The Darfur Consortium

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Darfur in the News

U.S. and European Media

November 2, 2022

Associated Press: Darfur Peace Talks Postponed. Negotiations between the Sudanese government and Darfur rebels have been postponed until December, the spokesman for the government delegation to the stalled peace talks said Thursday. The highly anticipated U.N. and African Union-brokered talks opened Saturday in the Libyan coastal town of Sirte with a large international and media presence, but without the most prominent rebel leaders. Their absence effectively stalled the talks within a day of the opening ceremony. Mediators later said they were sending envoys to Darfur to smooth out problems with some of the recalcitrant rebel chiefs to get them to join the talks - a process Jan Eliasson, the U.N. chief mediator, said could take about three weeks. The Sudanese chief envoy, Nafie Ali Nafie, initially said any postponement to include absent rebel chiefs would be "unacceptable." But Khartoum's delegation appeared to change views Thursday. "Direct negotiations between the government and the armed movements in Darfur (will) begin next December," spokesman Abu Zaid al-Hassan was quoted as saying from Sirte by the official Sudanese SUNA news agency.

The Economist: Darfur bleeds as talks fail. Appearances, at least, were impressive. In the vast marble conference centre of Sirte, in northern Libya, the Great Leader of the Revolution, as Muammar Qaddafi is officially known, seemed to have assembled the whole world to solve the crisis in Darfur, Sudan's ravaged western region. Special envoys from the UN, the African Union (AU), the European Union, the Arab League, Britain, China, Egypt, Eritrea and the United States attended. The Sudanese government sent the biggest delegation. There was a healthy sprinkling of young men in battle fatigues and fashionable khaki head-scarves: the rebels. But within a few days the conference had petered out in disarray. As soon as proceedings got under way, things began to fall apart. Though they looked fetching, the wrong sort of rebels were there. Less than half showed up; many of those that came were marginal. The big men, who command loyalty and weapons on the ground in Darfur, pointedly stayed away. This was an indignity too far for the Great Leader, who had staked a lot on getting recalcitrant rebels to the negotiating table. He gave a surreal, waspish speech, arguing, among other things, that the Sudanese government was sovereign, so had every right to do whatever it wanted in Darfur. He then walked out, bringing to an end any real Libyan involvement. The UN and AU co-chairmen of the talks put on a brave face, but it was plainly impossible to have serious negotiations when one side—or a large part of one side—was absent. The UN is now sending emissaries to the various hold-out rebel groups in Darfur, to try and bring them into talks. This may take several more weeks. So the UN and the main foreign countries involved in Darfur (Britain, France and the United States) may have to do things the rebels' way—and make a lot of tiring, dusty trips into the bush and back. The Western trio is trying to force the pace because the UN's huge peacekeeping force (around 26,000-strong, including troops provided by the AU) is meant to arrive in Darfur before the end of the year. The UN force's task will be much harder if there is no peace at all to keep on the ground. But forcing the pace could anger and divide the rebel factions, dimming peace prospects in the long run.

Associated Press: Chad's President: Free French Reporters. Chad's president said Thursday he hopes his country's judicial system will quickly free journalists and an air crew detained in connection with a French charity that was trying to fly children it claimed were orphans from Darfur to Europe. Seventeen Europeans have been detained by Chadian authorities over the past week, including six French citizens who were charged with kidnapping. Three of the detained are French journalists. Seven Spaniards, including two pilots, are part of the air crew as well as a Belgian pilot. The journalists and crew are being held without charge. ''I hope that Chadian justice can very quickly shed light on this affair and that the journalists and the air hostesses and those not involved can be freed without delay,'' President Idriss Deby said on state television. French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Deby on Thursday and had an ''extremely positive'' conversation, France's presidential spokesman David Martinon. In a telephone conversation on Wednesday, Sarkozy had urged Deby to free the French journalists. ''We welcome this statement as an encouraging sign,'' Martinon said in reaction to Deby's remarks. Earlier on Thursday, humanitarian workers cast new doubt on claims by the charity Zoe's Ark that it was helping Darfur orphans by trying to fly them to Europe, saying most of the children appear to have at least one living parent.

The Ranger (San Antonio): Darfur refugees educate packed crowd about genocide. In 2003, the villagers of Tawila in Darfur were awakened at 7 a.m. by an attack from the Janjaweed, a militia serving the Sudanese government, aimed at wiping the people of Darfur off the face of the Earth. The militia rushed into a girls' school, raping the students inside; some girls were raped multiple times. The Janjaweed proceeded to raid the markets, stealing goods. Before they left, the Janjaweed burned the villagers' homes to the ground. All told, the Janjaweed killed at least 700 people in that one attack. This was the story of Motasim Adam's home village he left behind in 2003 when he fled Darfur, a region in western Sudan in Africa, amid the genocide. Adam told this story Monday to a standing-room-only crowd at Trinity University's Chapman Auditorium as part of "Voices from Darfur," a national university tour by the Save Darfur Coalition. The "Voices from Darfur" tour is to raise awareness of the genocide. Daoud Hari, who fled his home village of Musbat in 2003, told his story of trying to inform people by serving as translator to American journalists. Hari went back to Darfur after fleeing to Chad and worked as a translator for journalists like The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof and The Chicago Tribune's Paul Salopek. Hari and Salopek were captured by the Sudanese government Aug. 6, 2006, and imprisoned in a Sudanese prison for espionage. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who is also a Democratic presidential candidate, went to Sudan and negotiated the release of Hari and Salopek, who had been tortured during their monthlong inprisonment. Hari has since been granted refugee status and resides in the United States.

Los Angeles Times: For Hollywood, it's 'Darfur Now,' not later. It's not clear whether Washington ever really learned the lesson of Rwanda, but it's quite evident that Hollywood got it with "Hotel Rwanda." Those touched by that 2004 film, which powerfully dramatized the ethnically motivated mass killings there in the mid-'90s that were all but ignored by the world, are determined not to let another African genocide occur unopposed. This week, Hollywood's campaign to raise awareness about the civilian slaughter continuing in the Darfur region of Sudan was put in full view at the Directors Guild of America premiere of "Darfur Now," a comprehensive and pointed documentary on the war raging between tribes in the East African country. (Relief organizations estimate that between 200,000 and 400,000 people have been killed, while more than 2.5 million have been displaced.) The 1 hour, 39-minute "Darfur Now," which is reviewed on Page E6, features the struggles of six people: a UCLA graduate trying to raise awareness in the United States about the conflict; a Darfurian woman rallying rebels to protect their village; a prosecutor seeking indictments in The Hague; a United Nations humanitarian delivering food; a refugee camp leader seeking calm; and "Hotel Rwanda" actor Don Cheadle lobbying foreign heads of state (along with George Clooney) to help end the crisis. "When I first started working on the film," said Braun, "I was struck by two things: the nature of the autocracies [sic] happening to the people of Darfur and the world's indifference to them. We're letting this recurrent nightmare unfold again and again. We wanted to make a film that shows what's happening but also emphasizes that people can work to make a difference." Braun was approached by his agent, Dean Schramm, who is married to Los Angeles City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, last year about the prospect of doing a documentary about the crisis. Braun contacted Schulman, who had learned about Darfur in conversations with Cheadle during the making of "Crash," to see if she would help. "It's the first time I've ever been told yes in the room," Braun said. Schulman said: "If there is ever a time to do something, it's now." "I didn't want the audience stuck in a closet with people talking about what's going on," Braun said. "We wanted to take them there so they could feel it for themselves."

Gulf Daily News: $50,000 raised to help Darfur. A Bahrain campaign has raised at least $50,000 (BD18,900) in just three days for war-torn Darfur, Sudan, it was revealed yesterday. Response to the campaign, held in shopping malls and mosques, has been overwhelming, though final figures are not yet available, said National Committee for Darfur chairman and Bahrain Red Crescent Society (BRCS) secretary-general Sadiq Al Shehabi. More than 100 volunteers from various societies approached people with donation boxes at different shopping malls and supermarkets throughout the three-day campaign, he said. "Collection boxes were also placed in mosques last Friday," said Mr Al Shehabi. "The total money collected through donations will be added to the amount allocated by the Bahrain government. "The fund will be used to undertake some projects in Darfur in the name of Bahrain." A decision to help the people of Darfur was taken by Bahrain's Cabinet last month and the Social Development Ministry was authorised to undertake the fund-raising campaign. An Arab League Conference on Emergency Response in Darfur was held in Khartoum, Sudan, on Tuesday. Bahrain's delegation to the conference was headed by Dr Al Balooshi, who was accompanied by Mr Al Shehabi and Dr Hermis. "The conference gave us an opportunity to study in detail the plight of people in Darfur," Mr Al Shehabi told the GDN. "Though we cannot help rebuild all villages, we hope to identify some projects in a few villages which are totally damaged in the war," said Mr Al Shehabi.


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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