Home | Comment & Analysis    Friday 8 March 2013

Is Doha donors’ conference meant to finance Darfur development?


By Mahmoud A. Suleiman

March 7, 2013 - News media reported that an international doners’ conference would take place in the Qatari capital Doha in the first week of April, on seventh of April 2013. The conference is claimed to aim raising funds for the development and reconstruction of the war-ravaged Darfur region. The conference referred to is an outcome of the agreement signed on 14 July 2011 by the National Congress Party (NCP) regime and a rebel splinter faction, Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM). The (LJM) is widely believed to have been created by the former US Special Presidential Envoy to Sudan, retired air force General Scott Jonathan Gration in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. According to the infamous so-called the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), the State of Qatar pledged the establishment of the Darfur Development Bank (DDB) with a capital of the then five billion dollars; with Qatar paying two billion dollars in advance, and to urge its partners in the Gulf region among other donors to complete the proposed amount.

The people of Darfur say this conference comes at a time when the humanitarian situation in Darfur has deteriorated considerably. Displacement is at its peak Large numbers of unarmed civilians being killed or wounded at the hands of the government army and its allied militias through continuous aerial bombardment against the civilian population. The Doha agreement for peace, has abjectly failed. The reason for the escalation of killing spree is that the Doha peace agreement was a partial piecemeal solution and not expected to bring sustainable peace, stability and democracy in Sudan. The donors’ conference is scheduled at time when the Islamism-Arabism government led by the assassin, ICC indicted Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir is hosting the Islamist militant terrorist groups that fled in the aftermath of the French strike of Jihadist terrorists in Mali and left Mali and resorted to Darfur.

The People of Darfur say that the NCP Sudanese government will exploit the money raised at the doners conference to buy lethal weapons to commit further crimes of genocide and human rights violations in South Kordofan and Blue Nile as well as Darfur. This is based on previous experience where the Khartoum regime bought weapons using the money from proceeds of two donor conferences for the reconstruction of what has been destroyed by the war in Darfur. The proceeds were from the donations of the League of Arab States (Arab League) and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

Mr. Mutawakkil Muhammad Musa, who is keen supporter of the interests of the people of Darfur, wrote in the Wrote in the electronic alrakoba Sudanese journal wondered whether the fate of Darfur Development Bank would be such as the fate of the Project of the West of the Savanna. He sarcastically answers by saying: “Of course the discerning reader would not miss the common denominator between the proposed Darfur Development Bank and the buried Western Savanna Project. The experiences of the people of Darfur with outside funding demonstrated the determination of the Government of Sudan to have the funds provided by donor countries and international organizations to deposit the amount in the account of Bank of Sudan. The Sudanese government will convert the foreign currency to the local Sudanese currency. In addition, when the agencies needed money to fund the projects that already started, the Ministry of Finance would be stalling in payment without consideration to the stages of the implementation of those projects.

Political analysts indicate that the Issue of the people of Sudan in Darfur is a Complex Political cause par excellence. This makes it disobedient to partial solutions. Furthermore, it has become, understandably, beyond the capabilities of the state of Qatar and its Petrodollars. This is more so in the presence of the (NCP) Islamist regime in power in Sudan.

The fate of the expected returns of the donors’ conference in Qatar is reminiscent of what happened to the promising Western Savanna Project for Darfur, sponsored by the United Nations (UN) with its headquarters office in the city of Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state. That promising Project went unheeded because of the intransigence of the Khartoum government that did not want any development for the people of Darfur. The result was a tragedy for Darfur and Sudan together. The Project was a UN funded from its coffers with hard currency. When the Sudanese government asked the UN to deposit the international grant in the Bank of Sudan under the auspices of the Ministry of financial, the Organization of the United Nations refused; because donors probably had previous untoward experience with Bank of Sudan and the Ministry of Finance. The Sudanese government stipulated to the organization if they wanted to proceed with the implementation of the Western Savanna Project they ought to comply with the orders of the Ministry of Finance. Otherwise, the Organisation had to pack up its belongings and leave Darfur. Accordingly, the UN opted to leave Darfur and decided to halt the Western Savanna Project, which considered one of the most important promising rural enterprises, aimed to upgrade human life and raise the standard of living in the poor regions of savannah. The likelihood of a repetition of what happened to the Darfur Western Savannah Project, especially in the wake of the unprecedented bankruptcy suffered by the Bank of Sudan at the present. The Bank of Sudan is broke as a result of corruption, profligate government spending on the (NCP) affiliates, purchasing of receivable , cost of waging wars against citizens, financing of National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) as well as the exit of the oil revenue of the government’s budget! The bankruptcy escalated after the NCP regime’s confrontation with the Republic of South Sudan on border demarcation and rate of oil transfer to Port Sudan for export. Moreover, the Republic of South Sudan in turn locked the crude oil pipeline and the oil well. And the rest is painful history and the price is paid by the marginalised people of Sudan.

Political analysts indicate that when the donor conference to be held in Doha, succeeds collecting plentiful amounts of money for the development of Darfur (billions of Qatar and its allies) that money must be hidden in the Darfur development Bank account. In order to safeguard against the Bank of Sudan piracy, the accounts must be hiding in turn in one of the donors’ countries. The money must be under its supervision away from the Bank of Sudan ambush. That only would guarantee safe reaching of the money to companies that will implement the development programmes to accomplish their tasks on the ground in Darfur; their dues and wages paid from the bank at far safe distance, out of reach of the Bank of Sudan.

The international community will be heading into big trouble and commit a grave error if they gave money to the regime of the fugitive from international justice and indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir. While there is no stability in Sudan at all, especially in Darfur and the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan and Ingasana in Southern Blue Nile, the international community seems planning to grant the regime of the National Congress Party funds as a reward for these crimes. Moreover, any financial or political support from the international community to the ruling regime in Khartoum would only prolong its life and opens the front door for more heinous crimes to be committed.. Moreover, the repercussions of that will lead to the dismantling of what remains of Sudan and further disintegration of the country because of the international community’s support for crimes of this regime.

The charter New Dawn document (CND) signed by the Sudanese opposition, both military and civilian, recently to overthrow the ruling regime of the Islamist NCP led by President Omar al-Bashir, which harbours and supports global terrorism is the last chance for the Sudanese to build a modern citizenship state. The alternative system after the ousting of the regime of the NCP becomes abided by democracy, rule of law and good governance where justice, equality and sustainable peace prevail and people live in dignity, security and welfare and citizens are equal in rights and duties regardless of any of their variables.

The Sudanese people in Darfur appeal to the international community to postpone the donors’ conference to be held in Doha, Qatar, until a comprehensive sustainable peace settlement reached, justice and democracy for Darfur and the Sudanese attained when financial support will be useful and serve the right purposes.

While there remains doubt about the success of the Conference to convene, Darfuris firmly suggest the ‘Money’ to be placed in a Darfur Development Bank Account in one of the prospective donor states to ward off unfair exploitation by the NCP regime elements, depriving the people of the region their legitimate right as systematically happened in the past.

Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is the Deputy Chairman of the General Congress for Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). He can be reached at mahmoud.abaker@gmail.com

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