The Darfur Consortium

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Darfur in the News

U.S. and European Media

July 30, 2023

Associated Press: UN Rights Committee Criticizes Sudan. A U.N. human rights panel condemned widespread abuses in Sudan on Friday and demanded assurances militias engaged in ethnic cleansing would receive no financial or material support from the government. The U.N. Human Rights Committee, in its first overall review of Sudan's record in a decade, said murder, rape, forced evictions and attacks against civilians were systematic throughout the country. Rights violations "continue to be committed with total impunity throughout Sudan and particularly in Darfur," the panel said. The panel consists of 18 independent experts and is separate from the 47-nation U.N. Human Rights Council. It takes turns examining the performance of each of the 156 countries that are parties to the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. "More or less covert assistance has been given to elements that have been pursuing gross violations of human rights" in Darfur, said Ivan Shearer, an Australian member of the committee. The report noted that Sudanese police, armed forces and national security forces are immune from prosecution under Sudanese law. In discussions with the U.N. panel, the Sudanese government could only provide a few examples of "serious crimes" that have been prosecuted, whether by criminal tribunals or courts set up specifically to investigate violations in Darfur, it said. It said there continue to be "many cases of rape in Darfur," though official numbers are low because women fear their claims will be associated with the crime of adultery.

Sudan Tribune: Sudan officially rejects revised UN text on Darfur force. The Sudanese government officially informed members of the UN Security Council that it rejected any reference to Chapter Seven in a resolution for the Darfur peacekeeping force. An unidentified Sudanese official speaking to Al-Hayat newspaper published in London said that his government rejects any mandate for the peacekeepers enabling it to use force in the areas they are deployed. The U.K. and France dropped a threat of sanctions against Sudan in the revised U.N. Security Council (UNSC) resolution that would authorize an expanded peacekeeping force in Darfur. The Sudanese government main objection is the mandate allowing the force to “use all necessary means” to protect civilians. Khartoum also rejects any resolution under Chapter VII of the UN charter. Earlier Sudan’s presidential adviser Mustafa Osman Ismail told BBC Arabic service that the revised UN text is a replication of resolution 1706 issued last year and was rejected by Khartoum.

Reuters: UK's Brown Seeks U.S. Support For Darfur Plan. Britain's new leader Gordon Brown will seek support for a peace package for Sudan's Darfur region in his first talks with U.S. President George W. Bush on Sunday, but the Iraq conflict will hang heavy over their meeting. The British prime minister arrived at Camp David, the U.S. presidential retreat, on Sunday and was due to hold a first session of talks with Bush over dinner. Aides to Brown say he wants to focus on ending the Darfur conflict and breaking a deadlock in global trade liberalization talks in his first face-to-face meeting with Bush since he succeeded Tony Blair as prime minister last month. Brown, with the support of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, is proposing a package of measures to try to end the conflict in Darfur. It includes a United Nations Security Council resolution for an African Union-United Nations peacekeeping force, an immediate cease-fire, restarting a peace process and an economic aid package for Darfur, a British government source said. It would also hold out the threat of sanctions against the Sudanese government if it failed to cooperate.

Reuters: Sudan assigns Chinese CNPC offshore oil block. Sudan has signed a deal with Chinese state oil firm China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) to take a majority stake in its Block 13 exploration site, off the coast of the Red Sea, a senior Sudanese oil official said on Friday. CNPC has a 40 percent stake, 15 percent for both Indonesian state firm and Sudanese state oil firm Sudapet. The 38,200 square kilometre block will require an initial exploration investment of $25 million in the first three years, the official, who declined to be named, told Reuters. That leaves just two current blocks still to be assigned in Sudan. Block 12b covers the war-torn western Darfur region and the eastern Block 10. Sudan's oil industry, developed despite U.S. sanctions with investment by Asian firms from China and Malaysia, has lacked transparency because of its role in the north-south civil war, Africa's longest. Sudan produces about 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude, mostly the sweet Nile Blend and the newer acidic Dar Blend.

New York Times: The Reluctant Hero of Darfur, the Movie. "The Holocaust," Stanley Kubrick once said, “is about six million people who get killed. ‘Schindler’s List’ was about 600 people who don’t.” Despite the acclaim afforded “Schindler’s List,” Steven Spielberg’s 1993 Oscar winner, its venerable dramatic strategy — addressing a tragedy of the many via the actions of a few — didn’t quite get to the heart of darkness. At least not for Kubrick. “The Devil Came on Horseback,” which opened Wednesday in New York, has similar issues: genocide, for one. The documentary, directed by Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern, concerns the ongoing crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan, where atrocities continue to be committed on many sides, including the rape and murder of black Africans by the Arab Janjaweed (“devils on horseback”). And it focuses on a lone hero, Brian Steidle, an ex-marine captain who served as an observer for the African Union-United Nations peacekeeping force, took photographs of the atrocities being perpetrated and eventually published them in The New York Times. “Before people see the film, they say, ‘Oh, it’s another story about a white man in Africa,’ ” said Ms. Stern. “But when they come out of it, they don’t feel that way. Because it’s Brian’s personal journey, because they’re struck by Brian’s humanity. And the fact he had such a legitimate role and purpose in being in Darfur really grounds his story.” Is it antithetical to have a white American protagonist in a movie about Darfur? “Sure,” said Nicholas Kristof, the columnist for The Times who has written extensively on Darfur and was instrumental in getting Mr. Steidle’s pictures published on his paper’s Op-Ed pages. “Will it help draw attention to the issues and get the message out? Again, sure.” “Over all,” Mr. Steidle said, “I thought that the pictures would have moved people to do something more. I hoped that there would have been more done. It’s had some effect, but if you ask if we’ve been able to help the people on the ground, the answer is no. They’re not safer. They’re still dying.”


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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