The Darfur Consortium

. . .

Darfur in the News

U.S. and European media

February 6, 2023

Agence France Presse: 30,000 displaced in Darfur fighting: UN. More than 30,000 people have been displaced by recent clashes in Darfur between government troops and rebels, the head of United Nations humanitarian operations in Sudan said on Friday. "NGOs and UN agencies are ready to deliver food, medicines, and blankets to people right now, and are trying to access the town of Muhajaria and villages between there and Shearia in order to do so," Toby Lanzer said in a statement. "At least 30,000 people have fled from their homes in the Muhajaria and Shearia localities of South Darfur over the past days because of hostilities in the region," he said.

The Hub (NJ): Help end violence against women in Darfur. The Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights Education Center at Brookdale Community College invites the community to join on the evening of Feb. 11 from 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. to press for an end to violence against Darfur women. Featured will be a viewing of the nationwide premiere of a Save Darfur Coalition produced short film titled "Violence Against Women and the Darfur Genocide." Following the showing, participants will take part in a live-streamed panel discussion featuring celebrity and expert voices on gender-based violence. Panelists will include the Rev. Dr. Gloria White-Hammond, My Sister's Keeper co-founder and Save Darfur Coalition board chairwoman and moderator. Actor and Darfur advocate Maria Bello will be joined by additional panelists.

The following op-ed by Raj Purohit and Howard Salter appeared in today's Baltimore Sun. 

Will Obama act to end Darfur tragedy?

In the coming days, President Barack Obama will be presented with an opportunity to tackle a foreign policy challenge frequently raised on the campaign trail: the human rights crisis in Darfur.

Since 2003, the Sudanese government and its militia allies have killed and displaced hundreds of thousands of Darfur's civilians. The government has also obstructed international efforts to stop the killing. As a consequence, the U.N. Security Council authorized the International Criminal Court to address this matter. The ICC is expected to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on war crimes charges within the next week or two.

Such action would make Mr. al-Bashir the first sitting head of state to be subjected to an arrest warrant in the court's history. The challenge for the Obama administration is to leverage the pressure the court's action will bring to bear on the Sudanese leader. Mr. Obama should publicly support the arrest warrant and make clear that the U.S. will not sit idly by if any member of the Security Council - notably China - attempts to shield Mr. al-Bashir.

In her first news conference as Mr. Obama's ambassador to the United Nations, Susan E. Rice, a harsh critic of Sudan, made a point to address Darfur and its importance to the Obama administration: "We remain very deeply concerned about the ongoing genocide in Darfur. The priority at this point has to be effective protection for civilians."

Darfur activists hope the ICC pressure can force the embattled head of Sudan, or influential members of its governing party, to commit to a comprehensive peace agreement including a range of steps necessary to ensure that ordinary citizens of Darfur can return home and live in peace.

The expected warrant also opens a door for Mr. Obama and his talented foreign policy team. They can leverage the arrest warrant to work with influential partners across the globe to stop the killing and solidify a concrete peace agreement. By doing so, Mr. Obama would address a serious human rights crisis at the dawn of his presidency while also sending a clear signal that the U.S. is ready to once again lead by example.

The implementation of a peace agreement would likely include:

%u2022A long-term U.N. peacekeeping group in the region.

%u2022Complete demilitarization of the militia groups.

%u2022Governance concessions by the Sudanese central authorities.

%u2022Transfer of two other alleged war criminals - former Minister of State for the Interior Ahmed Haroun and janjaweed militia leader Ali Kushayb - to the ICC.

Bold leadership and action would mark a significant break from the position of President Obama's predecessor. While President George W. Bush called the killings in Darfur "genocide," his administration failed to take action to stop the violence. Human rights activists and the millions of Americans who have risen up to demand an end to the killing in Darfur have high hopes that the Obama administration will act differently.

Comments from high-ranking Sudanese officials make clear that its government is concerned about the new U.S. administration. "I know Obama's appointees," said Ghazi Suleiman, a human rights lawyer and member of the Southern People's Liberation Movement, which has a fragile power-sharing agreement with the ruling party. "And I know their policy toward Sudan. ... The policy is very aggressive and very harsh. I think we really will miss the judgments of George W. Bush."

Taking advantage of ICC action on Darfur to address the crisis would provide Mr. Obama's foreign policy team with an opportunity to make a fast start to address these crimes in a cooperative, multilateral manner. Will the new president seize the moment and show a willingness to engage key allies, such as France and the United Kingdom, along with strategically important countries such as China, South Africa and Egypt, to bring an end to crimes that have shamed the global community?

Raj Purohit, an expert in international law, teaches at American University's Washington College of Law. Howard Salter, a strategic communications specialist, was a senior public affairs officer at USAID in the Clinton administration. 

The following op-ed by Tracy McGrady and John Prendergast appeared yesterday on  


Sometimes when we hear about war and famine in Africa, our instinct is to turn away. Maybe it is too much. Maybe we have our own problems or think the problems in America need to be solved first.

We want to tell you that there are solutions to the worst problems in Africa, they don't need to be that expensive, and there is a way we can all participate in the solution.

We traveled together to refugee camps deep in the heart of Africa. We met people who were fleeing the civil war in Darfur and who had trekked for hundreds of miles to the camps across the border in Chad.

We heard stories of unimaginable suffering, of women who had been raped by soldiers, of children who had been thrown into fires. That is the human toll of one of the world's deadliest wars. In order to maintain absolute power, the Sudanese government has targeted non-Arab ethnic groups in Darfur for destruction. If that sounds unimaginable, let one of the people we met on our trip help you understand better what we mean.

We met a young man named Isaac, sitting on a mat in a humble community center in one of the camps we visited. Isaac happens to be from one of the non-Arab ethnic groups the government of Sudan has targeted for extinction. We listened closely to his story to comprehend why a government would try to destroy a whole group of people based on their ethnic identity.

Up until late 2003, Isaac was a student in a high school in West Darfur. His village wasn't wealthy, but his family lived well, growing all kinds of crops, nurturing large orchards of fruit trees, and raising goats and a few cows. He had heard about some distant fighting involving rebel groups, but he was too focused on his schooling to pay much attention.

But suddenly one December morning, everything changed.

Isaac had just left a wake at his mosque -- nearly everyone is Muslim in Darfur -- when his village came under attack. The Sudanese government and its Janjaweed ("Devils on horseback") militia allies, Darfur's version of the Ku Klux Klan, blew into town, hunting all the males in the village, no matter what their age. At least 150 men and boys were killed that morning, including 42 children, the village was looted, and most of the houses were burned to the ground. Isaac lost two uncles, two aunts, and two brothers.

Scared and devastated, the survivors hid in the orchards outside the village. For the next two months, the Janjaweed scouted out their locations and warned them, "If you don't want to turn to ashes, you better leave this place." But for Isaac and his neighbors, "this place" was their home, and they didn't want to leave.

Two months later, however, the Janjaweed -- backed by government forces -- attacked again. Many more villagers were killed. But this time, many of the women who were trying to hide were raped.

Isaac and his surviving neighbors trekked for three months before they finally found their way to the safety of the refugee camp in Chad. There we found him, three years later, trying to make sense of his ordeal.

He told us that the government of Sudan had decided to destroy the communities like his from which rebels were being recruited, even though no rebels lived in his village. And he said the Janjaweed want their land, so they have to get rid of the people on it. This is why there is an alliance between the government and the Janjaweed, in order to destroy the non-Arab communities of Darfur.

We are just two guys, so alone it is probably true that we can't do much. But we are not alone. When we went down to Auburndale High School (Tracy's high school near Orlando), we found hundreds of students who wanted to get involved with us in reaching out to the people of Darfur. So we decided to find a way to link students here in the U.S. with young Darfurians who want to go to school.

To do this, we created the Darfur Dream Team Sister Schools Program. It creates connections between schools in the U.S. with schools in the Darfur refugee camps, with the ultimate objective of creating a quality education for every young refugee from Darfur. Players from around the NBA are pitching in, as is the United Nations and the movie company Participant Media.

We don't need to look away when we hear about Darfur. There is something tangible we can do that can provide an education to thousands of young people in Darfur at the same time as it enriches the lives and widens the horizens of young people here in the U.S. We can change the world, as our new president says. With the Darfur Dream Team, we're going to do it one student at a time.

Tracy McGrady plays for the Houston Rockets and John Prendergast works for the Enough Project ( They are recruiting schools, NBA players, and interested individuals for the Darfur Dream Team (

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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