The Darfur Consortium

An African and International
Civil Society Action for Darfur


Members' Publications


June 27, 2023

Reuters: Sudan's Presidential Adviser Dies In Crash. Sudan's powerful presidential adviser Majzoub al-Khalifa, who was key to signing last year's Darfur peace accord, died in a car accident in northern Sudan on Wednesday. "He died in a car accident on his way to Shendi. He and his brother were killed and other members of his family were injured," a presidential source said. No other vehicle was involved in the accident, which appeared to be the result of a blown tire, the source added. Khalifa was one of the main interlocutors in the Darfur peace process and head of the government negotiating team in talks which led to the signing of a 2006 peace deal for Sudan's Darfur region between the government and one rebel faction. "The U.N. mission in Sudan learned with shock and sadness of the passing early this morning of presidential adviser Majzoub al-Khalifa," U.N. spokeswoman Radhia Achouri told reporters in Khartoum. "He will be remembered as a tenacious negotiator and a high caliber statesman and for his contribution to the peaceful resolution of the Darfur conflict."

Washington Post: Desperate Villagers Flee Central African Republic. Widespread banditry, kidnapping and political violence in the volatile and virtually lawless northeastern corner of the Central African Republic are forcing thousands of villagers to flee to Chad, where the security situation is possibly more desperate, according to an Amnesty International report released Tuesday. The strife in the Republic, a landlocked nation of about 4.4 million people, is being exacerbated by the politically distinct conflict in Sudan's western Darfur region, which has spilled into eastern Chad. "There is a lot of talk rightly about Darfur and eastern Chad, but the international community seems to be forgetting the people in CAR," said Godfrey Byaruhanga, an Amnesty International researcher who interviewed villagers in the Republic and Chad. The largest humanitarian relief effort in the world has been mobilized to help an estimated 2.5 million people displaced by the conflict in Sudan. But there is "a near complete vacuum" of any protection for civilians in the Republic, he said. Perhaps taking their cue from the tactics employed by the Sudanese government in Darfur, government forces in the Republic have burned entire villages to the ground. In some cases, children as young as 3 have been taken and held for ransom as high as $4,000, a fortune to rural villagers. Byaruhanga said some families told him their children had been kidnapped as many as seven times. "It is extremely desperate," Byaruhanga said.

Reuters: U.N. Envoys Say Keep Pressure on Sudan Over Darfur. Sudan has expressed its "total unconditional acceptance" of a hybrid international force for Darfur, but the world must keep up the pressure on Khartoum, Britain's U.N. envoy said on Tuesday. Reporting to the U.N. Security Council on a trip to Sudan this month by representatives of all 15 nations on the council, Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said the tone of the visit to Khartoum was much better than on previous trips. Sudan agreed on June 12 to a combined United Nations and African Union peacekeeping force of more than 20,000 troops and police, but many diplomats doubt Khartoum will keep its word. "In all the questions put to them, both the foreign minister and the president implicitly confirmed total unconditional acceptance of the hybrid operation," Jones Parry said. Sudan has sent mixed signals about the hybrid force, saying it should be under the AU's command and control rather than the United Nations', and suggesting it should be mainly African. U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said he understood Sudan's preference for African forces, but had asked Sudanese officials if they accepted that "there will be no ban or limitation on the non-African participation." "The foreign minister and the president, they were very clear. So now we have to see what they do in reality," he told reporters before the Security Council meeting. Khalilzad said Sudan has a history of "dragging its feet" so it was vital to maintain both engagement and pressure.

Associated Press: Clooney: Cast Raises Millions for Darfur. ''Ocean's Thirteen'' stars have raised $5.5 million to help Sudanese civilians survive in conflict-wracked Darfur, actor George Clooney said Tuesday. Clooney told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Rome that he was joined by Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle and producer Jerry Weintraub in raising the funds, most of which was contributed at a dinner during the film's premiere last month at the Cannes Film Festival. He said his group wants to keep emptying and replenishing the coffers of the humanitarian organization they co-founded, called Not On Our Watch, to focus global attention on the plight of the 2.5 million civilians in Darfur who have fled their homes. ''There are only a few things we can do -- protect them where we can, and provide food, water, health care and counseling,'' he said. ''We're just trying to get them to live long enough to get to the next step.'' Clooney announced the latest donation from Not On Our Watch -- $1 million to the U.N. World Food Program -- which will be used to help the U.N. agency deliver food and other necessities by helicopter to inaccessible villages in Darfur. Not On Our Watch's first donation $2.75 million went to the International Rescue Committee. It has also donated $750,000 to the British-based relief agency Oxfam and $1 million to the British-based charity Save The Children.

The following editorial appeared in Tuesday's Contra Costa Times.

Stopping the violence

Color us profoundly skeptical that the Sudanese government will keep its word -- this time. That is why we agree with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice when she said that the world must be ready to impose sanctions on Sudan if it reneges on its pledge to let more peacekeeping forces into ravaged Darfur.

History demonstrates all too clearly that when backed into a corner, the government of Sudan will say anything to extricate itself and then later simply deny that it has agreed to anything.

Rice made those comments at a conference in Paris organized by the new government of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The conference was organized to stop the genocidal killing that has ravaged the Darfur region of western Sudan. More than 250,000 people have been slaughtered, and millions have been left homeless.

The conflict has raged for four years. It began when African rebels in Darfur took up arms against the central government, accusing it of decades of neglect.

In response, Sudan's government is accused of unleashing a brutal militia of Arab nomads known as the janjaweed -- a charge Sudan denies.

Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon insisted at the meeting that "slow but credible and considerable progress" has been made.

With all due respect to the U.N. chief, most of what we have seen is talk, not substantive action.

Last November, Sudan accepted a plan to increase the number of U.N. peacekeeping forces in the region. But it later backtracked before finally agreeing earlier this month. The entire affair was orchestrated by Sudanese President Omar Bashir to deflate the importance and significance of this conference.

The United Nations and Western governments pressed Sudan for months to accept a plan for a large joint force of U.N. and African Union peacekeepers to replace the overwhelmed 7,000-strong African force now in Darfur.

Now is the time for the world to get serious about stopping the genocide in Darfur.

The Darfur Daily News is a service of the Save Darfur Coalition.  To subscribe to the Daily News, please email [email protected]. For media inquiries, please contact Ashley Roberts at (202) 478-6181, or [email protected].