Home | Comment & Analysis    Saturday 3 March 2018

The African Union played the role of juror and judge in Darfur case

By Mahmoud A. Suleiman

The issue of the people of Sudan in the Darfur region has become outside the global radar because the crisis has begun long ago and has not been resolved since its outbreak in 2003. Moreover, the ruling regime of the National Congress Party led by genocide criminal Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir has managed to converge with major powers in the world, starting with US President Donald Trump and Russian Vladimir Putin, and lifting US economic and trade sanctions on Sudan.

According to Dabangasudan.org , Last week the African Union’s Peace and Security Council (PSC) pointed to “the lack of commitment on the part of the non-signatory Darfur armed movements” and urged them to engage discussions with the government on the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD). The council urged mediators to make progress in the resolution of the Darfur conflict in the upcoming three months, and threatened to sanction those who continue to hinder the ongoing efforts for a lasting peace. https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/sudan-rebels-object-to-au-peace-call-threatening-with-sanctions

The elements in the corrupt African Union (AU) are still steadfast in unreservedly supporting the genocidal criminal, the fugitive from the International Justice Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir against the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Darfur region of western Sudan. This statement comes in response to the reports indicated that the infamous (AU) unit – the African Peace and Security Council (PSC) stated at its 754th meeting on the peace process in Darfur has urged the progress on the so-called “Darfur Process” and threatened the imposition of sanctions on those whom it referred to as “The holdout groups” including the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement - Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) who refused to sign the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) of July 2011 and when they asked and called for the re-opening of the framework agreement for talks, the (NCP) regime President Omer al-Bashir disagreed.”!

The AU High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki proposed a holistic process to end the armed conflicts and produce political reforms in Sudan. It is ironic that the failed Mbeki sitcom of 2010 is still has been experimented again today. Thabo Mbeki needs to realize that his recipe of prescribing the same remedy used in the Apartheid South Africa as an antidote for the complex conflict in the region of Darfur is inappropriate at best and counterproductive at worst .

Moreover, despite the futility of shuttle flights and round trips of going and coming back to fro Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Chief Negotiators of the Justice, Equality and Movement (JEM) and of the Sudan Liberation Movement -Mina Minnawi (SLAM)-MM continued to meet the African Union’s invitation regularly to show Good intentions and a firm desire to reach the true and sustainable peace for the people of Sudan in the Darfur region. But the AU, represented by its special committee (PSC), does not seem to appreciate those efforts.

The founding fathers of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), such as Mwalimu Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Ahmed Sékou Touré of Guinea, Farahat Abbas of Algeria, Augustinho Neto of Angola, Samora Machel of Mozambique, Amilcar Cabral of Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde, and Oginga Odinga of Kenya have laid out the first building blocks of the organization’s path. NO doubt, they would have felt let down and betrayed by the current corrupt dictators of the African Union (AU) Heads of States. https://thisisafrica.me/inside-africa-union-founding-fathers-organisation-africa-union-pictures/

The Armed rebel groups of Darfur region, in particular the Sudan Liberation Movement –Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) and the Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) have made efforts and good intentions to meet the demands of the international community, including the African Union, to reach an end to the causes of the conflict and resort to peace despite the intransigence of the NCP ruling regime and its tendency to prevaricate and to gain time and continue to ignite the war. This policy of antagonism to peace process in Darfur is a game to which the (NCP) regime continuously resorts to because al-Bashir only believes in military and security solutions in which he uses his proxy cloned Janjaweed Militia which has been named the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). For al-Bashir, sustainable peace in Darfur and Democratic Transformation in Sudan mean his Final disastrous Fate has approached with a view to his handover to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, the Netherlands, to be tried for the heinous crimes he has committed against Sudanese citizens in Sudan’s western Darfur region. The peace process that the African Union (AU) is talking about in Darfur and in the whole of Sudan will not happen as long as Omer al-Bashir and his regime are still in power because the ruling of Sudan and the continuation of the war he strongly believes would guarantee and protect him from his arrest and extradition to the Hague prisons along with other genocide perpetrators.

The situation of the African Union with respect to its dealing with the Conflict in the Darfur region has become like the words of one of the famous Arab poets, named al-Mutanabbi who said: “You are the fairest to all the others except for me when you play the rule of both the opponent and the judge”! In other words: you are the Judge and the jury. . The AU-United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) seems to have taken the role of the mediators of the peace process and by doing so its neutrality has been moved closer to the National Congress Party (NCP) regime, whereas ideally and for fair negotiations there should be a neutral mediator in order the negotiations become fairer for both of the parties in the dispute.

In fact, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement –Minni Minnawi had responded to the call of the State of Qatar regarding the Doha Document for peace in Darfur (DDPD) and went to Doha and met with the Qatari delegation, but the government of Omer al-Bashir refused to the opening of the framework agreement Document to allow the participation of the two Movements who the African Union (AU) unfairly labelling them as “Holdout groups”!

In November 29, 2010, I said in my article blaming the (AU):” The root of the problems in Sudan is resistance to change that the Islamist regime, the National Congress Party (NCP); old habits die hard. News media reported that the government of Sudan (GoS) seemingly wants to favour an initiative launched by the former South African president Thabo Mbeki calling for the domestication of the peace process. http://www.sudantribune.com/South-Africa-s-Mbeki-and-the,37108 Now, the same boring series of the Mbeki syndrome have been resurrected after they died clinically in this vicious circle of blaming somebody else while the real “Holdout” culprit –the NCP regime being praised.

What is surprising is the timing when armed movements from Darfur were threatened with intimidation and sanctions, while dozens of Sudanese political opposition leaders, activists, students and women were still detained in the jails of the NCP ruling regime for taking part in peaceful marches against rising prices of essential goods.

The question to be addressed to Thabo Mbeki is whether he tried to talk to Omer al-Bashir for the release of detainees to facilitate the process of negotiating for peace. Did Mbeki try to talk to his aster of Grace Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir about the problems he was causing to the people of the more than fifty displacement camps (IDPs) in Darfur region and the crimes which continue to be committed by the former Janjaweed militias of the so-called Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Darfur and throughout Sudan with a license from Omer al-Bashir? Those are the real questions to get answers prior to passing the can of worms to the Darfuri Movements of JEM and SLA-MM and threatening them with pain and humiliation and great things by exposing them to sanctions! http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article64828

The African Union (AU) is to answer the Pressing Questions. The African Union must answer the question that now imposes itself. What was its role in helping to rid the young African men who became commodities in the slave trade markets of the failed state of Libya and the inhumane conditions in which they were exposed after they escaped from the clutches of horror caused by the African countries’ dictators Such as Sudan and the ilk? We have been talking about failed states in Africa over the past decades, but it is time to talk about the failed African Union because, as the popular saying goes, generosity is not expected from the bankrupt and giving to others.

The Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) of July 2011 has so far failed abjectly to produce any tangible respite let alone sustainable peace. There is no sustainable peace in Darfur yet.

Hope for sustainable peace remains farfetched hope , but what has happened to the people of Sudan in the Darfur region of crimes killing, displacement and mass rape as happened in the village of Tabet by the Sudanese regular army is one of the biggest ongoing war crimes. And until this moment the perpetrators of those heinous crimes have not been arrested. The perpetrators remained at large under the protection of the ruling regime of the National Congress Party (NCP), which has now decided to evacuate the camps for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the camps under the pretext of collecting illegally acquired weapons from the citizens while the militias are not subject to collect of weapons.

As Professor Eric Reeves said, Instead of pressing Khartoum on the critical issues of increasing regional security in the Darfur states and augmenting humanitarian access—which is beginning to wither following the lifting of U.S. economic sanctions on Khartoum—the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) is attempting to flog yet again the diplomatic dead letter that is the DDPD—signed by Khartoum and a meaningless “rebel coalition” seven years ago. http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article64836

Darfur has become anything all but invisible. With fewer and fewer human rights reports, news dispatches, or even candid accounts from U.N. leaders, events in the region have dropped almost fully out of international view.
In respect to the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), everyone knows except the (AU) that its expiry date has passed since July 2015 and the (NCP) regime in Khartoum has tried to revive it by extending it for only One Year. Then that followed by the announcement by Omer al-Bashir and his entourage that the (DDPD) has gone into its Final Demise as of Saturday the 9th July 2016. Thus, there remains no room anymore for negotiation on the Dead body. Furthermore, everybody knows for fact that the (DDPD) was made for only two parties in the dispute to negotiate the Darfur issue. The question which remains without an answer is that: How the third party finds an access to it now that there is a (AU) decision for resumption of new round of negotiations between the (NCP) regime and the two Darfuri Movements (aka Holdouts), JEM and SLAM-MM)?!

It beggars belief to suppose that the policies of the Génocidaire Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir can allow the pursuance to the best interests of the civilian people of Sudan in the Darfur region while the International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant is tied and Hanging on his neck!

William Henry "Bill" Mauldin the American editorial cartoonist who won two Pulitzer Prizes for his work has been quoted as saying: (I feel like a fugitive from the law of averages).
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/bill_mauldin

Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is an author, columnist and a blogger. His blog is http://thussudan.wordpress.com/