SUDAN WATCH: Darfur SLA/JEM joint statement on draft peace deal

Monday, May 01, 2006

Darfur SLA/JEM joint statement on draft peace deal

SLA/JEM joint press release describes a proposed peace deal for Darfur as "an unfortunate offer by the African Union" and themselves as "in the course of a bold and noble struggle that has displaced millions of their people, thousands slaughtered and martyred and chaste ladies viciously raped."

[Noble? They started the war and refuse to end it! They are deluded and power crazy.]


Blogger K.M. said...

According to "A Short History of a Long War," the Janjaweed and the gov't were attacking the Fur as early as October 2002.

As they say of the rebels in the book, "Theirs is not an insurgency born of revolutionary ideals, but rather a last-ditch response to the escalating violence of the Janjaweed and its patrons in Khartoum."

This is not to excuse the rebels' reckeless intransigence and stonewalling at this crucial time, but simply to note that the rebellion started as a response to on-going Janjaweed attacks.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Eugene, as you know from your blogging at Coalition for Darfur and your original blog, life in the Sudan is complicated. Blogging news about such a complex culture with a very long history in a few lines is, understandably, difficult while trying to maintain accuracy.

From what I have gathered, there are many different tribes in the Sudan, a country the size of Europe. (Within Europe are probably as many factions and differing cultures, dialects, traditions and mindsets as there are in the Sudan.) As far as I am aware, violent fighting and war has gone on in the Sudan over the past 50 years.

Tribal leaders in the Sudan oversee large regions in the Sudan and rule through benevolence and fear in areas where not much has changed since the year dot. Sudan has a long history of fighting. Millions of Sudanese still do not know how to read and write. It will take decades (maybe hundreds) of years for Sudan to get educated and catch up.

My understanding of the war in Darfur is along the lines of the following Timeline by CBC. (I'd like to elaborate here about the oil, uranium, mineral riches in Darfur - and the rebel bases in Eritrea and Europe their jet set lifestyles- and oil exploration in Darfur and Chad - in fact this whole blog! - but it would take a book to explain. There's a lot more going on than meets the eye. We don't even know half of it) CBC excerpt:

"The dire situation in Darfur dates back to March 2003 when the predominantly Muslim militants of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) started attacking government forces and installations in the western region of Sudan.

The militants accused the government of President Omar Hassan El-Bashir of neglecting the region and oppressing black Africans in favour of Arabs in the state of Darfur. About 60 per cent of the people in the area are subsistence farmers, with the rest being nomadic or semi-nomadic herders.

The government, caught by surprise by the militants' attacks, had very few troops in the region. In response, it mounted a campaign of aerial bombardment in support of ground attacks by an Arab militia, the Janjaweed, that it had recruited from local tribes."

Tuesday, May 02, 2006  
Blogger K.M. said...

I understand and agree with your point.

I just wanted to note that, at least according to Flint and de Waal, the Janjaweed had been attacking the people of Darfur for some time and that the rise of the SLA/JEM rebellion was, in part, a reaction to that.

According to them, Khartoum was already supporting Janjaweed attacks before the March 2003 rebel attack that escalated the situation.

I realize that Darfur has a long history of violence and strife, but I had always thought that the arming and supporting of the Janjaweed was a response to the rebellion - but Flint and de Wall say it was happening even before it and that the rebellion was, at least partially, a reaction to it.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Thanks Eugene, Julie Flint is my favourite journalist on the Sudan. I've read a little of de Waal who advises the AU and attends Darfur peace talks. No doubt they are right when they say in their book Khartoum was already supporting the Janjaweed attacks before the March 2003 rebellion.

From what I can gather, when the rebels launched their rebellion, among their list of grievances was the charge that Khartoum was arming "Janjaweed" militias recruited from local tribes.

Early news reports referred to the rebels as as "militants". I feel their objective all along has been to engineer a coup and steal power through the barrel of a gun, which makes them no better than the regime they aim to replace.

Civilians who take it upon themselves to be above the law and steal power through killing, are, to my mind, criminals. I feel disgusted when such violence is perceived by some people as "noble" and "just" - in my book they are thugs, thieves, arms smugglers, looters, murderers: criminals who belong in jail. There are plenty of non-violent ways to stage rebellions.

The world would be in chaos if everybody took up a gun and shot their way into a job of their choosing, which is what always seems to happen in Africa because its achievable, one can get away with murder there - especially nowadays when you can manipulate the media and politicians, get public sympathy on your side, stir up slick propaganda on the Internet and inspire several thousand Americans (including Bush haters) to get out marching on the streets of USA in support !

You might be interested to read this item on what Libyan leader Col Gaddafi has to say about the backward society of the Middle East

Tuesday, May 02, 2006  
Blogger John Boonstra said...

Actually, "Janjaweed" attacks on pastoralist tribes in Darfur date back to the late 80's and early 90's (that's when the term first appeared). Famines like the terrible one in 1986 and increasing desertification have exacerbated competition for scarce resources, with nomadic "Arab" tribes forced to migrate south earlier and earlier into lands traditionally farmed by the sedentary "non-Arab" tribes like the Fur. In the early 90's there was a relatively prolonged conflict between the Fur and one of the Arab tribes, I want to say Rizeiqat, but I don't think that's necessarily correct, but for the most part pre-2002 "janjaweed" violence was limited to limited thefts of livestock, etc. The huge escalation in scale and atrocity has of course occurred since the Government of Sudan started lavishly paying and arming Janjaweed militiamen. In addition to A Short History of a Long War, Gérard Prunier's Le Darfour: Un génocide ambigu (Darfur: An ambiguous genocide) is a very informative read. Also, to plug my own recently created blog, I have some analysis of the government's recent posturing at Abuja -

Wednesday, May 03, 2006  

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