Home | News    Wednesday 27 February 2008

Dark anniversary for Darfur


February 26, 2008 (KHARTOUM) — The deadly conflict in Darfur entered its sixth year on Tuesday with no solution in sight as Khartoum continued to resist the full deployment of a peacekeeping force amid a fresh wave of bombings.

JPEG - 10.8 kb
A girl rests against a flimsy shack at Abushouk camp near El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state, October 31, 2004.Reuters.

The anniversary coincides with visits to the country by Washington’s special envoy for Sudan, Richard Williamson, and China’s pointman for Darfur, Liu Giujin, for top-level talks aimed at nailing down an elusive peace.

US President George W. Bush has said that genocide is taking place in Darfur, while Beijing has been accused of supplying many of the arms being used to crush the insurgency and of turning a diplomatic blind eye to the violence.

The United Nations said earlier this week that new bombings were endangering thousands of lives in Darfur, seeking reassurances that more civilians would be allowed to flee to join the estimated 2.2 million already displaced by the conflict.

The UN refugee agency has said that two days of heavy bombardments and attacks by the Sudanese army and Janjaweed militia earlier this month in western Darfur prompted about 12,000 more refugees to flee into eastern Chad.

Ravaging one of the most remote and deprived places on earth, the conflict pits ethnic minorities fighting for resources and power against state-backed Arab militias.

International organisations estimate that 200,000 people have died since 2003 with more than a third of the six-million population displaced, although the Khartoum government puts the death toll at 9,000.

Around 4.2 million people in the area live on aid handouts.

Most experts say the war started on February 26, 2003 when rebels attacked a garrison in North Darfur state, complaining of economic and political marginalisation, although simmering ethnic violence had occurred earlier.

The Sudanese government recruited and armed militia called Janjaweed, which in Arabic literally means "devils on horseback," to back the fierce scorched-earth campaign meted out by its own armed forces.

Chinese envoy Liu was in Darfur for the anniversary, handing over aid in a bid to show Beijing’s support for the beleaguered population.

Liu on Monday signed a grant worth 80-million yuan (11 million dollars), providing for water stations, pre-fabricated schools and medical equipment.

"For the Chinese government side, we’re ready to extend our helping hand," Liu said in Khartoum.

Bush and US officials have expressed increasing impatience at the slow deployment of a new UN-mandated peacekeeping mission, which merged with a poorly equipped African Union force on January 1.

The new mission, the UN’s largest, will eventually consist of 26,600 troops and police but only 9,200 such personnel are currently deployed.

Khartoum however lashed out at Western criticism of the slow deployment, criticising UN chief Ban Ki-moon’s expression of alarm over renewed violence in Darfur as "unfortunate."

Instead, presidential aide Nafi Ali Nafi pointed the finger at Britain, France and the United States for the peacekeepers’ slow deployment.

"Lack of funding is the reason behind the delay in the deployment of the hybrid operation," Nafi said on Sunday.

Human rights and aid workers have detailed persistent forcible displacement of civilians, abuse, rapes, sexual violence, illegal detentions, unlawful killings and attacks against those venturing out of the camps.

Glamorised by Hollywood stars such as George Clooney, Western pressure on Sudan to end the conflict has been fierce but has achieved little of substance with Khartoum paying little heed and passing the buck.

US Time magazine quoted Clooney as saying on Monday that he was "depressed" after returning from his latest trip to Darfur.

"I’m terrified that it isn’t in any way helping. That bringing attention can cause more damage," he said. A lot more people know about Darfur, but absolutely nothing is different. Absolutely nothing."


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

South Sudan and the inhumanity of the death penalty 2019-02-20 12:35:43 By Kur Ayuen Kou I am deeply appalled by the continuous use of the death penalty as the best form of punishment in our fractured society. In a span of one week, South Sudan has carried out six (...)

Evidence suggests inevitable victory of the 3rd Sudanese Revolution 2019-02-20 12:24:17 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman This is Third Sudanese Revolution, which broke out in December 2018, and has been going on for the Sixty Two days without a pause is worthy of Triumphant Victory. It is as (...)

Sudan’s December Revolution is not an Arab Spring 2019-02-16 08:14:10 By Mubarak Ardol Why the Sudanese have decided to put an end to the regime which has ruled them for three decades. Why is this happing now? It is known that Mr Bashir came to power in Sudan by (...)


Latest Press Releases

Ethnic Murle politicians say enough to cattle raiding 2018-12-28 09:32:00 December 27, 2018 (JUBA) - Murle political leaders in Buma state have vowed to end the practice of cattle raiding and child abduction by individuals in the community. Jodi Jonglei, who is also (...)

CEPO: South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA): Stop politics of split and focus on R-ARCSS implementation 2018-12-26 09:53:29 26th December, 2018. South Sudan Opposition Alliance internal leadership change frication is disturbing and demoralizing public opinion. The big question CEPO is raising, will SSOA be a strong (...)

Progress observed at end of second month of R-ARCSS implementation 2018-10-22 06:44:02 Press Release 21 October 2018 South Sudanese government released 24 detainees in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement said the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) (...)


Copyright © 2003-2019 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.