Home | News    Sunday 26 September 2004

AFP Interview: UN refugee chief says Sudan likely to grant Darfur autonomy

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

ABECHE, Chad, Sept 26 (AFP) — The Sudanese government has seen the writing on the wall and is likely to grant some autonomy to the violence-wracked Darfur region but the rebels should now do their bit to end the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers told AFP.

Lubbers, who called for Khartoum to grant more autonomy to the region at the start of his current tour of Chad and Sudan, said Khartoum risked alienating the world if it continued its attacks in Darfur, one of the country’s most politically and economically marginalised areas.

"Sudan is under very great pressure," he told AFP in an interview, adding that despite a "strange political atmosphere" it was increasingly buckling under world opinion.

"The international community is watching Darfur with tremendous interest. It’s not only Washington (which has termed the violence in Darfur as genocide) but also the Security Council and President Obasanjo of the African Union.

"Sudan knows that and I think will give Darfur limited autonomy under the framework of Khartoum’s territorial integrity."

The United Nations has called Darfur the world’s worst current humanitarian crisis, and the United States and Germany have described the brutal campaign waged by Arab militias in Darfur as "genocide".

An estimated 50,000 people have been killed and 1.4 million have fled their homes, including 190,000 that have sought refuge in neighboring Chad.

The UN Security Council has meanwhile passed a resolution which warns of possible sanctions, which Khartoum has termed "unjust and unfair" but promised to abide by.

The sanctions could have a huge impact on Sudan’s vital oil industry.

The bloodshed in Darfur began in February 2003 when rebels rose up against Khartoum to demand an end to the alleged marginalisation of their region — mainly peopled by black Africans and one of the poorest in Sudan.

The Sudanese government’s response to the uprising was to give Arab militias known as the Janjaweed a free rein to crack down on the rebels and their supporters.

The Janjaweed have been accused of murder, rape and torture and using women as sexual slaves.

But Lubbers said the two rebel groups fighting in Darfur had an equal responsibility to end the violence by burying their differences.

"The government has an uphill task because it has created the Janjaweed which is practising violence .... but my message to the rebels is you have achieved enough to sit down at the negotiating table, though you will be more successful if you agree on a first man to represent you.

"It is in your interest to start now. Darfur has bled enough."

Lubbers also urged South African President Thabo Mbeki, a heavyweight in the continent, to join Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo’s efforts to end the spiral of violence in Darfur.

"Mbeki did many good things," he said. "He is a great leader but if he gives his political weight to support President Obasanjo it would be a great thing. The world is looking to Africa to resolve its problems and President Mbeki’s voice is very important."

The UN refugee chief expressed fears over rising local resentment in Chad — one of the world’s poorest and most arid nations — that the refugees were getting the lion’s share of their meagre water and firewood resources.

"It’s now more irritating than explosive but we have to prevent it from growing into an explosion," he said, adding many Chadians now chafe at the refugees being better off than themselves.

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 Health Sector: the untold story 2019-11-21 20:08:17 "It is what is unsaid that divides the people" Dr Francis Deng Majok By Pal Chol To begin with, Juba Teaching Hospital is the main National Referral Hospital which falls under the jurisdiction (...)

Identity issue in South Sudan 2019-11-21 20:08:03 WE ARE NATIONALITIES AND NOT ONE PEOPLE ONE NATION By Kim Gai Ruot One Nation is defined as people with one ethnicity, language and common origin. South Sudanese do not have common descent, (...)

War crimes, post-traumatic stress disorder and reconciliation in South Sudan 2019-11-21 12:09:50 By Roger Alfred Yoron Modi Recently I wrote several damning Facebook posts about others and republished my article titled “Collusion and Harmful Actions against South Sudan Peace Process” in which (...)


MORE






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 (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2019 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.