The Darfur Consortium

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Darfur in the News

U.S. and European Media

October 24, 2022

Reuters: Darfur force has troops, needs helicopters-official. Governments have pledged 90 percent of the planned 26,000 troops of a new U.N.-African Union (AU) peacekeeping force for Darfur, but a lack of helicopters could hamper the mission, a military official said on Tuesday. Talking to reporters after the AU's Peace and Security Council met in Ethiopia to discuss the operation, which is due to begin work at the start of 2008, General Henry Anyidoho said the joint force badly needed aircraft. "Unless the helicopters are pledged, it will have a negative impact on operations," Anyidoho, a senior official with the force, told a news conference in Addis Ababa. The United Nations has been lobbying governments to provide helicopters for the force. But officials and diplomats say no country has made a credible offer yet to supply the 24 transport and attack helicopters needed. Sudan has yet to officially approve a force composition plan proposed by the United Nations, which would be 80 percent African in total, with 95 percent of the infantry African.

Associated Press: AP Interview: UN hopes all Darfur rebel groups will attend talks eventually. The U.N.'s humanitarian chief said on Wednesday he hoped that upcoming peace talks on the Sudanese war-ravaged region of Darfur will eventually bring together all the rebel movements, even though some of them now refuse to participate in the meeting. The talks between the Sudanese government and rebel groups, which will open on Oct. 27, are challenged by the proliferation of rebel movements which appear to have different demands, said John Holmes, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs. "It's hard to get them all back together, united at least in terms of what their demands are," he said in an interview with The Associated Press. "We know that some people will not be there," Holmes said, referring to Abdul Wahid Elnur, a key Darfur rebel chief who has refused to attend the talks, to be held in the Libyan city of Sirte. But "we hope that once the talks start, others may join in later," said Holmes. "It's not a once-for-all offer. It is possible to join later if the process starts to make progress." "The fragmentation (of rebel movements) makes the peace process very difficult because ... it's hard to know what is motivating them and what split them," Holmes said. Another rebel leader, Khalil Ibrahim of the Justice and Equality Movement is also threatening to boycott the talks unless the U.N. and African Union can persuade the rival Sudan Liberation Army to unite its splinter factions for the negotiations.

BBC: Darfur 'a quarrel over a camel'. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has likened the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region to a "quarrel over a camel" that has become an international issue. Local leaders could have solved the tribal dispute if it were not for the economic interests of international powers in the region, he explained. Mr Gaddafi is due to host peace talks between Darfuri rebel groups and government representatives on Saturday. Ahmed Abdel Shafie - leader of the prominent Sudan Liberation Movement splinter group which represents the Fur tribe - said he was not going as the atmosphere was not "conducive" for success. Mr Gaddafi made the comments while addressing students at Cambridge University in the UK via video link from Libya's capital, Tripoli. "You might laugh if I say that the main reason of this issue is a camel," he said. "Africa has thousands of issues - they are about water, about grass - and Africa is divided into 50 countries, and the tribes are divided amongst so many countries, although they belong to each other. "The problem we are having now is that we politicise such problems between tribes." He said that in Darfur the issue had been politicised because "there are super powers who are interested in oil and other things". He also said that the crisis had been prolonged by international aid agencies because the local population increasingly depended on the support it received and, therefore, wanted the conflict to continue.

Associated Press: Bin Laden: Fight Darfur Peacekeepers. Osama Bin Laden renewed his call for a holy war against a proposed peacekeeping force in Sudan's wartorn region of Darfur in a message that appeared on Web sites Tuesday. The audio recording was accompanied by a still picture of the al-Qaida leader, and excerpts were aired Monday by Al-Jazeera television. Bin Laden called for foreign forces to be driven from Darfur. ''It is the duty of the people of Islam in the Sudan and its environs, especially the Arabian Peninsula, to perform jihad against the Crusader invaders and wage armed rebellion to remove those who let them in,'' he said, according to a transcript provided by IntelCenter, which monitors extremist Web sites. Bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawhiri, made a similar call for jihad in Darfur in a Sept. 20 video message, and bin Laden issued an audiotape in 2006 calling on his followers to go to Sudan to fight a proposed U.N. force there. In Tuesday's message, bin Laden referred to talks between Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, and Saudi officials who pressed him to agree to a joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur. Those meetings took place in March and April.

Associated Press: UN Chief: Violence Against Women Surges. The U.N. secretary-general warned that violence against women has reached ''hideous'' levels in some countries trying to recover from conflict, and the U.N. Security Council demanded an end to impunity for rape and other sexual abuse. The council expressed deep concern Tuesday that despite its repeated demands for an immediate end to violence against women caught in armed conflicts, ''rape and other forms of sexual abuse, as well as all other forms of violence, ... remain pervasive, and in some situations have become systematic, and have reached appalling levels of atrocity.'' U.N. Undersecretary-General for Peacekeeping Jean-Marie Guehenno stressed the U.N.'s ''zero tolerance'' for sexual exploitation and abuse by its more than 80,000 peacekeeping troops. ''While rape is used as a weapon of war in situations such as ... Congo and Darfur, addressing this war crime requires going beyond political compromise, power and resource sharing agreements,'' he said. ''Instead, combating rape and other forms of sexual violence calls for concerted, robust and ongoing action on the part of both national actors and also the international community at every level of engagement.'' ''Impunity for perpetrators and insufficient response to the needs of survivors are morally reprehensible and unacceptable,'' she said. ''Sexual violence in conflict, particularly rape, should be named for what it is: not a private act or the unfortunate misbehavior of a renegade soldier, but aggression, torture, war crime and genocide.''


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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