The Darfur Consortium

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Darfur in the News

U.S. and European Media

November 5, 2022

Associates Press: US administration opposes Darfur law. The Justice Department is increasing Bush administration pressure on Congress not to pass legislation designed to slash U.S. and foreign investment in Sudan because of the Darfur violence.  A letter to the Senate Democratic and Republican leaders even suggested the courts might be involved in knocking down a provision of the proposed Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act that would give congressional authorization for state and local governments' divestment schemes. The letter was circulated Friday by the Save Darfur Coalition.” It’s ironic that the Bush administration wants to preserve a 'kid gloves' option while the Khartoum regime continues to employ an iron fist against the people of Darfur," said John Prendergast, a member of the Save Darfur board. "The administration's continued attempts to derail a divestment bill with overwhelming bipartisan support actually undercut efforts to build leverage through targeted economic pressures," he said. Like the State Department letter, the Justice letter emphasized as objectionable the law's congressional authorization for U.S. state and local divestment policies. It said the Justice Department strongly opposes the divestment part of the proposed law. The proposal, divestment included, has been approved by the Senate Banking Committee but has not been scheduled for a vote in the Senate.

Agence France-Presse: Darfur rebels to free kidnapped oil workers.  A Darfur rebel group said on Sunday that it had decided to free five oil workers, two of them foreigners, that it kidnapped in the neighbouring Kordofan region of Sudan late last month. The Islamist rebels of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said they would free the hostages, who include an Egyptian and an Iraqi, through the United Nations in the next few days. "The head of our movement, Khalil Ibrahim, has given orders for the release of the five and we are expecting them to be swiftly handed over to the United Nations," JEM field commander Abdelaziz el-Nur Ashr told AFP. "This will be done in the next few days," Ashr said, adding that Ibrahim's decision had been strongly influenced by an appeal from the Egyptian government. The JEM said on October 25 it had kidnapped the oil workers, three Sudanese, an Iraqi and an Egyptian, and that its captives were "safe and in good condition... They will be safe as long as the government doesn't bomb us." Asked on Friday about the JEM's earlier ultimatum to foreign oil firms to quit Sudan, Ashr said it expired on Thursday and that "in future these companies will be solely responsible for what happens to them." The rebel group had warned it would attack foreign oil companies on the expiry of the deadline, but the Khartoum government played down the threat, saying it would ensure the security of oil facilities across the country.

Agence France-Presse: Sudan leader to discuss Darfur force on S Africa visit. Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir will visit South Africa this week for talks over the situation in war-torn Darfur and political upheaval in Khartoum, the foreign ministry said on Sunday.The three-day visit from Monday takes place "within the context of South Africa's support for peace efforts in the Sudan and our priority to consolidate bilateral political, economic and trade relations with Sudan," South Africa's Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said in a statement.Beshir was scheduled to hold talks with President Thabo Mbeki in Cape Town on Tuesday when he would also be guest of honour at a state banquet. The talks at Mbeki's official residence would focus on the progress towards the dispatch of a hybrid African Union-United Nations peacekeeping force in the western Darfur region, said the foreign ministry statement. The upheaval caused by the recent decision by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement to pull its ministers out of the government in Khartoum in protest at slow progress in implementing a peace agreement would also be discussed.

Reuters: U.N. envoy warns of new Darfur danger if talks fail. Darfur faces new dangers from tribal battles and splintering rebel groups if no political process is launched to establish peace in western Sudan, the United Nations envoy to Darfur said on Monday. I have seen myself the desperation, the anger, the frustration in the camps. I have seen also the beginning of tribal battles, fighting over land," Jan Eliasson told BBC radio. "And all these factors lead me to the conclusion that we have to now really take advantage of the beginning of a political process." Eliasson said he was hopeful, despite the absence of several rebel groups from peace stalks begun in Libya last month, that most rebels would join the talks shortly and the prospects for a political solution were good. "There is one (rebel group) who seems to refuse, but the others are discussing with us the preparations for the talks," Eliasson said. "(We are) hoping that they will join the negotiations within a month or so." At the start of the talks, the government declared an immediate unilateral truce, but the absence of key rebels cast doubt on whether it could be implemented. Eliasson called on Sudan Liberation Army chairman and founder Abdel Wahed Mohamed el-Nur, a rebel leader supported by hundreds of thousands of Darfuris, to join the talks and allow the voices of his supporters to be heard. The SLA leader has said he would not attend talks until a U.N. force had deployed and provided security, a condition that could take more than a year to finalise. “He has important standing in the camps," said Eliasson. "We hope very much that he will make it possible for the voices of the camps to be heard."

Reuters: Darfur rebels unlikely to attend talks in December. Darfur rebels whose boycott torpedoed peace talks in Libya last month say they will not attend a second round in December unless U.N.-African Union mediators limit attendance and change the venue. The talks aimed at ending 4-1/2 years of violence in Sudan's west opened in the Libyan town of Sirte on Oct. 27 with none of the main rebel factions there and with some of those in attendance angered by comments from host Muammar Gaddafi which seemed to downplay the magnitude of the Darfur crisis. Organizers hoped to reconvene for a second round of talks which would include the absent rebels in December but rebel representatives said on Monday unless there were major changes they were unlikely to do so. The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said they would not be going to any talks unless just two rebel delegations were invited -- JEM and a united Sudan Liberation Army (SLA). Given the mediation's list of more than 20 invitees from the insurgents, that is unlikely to happen. U.N. envoy Jan Eliasson and the AU's Salim Ahmed Salim said they wanted all factions to attend to negotiate a first order of business -- a comprehensive ceasefire. Lissan said rebels would receive the AU-U.N. mediation team in the field in Darfur likely on Tuesday, but JEM's position would not change.

The Seattle Times: Carrying hope for Darfur peace. Martial Nhiel held a lighted torch high above his head as his wheelchair began a short, solemn relay procession along the boardwalk in Alki. On either side of him, high-school and college students and activists lined up and urged him on, their signs reading "Not on my Watch" and, in both English and Chinese, "Peace." A refugee from southern Sudan, Nhiel, 27, was one of about 200 participants who gathered against the blustery chill of Alki Beach on Sunday for the Seattle leg of the Dream for Darfur Olympic Torch Relay. Two relays are being coordinated simultaneously — one between 21 states across the U.S. and another between seven countries worldwide — to culminate in Beijing, China. Organizers are hoping to influence China, host of the 2008 Summer Olympics, to use its position as Sudan's largest foreign investor to help end the ongoing violence in Darfur. Activists say China uses its permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council to shield Sudan from effective action by the international community. Nhiel, who came to Seattle in June, said that while he carried the torch, he was thinking about all he left behind in Africa. His wife and their two children are in a refugee camp in Kenya. His parents are dead. "After what happened [in southern Sudan] I'm very angry about Darfur. But here, I'm very happy to see people who care."

Associates Press: 7 Europeans Freed in Chad Kidnap Case. Part of a group of Europeans detained in connection with an alleged attempt to kidnap 103 African children arrived back home overnight Monday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The Europeans -- among them nine French citizens -- were arrested Oct. 25 when a charity calling itself Zoe's Ark was stopped from flying the children to Europe. The group said the children were orphans from Sudan's Darfur region, where more than 200,000 have died in conflict since 2003. It said it intended to place them with host families. France's Foreign Ministry and others, however, have cast doubt on the group's claims. Aid workers who interviewed the children said Thursday most of them had been living with adults they considered their parents and came from villages in the Chadian-Sudanese border region. The 17 originally detained included six French charity workers, three French journalists and the crew of the plane that the group planned to use to take the children to France. The crew was made up of Spaniards and a Belgian pilot. The six charity workers have been charged with kidnapping and are still in detention. The other four -- three Spanish crew and the Belgian pilot of the plane -- are being held on accessory charges. Sarkozy met with Chad's leader, Idriss Deby, trading back slaps and cheek kisses, before leaving Chad on his official jet with the three French journalists and four flight attendants from Spain.


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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