SUDAN WATCH: Oil drives the "genocide" in Darfur - JEM says it will never engage in any peace talks with Sudan govt

Monday, December 08, 2008

Oil drives the "genocide" in Darfur - JEM says it will never engage in any peace talks with Sudan govt

A news report, copied here below, entitled " JEM WILL NOT ENGAGE WITH TALKS WITH GOVERNMENT, JEM OFFICIAL SAYS" [December 05, 2008, Miraya FM via ReliefWeb] tells us that the Darfur rebel group JEM says it will never engage in any peace talks with the Sudenese government.

As the archives here at Sudan Watch show, JEM will not be content until the regime in Khartoum is toppled and they steal power for themselves.

Isn't there a law against such criminal activity? Simon Mann was jailed for more than 34 years for leading an attempt to oust Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema.

Maybe this is why SLM's Nur and JEM's Ibrahim fear attending Darfur's peace talks because their consciences are not clear and know they deserve to be arrested.

Sudan put a bounty on JEM Ibrahim's head for his attempted coup on Khartoum last May.

On May 14, 2008, The Scotsman reported that on May 13 Sudan put a £123m bounty on head of JEM's leader: Sudan's State TV said president Omar al-Bashir's government increased a reward for Khalil Ibrahim to 500 million Sudanese pounds, or £123 million – almost ten times the amount the United States has offered for Osama bin Laden.

So, here is the latest crossroads. What next? See details here below.

(1) Government of Sudan (GOS) joint Arab-African peace initiative for Darfur:
Qatari Peace Bid: UN, EU, AU, AL, UK, US & France support the joint Arab-African peace initiative for Darfur led by Qatar & Sudan People's Forum (SPF)

(2) Darfur rebel group SLM response to joint Arab-African peace initiative for Darfur:
France-based SLM leader Abdel-Wahid Al-Nur dismisses all peace initiatives and proposes none.

(3) Displaced Darfuris response to joint Arab-African peace initiative for Darfur:
SLM Nur's rebels in Darfur's Kalma Camp dismiss peace talks and demand more UN security or assisted migration out of Sudan

(4) Darfur rebel group JEM response to joint Arab-African peace initiative for Darfur:
JEM dismisses all peace initiative and proposes none. See report:
December 05, 2008 report from Miraya FM via ReliefWeb

The JEM foreign affairs official Harun Abdel Hamid told Miraya FM that the movement will never engage in any peace talks with the Sudan government even if other armed movements participate in negotiation. Harun also said that JEM will not mortgage the fate of Darfur crisis with the positions of other armed movements, adding that Abuja Peace Agreement does not mean anything to the movement as he puts it.

Meanwhile, the state minister for information Kamal Ibeid said that negotiation is not giving conditions and dictations.

The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes held the conflicting parties the responsibility of escalating violence in the region.
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Image: "Apprehension" by Rob Rooker. Painted on a wall in Maridi, Sudan.  The image is of a young Nuer boy looking up among a crowd of people.
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Notes to self by author of Sudan Watch December 08, 2008

OIL DRIVES THE "GENOCIDE" IN DARFUR - The reason is simple: a possible oil pipeline through Darfur

Somewhere here in the archives of Sudan Watch are reports regarding warnings by the UN that anyone who hinders peace in Darfur will be punished. So why during the past five years have the rebels remained free to say and do as they wish?

I can't imagine a civilian living in my neighbourhood being permitted by the British government to publicly direct the Darfur war from an armchair via a satellite phone. Some people in Paris have such a neighbour in the form of Darfur war leader Abdul Wahid Al Nur who freely swans around talking to the international press about he's doing. Why does France allow it?

Seems African rebels are above the law. I wonder why. Clearly, the law and immigration rules are being bent to suit some and not others.

Incidentally, a few days ago I came across this comment at a blogpost of the Angry Arab at Berkely - excerpt:
As'ad was right to bring up the point about pet causes, such as what is taking place in Darfur. Without getting to enmeshed in the subject, we find this total absence of knowledge of why this conflict is taking place in Darfur in the first place. I do not know why people insist on glossing over the numerous reports of oil exploration and discovery in Darfur - there are enough articles past and present that amply display the issue. However there is this total absence in the movement to save Darfur of what is once again taking place on the ground. The only thing we hear is "evil Muslims" who are doing these atrocious acts - why? You would think that the major thrust is that of hatred of anything other than Muslims - or this is what is implied. All that happens in ignorant outrage like this is the continuation of this orientalist tripe that is cooked up daily and deeply to fuel the "war on terror," and to obscure the underlying factors of what is really taking place.

Note the chronological dates on these reports:

Energy Bulletin - Oil Underlies Darfur Tragedy July 05, 2004 by Zaman Daily

Sudan Watch - India Signs New Pipeline Deal July 12, 2004 & December 04, 2004 by Ingrid Jones

Reuters - Oil Discovery Adds New Twist to Darfur Tragedy June 15, 2005 by Ruth Gidley

Common Dreams - Oil Drives The Genocide In Darfur August 19, 2005 by David Morse

Los Angeles Times Wakes Up - Search for oil raises the stakes in Darfur March 03, 2007 by Edmund Sanders

Reuters reiteration 2007 - The Race For Darfur's Oil - a Blessing or a Curse? Mar 07, 2007 by Nina Brenjo

I think this is quite enough material. Where should the Save Darfur movement be directed? What should be it's target in the light of these facts? Now, compare this with the barren knowledge of the majority of the "save Darfur" movement.
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Image: "Crowd" by Rob Rooker
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For sure it's starting to look like the Darfur rebellion was engineered for oil in Sudan, Chad and along the border. When I wonder about who is funding the rebel leaders and their armies, I also wonder about who funded South Sudan's civil war for more than 20 years and why it was classed as a civil war and not genocide.

Two million Sudanese people perished in South Sudan's war. Many more millions of people perished in Northern Uganda and DR Congo but were not classed as genocide.

Now I am reminded of the following two posts that I wrote in 2004:
December 04, 2004 Sudan: Oil and Darfur - India signed new pipeline deal - France interested in Uranium and has drilling rights

July 11, 2004 ARAB SOURCES SAY OIL DISCOVERED IN DARFUR - Sudan and India sign new pipeline deal:

July 7, 2004 report entitled "Oil Underlies Darfur Tragedy" by Zaman in Turkey, says that according to Arab sources, the fighting in Darfur stems from attempts to gain control over the oil resources in the region. Also, their sources point out that oil fields have recently been discovered in Darfur.

May 15, 2004 report entitled "W. Sudan: a complex ethnic reality with a long history" by Professor R.S. O'Fahey of University of Bergen, Norway (and Northwestern University) writes of Darfur: "the racist dimension comes to the fore in reports of rape and mass killings, cynically supported by the Khartoum government, which is determined to retain control over the area. The reason is simple: a possible oil pipeline through Darfur."

The above two reports are the first of three I've found that mention oil in Darfur. Mainstream media seem to concentrate their reports on the conflict in Darfur as being about government backed Janjaweed eliminating black Africans who feel marginalised and excluded from getting a fair share of power and wealth for their region. Which, going by witness accounts, is all true. But ever since I started blogging about the Sudan crisis on April 24, I've sought (unsuccessfully) to find the answer to one of my questions, namely: All during the past years of Peace Accord negotiations for the north and south of Sudan, why did the U.S. and Sudan see fit to exclude the western and eastern regions of Sudan?

Back in April I'd read somewhere that oil had been discovered in both Darfur and along the border of Sudan and Chad. Unfortunately I've misplaced the link to the report. In May I came across a report (see above) by Professor O'Fahey that provides a succinct overview of western Sudan's history. The report basically says the GoS supports the rape, mass killings and ethnic cleansing because it is determined to retain control over Darfur for a simple reason: a possible oil pipeline through Darfur. [Note Professor O'Fahey's report is copied in full in my next post, above]

Maybe the U.S. did not view Darfur as a big problem as they concentrated on brokering peace for the north-south: a lasting peace that would enable a seemingly united Sudan move forward and progress for the benefit of all regions. It would appear the U.S. does not have an interest in Sudan's oil, not because it is too expensive but because their main aim is to promote democracy and fight international terrorism (and respond to pressure from groups concerned with abuses of human rights).

Perhaps the GoS knew all along that there was oil in Darfur. And they presumed (wrongly) we in the Western world wouldn't notice that black Africans were being eliminated to make way for the Arabisation of Sudan. The GoS are keen on getting the Peace Accord signed and sealed because it will legitimise their standing (they're an unelected dictatorship that stole power through a coup) and it will help pave the way for doing deals with Asian oil companies, which may in turn help attract back the big players (ie British Petroleum) that pulled out of Sudan because of human rights issues.

See this July 1 report entitled "Sudan signed new pipeline deal with the Indian ONGC". It states "a new 741 kilometer-long pipeline with 12 inches in diameter is a real addition to exportation of oil products to international market". Also, it reports that India ONGC has another agreement - for establishing a third pipeline with 32 inches in diameter - that will be signed soon.

It'd be interesting to know the location of that third pipeline. And why the oil companies in Sudan are getting away with no media coverage on the Sudan crisis. Here below is a map of oil concessions in Sudan where one can see how closely the oil companies are situated to Darfur. I wonder why there is no news coming out of Sudan from them?

So little reporting comes out of Sudan. Most mainstream media reports I find are regurgitated snippets emanating from a few original sources, ie UN, US, EU press conferences, summits etc. I've read that the GoS goes to great pains to keep publicity reaching the residents of Khartoum, for fear it will cause an outcry. It'd be great to have more than a few bloggers in Khartoum to spread the word.

In a forthcoming post I list the aid contributions made by several countries. Note that France has contributed USD 12 million to the international aid effort in Darfur (through bilateral and EU channels). So far, UK has given USD 65 million. Italy USD 30 million. Since India has been striking such big deals with Sudan, it would be interesting to know how much aid they've contributed towards humanitarian assistance for Darfur - along with China and Malaysia - and any other country on the UN Security Council that is responsible for blocking sanctions - and military intervention - to put pressure on Khartoum to protect its people and aid workers in Sudan.
I've given this post a lot of thought and tried to put myself in the shoes of the rebels and those in power in Khartoum and South Sudan. What now? All out war? The Darfur rebels refuse talk peace. If I were in Khartoum I'd be battening down the hatches and getting prepared for a new attack by the rebels in areas other than Darfur where there are no peacekeepers.

I fear that the rebels, including those in Southern Sudan, are all part of the same group and strategy. As predicted long ago, it looks like Central Sudan is next. God help the children of Sudan.

Darfur Sunrise

Darfur Sunrise

When I despair, I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they can seem invincible but in the end they always fall. Think on it. ..always. - Mahatma Gandhi



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