The Darfur Consortium

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Darfur in the News

U.S. and European Media

December 20, 2022

Reuters: U.S. special envoy to Sudan resigns post. The United States' special envoy to Sudan, Andrew Natsios, has resigned from his post so he can spend more time teaching at Georgetown University, a senior U.S. official said on Friday. Natsios was appointed to the post in September 2006 and has devoted a lot of time trying to resolve the crisis in Darfur, where the Bush administration says genocide has occurred. "The announcement will be made today," said a senior Bush administration official, who asked not to be named, as the resignation was not yet widely known. Several U.S. officials said Natsios had been frustrated at the slow pace of getting in a 26,000-strong African Union-U.N. peacekeeping force into Darfur.

Reuters: Chad president calls for unity, warns of civil war. Chad President Idriss Deby has warned his people they risk civil war unless they unite behind him to combat eastern rebels he said were being recruited and paid by Sudan. The warning from the Chadian leader followed fierce desert battles in late November and early December between government forces, often led by Deby himself, and insurgents in the arid east bordering Sudan's war-torn Darfur region. "If Chadians don't pay attention, we will fall back into civil war," Deby said in a speech on Wednesday to religious leaders to mark the Muslim feast of Eid. His words were broadcast by state media on Thursday. Deby, a French-trained former fighter pilot who himself seized power in a 1990 eastern revolt, expressed his concerns as plans for the European Union to deploy a military peacekeeping force in east Chad in January showed signs of further delay. In a newspaper interview published on Thursday, French Defence Minister Herve Morin complained of other European countries' reluctance to provide troops for the EU force, over half of which will be French. The force has a United Nations mandate to protect civilians and aid workers in eastern Chad.

Reuters: Aid Workers on Trial in Chad Case. Six French aid workers accused of trying to kidnap 103 children went on trial on Friday in Chad, where there is popular pressure for them to be punished despite expectations of a diplomatic deal to send them home. The French citizens, members of a humanitarian group called Zoe's Ark, appeared calm but serious as they stood before the judges in a packed courtroom in the Chadian capital N'Djamena. There was tight security around the court. They were arrested in late October as they tried to fly the children, aged 1-10, out of eastern Chad to Europe. Chadian authorities said they had no permission to do this. The six have denied the charges, saying they were on a humanitarian mission to fly sick and destitute orphans from Sudan's war-torn Darfur region for fostering with European families. Three Chadians and a Sudanese national are being tried along with them as accomplices. If convicted, the six could face forced labour sentences of between five to 20 years. But many believe they will be allowed to serve jail terms in France under bilateral accords, or benefit from a pardon from Chadian President Idriss Deby. Contradicting the accused's assertions that the children were Darfuri orphans, Chadian and U.N. officials said inquiries showed most of the 103 had at least one living parent and came from villages on the Chad-Sudan border.


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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