The Final Phase of the Darfur Genocide Has Now Begun
Eric Reeves | February 17, 2018 | https://wp.me/p45rOG-2dF
The final phase of the Darfur genocide is occasioning no international outcry or robust objection, a fact not lost on Khartoum’s savvy génocidaires. We should recall that dismantling the camps for displaced persons has long been a regime priority. Vice-President Hassabo Mohamed Abdelrahman made clear the regime’s views more than two years ago:
In a speech delivered before the representatives of former rebel groups and IDPs in El-Fasher, North Darfur on Monday, [Second Vice-President Hassabo Mohamed Abdelrahman] said Darfur has “completely recovered from the war and is now looking forward to achieve a full peace, stability and development.”
“IDP camps represent a significant and unfortunate loss of dignity and rights of citizens in their country” he said and called on the displaced “to choose within no more than a month between resettlement or return to their original areas.”
He further reiterated his government’s commitment to take all the measures and do the needful to achieve this goal, stressing that “the year 2016 will see the end of displacement in Darfur.” Abdel Rahman told the meeting that he has just ended a visit to Karnoi and Tina areas in North Darfur, adding the two areas which were affected by the conflict have totally recovered. He said his visit with a big delegation to the two areas “is a message sceptics in the fact that security and stability are back in Darfur”… (Sudan Tribune, December 28, 2015 | El Fasher, North Darfur)
It is worth recalling Hassabo’s view of non-Arab/African Darfuris as reported by a defecting militiaman to Human Rights Watch (“‘Men With No Mercy’: Rapid Support Forces Attacks against Civilians in Darfur, Sudan” | September 9, 2015). In a speech prior to the massive 2014 – 2015 offensive by the Rapid Support Forces in Darfur (particularly Eastern Jebel Marra and Central Darfur), Hassabo is recalled by a defector:
Ahmed said that a few days prior to leaving for East Jebel Marra, Sudanese Vice President Hassabo Mohammed Abdel Rahman directly addressed several hundred army and RSF soldiers:
“Hassabo told us to clear the area east of Jebel Marra. To kill any male. He said we want to clear the area of insects… He said East Jebel Marra is the kingdom of the rebels. We don’t want anyone there to be alive.
[For a more extended discussion of Khartoum’s plans to dismantle camps for displaced persons, see | “Has the Dismantling of Darfur’s IDP Camps Begun?” | http://wp.me/p45rOG-22F ]
But Khartoum’s recent and exceedingly violent “disarmament campaign” in Darfur marks the true start of camp dismantling, as made clear in part by the dispatch below from Radio Dabanga (February 17, 2018). Supposedly making Darfur safe for returns, the “disarmament campaign” as conducted by the Rapid Support Forces was an excuse for massive violence against displaced persons and various towns and rural locations. Insecurity was in no way diminished, and in some respects has become worse. Insecurity is certainly further increased by the continuing massive draw-down of the failing UN/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID): 44% of military personnel and 30% of police personnel per the June 2017 reauthorization of UNAMID by the UN Security Council. Much of UNAMID’s energy will evidently be devoted to supporting Khartoum’s dismantling and “urban conversion” programs,” a revealingly expedient and deeply misguided priority.
Dismantling camps, or converting them into nominal “cities” and “towns,” is the primary way of removing the last justification for an international humanitarian presence in Darfur—a presence to which the Khartoum regime has always been intensely hostile and continues to impede in a wide range of ways. The collapse of international assistance in various locations—whether because of UNAMID’s withdrawal or Khartoum’s outright denial of access—will mean that many hundreds of thousands of Darfuris will be denied adequate food, clean water, and medicine. The ultimate death toll—in addition to the more than 500,000 who have already died from the direct and indirect consequences of genocidal violence—will be staggering. To make matters even worse, the continuing cholera epidemic—poised to explode again during the coming rainy season—will be completely beyond control in Darfur, where it is presently active, if unacknowledged by the UN’s World Health Organization and Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The hundreds of thousands of victims will be non-Arab/African populations that make up the overwhelming majority of displaced persons: 2.7 million in Darfur, and another 320,000 Darfuri refugees in eastern Chad.
This is the final stage of the Darfur genocide:
Two West Darfur camps oppose dismantling | Radio Dabanga, February 16, 2018 | SIRBA, west darfur
The West Darfur state government’s plans to dismantle two camps for displaced people in Sirba locality, and resettle them in another location, has been met with rejection by the camp coordinators.
Camp coordinators of Kendebe and Bir Dagig camps said in a statement to the press that the plan to dismantle the camps includes a transfer of the displaced people to Goz Sigeit, west of Kendebe. Bir Dagig was home to 3,500 displaced people in 2013, according to information of the United Nations humanitarian affairs’ office (OHCA) at the time. The coordinators appealed in their statement to the United Nations, the UN Security Council and the international and regional community to intervene in the plans and rescue the displaced people in the camps from being transferred elsewhere.
Also the South Darfur government has started planning the transformation of El Sareif camp for displaced people, south of Nyala. The camp would be turned into a permanent town for the displaced to settle permanently.
The federal government is seeking to empty or abolish camps in Darfur and has given the people three options for this. The first plan embodies the voluntary return of the about 2.7 million people who have been displaced by the conflict that erupted in 2003, to their home areas. Additionally, states in Darfur plan for the transformation of camps into residential areas, or to make camps integrate into existing cities and towns.
[These will be “cities” and “towns” in name only: there will be no jobs, no way to earn income for food, no future, and no investment by Khartoum in their future. Their creation will entail abandoning the traditional farm lives that the non-Arab/African populations of Darfur have led for centuries—ER]
Voluntary return plans
Last week the commissioner for the voluntary return in Darfur, Ibrahim El Tahir, promised to provide basic services to the returnees in three villages in the area of Habila in West Darfur. In a press statement El Tahir said that after the establishment of security, following the recent collection of weapons in the area, displaced people may return to Teles, Hamida and Delisu.
[The IDPs of Darfur well understand how worthless such promises from Khartoum’s lackeys are. The history to date of “voluntary returns” has largely been one of bad faith, lack of protection, and outright failure—ER]
In Central Darfur, the Darfur Refugees and Displaced People’s Association has rejected the voluntary return plans for displaced people by the state government and several native administrations. Hussein Abusharati, the spokesman for the Association, told Radio Dabanga that voluntary return depends on fundamental issues including comprehensive peace and the expulsion of armed groups who have settled in the places where displaced people would return to.
[It is this fundamental truth that the international community seems so intent on ignoring, even as it has long been clear that restoration of violently expropriated farmlands and restitution for massive losses are essential to any meaningful peace in Darfur. To ignore this problem—indeed, to acquiesce in the basic strategy of the regime in dismantling camps—is to acquiesce in the completion of the Darfur genocide—ER]
Voluntary return of displaced people and refugees remains a challenge for both the Sudanese government as the displaced themselves. Insecurity caused by roaming militias and the abundance of weapons, as well as the danger of running into armed new settlers in the home areas has kept at bay many of the displaced people living in camps.
[Insecurity remains a massive, overwhelming issue for displaced Darfuris: they cannot return to their farms (often seized by armed Arab groups) or even work their farms from the relative safety of the camps (if they are nearby). Again, the dismantling of camps for displaced persons—overwhelming non-Arab/African—by the NIF/NCP regime is the last phase of the Darfur genocide—ER]
The plans for the resettlement of displaced Darfuris in so-called model villages is drawn up in the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (2011) which the Sudanese government signed with several rebel movements.
[The Doha Document for Peace in Darfur had the support of neither Darfuri civil society nor the main rebel groups; the only signatories were inconsequential and unrepresentative fragments of former rebel groups cobbled together by former U.S. special envoy Scott Gration and Libyan strongman Muamar Gadhafi. This is why the DDPD failed so badly—and yet was and in some quarters still is presented as a “peace agreement.” It was nothing more than a way of avoiding the hard task of bringing real peace and justice to Darfur—ER]