Friday, July 14, 2006

Disarming the Janjaweed and Armed Militia (Alex de Waal)

Here are links to an amazing series of excellent articles authored by Dr Alex de Waal, an advisor to the African Union mediation group facilitating the Darfur peace negotiations. The articles, published at July 14, 2006, concern the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), explain how different parts were negotiated by the Sudanese Government and Movement delegations, what the paragraphs mean, and how they should be implemented. Dr de Waal states that "one of the reasons for this is that it is important for the Sudanese people as a whole--and the people of Darfur especially--to understand the spirit and letter of the DPA, so that it can be implemented so as best to serve the interests of the people and bring lasting peace to Darfur."

[Tip: Re links here below, click on "Print this page" at AllAfrica for easier view]

(1) Sudan: Disarming the Janjaweed and Armed Militia - This first article asks, how are the Janjaweed and other armed militia to be disarmed? One of the toughest questions in the negotiations in Abuja that led to the DPA was how to control and disarm the Janjaweed and other armed militia in Darfur. Excerpt:
The Movements' negotiators raised this issue time and time again, and went line by line over every relevant paragraph over many long weeks. Each of the Movements' negotiators--Ali Tirayo (SLM-Minawi), Mohamed Adam (SLM-Abdel Wahid) and Tajudeen Niam (JEM)--was closely involved in this issue, and the GoS security team led by General Ismat al Zain was extremely professional and examined every detail. Everyone in the peace talks knew from the beginning that long-term peace and security in Darfur requires the control of all the militia and paramilitary forces, some of which have terrorized Darfurians since the 1980s, and some of which were only recently established.

Security experts agree that the DPA articles concerning the Janjaweed are some of the toughest parts of the whole Agreement. For the first time there is a practical plan for controlling and disarming the Janjaweed. This is a credit to the GoS and Movements negotiating teams in Abuja and the hard work they put in.
(2) Sudan: Security For IDPs and Refugees - This article asks, how is security to be provided for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees?

(3) Sudan: Compensation and Assistance to Victims - This article asks, what provisions are there for victims of the conflict to receive compensation and assistance?

(4) Sudan: The Transitional Darfur Regional Authority - This article asks, what is the Transitional Darfur Regional Authority (TDRA) and why was it proposed by the African Union Mediation?

(5) Sudan: How to Include the Different Darfur Movements - This article is concerned with the question of representation of different Movements and fractions of Movements.

(6) Sudan: Guarantees for the DPA - This article deals with the question: how do we know it can work? What are the mechanisms and guarantees?

(7) DDDC - see previous entry here at Sudan Watch 14 July 2006 - Darfur Community Peace and Reconciliation.

(8) Sudan: The Comprehensive Ceasefire - This article is concerned with one of the first and most important aspects of the Agreement, namely the ceasefire.

(9) Sudan: The Future of the Movements' Combatants - This article focuses on the controversial question of the future of the armed forces of the Movements: how many should be integrated into the national army and other security services, and in what way, and what should happen to the remainder.

(10) Sudan: The Question of Land - This article focuses on central question of land tenure. Conflict over land is one of the major reasons for the war in Darfur.

(11) Sudan: Darfurians in the Civil Service and Education - This article focuses on the question of Darfurian representation in the national civil service and educational institutions. It presents the arguments put forward by both the Movements' negotiators and their Government counterparts and the rationale for why the African Union presented its proposals.

(12) Sudan: Human Rights - This article focuses on human rights and how they are respected and promoted in the Agreement.

(13) Sudan: Rebuilding Darfur - This article focuses on the question of rebuilding Darfur.

(14) [Sudan Watch Ed: Article to be inserted here later, if and when I find it - not sure it exists]

(15) Sudan: Leadership for Implementing the DPA - This is fifteenth and last in a series of articles explaining the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), explaining what lies behind the long and complicated text of the Agreement. As these articles have tried to explain, the text of the DPA is strong and reflects the hard work put in by the negotiators on both sides. This final article asks, what kind of leadership will be needed to implement the Agreement?

Alex de Waal

Alex de Waal is a fellow of the Global Equity Initiative at Harvard University and the co-director of Justice Africa. He has been an advisor to the African Union mediation group facilitating the Darfur peace negotiations. After receiving his D.Phil. from Oxford University, he became an activist and author of several books on famine, human rights and conflict in Africa especially in north-east Africa including Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa (1998). He was editor of the 'African Issues' series with James Currey Publishers, and served as Associate Director of Africa Watch before resigning in 1992 in protest over the U.S. military intervention in Somalia. He was a founder and director of African Rights and the Chairman of Mines Advisory Group 1993-98 (co-laureate of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize), and director of programmes for the International African Institute. He also served as the director of the United Nations' Commission on HIV/AIDS and Governance. - [via COC]

Alex de Waal's books include Famine that Kills: Darfur, Sudan, 1984-5 (Oxford University Press, 1989; revised edition, 2005), Islamism and Its Enemies in the Horn of Africa (Indiana University Press, 2004), and (with Julie Flint) Darfur: A Short History of a Long War (Zed Books, 2006).

Alex de Waal's recent articles at Open Democracy: "Darfur's fragile peace" - The collapse of the Darfur peace agreement designed to resolve the conflict in western Sudan; "The African state and global governance" - The scale of Africa's political and social crises, exacerbated by the HIV/Aids pandemic.

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