The Darfur Consortium

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Darfur in the News

U.S. and European Media

August 22, 2023

Washington Post: Arabs Seek Role With Darfur Rebels. To the dozen or so Darfur rebel groups attempting to unite ahead of possible negotiations with the Sudanese government, add one more: the United Revolutionary Force Front, a nascent movement that says it represents nomadic Arab tribes that have been unfairly associated with the conflict's notorious government-backed militias known as the Janjaweed. "We want to make an agreement between Arab and non-Arab people to be one," the movement's spokesman, al-Hadi Agabeldour, said in an interview here. "If negotiations begin and our group is not participating, the negotiations are not completed." In the dominant pattern of the violence, Sudan's Arab-led government has armed the region's nomadic Arab tribes to carry out attacks against non-Arab farming communities, which form the popular base of the rebellion. But the conflict has always been far more intricate than that. Plenty of nomadic tribal leaders have refused to take part in the Janjaweed militias, in many cases becoming victims themselves, as traditional migration routes have been cut off, economic relationships severed and tribal conflicts heightened by the proliferation of weapons. In that context, the United Revolutionary Force Front represents what experts say is growing disillusionment with the Sudanese government among Darfur's Arab communities, a development that is potentially damaging for the Khartoum government, which has relied on Arab support, or at least neutrality, in the conflict.

Reuters: Sudan Police Raid on Darfur Camp Raises Tensions. A government raid on Darfur's volatile Kalma camp raised tensions in Sudan's remote west ahead of peace talks, as insurgents accused Khartoum of trying to force people to leave the camps housing some 2 million people. Police arrested 19 people from Kalma camp for their alleged involvement in attacks on police posts in South Darfur that killed one policeman and injured eight, the state news agency reported. "Regular police forces in South Darfur ... arrested 19 suspects and seized five weapons, some hashish and other military equipment," SUNA said late on Tuesday. Rebel Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) official Ahmed Abdel Shafie said the attack on Kalma camp was a "clear indication" Khartoum was not serious about talks and was pursuing a military solution to the conflict. SLA leader Shafie said Khartoum was trying to empty the camps to lessen international attention on the conflict. "They don't want these people inside camps because they are the reason the international forces are coming to Sudan and why human rights groups are documenting crimes," he said. "They want to eliminate these camps and to force these people to leave them," he told Reuters, adding it did not create a conducive atmosphere ahead of talks.

Associated Press: U.N. Reports New Details on Darfur Rapes. A U.N. report released Tuesday describes gruesome new details about the rapes of dozens of Darfur women last year, saying they were sexually assaulted in front of each other, beaten with sticks and forced to cook and serve food to their attackers. Some of the victims became pregnant as a result of rapes, allegedly carried out by the Sudanese soldiers and allied militiamen, the report by the U.N.'s top human rights office said. It accused the Sudanese government of failing to investigate the rapes. ''The abuses may also constitute war crimes,'' said the report by the office of Louise Arbour, U.N. high commissioner for human rights. The report alleged Sudanese forces and militiamen subjected about 50 women to multiple rapes and other violence in an attack on the eastern Darfur village of Deribat in late December. They also abducted many children, it said. Arbour has said in the past that women are systematically raped in Darfur, many as soon as they leave the house to perform essential chores such as collecting firewood. She has described the war crimes prosecutions so far as ''grossly inadequate.''

Associated Press: New Plan for Peace in Darfur Neighbors. The European Union and the United Nations would start planning for a joint operation in Chad and the Central African Republic under a French proposal circulated Tuesday that aims at protecting civilians from the spillover of the Darfur conflict. France's new U.N. ambassador, Jean-Maurice Ripert, who circulated the draft U.N. Security Council statement, said there was broad support for the joint operation and he expressed hope that the statement will be approved on Thursday. The draft expresses the council's readiness to authorize an international operation using European Union troops and U.N. police for a year to protect international refugees, internally displaced people and civilians at risk in eastern Chad and the northeastern Central African Republic. Ripert said he hopes the Security Council will adopt a resolution authorizing the new operation before the EU Council of Ministers meets on Sept. 17 to take a final decision on the EU force. Last month, the EU agreed to start planning for a possible 3,000-strong peacekeeping mission. Chadian President Idriss Deby, who opposed a U.N. force, agreed to an EU force after meeting French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in June. U.S. deputy ambassador Alejandro Wolff said the United States supports the French proposal but has some questions about the relationship between the EU, the U.N. and the Chadian government, the role of the force, the duration of it mandate and ''what comes after.'' In a report to the Security Council last Thursday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon proposed a U.N.-mandated mission with three main components: an EU military force; a new unit of Chad's police to maintain law and order in refugee camps, key towns and areas with large numbers of displaced civilians in eastern Chad; and a broad U.N. presence including up to 300 international police, military liaison officers, and experts in human rights, civil affairs and the rule of law.


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].

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