations have all been added.]
Fatou Bensouda, the Gambian jurist who serves as the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, recently declared to the UN Security Council that she was “hibernating” the investigation and prosecution of atrocity crimes in Darfur because she had received so little support from the Security Council, despite the Council’s having referred to the ICC the task of investigating and prosecuting violations of international law (March 2005). Whatever the understandable frustration Ms. Bensouda has felt in working without international support, she has given the Khartoum regime and President Omar al-Bashir (indicted on multiple counts of genocide and crimes against humanity) what is being claimed as a “victory,” and has certainly emboldened Khartoum going forward.
Certainly he has little to fear from the disastrously conceived UN/African Union “hybrid” Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). Indeed, the feckless response of UNAMID to the mass rape of women and girls in Tabit, North Darfur (October 31 – November 1, 2014) is emblematic of the Mission’s character. UNAMID was denied access to the site, and only reached the town a week later. Their public report indicated that there were no problems, no rapes, and peaceful relations between the townspeople and the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) stationed nearby. A leaked internal UN report, however, has made clear that the investigation was meaningless because of the extreme intimidation of witnesses and victims, many of whom had already fled Tabit.
The UN Security Council demanded that there be a new investigation, but Khartoum refused; subsequent Security Council acquiescence after this refusal represents yet another capitulation before the regime’s obduracy, which includes defiance of the terms of some 17 UN Security Council resolutions, going back to the beginning of the genocide. Some of the Resolutions have been flouted with particularly dire consequences. Resolution 1556 (July 2004) “demanded” that the Janjaweed (named as such in the resolution) be disarmed and that those most culpable in the genocidal destruction be brought to justice. Khartoum’s contemptuous ignoring of this “demand”—without meaningful Security Council response—prefigured the fate of all other resolutions concerning Darfur, as well as other parts of greater Sudan.
Khartoum’s current strategy in resolving its “Darfur problem” also takes the form of a severe political crackdown, diplomatic intransigence, and increasingly hostile moves against the nongovernmental humanitarian organizations and the UN, both in its humanitarian capacities and in its peacekeeping presence in the form of UNAMID. The International Committee of the Red Cross saw its operations suspended by the Khartoum regime from early February 2014 through late September 2014. Two senior UN officials were expelled this past week, including the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Ali al-Za’atari, and Yvonne Helle, the UN Development Program’s country director.
This continues a well-established practice of expelling individual relief officials as well as organizations. Khartoum had earlier this year expelled other UN officials as well as British Merlin and the French Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED). These are only two of the most recent victims of a pattern that has seen more than two dozen organizations expelled or threated sufficiently to compel withdrawal. Thirteen of the world’s finest humanitarian organizations were expelled at once in March 2009, with no meaningful international response. Many of the expelled organizations experienced severe “asset stripping” at the hands of the regime on leaving Sudan—assets and resources that could have been used in other humanitarian emergencies around the world.
This continues a policy of harassment, threats, obstruction, and expulsions that has defined the regime’s response to international relief efforts from the beginning. Signs of the continuing contraction in the provision of food, primary medical care, medicines, and clean water are everywhere, with significant mortality totals in the camps reported on a regular basis, if again only by Radio Dabanga. Assistance is becoming increasingly difficult and dangerous to provide, and this is likely to increase dramatically as Khartoum compels UNAMID to use the last six months of its current authorization to draw down remaining forces, already reduced by the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UN DPKO) in tacit recognition of how ineffective the force is in protecting civilians and humanitarians, tasks given a re-emphasized priority in the most recent Security Council authorizations for continuing the mission.
For it is highly unlikely that the Mission will have its mandate renewed in meaningful fashion or with significant troop levels as the June 30, 2015 termination date approaches. Recent comments by Russia make clear that it will side with the Khartoum regime, which has recently demanded that UN DPKO make a final and formal exit strategy for the Mission. And as UNAMID is forced to contract, the fig-leaf of protection that it has provided will be stripped away and international nongovernmental humanitarians organizations (INGOs) will withdraw. Many are already perilously close to leaving Darfur in any event, with a taut trip-wire for the event(s) that would prompt urgent withdrawal. While 97 percent of the workers for these organizations are Sudanese nationals, withdrawal will be not so much of personnel but of resources, oversight and management, and the protection provided by the name of the organization.
Without that meager protection, current workers will be at acute risk and there may be widespread retribution against Sudan aid workers by the regime, which has long had extremely hostile views of these organizations. UN agencies—primarily the World Food Program—have already been hit hard by a lack of implementing partners in food distribution, sometimes resorting to local food “brokers,” an exceedingly poor expediency.
UNAMID is rapidly disintegrating as a credible protection force anywhere in Darfur, and support for its continuation is weak within the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations. And yet in spring 2012 Hervé Ladsous, head of UN DPKO, disingenuously claimed that “conditions on the ground” in Darfur justified a substantial drawdown of UNAMID forces, and 4,000 have in fact been withdrawn (the Mission never reached 100 percent of its authorized total, and a great many units have never met UN peacekeeping standards). Ladsous’ expedient assessment was made even as violence, especially in North Darfur, was escalating rapidly and has continued to do so.
Khartoum’s demand that the UN prepare an exit strategy is very unlikely to be a bluff, although it certainly provides immediate leverage in any negotiation about what truncated version of UNAMID might be allowed to remain, as well as a re-negotiation of its mandate and the Status of Forces Agreement signed in February 2008 (which had no impact on Khartoum’s restrictive behavior).
All this has been continuously reported by Radio Dabanga, Sudan Tribune, Radio Tamazuj, sources on the ground, occasionally by the larger wire services, and very occasionally by UNAMID. The mass rapes at Tabit commanded a disproportionate amount of news attention because of its extremity and because of the publicly demonstrable failure of UNAMID. The timing of this failure couldn’t have been worse for the Mission, coming shortly after a UN review of UNAMID performance that essentially whitewashed a long record of incompetence, mendacity, cowardice, and indifference. This report also became news, often including blisteringly critical commentary from regional experts.
Through this all—and now including Tabit, which has predictably fallen off the Security Council agenda, despite feeble claims to the contrary—we have had more than enough credible reports from the ground to supplement what has been reported publicly. The notion that somehow the international community has not been aware of Darfur’s continuing agony in recent years, that we have fallen “asleep” amidst the brutality and destruction that define life in Darfur, is mere expediency.
Thus when U.S. deputy ambassador to the UN David Pressman tells the Security Council that “we must collectively and urgently wake from our slumber” (12 December 2014) his metaphor is perversely inept. It is not from a “slumber” that we must “urgently awake”: it is from a refusal to acknowledge realities continuously and authoritatively reported from Darfur; it is from an indifference to a humanitarian crisis as great as any in the world, although with little of geostrategic significance at stake; it is from the conscious willingness to be bystanders to a genocide explicitly labeled as such by the Obama administration, as well as by Senator and candidate Obama. The nightmare in Darfur is impossible to “slumber” through if one only looks at what can be known of the immense human suffering and destruction.
ANNOTATED TIMELINE, January 2014 to the present
Because this timeline is so lengthy, I have divided it into two parts: the first includes elaboration of what is above as well as other events, developments, actions through late August 2014. The second part [ http://wp.me/p45rOG-1y3 ] begins with a sustained analysis of the implications of the extraordinary revelations of minutes from an August 31, 2014 meeting of the most senior military and security officials in the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party regime—many of them part of the regime since it came to power by military coup in June 1989. What follows in the timeline are events prefigured in many ways by what was to have been a highly confidential meeting and discussion. Indeed, we have never had a document so revealing of the thinking of the regime, its shameless cruelty, its utter ruthlessness, and its frank determination to preserve a monopoly on political power and wealth in Sudan. The document may be found here. The timeline then continues through the end of 2014.
§ January 2014: 2014 began with the massive crisis in South Sudan, sparked by clashes in Juba on December 15, 2013. Fighting quickly became ethnic in character and human displacement rapidly reached 500,000 and then shortly afterwards surpassed 1 million. Millions of South Sudanese are extremely food insecure at present and require desperate humanitarian assistance. An enormous refugee population has fled to Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya. Uncounted numbers of cattle—central economically and culturally for much of South Sudan—have died or been looted.
The effects of this crisis in the world’s newest and least developed country were many. Among them was the obscuring of the ongoing catastrophe in Darfur, which virtually disappeared entirely from the news “radar.”
§ January 12, 2014: I attempted to render an account of what was being obscured by the relentless news focus on South Sudan, including the epidemic scale of sexual violence, the relentless aerial attacks on civilians targets, attacks on displaced persons camps, and an accelerating decline in humanitarian capacity. But even the most brazen and destructive assaults on civilians and humanitarians were reported only by Radio Dabanga (January 3, 2014):
Gunmen wearing military uniforms plundered a health centre in the city of Nierteti in [West] Darfur early Friday morning. Five “government-backed” gunmen in ragged military uniforms raided the health centre of the British Islamic Relief Organisation at around 2am, a witness told Radio Dabanga. They beat and whipped the centre’s guard and tied him up. Then they broke into the centre’s store and offices and stole all of the medicines and equipment including computers, mobile phones and 1,500 measles vaccines. Before leaving the health centre the gunmen smashed the solar energy devices used to generate electricity for medicine storage, laboratory and lighting.
On 17 December, militiamen robbed the Nierteti-based British Tearfund organisation working in the field of nutrition and health care at 2am.
Dispatches of this sort from early January appear regularly throughout 2014.
§ February 2014: I offered another extensive account of the terrible deterioration in conditions within Darfur on February 23, 2014; it appeared in Sudan Tribune, updating the January 2014 brief chiefly on the basis of dispatches from Radio Dabanga.
§ February 1, 2014: Khartoum suspends the activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross:
[Khartoum] suspended the activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the country, the organisation said on Saturday without giving details of the reasons. The Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), a government agency responsible for permitting, coordinating and monitoring the activities of aid organisations, told the ICRC on Wednesday its work would be suspended on February 1, Adel Sherif said. “We have stopped our work across all of Sudan,” Sherif, spokesman for the ICRC in the country, told Reuters. (Reuters [Khartoum] February 1, 2014)
The reasons for the suspension are euphemistically described as “technical”; in fact, the Khartoum regime was angered when the ICRC rightly refused to submit to what was little more than an extortion scheme, with the regime demanding that more of the organization’s assets go to the infamous Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC), nothing more than an extension of regime power and cruelty. Such a yielding by the ICRC would have been a terrible compromising of its principles of independence.
The standoff continued through May 2014, when the ICRC announced it was laying off 195 employees. The suspension continued until late September, undoubtedly costing many lives and much gratuitous suffering among the populations served by the organization
§ February 25, 2014: The date marked the tenth anniversary of my publication in the Washington Post of an essay declaring that genocide was occurring in Darfur (“Unnoticed Genocide”). Although the first declaration of its kind, it would shortly thereafter be widely echoed by human rights experts, genocide scholars, governments, and nongovernmental organizations. The piece concluded with words that, tragically, could be used, mutatis mutandis, today:
There can be no reasonable skepticism about Khartoum’s use of these militias to “destroy, in whole or in part, ethnic or racial groups”—in short, to commit genocide. Khartoum has so far refused to rein in its Arab militias; has refused to enter into meaningful peace talks with the insurgency groups; and, most disturbingly, has refused to grant unrestricted humanitarian access. The international community has been slow to react to Darfur’s catastrophe and has yet to move with sufficient urgency and commitment. 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.
Tens of thousands did indeed die in the weeks and months after publication of this warning; soon the number would climb into the hundreds of thousands.
§ March 2014: By early 2014 it had become clear that a significant change had occurred in the nature of the Arab militia forces deployed by Khartoum in Darfur. Although the new militia force was made up largely of recycled Janjaweed elements, their name was changed to the Rapid Support Forces (SRF), and Khartoum openly embraced the SRF in ways in had never dared do with the Janjaweed in the earlier years of the genocide. This open embrace included more and better weapons, more regular pay, and deployment out of Darfur to do the military work of Khartoum in South Kordofan. West and North Kordofan suffered considerable “collateral damage” during this redeployment of the RSF, which included not only Darfuri Arabs, but Arabs from Chad, Niger, and other countries to the west of Darfur. I detailed these changes in the nature of Khartoum’s murderous militia forces in “Janjaweed in Darfur Reconstituted as the ‘Rapid Response Force,'” Sudan Tribune, March 1, 2014.
§ March 28, 2014: In a series of reports during March 2014, the Satellite Sentinel Project provided substantial, professionally analyzed satellite imagery indicating unambiguously the continuing escalation of aerial assaults on Darfuri civilians, almost exclusively those from ethnically African tribal groups. Numerous reports from the ground confirm these findings; my detailed commentary on these extraordinary and terrifying data appears in “Massive Air and Ground Attacks Against Civilians in Darfur: New Reports from the Satellite Sentinel Project,” March 28, 2014).
§ April 3, 2014: The UN Security Council reauthorized the UN/African Union “hybrid” Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) (Resolution 2148); the language of the resolution attempted to suggest that some change was coming to UNAMID: “[The UN Security Council] endorses UNAMID’s revised strategic priorities of: the protection of civilians, the facilitation of the delivery of humanitarian assistance and the safety and security of humanitarian personnel….” Revision? These were always the central features of the UNAMID mandate and to pretend otherwise with such language is deeply disingenuous. UNAMID was again re-authorized in August 27 2014 for a period extending to June 30, 2015.
§ April 7, 2014: Almost simultaneously with the re-authorization, a devastating portrait of UNAMID was presented in Foreign Policy by Colum Lynch (7 April 2014), primarily chronicling revelations by Aicha Elbasri, a former UNAMID spokesperson with access to huge quantities of internal information about UNAMID’s performance and non-performance. He begins his article (“They Just Stood Watching“) with an example of three buses carrying Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), hijacked by rebel forces in Darfur, which have become increasingly irresponsible over the past decade:
[Convoy commander, Lt. Paulinus Ifeanyi Nnad Nnadi] later told UN investigators that his forces had attempted to prevent the abductors from heading off with the civilians. The victims and bus drivers, though, said they were handed over without a fight. Several said they even saw the UN soldiers flashing “thumbs up” signs to the kidnappers as the buses drove off. The UN personnel peacekeepers, one of the bus drivers told investigators, “did nothing.”
“[The peacekeepers] made no visible effort to prevent the abduction of IDP [internally displaced persons] conference participants from the convoy,” an unreleased assessment by other U.N. personnel later concluded. “They just stood watching as the gunmen drove away the buses carrying the IDPs.”
Lynch, a seasoned and insightful journalist, was well aware of the significance of the material he had been given:
Drawing on a massive trove of highly confidential UNAMID documents — including thousands of pages of emails, police reports, internal investigations and diplomatic cables —Foreign Policy will over the next three days publish a series of articles that shed light on how Darfur’s combatants, particularly the Sudanese government, have effectively neutered the UN peacekeeping mission, undermining its capacity to fulfill its primary duty to protect nearly 2 million civilians displaced by Sudan’s genocide. During the past year alone, more than 500,000 terrified men, women, and children have poured into the region’s already overcrowded refugee camps.
The mission’s former spokeswoman, Aicha Elbasri, provided Foreign Policy with the documents to draw attention to what she sees as UNAMID’s failings and unwillingness to call out Khartoum for what she views as its deliberate targeting of Darfur’s civilians and UNAMID peacekeepers. The documents—which track the period from 2012 through the end of 2013—constitute perhaps the largest single leak of internal documents on an active UN mission in the world body’s history.
These are the documents almost entirely excluded from the highly selective report released by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on 29 October 2014, and scathingly assessed by Ms. Elbasri in a letter to ICC Prosecutor Bensouda. Earlier documents of this sort would certainly have been known to former heads of UNAMID, including Rodolphe Adada, who declared in September 2009:
“We can no longer talk of big conflict, of a war in Darfur,” [Adada] told the Associated Press in September 2009. “I think everyone understands it. We can no longer speak of this issue. It is over.” (cited by Lynch) (all emphases in all quotes have been added)
Gambari celebrated his retirement from UNAMID (September 2012) with the declaration that he was “gratified to note that barely 31 months on, all the objectives I set out to meet [in Darfur] have largely been met.” Violence in September 2012 was explosive and continued to be so; but the self-congratulating, self-promoting UN careerist Gambari saw no reason to allow this to interfere with his absurd rendering of what was actually happening on the ground in Darfur.
§ April 9, 2014: The Foreign Ministry expelled Pamela DeLargy, head of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Sudan, on the charge of interfering in the country’s internal affairs. According to the Foreign Ministry she “was not abiding by the country’s laws [and] interfering in the country’s domestic affairs in a manner that is inconsistent with her status as a U.N. official.” Comments from colleagues make clear that these charges were nonsense—yet another cruel and humiliating slap at humanitarian efforts in Sudan.
§ April 20, 2014: Sudan Tribune publishes my report on the continuing expulsions and withdrawals of relief organizations and the consequences of this further attenuation of the humanitarian presence in Darfur, drawing on all extant data and reports (particularly those of Radio Dabanga) as well as numerous confidential sources). Particularly notable examples
• On March 19, 2014 Radio Dabanga reported that the regime was expelling a French organization, Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED), from Darfur:
ACTED provides support to the displaced people in Zalingei, including water and sanitation for the camps and the surrounding villages before the rain season starts. “At least 50 members of the national staff are employed in the Central Darfur office,” a local staff member said. According to its website, the programme has 83 national staff and 3 internationals working in Sudan. “The action against ACTED comes at a critical time,” the [ACTED] staff member told Radio Dabanga.
• On Friday, April 18 Radio Dabanga reported that Khartoum had expelled yet another critical humanitarian organization working in Darfur, this time Merlin (UK). The reason? Because Merlin had merged with Save the Children, which Khartoum had earlier expelled from Darfur on absurdly contrived grounds (March 2009). For according to Khartoum’s Humanitarian Aid Commission, this merger violated “Sudanese law.” Merlin—active in Sudan since 1997—has been providing medical assistance to some 600,000 people, including running 28 permanent health facilities.
These and other expulsions, as well as the creation of impossible working conditions, followed the massive March 2009 expulsion of thirteen distinguished international relief organizations, including two national sections of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the International Rescue Committee, Oxfam/Great Britain, Save the Children/US, and a number of others. Several Sudanese humanitarian organizations were also shut down, and other international organizations would soon be expelled (e.g., the French medical relief organization Médecins du Monde).
§ April 17, 2014: Given the large number of expulsions and massive attrition subsequent (and prior) to March 2009, it is worth recalling that exactly four years earlier, on April 17, 2009, former Senator, now Secretary of State John Kerry, had declared with shameless mendacity:
“We have agreement [with Khartoum] that in the next weeks we will be back to 100 percent capacity.”
This capacity was in fact never recovered, as Kerry well knew it would not be; indeed, capacity is now considerably less than it was in the period following the expulsions. Kerry went further, holding out the promise of rewards for a regime that had just grossly violated international humanitarian law on innumerable counts, threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of Darfuri civilians:
Kerry…suggested diplomacy could eventually result in a lifting of sanctions against Sudan and its removal from a U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. ‘Absolutely. That is entirely on the table. I can’t tell you when, that’s a decision President Obama makes,” said Kerry. (Reuters [el-Fasher], April 17, 2009)
This defines the Obama policy of appeasement, which has gained nothing for the people of Darfur but more years of misery.
§ May 1 – 2, 2014: Mother of Mercy Hospital, Gidel (Nuba Mountains) is bombed in an attempt to destroy the only functioning hospital in the Nuba Mountains at the time—and to kill Dr. Tom Catena (a U.S. citizen), the only surgeon operating in the Nuba. He has saved countless lives with surgical procedures for victims of the shrapnel that explodes out of barrel bombs dropped from high altitudes by Antonovs (retrofitted Russian cargo planes). On the occasion of the May 2 bombing, however, Dr. Catena was able to identify a Russian-made Sukhoi-24 as the aircraft responsible for the attack. The Sukhoi-24 is an advanced, high performance air-to-ground attack military aircraft. It has precision that is magnitudes greater than that of the Antonovs.
Dr. Catena put the motive for the attack most compellingly: “They want us to go away. They want to destroy any sort of infrastructure that’s here. They know the hospital’s important to people. They want to demoralize everybody.”
The international community would, in terms all too familiar, condemn the bombing. The American and Canadian governments issued a joint statement:
“We strongly condemn any targeting of civilians, and are appalled by this attack on those providing essential medical care or humanitarian assistance to people in need. International humanitarian law obligates all parties to a conflict to distinguish civilians from combatants.” (Sudan Tribune, 16 May 2014)
Khartoum’s response to the statement?
The Sudanese government summoned the American and Canadian envoys in Khartoum on Thursday to condemn a joint statement they issued on the bombing of a hospital in the restive South Kordofan state. The Sudanese army bombed during two days (1 and 2 May) an area adjacent to the Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan. Several civilians were killed and some parts of the hospital were affected by the air attacks. “We strongly condemn any targeting of civilians, and are appalled by this attack on those providing essential medical care or humanitarian assistance to people in need. International humanitarian law obligates all parties to a conflict to distinguish civilians from combatants,” said the joint statement issued on 8 May.
Diplomatic sources in Khartoum said the foreign ministry informed Canadian and US chargés d’affaires of its rejection of the statement. (Sudan Tribune, 16 May 2014)
§ May 10, 2014: A UNICEF official offered an unusually stark and honest assessment of the cumulative effect of so many years of violent conflict in Darfur:
“Entire generation may be lost in Darfur”: UNICEF Representative in Sudan
(Radio Dabanga, KHARTOUM, 12 May 2014) – The UN children’s rights and relief organisation, UNICEF, has warned that an entire generation in Darfur may be lost as a result of more than ten years of violence in the region. “Life in the camps might produce a new generation without ambition,” the UNICEF Representative in Sudan, Geert Cappelaere, said in a press statement issued on Saturday [May 10, 2014]. “In particular as about 60 percent of the displaced in Darfur are minors.”
Although many others in the UN system—from a range of operational perspectives—are in a position to confirm and amplify Mr. Cappelaere’s comments, none do.
§ May 15, 2014: Despite the massive nature of the ongoing catastrophe in Darfur, involving many hundreds of thousands of children, the Obama administration became swept up in the furor and outrage at the actions of Boko Haram in Nigeria. Hideous though these actions may be, they pale before the daily suffering, kidnapping, rape, murder, and displacement that define life for so many children in Darfur. And yet senior officials of the Obama administration waxed indignant about the Boko Haram kidnappings, and “declared to Congress that freeing the schoolgirls abducted by the radical Islamist group last month has become one of the Obama administration’s top priorities” (Associated Press [Washington], May 15, 2014). This is a shameful pandering, and badly skews real priorities abroad. Republicans behaved in a manner just as appalling and self-serving, trying to politicize the issue by asking why then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not declare Boko Haram a terrorist organization in 2012. This was mere backward-looking second-guessing.
§ May 19, 2014: Khartoum refuses to lift the suspension of life-saving humanitarian activities by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a suspension that began in January 2014 (see above). The ICRC said in statement on Monday [May 19] that its negotiations with the Khartoum regime had not yielded progress:
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has expressed regret for Sudan’s suspension of its activities, saying it has led to negative humanitarian implications. ICRC also announced it is laying off 195 employees of its local staff while imploring on Khartoum to reverse its decision and allow it resume its work to help the affected population. Last February, the Sudanese government ordered the ICRC to halt its activities in the country saying that the aid organisation needs to comply with the humanitarian work guidelines and the voluntary work law in order to continue operating in the country.
Only Agence France-Presse reported (and only briefly) on this suspension of one of the world’s largest and most scrupulously neutral humanitarian organizations. The fact the ICRC can be suspended with so little protest or news coverage sent a signal that was not missed by other INGOs—or Khartoum.
§ May 25, 2014: The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) released a new current report on Darfur: “New Humanitarian Needs and Aid Delivery,” (OCHA Fact Sheet, May 25, 2014).
Since January 2014, a new wave of insecurity and violence across Darfur has generated enormous additional humanitarian needs. Fighting, tensions and insecurity involved Government forces supported by the Rapid Support Forces, a Government-affiliated militia, as well as armed movements and armed tribal militia. Hostilities and violence have spread across much of North and South Darfur, with spillover effects to West, Central and East Darfur. Since the beginning of 2014, the cumulative number of people who have been displaced stands at 321,929.
[By year’s end, the figure for newly displaced in 2014 stood at over 450,000, according to the UN High Commission on Refugees.]
[T]he needs of the displaced people are not comprehensively met. Significantly limited space for protection activities, constrained operating conditions, lack of funding and implementation capacity remain key concerns of the aid community.
§ May 31, 2014: Sudan Tribune publishes my lengthy overview and compendium of reports on humanitarian conditions and military threats throughout Darfur, drawn mainly from Radio Dabanga. Among the former, these seemed particularly notable; a similar account of humanitarian conditions at present would reveal the same patterns and types of suffering and death:
• Two children starve to death in North Darfur’s Shangil Tobaya
SHANGIL TOBAYA (8 May 2014) – Haroun Yahya Abakar (4) and Dar Elnaeem Omar Saleh (3) died of starvation in the area of Shangil Tobaya on Wednesday. Their families belong to the more than 3,000 newly displaced…
• Food rations stopped in South Darfur camps without the knowledge of WFP
KUBUM (7 May 2014) – The displaced in the Kubum and Shattai camps in South Darfur have not received food rations since nine months, without the knowledge of the UN World Food Programme (WFP)….
• “Huge food gaps in South and North Darfur”: officials
SOUTH DARFUR / NORTH DARFUR (6 May 2014) – Government officials of both South Darfur and North Darfur States are warning for food gaps. According to a report by the South Darfur State’s Ministry of Agriculture, filed at…
• Rains cause damage, deepen misery in South Darfur
EL SALAM CAMP (28 May 2014) – Torrential rains that fell in South Darfur on Sunday and Tuesday have caused losses and severe damage to the displaced of El Salam camp in Nyala. Camp Sheikh Mahjoub Adam….
• Severe drinking water crisis in Bahr El Arab, East Darfur
BAHR EL ARAB LOCALITY (25 May 2014) – The residents of Siad Bara in Bahr El Arab locality in the southern part of East Darfur, complain of a shortage of drinking water. Large numbers of livestock have died…
• Acute drinking water crisis in West Darfur’s Murnei camp
MURNEI (15 May 2014) – The 76 water pumps at the Murnei camp for the displaced in Kereinik locality, West Darfur, have been idle for three months. “The Murnei camp population, consisting of 127,000…
• “48,000 displaced in West Kordofan need aid”: UN
WEST KORDOFAN (23 May 2014) – Some 38,000 people, both internally displaced persons and new arrivals from South Sudan, need relief assistance in West Kordofan. A further 10,000 people in West Kordofan…
A lack of humanitarian capacity can often have disastrous effects on those newly displaced:
• Registration of newly displaced in South Darfur camp still not completed
EL SALAM CAMP (19 May 2014) – The more than 6,000 newly displaced at El Salam camp in Bielel locality, South Darfur, will be subject to a re-registration and verification procedure, starting today…
• Thousands of displaced in East Darfur in need of aid
YASSIN (8 May 2014) – An estimated 43,300 displaced from different areas in Darfur are sheltering in Yassin, East Darfur. According to findings of an inter-agency mission on 22-24 April, 5,434 people…
Those affected by the decade-long conflict and war of attrition against international humanitarian organizations, while primarily African populations, increasingly include Arab tribal groups…
“Avoid famine, expedite Ma’aliya-Hamar reconciliation in East Darfur”: Nazir
ADILA LOCALITY (20 May 2014) – A native administration chief in East Darfur has called for speeding up the planned reconciliation conference between the Ma’aliya and the Hamar tribes. “The risk of people…
As food shortages intensify, the consequent inflation in food prices becomes exorbitant, one of our best indicators of impending famine:
• Sudan: Rizeigat tribal leaders warn of food gap
ABU JABRA (23 May 2014) Radio Tamazuj – Bashir Hamdi, a leader of the Rizeigat tribe in Sudan’s Darfur, has warned of a coming hunger in the region amid rising prices. Speaking to Radio Tamazuj yesterday from Abu Jabra Locality, the tribal omda requested the state government to provide assistance to citizens before the rainy season starts. Hamid, who also member of National Congress Party in the state, pointed out that the citizens are suffering from hunger due to soaring prices of products at the market…
• Prices sky-rocketing in North Darfur
EL SAREIF / El FASHER (6 May 2014) – Since one month the main roads to El Sareif Beni Hussein locality in North Darfur are blocked by militia troops. The locality’s population is suffering from the ensuing…
• Acute food shortage, people raid ant hills in East Darfur
SHEIRIA LOCALITY (7 May 2014) – An acute shortage of staple food in Sheiria locality, East Darfur, is forcing people to dig into ant hills in search of stored sorghum grains. The director of the Department of…
The risk of tainted food supplies also increases as delivery times are extended:
• Tainted food kills two children in Darfur’s East Jebel Marra
EAST JEBEL MARRA (18 May 2014) – Two children died after eating biscuits in Kaguro, East Jebel Marra, on Sunday. Speaking to Radio Dabanga, a relative of one of the children said that in the area of…
And there are yet other threats to the food supply in Darfur, including a regime that is desperate for cash at any human cost
• Commercial convoy looted, vehicles stolen in North and South Darfur
NORTH DARFUR / SOUTH DARFUR (14 May 2014) – A commercial convoy was looted in North Darfur on Tuesday. In South Darfur’s capital Nyala, two vehicles were stolen on Monday. “Government-backed militiamen in eight vehicles…
Humanitarian conditions generally are deteriorating, with an inevitable increase in morbidity:
• Darfur states stricken by bilharzia
KHARTOUM (7 May 2014) – The Federal Ministry of Health revealed on Tuesday that the Darfur states are on the list of Sudanese states most stricken by schistosomiasis (bilharzia). In particular the…
• Spread of diseases in South Darfur’s Kalma camp
KALMA CAMP (4 May 2014) – The population of Kalma camp for the displaced in Nyala locality, South Darfur, complain about an outbreak of diseases. “Bronchitis, scabies, ring worm, and diarrhoea are…
• “Situation in El Sareif Beni Hussein deteriorating”: North Darfur youth
EL SAREIF BENI HUSSEIN (8 May 2014) – The humanitarian situation in El Sareif Beni Hussein locality in North Darfur is deteriorating fast. Since more than one month, the main roads to the locality are blocked by…
• “Unknown disease” killing livestock in Darfur’s East Jebel Marra
EAST JEBEL MARRA (2 May 2014) – The population of East Jebel Marra complain about the spread of a mysterious disease causing swellings, and killing livestock. “More than 250 goats and sheep died on Thursday and…
None of this information is difficult to obtain; the UN privately knows these accounts are representative; program directors for the remaining INGOs also know these accounts reflect conditions on the ground in Darfur but are afraid to speak out and risk expulsion. And in fact much is reflected in reports from UN OCHA and the occasional forthright UN spokesman, such as UNICEF’s Geert Cappelaere (see above). But a long history of not pressuring Khartoum to do more to facilitate—instead of impede, harass, and abuse—humanitarian efforts has emboldened the regime. Here the obstruction of the work of the ICRC is particularly revealing.
(See also my July 15, 2014 compendium of reports on humanitarian conditions in Darfur:
• June 12, 2014: Six weeks after the outrageous aerial assault on hospital in Gidel (Nuba Mountains), U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power issues an unusually strong statement, condemning Khartoum’s aerial and ground assaults against civilians in Blue Nile and South Kordofan (Darfur is not mentioned):
The US ambassador to the United Nations accused Sudan Thursday [12 June 2014] of intensifying attacks on civilians in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, and of deliberately bombing schools and hospitals. Samantha Power condemned “in the strongest possible terms” attacks she said were being carried out by the Sudanese government and its rapid support forces against ordinary people. Ground and air attacks have increased since April, with hundreds of barrel bombs and other ordnance dropped on towns and villages, deliberately targeting hospitals and schools, she said. (Agence France-Presse [UN/New York], June 13, 2014)
Although it was dismaying to see Darfur omitted from this condemnation “in the strongest possible terms,” the statement did bring increased attention to regions of Sudan that are also suffering terribly. What was Khartoum’s response to this condemnation of air attacks on, among other targets, hospitals?
• June 16, 2014: Khartoum deliberately attacks the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital at Frandala, South Kordofan:
During an aerial attack on a Sudanese village, Sudan’s air force bombed and partially destroyed a hospital run by the international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in the war-torn South Kordofan region on Monday, depriving civilians of critical medical care, the organization said today. As bombs struck the village of Farandalla [more commonly spelled Frandala] on 16 June, two hit the MSF hospital. Five people were wounded in the village and one MSF staff member was injured at the hospital. MSF medical teams treated the wounded and organized the transfer of three severely injured patients to another hospital. (MSF Press Release, June 17, 2014)
MSF had purposely informed Khartoum of the location of their hospital in order to forestall any mis-identification of their facility. This may have been an error in judgment.
What was the response of the Obama administration and Ambassador Power to this ghastly assault against an organization that in 1999 won the Nobel Peace Prize? And coming only four days after Ambassador Power’s strong words? Silence—which of course sent a powerful message to Khartoum. And as the regime heard the message, it was that “condemnations”—even in “the strongest possible terms”—do not mean that the Obama administration is prepared to ensure that there are consequences, even for the most outrageous violations of international humanitarian law occurring on a daily basis.
• June 25, 2014: Human Rights Watch issued a stern demand, calling on the UN to investigate the charges leveled in Colum Lynch’s Foreign Policy piece of April 7, 2014:
UN urged to probe alleged cover-ups and manipulations by its mission in Darfur; Strengthen Peacekeeping Mission’s Rights Reporting, Civilian Protection (New York, June 25, 2014)
The United Nations secretary-general should investigate alleged cover-ups and manipulation of human rights reporting by the African Union/UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Human Rights Watch said today. On June 17, 2014, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), in her report to the UN Security Council, called for a “thorough, independent and public inquiry” into the alleged reporting problems.
In April, Foreign Policy published allegations based on internal reports leaked by the peacekeeping operation’s former spokeswoman, Aicha al Basri, that the mission’s leadership—reluctant to cast blame on the Sudanese government—had failed to accurately report on crimes committed by government forces. These included indiscriminate aerial bombing that killed civilians, and attacks on peacekeepers, such as the attack at Muhajeriya in South Darfur in April 2013 that killed a peacekeeper and injured two others.
“Civilians in Darfur are being killed, and the allegations that peacekeepers looked the other way are devastating,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The peacekeepers are under a lot of pressure and in a dangerous situation in Darfur, but the Security Council should conduct an independent inquiry into whether rights reports about Darfur have been suppressed or manipulated, and take appropriate action.”
No doubt Human Rights was sorely disappointed in what came to be called the “Cooper Report.” In an open letter to ICC Prosecutor Bensouda by UNAMID, whistle-blower Aicha Elbasri lays out in devastating detail the basic flaws and omissions of what is little more a vast, deliberate whitewashing of volumes of evidence revealing UNAMID’s gross failures of reporting, investigation, and protection. The review was conducted by former UN DPKO official Philip Cooper. (See excerpts from Elbasri’s letter at December 3, 2014 below.)
§ July 8, 2014: A press release from the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Organisation, Juba, South Sudan has as its headline about the people of South Kordofan and Blue Nile states: “Sudan Government offensive drives 1.1 million civilians to brink of starvation.”
§ July 18, 2014: I offered a compendium and overview of reports on the condition of the Darfuri refugee population in eastern Chad, described in my title: “Darfuri Refugees in Eastern Chad: Among the world’s most forgotten people.”
The neglect and suffering of this now immense population—over 360,000 according to the most recent assessment from the UN High Commission for Refugees—is overwhelming to anyone thinking about the reports and evidence assembled here. One vignette must stand for a vast human catastrophe. Radio Dabanga reported (April 29, 2014):
• Darfuris in the eastern Chad refugee camps are on the brink of starvation after food rations were reduced in December last year. Darfuri refugees in South Sudan’s Western Bahr El Ghazal state, are also living in poor humanitarian conditions. “The Gaga, Farchana, Treguine, Bredjing, and Touloum refugee camps are witnessing a rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation owing to the reduction of food rations,” Haider Suleiman Gadiria, the head of the Tuloum camp reported to Radio Dabanga. “The World Food Programme reduced the rations of sorghum and sugar for the refugees in eastern Chad camps by 50 percent since December last year. In April this year the distribution of salt and a mixture of soap was stopped.”
§ August 5, 2014: El Salam camp for displaced persons (South Darfur, near Nyala) is assaulted by a large force of SAF troops in some 150 military vehicles. Radio Dabanga reported, on the basis of numerous interviews of eyewitnesses, the following:
“Military raid on South Darfur’s El Salam camp,”
Radio Dabanga, 5 August 2014 (El Salam Camp, Bielel Locality, South Darfur) – A large military force stormed El Salam camp for the displaced in Bielel locality, South Darfur, on Tuesday morning [5 August 2014]. The army troops searched the camp and detained 26 displaced. “At 6.30am on Tuesday, army forces in about 100 armoured vehicles raided El Salam camp,” Hussein Abu Sharati, the spokesman for the Darfur Displaced and Refugees Association reported to Radio Dabanga on Tuesday afternoon. “The soldiers searched the camp, treating the displaced in a degrading and humiliating way. They assaulted the people, treating them as suspects, and detained 26 camp residents. The market was pillaged, and the personal belongings of many displaced disappeared.”
According to Abu Sharati, the search for criminals, motorcycles, vehicles without number plates, and weapons in the camp, was done “under the pretext of the new emergency measures issued by the Governor of South Darfur State.” “But in fact the main objectives of this attack is terrorising the camp population, and the dismantling of the camp.” “Searches in this way constitute a violation of international humanitarian laws. They attacked the camp, beat and robbed the displaced, and pillaged the market. We do not know how many people were wounded yet. We are still are checking them, and inventorying the items missing.”
On August 8, 2014, Radio Dabanga published a follow-up report on the attack on El Salam:
The displaced of Darfur hold the UN Security Council and UNAMID responsible for the military raid on El Salam camp for the displaced in South Darfur, at the beginning of this week. In a statement to Radio Dabanga, the coordinator of the South Darfur camps said the attack on the El Salam in Nyala is contrary to the rules of displacement and the United Nations. “It is the UN and UNAMID’s responsibility to protect the displaced. The camps are not havens for criminality; people enter these camps because of the ravages of war.”
The leader of El Salam camp, Sheikh Mahjoub Adam Tabaldiya, confirmed to Radio Dabanga that a combined force consisting of security services, the army, and the police stormed the camp with more than 150 military vehicles, led by Abdulrahman Gardud, Commissioner of Nyala locality. Sheikh Tabaldiya termed the raid a farce. “When they entered the camp, they told the elders that they were searching for alcohol and drugs, but they were really looking for vehicles belonging to the armed movements, and families of rebels.
“The military force did not find anything, but arrested more than 75 people and took them to the military court in Nyala. As there was no proof against them, all but four were released.” Aaron Saleh, Jacob Abdul Rahman Abdullah, Mahmoud, and Saleh Abdullah are reportedly still in detention in Nyala. Tabaldiya said that during the raid, 23 displaced people received various injuries as a result of beating and whipping.
The nature of the attack is revealing on several counts. It was clearly meant to intimidate, and was entirely successful in this effort. Displaced persons were made to feel their acute vulnerability and to see yet again that UNAMID would offer no help in future assaults on camps. A main UNAMID base is in Nyala (capital of South Darfur), just a few miles from El Salam. The largest implication of the attack is that it suggests how the Khartoum regime means to shut down the camps—to make them simply too insecure for displaced persons to remain. Emptying and closing the camps has been on of the regime’s highest priorities since large numbers of people were displaced in the early years of the genocide and continue to be displaced in extremely large numbers—again, over 450,00 this year and almost as many last year, with previous years also marked by massive internal displacement. (Violence and human displacement have correlated very highly throughout the Darfur conflict; people are generally “pushed” into camps by violence rather than “pulled in” by opportunities for humanitarian relief.)
That Khartoum military and security officials have a plan, a “mechanism” for emptying the camps is made explicit in leaked minutes of an August 31, 2014 meeting of the most senior military and security officials reviewing key internal and international policy issues and priorities. Vice President Bakri Hassan Saleh concludes this extraordinary meeting by offering a set of “recommendations,” “recommendations” highly unlikely to be ignored for Darfur: “Support the mechanism intended to disperse or empty the IDP camps.” What we have seen at El Salam and other camps recently is the brutal nature of this “mechanism.”
§ August 8, 2014 (Paris): The “Paris Declaration” is signed by Malik Agar, Chairman of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), and Sadiq el-Mahdi, Chairman of the National Umma Party (one of the two major sectarian parties in the Sudanese political tradition). The purpose of the Declaration is to “unite the forces of change in order to end the war and establish a democratic state based on equal citizenship.” The declaration is of particular importance, given the different views of the two parties. The SRF is committed to regime change, by military means if necessary; the Umma party and most northern parties oppose a military overthrow of the regime, even as that regime cracks down relentlessly on political freedom of expression, and has clearly rigged the April 2015 presidential election (this is made abundantly clear in the August 31 minutes referred to on several occasions in this timeline).
But the Umma Party is only part of a larger political movement in Khartoum. Finally more important is the National Consensus Forces (NCF), a coalition of political parties and key figures opposed to the regime (the NCF was established in 2010). And on December 3, 2014 the “Sudan Call,” promulgated as a “Political Declaration on the Establishment of a State of Citizenship and Democracy,” received the endorsement not only of the Umma Party and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (itself a significant military and political coalition of rebel movements), but Farouk Abuessa (Abu Issa), Chairperson of the National Consensus Forces and former President of the Sudan Human Rights Monitor. Also a signatory to “Sudan Call” was Amin Mekki Medani of the Civil Society Initiative and 1991 recipient of the Human Rights Watch Award for Human Rights.
Such political cooperation is thoroughly remarkable, and its demands for greater political freedom, democratization, and a definition of citizenship without regard to ethnicity or religion threaten all that the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party regime stands for.
§ August 22, 2014: In a follow-up to its July 25, 2014 demand for a thorough investigation of the many and serious charges brought against UNAMID by former UNAMID spokeswoman Aicha Elbasri, Human Rights Watch warns of what will occur if UNAMID does not improve:
The United Nations Security Council should direct the African Union/United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to improve human rights monitoring and public reporting when it renews the mission’s mandate, Human Rights Watch said today. The Security Council is expected to act on the mandate during the week of August 25, 2014.
The human rights situation in Darfur, Sudan has deteriorated sharply in 2014, Human Rights Watch said. Rapid Support Forces, a Sudanese government force consisting largely of former militias, attacked scores of villages in South, Central, and North Darfur between February and April…
“The government attacks in Darfur since February recall the brutal government-led ‘janjaweed’ militia attacks that began in 2003,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Accurate and timely reporting by the AU/UN mission is critical for protecting vulnerable civilians. The UN Security Council needs to order the mission to ramp up its human rights monitoring and public reporting.”
The AU/UN mission, now in its sixth year, has been largely ineffectual in protecting civilians from violence, Human Rights Watch said. UNAMID has a team of about 60 human rights officers in Darfur, but the mission has all but ceased public reporting on human rights. Although it has described these attacks and other patterns of insecurity in its periodic reports to the UN secretary-general, it has not reported detailed findings, including civilian death tolls, estimates of property destruction, and alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. The mission has not issued a stand-alone public human rights report in five years…
“UN/AU peacekeepers could help deter abuses during law enforcement operations through close monitoring and prevent future abuses with timely reporting, both of which are clearly within the mission’s mandate…” “With the surge in Sudanese government-led attacks on civilians, credible public reporting on the situation in Darfur is more important than ever,” Bekele said. “The UN should not allow this core aspect of its work to be degraded, especially when the secretary-general has pledged to put ‘Rights up Front’ in the UN’s work.”
§ August 27, 2014: UN Security Council Resolution 2173 re-authorizes UNAMID through June 30, 2015. The language of the authorizing resolution is troubling at many points, reflecting the ambivalence toward the Mission and its conspicuous failure, even as it remains the only protection force on the ground in Darfur, and will not be replaced if it is withdrawn. Nonetheless, the resolution passed unanimously, including the vote of the U.S.; this commits the Obama administration, at least nominally, to language “reiterating its support for the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur as a viable framework for the Darfur peace process” —
Expressing deep concern at the serious deterioration in the security situation overall so far in 2014, and the profound negative impact of this on civilians, in particular women and children, including through continued clashes between Government forces and rebel armed groups, an escalation of inter-tribal fighting and other local clashes, including with the involvement of paramilitary units and tribal militias, and an increase in criminality and banditry, further expressing deep concern that such clashes, including attacks by rebel groups and Government forces and aerial bombardment by the Government of Sudan, inter-tribal fighting, banditry and criminality continue to threaten civilians…
…calling on the Government of Sudan to ensure humanitarian actors can operate in support of addressing basic needs, and calling on donors, the Darfur Regional Authority and the Government of Sudan to provide the financial resources necessary to reach those in need…
…reiterating its support for the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur as a viable framework for the Darfur peace process, and for its accelerated implementation, and noting that this process and the national initiative for dialogue in Sudan could be complementary and mutually reinforcing processes…
…deploring the fact that some armed groups have refused to join the peace process and are impeding the implementation of the DDPD…
Decides to extend the mandate of UNAMID, as set out in resolution 1769, for a further 10 months to 30 June 2015, in order to align the renewal cycle with the decision of the AU Peace and Security Council of 9 July 2014, reiterates its endorsement of UNAMID’s revised strategic priorities as set out in paragraph 4 of resolution 2148 (2014) and requests that UNAMID continue to align all its activity and direct the use of its resources to the achievement of these priorities;
There is too much that is perfunctory or redundant in the resolution and nothing that reflects how unlikely the renewal of UNAMID’s mandate will be six months from now. Russian, and likely Chinese, opposition ensure that no viable civilian protection force will remain on the ground after June 30, 2015. Khartoum wants to be rid of UNAMID and has made fully explicit its demand that UN DPKO prepare exit plans for the Mission.
As noted previously, the absence of even as weak a force as UNAMID ensures that most, if not all, international humanitarian organizations will be forced to withdraw their resources and leadership. Moreover, it seems that the Security Council refuses to accept diplomatic reality: there is no meaning to the “Doha Document for Peace in Darfur.” It is conspicuously a dead letter, supported by no important Darfuri constituency, certainly none in civil society. That the U.S. remains silent about the lack of viability in the only “peace process” that Khartoum will countenance is a measure of how completely Darfur has been “de-coupled” by the Obama administration from its policy priorities in dealing with Khartoum.
PART TWO at | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1y3