The Darfur Consortium

. . .

Darfur in the News

Arabic Media

Novmeber 19, 2007

Source: Al Ahram (government-friendly, Egyptian daily with over 1 million in circulation)
Headline: 3 Killed and 7 Wounded in Tribal Clashes in South Darfur and Gates Denies Receiving Request for Helicopters
By: Tariq Fathi and Abdul Wahid Libini

  • US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said he did not receive any request for helicopters to be used by Darfur hybrid force.  He added “American forces and equipment are stretched thin with Afghanistan and Iraq engagements”
  • Secretary Gates comments followed warnings by Jean-Marie Guehenno, UN Official, that peacekeeping mission would fail if the hybrid force did not receive ground and air transportation equipment in addition to attack helicopters
  • Guehenno also complained that Sudanese government did not approve pledges by Nepal, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden
  • Meanwhile, confusion and uncertainty still surround the announced release of oil workers kidnapped by Darfur rebels.  The workers have not been handed over to the Red Cross yet

Source: Al Khaleej (UAE daily, with over 80,000 in circulation)
Headline: Egyptian Efforts to Contact Darfur Rebel Groups Opposed to Peace Negotiations

  • Egyptian authorities contacted Darfur rebel groups opposed to peace talks in Libya to urge them to observe a ceasefire and to join the peace talks
  • The contacted rebel leaders were Abdul Wahid Nour of Sudan Liberation Movement and Khalil Ibarhim of Justice and Equality Movement

Source: Asharq Al Awsat (Saudi-owned Pan-Arab daily with wide circulation)
Headline: 10 Rebel Factions Formed a Unified group under Sudan Liberation Movement Banner and Suspended Talks with Government
By: Mustapha Sirri

  • 10 rebel groups, including 6 Sudan Liberation Movement in addition to other rebel factions, announced they formed a unified group under the banner of Sudan Liberation Movement
  • Despite Abdul Wahid Nour’s rejection of joining forces with this new group, one of the new group’s leaders, Ahmed Abdul Shafi, was optimistic about approaching Justice and Equality Movement
  • Abdul Shafi also said that the time was not right for peace talks with the government

Source: Al Rai (Government-friendly, Jordanian daily enjoys wide circulation)
Headline: Al Bashir Described L’Arche de Zoe’s Actions as a Reminder of Slave Trade

  • Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir described L’Arche de Zoe’s actions to transport children from Chad and Darfur to France as an act of slave trade
  • Al Bashir accused other humanitarian groups and the French government of turning a blind eye on the group’s actions at best and at worst of helping the organization’s actions

Source: Al Riyadh (Government-friendly Saudi daily with wide circulation)
Headline: Darfur Peace Talks May Not Restart before Next Year

  • AU envoy Salim Ahmed Salim told journalists that it might be necessary to wait a while longer till Darfur rebel groups agreed on a negotiations platform and were ready to participate in the talks
  • He said the mediators were interested more in making real progress than in sticking to a start date, adding that progress would only happen when all rebel groups agreed to attend the peace talks
  • Many diplomats said that making peace progress before the deployment of the peacekeeping force was preferred, but added they would support the force deployment even if peace was not reached by January next year
  • The first round of peace talks failed as soon as it started because most Darfur rebel groups decided to boycott the meeting and met instead in Juba, the capital of South Sudan

Source: Asharq Al Awsat (Saudi-owned Pan-Arab daily with wide circulation)
Headline: Abdul Wahid Nour Opposed to Chinese Participation in Darfur Hybrid Force
By: Mustapha Sirri

  • Abdul Wahid Nour, the historic leader of Sudan Liberation Movement, called on factions that split from his movement to return to his group.  He charged that the newly announced unified group was the product of regional and international influence groups and Khartoum government
  • Nour also blasted AU envoy Salim Ahmed Salim and accused him of working with the government to divide his movement
  • In addition, Nour declared Sudan People’s Liberation Movement’s efforts to host Darfur rebels in Juba similar to Khartoum government’s efforts to divide his movement

Source: Al Hayat (Saudi-owned Pan-Arab daily with wide circulation)
Headline: Eliasson Says “No Turning Away from Peace…and Failure Would be  a Catastrophe”
By: Baira Ilmiddine

  • Jan Eliasson, UN envoy to Darfur, could not confirm any Al Qaida role in Darfur refugee camps, but acknowledged a strong flow of arms in the camps
  • He warned that refugee camp leaders were organizing themselves, exerting more pressure, and making political demands.  He said “we are now faced with a new leadership and given the situation in the camps, some of these leaders may become more radical”
  • Eliasson warned against new wars pitting everyone against everyone else everywhere in Darfur, including refugee camps, if peace talks were to fail
  • He stressed the need to preserve the territorial integrity of the Sudan
  • He also praised Khartoum government’s cooperation with peace mediators and its acceptance of Darfur hybrid peacekeeping force
  • As for the failure of Libya peace talks, he blamed it on influential Darfur rebel groups’ boycott, but added that the mediators would continue their efforts to ensure wider participation in the next round of talks

Source: Al Masry Al Youm (Independent Egyptian Daily with increasing circulation)
Headline: American Documentary Film on Darfur Exposes Darfur Civilians’ disappointment in Arab Governments and People
By: Riham Jawdah

  • “Darfur Now” is an American documentary film that exposes the terrible poverty and humanitarian conditions of Darfur civilians in hopes of finding a solution for the crisis.  The film attempts to document the work of 6 different people who are trying to provide assistance to Darfur civilians
  • The director, Theodor Brown, who spent 4 months in Darfur to shoot the film, said the goal of the film was to show “there is hope for Darfur.”  The film focused on 6 different people’s efforts to find a solution to the crisis
  • Brown added that his mission was not to present the Sudanese government in a negative light.  He explained that giving a negative image of Sudan or the Sudanese people to be “counterproductive”
  • The six people who were the focus of the documentary were Louis Moreno-Ocampo of the ICC; actor Don Cheadle, hero of “Hotel Rwanda”; an American human rights activist; a woman from Darfur who joined the rebels after her infant was killed by the Janjaweed; another woman who works at the refugee camps; and a colleague of hers who used to be a farmer
  • The film shows that Darfur citizens were disappointed in Arab’s lack of concern for Darfur and the welfare of its citizens

Source: Addustour (Government-friendly, Jordanian daily enjoys wide circulation)
Headline: Darfur Rebel Group Put Its Forces on High Alert

  • Sudan Liberation Movement in Darfur announced it put its forces on high alert following President Omar Al Bashir’s call for reactivation of popular defense forces
  • The movement announced that it considered Khartoum government illegitimate and sought a meeting with Sudan People’s Liberation Movement to discuss the new situation in the country and coordinate their military efforts

Read the above in Arabic.



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