SUDAN WATCH: Reeves: If Khartoum's massive military offensive in N Darfur takes place, there will be massive civilian destruction

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Reeves: If Khartoum's massive military offensive in N Darfur takes place, there will be massive civilian destruction

Coalition for Darfur points today to an interview with Eric Reeves at Democracy Now! Excerpt:
AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about this latest news and the reaction of the Sudanese government?

ERIC REEVES: There are many facets to Khartoum's decision. It's to date paid no real price for its obduracy, its refusal to abide by international norms, either in the North-South conflict, which nominally ended in January 2005, or in its genocidal conduct of war in Darfur. What I am hearing from my sources on the ground and what the Hedi Annabi, the head of U.N. peacekeeping, recently said in a report to the Security Council that I have seen, is that Khartoum is right now planning a massive military offensive in North Darfur, which has been the most violent of the three Darfur states.

If this offensive takes place, there will be massive, massive civilian destruction. I think we're also likely to see a withdrawal of virtually all humanitarian workers. This will leave some 1.2 million people completely dependent on humanitarian aid, without any assistance whatsoever. By my own calculation, some 500,000 people have already died. As many more could die in the coming year if current trends continue.

Only with the deployment of an effective -- and I emphasize effective -- international force can genocidal destruction be brought to a halt. Khartoum gives no sign of capitulating on this, and I'll be very interested to know what Jendayi Frazer, President Bush's envoy to Khartoum, takes with her in the way of sticks and pressures to bring to bear on this recalcitrant regime.


Anonymous dsquared (Daniel Davies) said...

Ingrid; do we know anything about Reeves' "sources on the ground"? I know that he's visited SLA/Nur training camps in North Darfur, but does he have any other sources? (I'd also be interested in the basis of his calculations of the death count)

Monday, August 28, 2006  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Daniel: As far as I recall, Eric Reeves made one trip to Sudan, a few or more years ago. Shortly after returning home, he was diagnosed with leukemia for which he received treatment and is now in remission.

I'm not sure that he ever visited southern Sudan or met with John Garang in Sudan and/or USA. In an interview he said he'd talked once on the phone with Garang around the time of the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. He works in close communication with people at USAID (swapping stats and other info I guess).

Re his mortality figures (he explains them in various essays published at his website sudanreeves) some experts agree with him and some disagree. One could argue that all of the deaths were due to the Darfur war, including deaths by disease, malnutrition, cholera, etc. Sadly, Reeves' estimates on mortality are probably not too far from the truth.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006  

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