SUDAN WATCH: Embassy of Sudan's letter to Rebecca Tinsley and others

Friday, July 03, 2009

Embassy of Sudan's letter to Rebecca Tinsley and others

Letters - The Guardian, Friday 3 July 2009
Peace In Sudan
By Dr Khalid Almubarak
Embassy of Sudan
Rebecca Tinsley and others (Horror of Bashir's rule in Sudan, Letters, 30 June) against President Omer al-Bashir of Sudan omitted significant facts. First, President Bashir has signed the comprehensive peace agreement of 2005 - which was brokered by the US, UK and others. That put an end to 22 years of civil war. Second, his government signed the Darfur peace agreement of 2006, which could have ended the conflict. Some rebels refused to sign and are prolonging the suffering of the displaced population.

Third, his government has managed to export oil and embark on development despite neoconservative sanctions. Fourth, Bashir heads a national unity government that is leading the country towards elections next year. The progressive electoral law guarantees women 25% of the seats of the assembly and ensures minority parties proportional representation. And fifth, the international criminal court accusations, intended to precipitate regime change, have had the opposite impact. The home front is now solidly behind the president.

In May and June, top-level meetings were held in Qatar and Washington in which the EU and the US were encouraging engagement and co-operation with the government of Sudan and ignoring calls similar to those expressed by Rebecca Tinsley and her co-signatories.
Letters - The Guardian, Tuesday 30 June 2009
Horror of Bashir's rule in Sudan
By Rebecca Tinsley Chair, Waging Peace, Gerhart Baum Former UN special rapporteur on human rights in Sudan, Giles Fraser Canon, St Pauls, Ed Husain Quilliam Foundation, Rabbi Maurice Michaels, Helen Baxendale, Stephen Mangan and six others
Today President al-Bashir celebrates 20 years since the military coup in which he took power in Sudan. In the past two decades he has waged two civil wars, taking the lives of more than 2.6 million people, and displaced a further 6.5 million; he has funded murderous rebel armies in Chad and Uganda; and most recently he has been indicted by the international criminal court for five counts of crimes against humanity and two counts of war crime.

Few of his contemporary dictators can claim so many casualties and such opprobrium. Yet Bashir continues to manipulate even his critics in the international community, setting Russia and China against Europe and the US, and cynically lobbying the African Union and Arab League to back him against the "neocolonialist", "imperialist", "Zionist", western "conspirators". Diplomats struggle to grasp that the architect of such ubiquitous suffering and violence can, at the same time, be a highly skilled diplomat. Bashir is the master of conceding the minimum required just at the right moment to delay concerted actions, such as sanctions, against his regime.

As Bashir enters his third decade in power, we urge the UN and its member states to reflect on the horror and destruction he has brought to his country and not to allow the suffering of the Sudanese people to be forgotten. Only a coherent, concerted and consistent policy towards Bashir will deliver peace and justice to the people of Sudan.
Further reading
Mar 04, 2009 - Sudan Watch: Waging Peace submitted more than 500 children’s drawings of Darfur that were accepted by ICC as evidence in any trial

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