SUDAN WATCH: All Darfur's tribes must be brought into the peace process - Janjaweed are one of the keys to a lasting settlement

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

All Darfur's tribes must be brought into the peace process - Janjaweed are one of the keys to a lasting settlement

"It's time to say it, loud and clear: The newborn Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) is on its death bed. Without determined action to save it, the war in Darfur will continue," writes Julie Flint in her latest commentary at The Daily Star June 20, 2006. Excerpt:
Darfurians have to be shown that this peace, although flawed, can work for them. This means meeting deadlines, forming committees, stopping Khartoum's security officials from taking them over and, above all, shouting from the rooftops every time a signatory steps out of line. It is not enough to slap wrists behind closed doors. The people of Darfur need to hear the "peacemakers" being called to account or they will never have any faith in the peace.

If the DPA is to survive, those who forced it across the finish line must turn their attention to the commanders who, unlike Minawi, have popular support. Rather than antagonize them, they must help them unite, organize and join an inter-communal dialogue that can put right some of what is wrong with the DPA. Without this, the DPA will be what Zaghawa are already calling it: "the Ila Digen peace" - the peace of Minawi's clan.
My view is the onus to protect millions of defenceless women and children in Sudan and Chad ought to be put on ALL of the warring parties to agree a ceasefire, disarm and fight for what they want using non-violent means.

Surely there is a limit to what can be done to force help on people who don't want help. It is up to the Sudanese people to make peace, or get out. Leave the country. That's all I can think of to say right now. My feelings are that momentum has been lost, Sudan has missed a golden opportunity for peace and cannot be helped much more. The rebels have missed their big chance. You can draw a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. There are worse things happening in DR Congo and northern Uganda.

Jerry Fowler in his blog entry at Voices on Genocide Prevention, comments on Julie Flint's piece saying she'd denounced Darfur rebel leader Minni Minnawi as a war criminal and criticised the U.S. for thinking that an agreement between the Khartoum government and Minni could bring peace to Darfur.

Jerry quoted the following extract from Julie's piece:
The United States must increase confidence in the peace agreement by fiercely rebuking the Khartoum government - and Mr Minnawi - for every violation of the agreement and every deadline they fail to meet. All Darfur's tribes must be brought into the peace process - most important, the Arab tribes that had no place at the Abuja table, even though the vast majority of them did not join the janjaweed. And no regional dialogue would be complete without the involvement of the janjaweed themselves, who despite their atrocities are one of the keys to a lasting settlement.
And he went on to say:
Julie has previously argued for the importance of getting Abdul Wahid, Minni's rival, to accept the DPA. She may be giving up on Abdul Wahid, because now she's talking about "assist[ing] rebel commanders critical of Mr. Minnawi to convene a conference and elect a leadership that would cross tribal lines and have popular support." I've heard from other sources that there is an effort underway in both the Abdul Wahid faction of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) to elect new leaders who would sign the DPA. As things stand now, it certainly appears that support for the DPA inside Darfur is very narrow.


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