Home | Comment & Analysis    Wednesday 26 May 2004

SOS Sudan


By CARROLL BOGERT, The Wall Street Journal

May 26, 2004 — One is tempted to celebrate. The 20-year civil war in Sudan — the Bush administration’s main focus in Africa and the centerpiece of its international human rights efforts — appears to be drawing to a close. Barring any last-minute glitches, the "framework agreement" for peace will be signed in Nairobi today, with a final peace treaty envisioned later this year.

The Bush administration deserves real credit for this achievement. Concerned about reports by religious groups that spotlighted the Islamist government’s persecution of Christians in southern Sudan, the White House appointed former senator John Danforth to bring government and rebels to the peace table, and expended substantial diplomatic energy in addressing the Sudan crisis.

But don’t uncork the champagne just yet. Over the last year, the Sudanese government has been applying the same brutal tactics it has long used in the south against Muslims in the western region of Darfur, deploying ethnic militias to torch villages across huge swathes of territory and then denying humanitarian aid to displaced civilians. Khartoum has armed and supplied Arab militias known as Janjaweed that have chased more than a million people from their homes, and massacred, raped, and looted thousands more.

As the rainy season gets underway, it seems less and less likely that the farming families in Darfur will get back to their villages in time to plant the year’s crops. Mass starvation looms. This puts the Bush administration in a delicate position. The enticements it’s used to get Khartoum to the peace table have to be shelved for now: moving Sudan off the list of countries that sponsor terror, easing economic sanctions, holding some kind of Rose Garden-like ceremony — all would look exceptionally inappropriate now as the killing in Darfur continues.

Many governments have muted their calls to take action on Darfur, and are characterizing the ethnic cleansing campaign as only a humanitarian problem — as though the world just needs to send more food and blankets. The Bush administration should face down those governments and insist that the Janjaweed militias be withdrawn, disbanded and brought to justice. The U.S. should take the lead in the U.N. Security Council — where members are reluctant to take a stand in the face of strenuous lobbying by the Sudanese government — to lay out a schedule for the reversal of ethnic cleansing. If Sudan fails to meet these deadlines, the U.S. must insist on stronger measures. With so much effort invested in ending Sudan’s human rights tragedy, this is no time to stop and declare victory.

Ms. Bogert is the associate director of Human Rights Watch.

The views expressed in the 'Comment and Analysis' section are solely the opinions of the writers. The veracity of any claims made are the responsibility of the author not Sudan Tribune.

If you want to submit an opinion piece or an analysis please email it to comment@sudantribune.com

Sudan Tribune reserves the right to edit articles before publication. Please include your full name, relevant personal information and political affiliations.
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.

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

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

South Sudan: parliamentary or presidential system 2019-11-20 11:27:09 By Jacob K. Lupai This article on the parliamentary system in comparison with the presidential system with reference to South Sudan sets out to answer the question: is parliamentary or (...)

What federal system is suitable for South Sudan? 2019-11-12 11:06:55 By Dr Jacob K. Lupai* Introduction Federalism is seen as a constitutional arrangement for dividing power between different levels of government so that federated states, regions or provinces can (...)

Differences between Sudan government, SRF and FFC are the main issues of concern 2019-11-09 11:17:17 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman As the proverb goes, the difference of opinion does not spoil amity and does not spoil the friendliness issue. On the other hand, mere differences of point of view and (...)


Latest Press Releases

S. Korea supports UN communities building resilience project in Sudan’s Blue Nile 2019-09-09 09:26:41 UNDP Sudan September 5, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - An agreement was signed on 5th of September between the Korean Ambassador, His Excellency. Lee Ki-Seong and Dr. Selva Ramachandran, Resident (...)

Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders back calls for civil rule 2019-04-26 10:22:06 Press statement by 55 Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders on Sudan Sit-in and Peaceful Protest Khartoum -24/04/2019 We, the undersigned (55) Sudanese lawyers and human rights defenders, (...)

South Sudan’s Lafon youth condemn killings of civilians by Pari community 2019-04-03 21:54:29 Press Statement on the Fighting between Pari/ Pacidi and Lotuko/Lokiri on 24/3/2019 Release by The Lafon County Youth Union: We, the Lafon County Youth Union hereby condemn the atrocities and (...)


Copyright © 2003-2019 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.