The Darfur Consortium

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Darfur in the News

U.S. and European Media

October 2, 2023

Boston Herald: Ads hit Fidelity, others over Sudan investments. The Save Darfur Coalition yesterday unveiled its latest ad campaign, which strikes a body blow to mutual-fund companies with holdings in PetroChina. Television ads will run on CNN for an unspecific period of time, a coalition spokesman said. The group will also launch an aggressive online marketing campaign. Though its television commercial doesn’t mention Fidelity and four other mutual-fund companies by name, the coalition’s message is blunt - and it points viewers to its Web site - where Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, JP Morgan, Vanguard and Capital Group are blasted. In the TV ad, a mutual-fund “adviser” is going over a couple’s investment portfolio. “You took a little hit in real estate, but more than made up for it in genocide,” says the adviser. “You’ve really made a killing in Darfur.” Fidelity, which was the target of a previous ad campaign by the coalition, has dramatically cut its holdings in PetroChina over the past nine months. A spokesman said Fidelity is complying with all U.S. laws.

Washington Post: Senegal Threatens to Pull Out of A.U. Force Senegal threatened Monday to withdraw its more than 500 troops from Darfur, moving the African Union's beleaguered peacekeeping mission closer to collapse after a spectacular militia attack over the weekend left 10 A.U. soldiers dead and dozens more missing or wounded. The attack, the deadliest since A.U. forces arrived in the Sudanese region three years ago, highlighted the vulnerability of a 7,000-person force that is outgunned and ill-equipped to quell a conflict that has grown steadily more complex. It also injected a new and unsettling element into efforts to gradually replace the A.U. force with a much larger one to be led by the United Nations but staffed largely by troops from African nations. That transition is scheduled to begin soon and take many months. Senegal, with the third-largest number of troops in Darfur now, was expected to be a key player in any future force. But Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade said all of his nation's military personnel will come home if an investigation reveals that the African Union lacked appropriate firepower to repel the attack. Numerous news reports have said that A.U. troops ran out of ammunition early in the fight. Killed were seven soldiers from Nigeria, one from Mali, one from Botswana and one from Senegal, news reports said.

Agence France-Presse: US warns Sudan of new sanctions following deadly attack The United States on Monday warned both the Sudanese government and rebel groups in Darfur of new sanctions if they continue to flout a ceasefire, after at least 10 peacekeepers were killed. Washington also called for the deployment as soon as possible of a 26,000-strong joint African Union-United Nations force to take over peacekeeping from nearly 6,000 under-equipped and under-funded AU troops. Condemning the attack, the US State Department called for a full investigation of the raid and wanted the perpetrators brought to justice. "We remain concerned by recent reports that neither rebel factions nor the government of Sudan are adhering to a ceasefire and we call on all parties to cease hostilities immediately," spokesman Sean McCormack said. "We are prepared to apply additional sanctions against those who target civilians or peacekeepers, and those who block the political process," he warned.

Reuters: Nordic Peacekeepers Still Await Darfur Call. Norwegian and Swedish army engineers could be in Sudan's Darfur region as early as November as part of the U.N.-AU Darfur peacekeeping mission, their commander says, but so far their offer has yet to be accepted. If the African Union approves the 400 Nordic troops, they will be the largest and best-equipped contingent from the developed world in the 26,000-strong hybrid AU and United Nations force, the bulk of which will be African infantry. Norway's Lieutenant-Colonel Anstein Aasen said the contingent's main role would be building bases for the rest of the force along with heavy engineering projects such as roads. But despite being on four months' deployment notice since September 2006, they still had no firm word on if they were wanted. "We hear rumors that we are welcome," he told Reuters this week at Norway's Defense Ministry. "But nothing certain. It is extremely frustrating, not just for us but also for our families." Observers say it is unclear if the delay in accepting the offer of the joint Swedish-Norwegian engineer battalion is due to opposition from Sudan's government, which wanted an all-African force, or from the African Union.

The following editorial appeared in today's Los Angeles Times

Darfur deadly for peacekeepers.

Imagine a Los Angeles police station overrun by a heavily armed and well-organized street gang, and the besieged officers finally being rescued not by their fellow police but by a more powerful gang of thugs. This, in essence, is what happened in the troubled Darfur region of Sudan over the weekend.

The 7,000 African Union troops in Darfur are supposed to be a buffer between civilians and the various armed forces -- government soldiers, militias and rebel groups -- that have burned villages, committed mass rape and killed hundreds of thousands of people. On Saturday, at least 10 peacekeepers were killed in an attack on their camp in the central Darfur town of Haskanita by an unidentified group of militants. It was the deadliest strike on peacekeepers since they arrived in 2004, and more might have diedhad a contingent of Sudanese soldiers not arrived Sunday morning to run the militants off.

The violence couldn't have come at a worse time. The outnumbered and undersupplied African Union force is due to be replaced early next year by a 26,000-man United Nations mission. Raising troops for the U.N. force has been a challenge, though, and the rising danger level is likely to make it harder. On Monday, the president of Senegal, home of five Darfur peacekeepers who were slain in April, threatened to pull his troops out. Nigeria, another major supplier of peacekeepers for Africa, also seems to be rethinking its role.

The violence in Darfur is escalating in the run-up to a peace summit Oct. 27 between the Sudanese government and various rebel groups. All sides are hoping to consolidate their gains to increase their clout at the bargaining table; the militants in this weekend's attack may have been a rebel faction eager to steal weapons, ammunition and vehicles from the peacekeepers.

Meanwhile, as the fighting escalates, so does an environmental crisis that could cause more death and misery than all the combatants combined. Refugee camps are running out of water, and climate changes are turning an already drought-prone region into a desert. With trees vanishing and arable land left fallow because of the fighting, the ongoing humanitarian crisis is poised to enter an even deadlier phase.

The U.N. force might bring greater security, but that won't be enough to stave off a brutal famine. The international community must be ready to provide far more help after the blue helmets have arrived.


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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