In this post, Julie Flint reports on the Sudan government’s ongoing onslaught on Arab leaders in Darfur who are in rebellion against Khartoum.
Towards the end of the Abuja talks, an Arab intellectual sympathetic to the Darfur rebels remarked: ‘Ninety percent of the Arabs of Darfur are neutral so far. We cannot continue like this if there if no agreement. We may take a role.’ Eighteen months later they are, slowly but surely, in many ways. In recent weeks the Sudan government has begun responding with predictable force-aerial bombardment, ground attack, arrests of family members. This entry details the current fierce conflict between the Sudan government and two Arab groups–the Sudan Revolutionary Forces led by a young principled Arab leader, Anwar Adam Khater, and a Janjawiid militia force under the command of Mohamed Hamdan Hemeti, which switched sides recently.
In an act infused with symbolism, the African Union decided to create a memorial museum to the victims of genocide and grave human rights abuses at the former Ethiopian central prison, site of incalculable human suffering, at the very center of its expanded compound. This resolution was passed on the tenth anniversary of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Three years later, the African Union has failed to act upon its solemn commitment to memorialize the millions of victims of the Rwanda genocide, the Ethiopian Red Terror, and other killings. A few months ago, the prison building was unceremoniously demolished to make way for a Chinese-financed conference center.
Overview 1. The crisis in the CPA unfolded with a speed that was both unexpected and alarming. At the time of writing, the SPLM and NCP have patched up their differences. But the repercussions of the crisis will continue in Sudanese politics for some time. 2. The crisis has revealed and accelerated underlying political trends. The major dimensions of this include, (a) collapse in confidence between the NCP and SPLM; (b) deepening internal dissension within the SPLM, alongside an NCP strategy of entryism into SPLM ranks in the South; (c) political realignment in the North in which the NCP reaches out to the sectarian parties; and (d) entrenchment of the NCP and security in survival mode. 3. The SPLM’s failure to build institutions since the CPA is becoming more and more evident. This failure is evident both within the party and the GoSS and prefigures political crises in the future. 4. In the longer term, the collapse of confidence between the NCP and SPLM leadership means that GoSS support for secession is more likely. But it also means that the steady implementation of the CPA is far less likely, so that smooth progression towards the referendum is becoming even more […]
At the end of this month, the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) hands over to the “hybrid” United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). This marks the end of the African Union’s biggest, most challenging and some say controversial and indeed most ambitious peace observation and peacekeeping operation ever. To appreciate the significance of AMIS, we must think back to the moment of its birth in early 2004. The African Union had been constituted barely 18 months earlier and its first full chairperson, President Alpha Omer Konare, had been in office for just six months. Article 4 of the Constitutive Act of the AU, which mandated intervention in cases of humanitarian crisis or grave human rights abuses, was taken to herald a new era in which Africa would not hesitate to act, decisively, to solve African problems. The Peace and Security Council of the AU had only just been set up and its first two urgent matters were Darfur and Ivory Coast. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development was also newly created, holding out the promise of a new era of African cooperation and governance. While the world debated what to do about Darfur, and funded humanitarian activities, Africa […]
Munzoul Assal and a small group of Sudanese collaborators have compiled the most extensive bibliography of social science research on Darfur available to date. An Annotated Bibliography of Social Research on Darfur is the outcome of cooperation between the University of Bergen and the researchers at the University of Khartoum. This is an essential resource for any scholar seeking to gain an understanding of the crisis in Darfur. Although it contains several hundred entries, classified according to ethnicity, anthropology and sociology, history, environment and geography, agriculture and economics, and politics and public administration, the bibliography is much shorter than the comparable volume on Southern Sudan, compiled by the Bergen-based scholar Terje Tvedt. This shows that although there is a considerable social science literature in English on Darfur (and a larger literature in Arabic), the region is still relatively neglected. Unfortunately the bibliography is not available (or searchable) online–but Prof. Munzoul assures me that he is open to offers for converting the book in this way, so as to make it more accessible and also updateable.