The Darfur Consortium

. . .

Darfur in the News

Arabic Media

February 4 , 2008

Source: Al Rai (Government-friendly, Jordanian daily enjoys wide circulation)
Headline: George Clooney Calls on Khartoum to Accept Hybrid Force

  • George Clooney, United Nations Messenger of Peace and award winning actor, said at a UN press conference that “these peacekeepers (hybrid force) are not an occupying force. They are not to spread democracy or infringe on religious beliefs”
  • Clooney also added that the world community expects a whole lot more from China, Sudan’s main partner. 
  • Clooney, who just returned from a visit to Darfur, Chad, and Central African Republic, gave a brief account of the visit where he met with the crisis victims including raped and brutalized women

Source: Annahar (Independent Lebanese daily with strong circulation)
Headline: EUFOR Deployment Delayed because of Fighting in Chad

  • European Union decided to delay EUFOR force deployment in East Chad and Central African Republic because of increased fighting in Chad, as rebel groups advanced on the capital N’Djamena
  • The rebels and N’Djamena government issued conflicting reports about the fighting but French forces stationed in eastern Chad indicated that fighting was taking place about 60 miles northeast of the capital
  • Chadian government accused Sudan of supporting the rebels

Source: Asharq Al Awsat (Saudi-owned Pan-Arab daily with wide circulation)
Headline: Rebel Group Attacks Strategic Darfur Town
By: Ismail Adam

  • Sudan Liberation Movement – Unity faction said its forces took control of strategic town Kilmondo for few hours before retreating leaving behind 71 government troops dead
  • Abu Baker Kadu, field leader of Unity faction, said his fighters destroyed a military base, killed 71 troops, took 15 vehicles, and a lot of weapons
  • North Darfur official disputed the number of casualties and indicated the town was attacked by heavily armed rebels who killed five people and set many houses on fire
  • Kilmando was visited by President Al Bashir few months ago to showcase the improved situation in Darfur

Source: Al Arabiya (Dubai-based Pan Arabic News channel with over 15 million viewers)
Headline: Chadian president refuses Paris Offer to Evacuate Him 

  • French government spokesperson indicated that on Friday Paris offered to evacuate Chadian president to safety but he turned it down
  • French military source also indicated that Chadian Joint Chief of Staff was killed while fighting with Chadian rebels.  The source added that President Deby has about 3000 troops under his control
  • Meanwhile, Libyan news agency reported that Libya convinced rebel leader Mohamed Nouri to accept a ceasefire and hold talks with government forces
  • However, rebel source denied the report and indicated the rebels did not attack the presidential palace to give Deby a chance to flee
  • African Union and United States condemned the rebel’s attack

Source: Asharq Al Awsat (Saudi-owned Pan-Arab daily with wide circulation)
Headline: Deby Loyalists Accuse France of Abandoning Him
By: Michel Abu Najm

  • France did not come to Idriss Deby’s rescue like it did in April 2006 when it repelled a rebel’s attack that threatened his regime
  • It just issued a statement “strongly condemning efforts to take power by force”
  • This weak response prompted Deby’s supporters to accuse the French government of abandoning him especially that it has 1100 troops stationed in Chad who could have stopped the attack
  • The attack will delay EUFOR deployment in Chad and Central African Republic

Source: Okaz (Government-friendly Saudi daily with wide circulation)
Headline: Congress to Review Sudan Divestment Efforts
By: Mohamed Al Maddah

  • Barney Frank of Massachusetts said he would review whether President Bush’s reservations hurt Sudan divestment bill
  • During the signing of the bill, President Bush expressed concern that it would limit his abilities to direct foreign policy
  • Sudan divestment bill allows local and state-level government agencies to withdraw their investment from companies that do business in Sudan

Source: Al Riyadh (Government-friendly Saudi daily with wide circulation)
Headline: Sudan Denies Helping Chadian Rebels

  • Sudanese government denied accusations it supported Chadian rebels who entered capital N’Djamena and called on all parties to exercises utmost restraint
  • The government issued a statement expressing concern over the fate of the 240,000 Darfur civilians who found refuge in eastern Chad

Source: Al Khaleej (UAE daily, with over 80,000 in circulation)
Headline: Sudan Signs Darfur Hybrid Force Agreement

  • Sudanese government, African Union, and United Nations are expected to sign agreement regarding hybrid force deployment in Darfur.  The government had reservations about the force’s use of ships
  • Government official indicated that “Darfur is no longer the focal point in Africa after the outbreak of violence in Kenya”
  • The official also credited the government’s approach - which focuses on finding a political solution, helping Darfur civilians, bringing economic development, and accepting peacekeepers – for taking Darfur off the table of hot issues

Source: Al Jazeera (Leading Arabic News Channel, headquartered in Qatar)
Headline: Deby’s Loss Are Khartoum’s Gain
By: Emad Abdul Hadi

  • The adage “someone’s loss is another person’s gain” is in all analysts’ minds as they await the result of the fighting in Chad and what Sudan will gain from it
  • Despite repeated accusations by Chadian officials, Sudan chose to stay out of the fray by calling on all parties involved in the fighting in Chad to exercise utmost restraint
  • Many experts believe that Sudan stands to benefit the most from the current situation in Chad.  In the least it expects the fighting to eliminate eastern Chad as a safe haven for Darfur rebels
  • But others believe that regardless of the outcome in Chad, the situation there was bound to create more instability in Darfur
  • Abdullah Adam Khater said “the fighting in Chad will create a breathing room for the Sudanese government, but will not resolve the Darfur crisis”
  • Mohamed Al Shaarani, head of Comparative Human Rights Center, expects Sudan to make some gains if the rebels win

Source: Asharq Al Awsat (Saudi-owned Pan-Arab daily with wide circulation)
Headline: Sudan Denies Involvement in Chad and Urges Deployment of EUFOR
By: Ismail Adam, Salah Mitwalli, and Khaled Mahmoud

  • Sudanese ministry of foreign affairs denied any Sudanese involvement in fighting in neighboring Chad and urged all parties to exercise maximum restraint and to resolve their differences through dialogue
  • Contrary to President Al Bashir’s thinking, Arko Minnawi called for speedy deployment of EUFOR forces in eastern Chad to protect the hundreds of Darfur refugees
  • Minnawi also called on hybrid force to intervene in eastern Chad to protect Darfur refugees there
  • Egypt and League of Arab Nations expressed concern about the situation in Chad
  • Libyan leader continued his efforts to broker a ceasefire between the rebels and Deby’s government



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