In a short article in October’s Prospect magazine I pose the question, what has been the impact of vigorous advocacy on the “responsibility to protect” on the prospects for peace in Darfur? A longer version will be published in the November issue of International Affairs.
I’m curious about the new film called Darfur Now, which features among others Don Cheadle, the star of the movie Hotel Rwanda. Has anyone seen it and if so, what will it do for the cause?
The last few weeks have seen the first significant armed hostilities between the Sudan government and rebel forces since October 2006. What is the significance of this? The latest round of fighting began with a joint JEM/SLA-Unity military operation in Adila, south-east Darfur, which was followed by a rebel incursion into Kordofan and an army/airforce attack on Haskanita in eastern Darfur. Salient points to note are: 1. This is the first significant fighting between the army and rebels since two army offensives were defeated in North Darfur in September and October 2006. But none of these battles are comparable in size to the hostilities that raged during the period February 2003-January 2005, or indeed on numerous occasions in Southern Sudan. 2. The fighting was initiated by the rebels. It was provocative, even reckless, and there has since been internal disagreement among rebel commanders over the wisdom of launching these raids, which began in a historically Arab part of Darfur and then crossed the boundary into Kordofan. 3. The government response has relied on the army and airforce and not the militia. In Adila, following government warnings that it intended to attack the town, most residents fled and there were few […]
In the coming year, Kordofan is at serious risk of large scale violence—and any such violence could have disastrous ramifications for the whole of Sudan. Here’s why. The central political issues in Sudan today are the 2009 general elections and the 2011 referendum on self-determination for Southern Sudan. If either of these were to fail, the prospect of major hostilities looms. Kordofan is the location of several possible flashpoints for war, and should there be a new war for any reason, it is certain that it would engulf Kordofan and cause immense human suffering. There are five particular causes for concern. 1. Abyei—the disputed district on the border between Kordofan and Southern Sudan. Historically most Abyei residents were Ngok Dinka but the war saw a large influx of Misiriya Arabs. One of the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was for the residents of Abyei to vote on whether they should be part of the North or the South, and an Abyei Boundary Commission was established to determine where Abyei’s boundaries lie. These boundaries are important not just for the people who live there but for the governments in Khartoum and Juba, partly because there is a lot of oil […]