The Darfur Consortium

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Member Publications

Arab media

February 25 , 2008

Source: Al Riyadh (Government-friendly Saudi daily with wide circulation)
Headline: China Rejects Accusations over Darfur

  • China strongly defended selling weapons to Sudan amid increasing criticism it failed to leverage its close ties witg Khartoum to resolve Darfur humanitarian crisis
  • Chinese special envoy Liu Giujin told the BBC that Sudan buys only 8% of its weapons from China and added that Chinese weapons do not fuel Darfur conflict
  • Giujin indicated that United States, Britain and Russia are the biggest weapons exporters to developing countries including Sudan
  • He added that Sudan is among leading African countries in manufacturing traditional weapons

Source: Al Khaleej (UAE daily, with over 80,000 in circulation)
Headline: World Food Drivers Kidnapped in Darfur

  • UN World Food program said that 14 of its drivers were still missing in Darfur
  • It indicated that only 4 drivers returned safely after their trucks were stolen on February 11th
  • Organization spokesperson complained that security did not improve in the region, as banditry continued to increase threatening the whole operation
  • She added that banditry increases especially in the months of April and May when the organization ramps up its food delivery ahead of the rainy season which makes some dirt road impassable

Source: Al Khaleej (UAE daily, with over 80,000 in circulation)
Headline: American and Chinese Envoys in Khartoum

  • Darfur crisis returned to the front of international interest, as American and Chinese envoys, Richard Williamson and Liu Giujin, respectively, were expected to arrive in Khartoum today
  • It was not clear whether their arrival at the same time was planned and coordinated
  • Meanwhile international pressure on China continued to mount especially as Western countries accused it of supporting Khartoum government

Source: Al Jazeera (Leading Arabic News Channel, headquartered in Qatar)
Headline: Chad Accuses Sudan of Ethnic Cleansing in Darfur

  • Chadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Allami accused Sudan of ethnic cleansing in Darfur when it chased away ethnic African tribes into Chad.  He added that disturbances in Chad were caused by Darfur violence
  • Meanwhile, French Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kushner said President Sarkozy would not visit Chad unless the whereabouts of opposition leaders arrested by presidential guard during rebel assault on N’Djamena was clarified
  • Allami answered that European investigators were welcome to take part in the investigation being conducted by Chadian security services

Source: Okaz (Government-friendly Saudi daily with wide circulation)
Headline: Sudanese Minister Calls on Former Comrades to Join Darfur Peace Talks
By: Sayyid Abdul Aal

  • Abdul Rahman Mousa, former rebel and current minister in Al Bashir government, welcomed SPLM’s announcement that it was willing to reconsider Nifasha Agreement to accommodate any peace deal to resolve Darfur crisis
  • Mousa, who was a member of Abdul Wahid Nour’s group before Abuja Agreement, called on his former comrades and other rebel leaders to join Darfur peace negotiations
  • He also indicated that Abdul Wahid Nour was essential to any Darfur peace agreement because of the support he enjoys among his tribe, the largest in Darfur

Source: Al Ahram (government-friendly, Egyptian daily with over 1 million in circulation)
Headline: Sudan Liberation Movement: Differences between Darfur Rebel Groups an Obstacle to Peace in the Region
By: Asmaa Al Husseini

  • Khamees Abdullah Abkar, leader of a Sudan Liberation Faction, indicated that situation in Darfur was dangerous and called on neighboring countries to help find a solution the Darfur crisis
  • Abkar acknowledged that rebels divisions has become a hindrance and obstacle to resolving the crisis but blamed Khartoum government for sabotaging any chance for peace
  • Abkar also blamed AU – UN mediators for not following through with their promises leading many rebels to distrust them
  • He stressed that any solution must address the crisis’ political, economic an security aspects

Source: Al Hayat (Saudi-owned Pan-Arab daily with wide circulation)
Headline: China Says Darfur Crisis About to Be Resolved
By: Annour Ahmed Annour

  • After meeting with Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Deng Alor, Chinese envoy to Darfur Liu Giujin said that Darfur crisis was on its way to being resolved and it soon would become a “thing of the past”
  • Giujin urged Western media to make sure the facts they include in their articles to be accurate, objective, and avoid exaggerations
  • Meanwhile, Alor announced a new “road map” to resolve Darfur crisis would be discussed with new US envoy Richard Williamson
  • At the same time, President Al Bashir’s advisor Nafi Ali Nafi criticized UN secretary general’s latest statements regarding Sudan’s military action in West Darfur as full of inaccuracies and wondered whether they were due to Western pressure

Source: Okaz (Government-friendly Saudi daily with wide circulation)
Headline: US Envoy: We Work with all Parties to Ensure Stability in Darfur and South Sudan
By: Rabi Shaheen

  • US envoy to Sudan Richard Williamson called for renewed efforts to find a political solution to Darfur crisis while acknowledging existence of challenges to alleviate Darfur civilians’ suffering and to achieve permanent stability
  • Williamson made these comments after meeting with Egyptian minister of foreign affairs
  • He indicated that US and Egypt share a common goal and interest in seeing a return of peace and stability to Darfur and South Sudan

Source: Al Ahram (government-friendly, Egyptian daily with over 1 million in circulation)
Op / Ed: This Is No Time for Meaningless Maneuvers

  • Darfur humanitarian crisis no longer can afford to see ruling partners in Sudan engage in a game of irresponsible empty promises in order to embarrass one another
  • Darfur population is in need of real solutions, they represent over 20% of the country’s population and deserve their fair share of power, wealth and development
  • The back and forth statements within SPLM’s leadership about revising Nifasha Agreement to make room for Darfur resolution is a case in point of one partner trying to score points and embarrass the other
  • Both ruling partners must stop these silly games and focus on what improves the lives of everyone in the country whether in Darfur or in the South

Source: Al Arabiya (Dubai-based Pan Arabic News channel with over 15 million viewers)
Headline: JEM Denies Ties with Israel

  • JEM leader Dr. Tahar Adam Al Fiki denied accusations the movement received any assistance from Israel during all the years the movement has been fighting Khartoum government
  • He added that the movement is not a separatist movement, but a diverse group calling for territorial integrity of the country
  • Al Fiki indicated that the movement’s weapons were captured from the army and are Chinese made
  • The movement, according to Al Fiki, wants the international community to pressure the government in Khartoum to end its terror campaign in Darfur
  • He added Darfur solution is political and is in the hands of the government but it prefers a military solution, which only leads to more misery and displaced Darfurians
  • He also denied rumors that his forces would target Egyptian forces and praised the strong historical ties between the two sides
  • Al Fiki indicated that his movement calls for national unity despite the fact that Darfur can well afford to become an independent country.  But he threatened that his movement would seek separation as a last resort if the government continued its wrong policies and actions

Source: Asharq Al Awsat (Saudi-owned Pan-Arab daily with wide circulation)
Headline: Chinese Drug and Sudanese Oil
By: Abdul Rahman Arrashid

  • Sudan seems to be making the same mistake and miscalculation as Iraq did before the invasion
  • Saddam thought the Russian umbrella would protect him from any Western threat; he lived long enough to see that was a false hope. He thought bribing Russia with oil would protect him, but forgot Russia needed outside help with its own oil
  • Sudan now thinks relying on China and bribing it with access to its oil can protect it against any harm. However, Sudan has been embroiled in continuous chaos that no oil or Chinese help can fix
  • China’s influence is limited, even though it managed to bock some sanctions, but it cannot stop the increasing international pressure to end Darfur tragedy
  • China itself has suffered from this pressure when international organizations threatened to disrupt the upcoming Olympic games forcing it to defend itself and to explain that it was doing all it can to convince Khartoum government to change course in Darfur
  • Resignation of Famous director Steven Spielberg made China realize that it’s moment to bask in the glory of the Olympic games was in jeopardy and prompted it to act
  • Sudan is no Iraq, not in terms of oil and not in terms of geopolitical importance but one cannot fail to see the similarities: Saddam was stripped of Kurdistan, as Sudan was stripped of South Sudan after a bloody military defeat and half a million death.  Saddam continued his defiance till he lost Baghdad
  • Sudan seems to have a false sense of security, for it did not stop at Darfur and tried to meddle in neighboring Chad but failed
  • Area military regimes, like in Sudan, seem to think because the United States is bogged down in Iraq, they are immune from military reprisal.  And like Saddam, this false sense of security will encourage Sudan to make bigger mistakes forcing the international community to act 

Source: Addustour (Government-friendly, Jordanian daily enjoys wide circulation)
Headline: Darfur Citizens Doubt UN’s Ability to Assist Them

  • Khamisa Abdullah wiped her tears as she recounted how she lost 6 of her children when her village in West Darfur came under attack two weeks ago
  • She pointed to her three-year old son on her back and said he is the only one left; the other 6, aged between 5 and 20 years old, fled to the mountains near Sirba and have not been seen since 
  • This tragedy is inevitably repeated every time there is an attack or counter attack since the start of the conflict 5 years ago
  • Amira Haq, UN Humanitarian Affairs coordinator in Sudan, said “missing children is the one of most obvious messages we will take when we return”
  • Sudanese army said it regained control of Sirba killing 50 rebels who were wearing civilian clothes, a fact strongly denied by the population in the village
  • Some of the children in tatters trickled back, hungry, thirsty and tired after walking for days
  • Those who returned faced added problems because 2 of the 5 water sources were destroyed during the fighting forcing many women to find water elsewhere putting them in harms way for they were attacked and some were raped
  • The civilian population called for international peace forces but expressed doubt they would arrive soon enough
  • Abu Baker Issa Mohamed said “either UN peacekeepers come and protect us or we will go somewhere else to find a secure place”


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