January 9, 2007, Sudan update : U.N. troops in southern Sudan stand accused of crimes against the humanity of children; a story in the Daily Telegraph of London accuses United Nations personnel - both civilian staff and peacekeepers, of war crimes against young children; some parallels are drawn between such allegations and Government of Sudan reluctance to accept United Nations intervention in Darfur (UN troops in south Sudan raping children - report," Reuters, Jan. 2, 2007, sudan.net ; "Sudan calls alleged UN sex abuse 'outrageous'," Reuters, Jan. 4, 2007, sudan.net; "UN staff accused of raping children in Sudan," Kate Holt & Sarah Hughes, Jan. 4, 2007, Telegraph.co.uk news); Agence France Press reports crimes against NGO workers, including rape, at Gereida in Darfur. Oxfam workers and Action contre la faim workers have evacuated leaving 12 Red Cross workers with 100 area employees; the AFP article claims the area is controlled by "the rebel Sudan Liberation Army" ("Aid workers beaten, raped in Darfur: French NGO," AFP Jan. 5, 2007, sudan.net).
Somalia: Canada's Globe and Mail concedes Washington's covert management of Ethiopia's invasion victory of Somalia; while this may bring a momentary stability to a region which has troubled North American militaries, it is more simply understood as a US effort to occupy and further destabilize a region to corporate uses ("Ethiopian operation dovetails with US aims," Paul Koring, Jan. 6, 2007, globeandmail.com).
December 26, 2006, Sudan update: International Criminal Court prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, has told the UN Security council that the ICC is ready to proceed with prosecution of cases against alleged war criminals in Sudan. The U.S. has abstained from the ICC effort ("Prosecutor Briefs U.N. on Alleged Crimes in Darfur," by Michele Kelemen, Dec. 17,2006, NPR.org).
November 21, 2006, Sudan update: Moammar Gadhafi has encouraged the government of Sudan to reject foreign intervention: "Western countries and America are not busying themselves out of sympathy for the Sudanese people or for Africa but for oil and for the return of colonialism to the African continent (as quoted by CNN. "Gadhafi: U.N. Darfur force is ruse to grab Sudan's oil," Nov. 19, 2006, cnn.com); the presidents of Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Eritrea, and Central Africa (expected) meet with Gadhafi in Tripoli to deal with Darfur ("Four heads of state arrive in Libya for summit on Darfur conflict," AP, Nov. 21, 2006, International Herald Tribune). Andrew Natsios, President Bush's special envoy on Darfur has threatened "Plan B" if Sudan doesn't resolve the crisis by the time the African Union's funds run out at the end of December ("U.S. prepared to move to 'Plan B' on Sudan," George Gedda AP, Nov. 21, 2006, The Washington Post).
November 10, 2006, Sudan update: China is supporting the Government of Sudan's position by blocking a U.S. move for UN forces in Sudan. China's current investment in Sudan is over six billion U.S. dollars ("Sudan's Beshir says UN troops would create Iraq-style debacle," Verma Yu, Nov. 3, 2006, Agence France Presse). Some U.S. and Canadian groups have called for divestment and/or labelled the situation in Darfur a "genocide," pressing UN military intervention rather than demanding disarmament of rebel groups refusing negotiated settlement. At the China-Africa summit, China pledged by 2009 to double its aid to Africa. China also pledged debt forgiveness to the poorest African nations, training for 15000 Africans, building of 60 hospitals/malaria clinics and 100 schools, and other humanitarian investments toward international equity ("China to double aid to Africa," Nov. 4, 2006, IRIN Africa).
November 15, 2006, Sudan update: as U.S. propagandists use the terrible suffering of villagers in Darfur to build anger at the Government of Sudan (propaganda for war), UN Commissioner of Human Rights, Louise Arbour, has asked the Government of Sudan to intervene and disarm militias in west Darfur, to end the harming of civilians and refugees ("UN Human Rights Chief Calls for Disarming of Darfur Militias," Ned Mulcahy, Nov. 11, 2006, Jurist Univ. Pittsburgh School of Law); on return from a visit to Darfur last May the Commissioner encouraged the International Criminal Court to prosecute suspects of Darfur's war crimes; the UN Security Council (with US abstention) has given the ICC authority over regional war crimes there ("UN Rights Chief Calls on ICC to Press Prosecution of Darfur War Crimes," Greg Sampson, May 11, 2006, Jurist, Univ. Pittsburgh School of Law). By excusing itself from the ICC and legal responsibility for war crimes, the US administrations involved forfeit a chance to prove their innocence of causative crimes. U.S. policy has supported rebel groups in the south of Sudan, now in the west, at a terrible price to the Sudanese people. Why hasn't the world insisted on disarmament in Sudan ? And why hasn't the U.N. heavily funded and strengthened the African Union ?
August 11, 2006, Sudan update: despite extravagant human rights concern of North Americans among others, Darfur continues to suffer; the group that might reasonably and legally maintain peace and recovery, the African Union with 7000 still on the ground, is not receiving adequate assistance, if any, from former and current colonial powers who seem limited in understanding by ethnocentricity (see: "African Union lacks cash to pay peacekeepers in Darfur," Aug.11, 2006, the Daily Star).
June 21, 2006: Sudan update: the current President of Sudan, Omar Bashir, affirms that he will lead his nation in resistance to a military invasion of Darfur by U.N. forces. Preferring the assistance of the continent's African Union forces which were increasingly deprived of adequate funding, the Sudanese government finds the U.N. representing Euro-American colonial interests in this instance (" Sudan President Vows to Resist U.N. Forces in Darfur," UPI, June 20, 2006, World Peace Herald). English and American interests including some of our notable human rights agencies and groups, have supported UN intervention as an alternative to the horrible suffering presented by media agendas. Neither the U.S. nor U.N. has offered compensation for the U.S. 1998 bombing of a Sudanese pharmaceutical company servicing half the Sudanese population.
May 16, 2006 Darfur update: under international pressure, the major rebel group in Darfur signed a peace agreement with the Government of Sudan. Two other rebel groups refused to sign and may be brought in line by United Nations pressure. A current report finds rebels still recruiting in the refugee camps of Chad ("Sudanese Rebel groups continue recruiting refugees in camps in Chad, UN reports," UN, May 16, 2006, [Access: www.sudan.net/news/posted/12929.html]). The African Union peacekeeping mission ran out of funding when opposed by a U.S. agenda to send in NATO or United Nations troops. Although the Government of Sudan preferred the African Union, the United Nations Security Council has decided to intercede. Once African Union authority was ceded to the UN, Japan funded African Union activities to the amount of 8.7 million dollars. The Government of Sudan is at risk of losing portions of its country. Secession of the South and portions of Darfur may be encouraged by western corporate interests. All major European and North American media have apparently agreed not to ask or reveal the rebels' funding sources and arms support groups, although an alternative media interview (Democracy Now!) has at least established the presence of two rebel representatives in Washington D.C. on May 15. The rebels' reluctance to make peace has prolonged a tragedy which invites secrecy and unreason to cover its shame. The modest success of the peace process coincides with the halving of aid from the U.N. World Food Program. The suffering is to be balanced with emergency aid by Bush of the U.S.. Harper of Canada and New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton, would consider committing more Canadian forces to Darfur where there are already a hundred Canadian troops. Canada's previous African missions were not successful ("Sudan Could Lose Part of Its Territory," Chege Mbitiru, May 15, 2006, The Nation Nairobi (Access: AllAfrica.com; "Sanctions threat for Sudan rebels," May 15, 2006, BBC News; "USAID Sudan Monthly Update May 2006," May 11, 2006, USAID Relief Web; "U.S. Runs Into Resistance Over Sudan," Nick Wadhams AP, May 12, 2006, ABC News; "Who are Sudan's Darfur Rebels ?" Martin Plaut, May 5, 2006, BBC News; "Dafur: Inside the Crisis," May 15, 2006, Democracy Now!; "PM keeps door open on mission to Darfur," Gloria Galloway, May 11, 2006, Globe and Mail; "Japan donates 8,7 mln to AU force in Darfur," May 17, 2006, Sudan Tribune). Editors note: for background I suggest:
"The Tactical Use of Genocide in Sudan and the Five Lakes Region"
"The Third Force in Rwanda and Sudan" (2004)
See previous notes.
February 19, 2006, Sudan update: the Bush administration is pressing for NATO forces and UN troops ("Bush calls for larger Darfur force," Feb. 18, 2006, news.com.au ); the U.S. government first declared a "genocide" in Sudan in the Sudan Peace Act of 2002, before the war in Darfur began; for a discussion of genocide as a result of U.S. destabilisation of the region, see previous notes and new essay:
__________________________________________________________________________________ "Tactical Use of Genocide in Sudan and the Five Lakes Region," by J.B.Gerald __________________________________________________________________________________
January 6, 2006:Sudan update: with dismay the U.N. Secretary General notes the increase in "large scale" violence against civilians in Darfur ("Sudan: Civilian Deaths Almost Double in Darfur, Annan Says," Jan. 2, 2006, UN IRIN). The Financial Times reveals a U.N. report's conclusion that the principle obstacle to negotiations seems to be dissension within the rebel army ("UN warns of growing catastrophe in Sudan," Turner, Dec. 30, 2005, Financial Times, U.K.). The Western press usually faults government backed militia for the violence.
August 10, 2005. Sudan update: John Garang, leader of the southern insurgence, and with recent "peace" made VP of Sudan, is dead, having fallen out of the sky in a helicopter returning from Uganda. Facts that did not find their way into media reports of the "civil war" which took the lives of at least two million people: Garang attended Grinnell College in Iowa ("Obituary: John Garang," August 1, 2005, BBC News), received a Masters and Phd from the University of Iowa (Wikipedia, August 2005), and attended U.S. command school at Fort Benning Georgia. He shared with the current leader of Rwanda (who remains implicated in the airplane tragedy which sparked the Rwandan genocide), a reliance on Uganda's Musaveni, amply funded by the U.S., as well as U.S. military command school training (Pres. Kagame received training at Fort Leavenworth; ref. "H.E. Paul Kagame, Personal Profile," current 10 Aug. 2005
) . This may cast an American shadow on the losses of millions on millions of Africans and the uses of tactical genocide in the five lakes region. Covert DIA/CIA programs for the region should be exposed by necessity of the Convention against Genocide, and subjected to review by U.S. courts, or International Criminal Court with or without U.S. approval. -Ed..
April 21, 2005. Sudan update: The first of 10000 UN troops have arrived in Sudan to "keep the peace", essentially in the south where the oil contracts have been negotiated. The key remaining point of dissension seems to be a contract between Total, France's fourth largest corporation which negotiated an agreement with the Sudanese government in Khartoum, and White Nile, a new British company which began negotiating its agreement two years ago with the rebel government amid a civil dissension that has cost two million lives ("Former Rebels Seek to Develop South Sudan's Oil Resources," Boxell, Bream, England Financial Times, April 21, 2005, Sudan Tribune). As for Darfur, the UN Human Rights Commission, continuously under attack for not serving the agendas of major powers, has approved as requested by the European powers a resolution condemning war crimes, but without specifically condemning the government of Sudan, ( "UN Body Fails to Condemn Sudan," April 21, 2005, BBC news; "Human Rights Commission Approves Resolution Condemning Abuses in Sudan," Higgins, April 21,2005, Sudan Tribune). The U.S. has requested NATO troops for "peacekeeping" in Sudan, while France, preferring incursions by the European Union, is relying on the African Union ("U.S. at Odds with France on NATO Role in Darfur," John, April 21, 2005, Reuters - ABC news).
April 16, 2005. Sudan update: As reported by UPI in World Peace Herald (April 16, 2005) a major source of oil has just been discovered beneath Darfur (according to the government of Sudan); working oil fields in the south of Sudan produce oil revenue to be split fifty-fifty between the government and rebel forces ( "Sudan says oil discovered in impoverished Darfur," 16 April 2005, World Peace Herald); in summary, the western area of Sudan has been inexplicably destabilized with war crimes resulting in the deaths of many innocents and movements of the surface population; the U.S. declared the government of Sudan guilty of genocide (Sudan Peace Act of 2002); similar insight into the workings of this region's loss of peoples is suggested by the fifty-fifty split of oil revenue between the Sudanese government and forces sustained by unnamed foreign countries, as required to settle civil war in the south of Sudan.
March 24, 2005. Sudan update: Jan Egeland of the U.N. has estimated a death toll from "illness and malnutrition" at 180000. Amnesty International has estimated 50000 deaths by violence. The BBC report blames pro-government militia ("UN's Darfur death estimate soars,"BBC News March 14, 2005). The U.S. continues to refuse a U.N. recommendation of adjudication for accountability at the International Criminal Court ("US convinced of Darfur 'genocide'," BBC News Feb.1, 2005). The government of Sudan continues to maintain that the rebels started the war which has caused substantial displacement of peoples ("Sudan Leader: World Must Pressure Darfur Rebels," Wax, March 22, 2005, The Washington Post).
February 18, 2005. Sudan update: the "Report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur to the United Nations Secretary-General," of January 25, 2005, finds crimes against humanity have been committed by all parties but does not place itself as judge; specific people are not named; evidence is held in a sealed file ready for the judicial process; the report specifically suggests (573) the inadvisability of using any court mechanism other than the International Criminal Court; the report strengthens universal jurisdiction (612); the report suggests reparations to the victims (591) and setting up a Compensation Board (Source: http://www.ohchr.org/english/darfur.htm; source: http://www.un.org/News/dh/sudan/com_inq_darfur.pdf). "The Commission, in my view, eloquently and powerfully argues that referral to the ICC is the best means by which to halt ongoing violations and prevent future ones," - The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour ("SUDAN: Refer Darfur violations to the ICC, senior UN official urges." IRINnews.org, 17 Feb 2005). U.S. difficulties in acceding to ICC jurisdiction may affect the recovery of the population.
February 1, 2005. Sudan update: A U.N. Report, not yet made public, as reported in the Los Angeles Times ("Darfur killings not genocide, says UN group," Cornwell, independent, online edition, jan. 31, 2005), finds the Government of Sudan not engaged in a policy to exterminate, and the tragedy of Darfur not a "genocide." The U.S. has declared the situation in Sudan a "genocide." The report is said to suggest the matter be turned over to the International Criminal Court. The U.S. does not currently adhere to this court.
January 15, 2005, Sudan update: my understanding of the reasons for the tragedy in Darfur hasn't progressed past my essay of September 19th, 2004 ("The Third Force in Rwanda and Sudan,"), and notes (above). U.S. policy makers may have made war in Sudan for corporate self interest. Brian Smith's article "Mounting evidence of US destabilisation of Sudan," 19 Nov. 2004, World Socialist Web Site, substantiates this and presents what U.S. Corporate interests have gained. With respect for the suffering of the displaced population of Darfur, Western human rights organizations carefully ignore the U.S. tactical victory. Meanwhile International media are downplaying World Health Organization programs which seem to progress smoothly whether a portion of the country's people is starving or not: the first program is the inoculation of six million Sudanese children with polio vaccine, by at least 40,000 volunteers ("SUDAN: Polio campaign targets 5.9 million children," IRIN, 11 Jan. 2005), as well as a supplementary inoculations program against meningitis for 150,000 Darfur refugees ("CHAD-SUDAN: Darfur refugees to be vaccinated following meningitis outbreak in camps," IRIN,12 Jan. 2005). These actions coincide with the peace treaty between the Sudanese government and U.S. backed rebels in the South.
Sudan update, Sept. 22, 2004. A majority of the Security Council has suggested an "international commission of inquiry in order immediately to investigate reports of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law in Darfur by all parties, to determine also whether or not acts of genocide have occurred, and to identify the perpetrators of such violations with a view to ensuring that those responsible are held accountable...." ("Text of U.N. Security Council Resolution on Sudan," UN, Sept. 19, 2004). See my new essay:
"The 'Third Force' in Rwanda and Sudan" (.pdf) by J.B.Gerald
Update, 19 July, 2004. Genocide warning for Western Sudan, Darfur. Ongoing. See below.
"Notes on Sudan (update of July 19, 2004)" by J.B. Gerald19 July 2004. Sudan. The Genocide warning in Darfur, western Sudan, continues. Estimates show over 1,050,000 people displaced and 200,000 who have fled to Chad. The two rebel groups (whose positions coincide with the U.S. position) have impeded negotiations; lack of negotiation may lead to more ethnic cleansing ("Sudan: Darfur Peace Talks Break Down Before They Start," UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, July 19, 2004).
The U.S. Boston Globe ("Stop the Killing in Darfur," Boston Globe, July 15, 2004, International Herald Tribune ) calls the current tragedy in Sudan, a "genocide" by the National Islamic Front, rulers of Sudan, and encourages a U.N. Security council resolution for "humanitarian military intervention." The Boston Globe of July 16, 2004 ("US Presidential Nominee, Kerry says U.S. ignores Sudan 'genocide' threat"), quotes John Kerry calling the situation in Sudan, a "genocide."
In tactics reminiscent of U.S. military policy in South Vietnam from 1965 to 1970, the regional militia and government troops are reported destroying villages thought to support rebel groups, as described by Human Rights Watch, May 2004, Vol 16, No 6(A) "Darfur Destroyed, Ethnic Cleansing by Government and Militia Forces in Western Sudan." (These seem to be standard counterinsurgency tactics in an effort to deprive rebel groups of a popular base and provisions; these counterinsurgency tactics are no less criminal when used by Arabic and Muslim authorities).
Most of the victim tribes are Sufi Muslim. Atrocities against them include destruction of religious symbols. For example, the Islamic government and militias stand accused of burning at least 65 mosques (HRW. ibid. passim). This might suggest the use of mercenaries rather than tribesmen as fighters.
To put aside classification of the tragedy, causes of the crisis in Darfur remain difficult for me to understand. As in early problems in Rwanda, media portrayal of the crisis suggests perception management in editorials and news stories portraying atrocities so that any sensitive reader will want them to stop, but the same stories and reporters make no efforts to provide background, depth, balance. Essential portions of the news are ignored as they are with corporate media reporting of the Congo, Northern Uganda, Eritrea, Ethiopia, where there are ongoing conflicts.
July 15,2004, New Vision "U.S. General Meets Brig. Banya in Gulu," reports from Kampala Uganda the visit of U.S. General Wald, referred to as the "deputy chief of the US command for the European Union based in Germany." Also present were the "director of intelligence at the US Command in Germany, Brig. Gen Richard Zahner," and two American operatives not formally identified to the African journalists. A civil war is currently in progress in Northern Uganda, abutting Sudan. Regionally, Wald is also to visit Rwanda. (ibid.). On July 12th he met with Nigerian officials ("Nigeria: U.S. Offers Military Help to Protect Offshore Oil," UN Integrated Regional Information Networks,July 13, 2004). Several African journalists note U.S. military interest in African oil resources as a result of the failure of Middle East policies.
posted July 19, 2004
"Notes on Sudan (16 June 2004)," by J.B. Gerald
16 June 2004. Sudan: Genocide warnings Sudan, Ethiopia. U.N. attention is currently focussed on Darfur in Western Sudan, where a hundred and fifty thousand people have sought refuge in neighbouring Chad, and terrorization by raiders identified as government militias, has displaced over a million people.("Sudan: Government Forces , militias have committed atrocities -U.N. rapporteur,:" June 14, 2004, U.N. News Press Release). The U.S. has previously declared in Congress, the Islamic Government of Sudan guilty of genocide -"The Sudan Peace Act," H.R.5531 of 2002, which also specifically encourages the U.S. to provide aid entirely outside of the United Nations. Local de-stabilization in Darfur may be one link in a tactical encirclement of an Islamic government, by U.S. and Colonial interests. Because the magnitude of crimes against humanity are previously unknown to these regions, and because these crimes are often without explanation, or apparent economic motivation, and because the U.S. has established grounds for unilateral intervention, a tragedy might be interpreted as precipitated to encourage U.S. intervention in order to control headwaters of the Nile.
For more information, see "Notes on Sudan, June 16, 2004" (below)Amid continuing senseless massacres of indigenous peoples often between groups that have co-existed for centuries, this particular displacement of 150,000 local tribes people from Darfur in Western Sudan, doesn’t yield any satisfactory answer or motive for the crime.
The United Nations is concerned because 150,000 tribes people have fled across the border to neighbouring Chad. The UN Special rapporteur conveys reports that the Sudanese government and its militia have massacred civilians in the Malaki region to the south and of killings in Darfur ("Sudan: Government Forces, militias have committed atrocities -U.N. rapporteur:" June 14, 2004, U.N. News Press Release). Canada's Ambassador Allan Rock chides the Security Council for its response time (Globe and Mail, “Rock blasts UN on Sudan crisis; Security Council failing to protect civilians, Canadian ambassador says,” McCarthy, June 15, 2004). Jan Egelund for the U.N. (U.N. Press Release,”UN relief official says mixed progress in helping civilians in Darfur, Sudan,”14 June 2004), warns of possible genocide due to lack of adequate aid.
Western Press and United Nations reports blame government supported Arab militias - currently called “Janjaweed militias.”A pattern of Western powers de-stabilization in this region of Africa might be recognized in Sudan’s contemporary history. Once a colony of Great Britain (Independence 1956) and continually subject to civil war and military coups the Constitution of Sudan was most recently effected on June 30th 1998. Less than two months later, August 20, 1998, U.S. President Clinton bombed a Sudanese pharmaceutical plant in what was purveyed as retaliation against Islamic "terrorism" ( It was also an act of war against a sovereign nation, and a crime at international law).
With increased internal dissension, Sudan's Constitution ceded to national emergency laws in December of 1999 (TheFreeDictionary.com, "Politics of Sudan").
Although Sudan may have both oil and gas reserves of value neither is large enough to easily explain the crimes against humanity as criminal corporate expansions using de-stabilization and massacres for field tools. What seems to be happening in areas such as East Timor or Western Sudan, or Guatemala, in situations enduring a quarter of a century or more, is the attempted gradual extermination of entire peoples who have previously, maintained coherent and effective cultures for centuries if not millennia (consider as well the peoples of Afghanistan, Iraq, the Baltic States, the Congo and the longevity of their cultures).
In Sudan, territorial disputes with Ethiopia, Egypt, and Kenya, as well as heavy tribal overlapping with Uganda and Chad, remain scars from colonial impositions of European boundaries on a continent shared by tribes. There is some suggestion in this tragedy that modern colonization is maintained by de-stabilization leading to genocide, and the world has already seen the effect of this in Rwanda. The effects in Uganda - which harboured and launched the current ruler of Rwanda, trained by the U.S. military, have essentially been hidden from the world. De-stabilization of all areas surrounding Sudan are yielding massacres without explanation (See for example, “Ethiopian Genocide, Military Massacres Anuak,” by McGill, Jan.19.2003, In These Times online; the continuing war in Northern Uganda, a North and South conflict in Sudan which may have found partial resolution). With reference to attacks on civilians in Darfur, by the government and its militias, - these seem less like the acts of a dictatorship and more like directed anarchy in classic de-stabilization, because the extreme suffering caused is of no benefit to anyone. It may be simply an engineered destruction of indigenous people, as in the Americas, as in Palestine/Israel, as in the Iraq/Iran war, people who should find protection under the U.N.’s Convention on Genocide.
The U.S. "Sudan Peace Act" (Bill H.R.5531) of 2002, warns any other country interested in Sudan's oil reserves, of U.S. Sanctions and reprisal, and the Bill has claimed Sudan's government responsible for Genocide. The Canadian company, Talisman, sold its holdings in Sudan. The Bill encourages U.S. humanitarian intentions outside of the U.N., which turns assistance into a weapon. Couched in the language of anti-genocide and anti-slavery, it places anyone attempting to affirm rights of a legitimate government which might disagree with the U.S., in the position of defending war crimes. The morality of the U.S. position in this case is somewhat undercut by claiming the right to a sovereign country’s resources as it has in effect, by disregarding both Sudan’s law and International law (Sudan’s law is based on U.K. law, International Court Law, and Islamic Law).The U.S. has again disregarded Sudan’s sovereignty as a nation. As with the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, the results may be economically happy for the world bank, but tragic for the people.
First posted June 16, 2004, Gerald and Maas Night's Lantern.
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