"Save Darfur" movement comes across as a faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army
Having tracked the news on Darfur pretty closely, on a daily basis for more than two years, I've noticed how at critical pressure points of peace negotiations - like now for instance, when Darfur peace talks are at their most sensitive - there appears to be slick, efficient, well organised campaigners in America that have a knack of issuing timely emails and press releases calling for military intervention (an act of war) by international/UN troops (what the rebels have wanted all along) whenever the rebels need to hear it most.
Here is an example of something issued today:
Elie Wiesel Foundation For Humanity's press release June 1, 2006 at Save Darfur.org - also circulated by Reuters:This concerted effort by what seems now like an army of American civilians must be affecting US foreign policy and drowning out the voices of those who are against military intervention but in favour of supporting the fledgling African Union and "African solutions to African problems".
62 Nobel Laureates Urge President Bush, Other World Leaders to push for UN peacekeeping force to implement Darfur Peace Accord. Also Urge Bush to appoint "Presidential Envoy for Peace in Sudan."
The spinning of Darfur reminds me a little of the pumping-up of emotion in the run up to the US invasion of Iraq. As we all saw on TV, the American people and their troops were shocked to find they were not feted by the local - troops were not welcomed with open arms or strewn with flowers as they entered Iraq to liberate the people from their despicable tyrant.
SUDANESE SAY NO TO THREAT OF INTERVENTION
Photo: Aug 5, 2005 China Daily report: Sudanese say no to threat of intervention - Over 100,000 Sudanese protesters march to the HQ of the United Nations in Khartoum Wednesday, Aug 4, 2004 to protest at the possibility of Western military intervention to combat a humanitarian crisis in the western region of Darfur.
The following extracts and photos are from a blog entry March 5, 2006 by Jan Pronk, UN SGSR in the Sudan:
In February I had had difficult encounters with tribal and traditional leaders in Nyala and El Fashr. Most of them were strongly against a UN force in Darfur. They accuse the United Nations of being manipulated by the United States. They fear that Western countries and NATO want to re-colonize and occupy Sudan. They speak about a conspiracy against Islam and against Arab nations. They referred to Irak and Afghanistan. They threatened with a war to defend their territory.
Photo: No No For New Occupation (Jan Pronk Weblog/Paula Souverijn-Eisenberg copyright)
Banners against a potential UN peacekeeping force in Darfur at a public rally in Sheria, South Darfur, 25 February 2006.
Photo: Shearia Warns Pronk To Play With Fire (Jan Pronk Weblog/Paula Souverijn-Eisenberg copyright)
Vicious verbal attacks against the UN and Kofi Annan have not been answered by the authorities. This has added to a climate within which threats have become quite nasty: “we warn the ambassadors of the US and the UK and the Special Representative of the UN that they might be shot”, and “we are waiting for you, but please come with enough coffins”.
Photo: Demonstration in Nyala against a potential AMIS-UN transition (Jan Pronk Weblog/ Paula Souverijn-Eisenberg copyright)
I also try to make clear that the UN is exactly the opposite of what they are afraid for. Peace-keeping by the UN is a guarantee that the sovereignty of a nation is respected, that the protection of the people is the sole objective, that there is no second agenda or, at least, that the second agenda of other nations can be neutralized.
In Sheria and Gereida my thoughts went back to Srebrenica, 1995. Will we make the same mistakes, or other, with similar consequences?