The Darfur Consortium

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Darfur in the News

U.S. and European media

March 13, 2023

Reuters: International Aid W orkers Kidnapped In Sudan's Darfur. Three international aid workers from the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) have been kidnapped in Darfur, officials said on Thursday, further jeopardizing humanitarian operations in western Sudan. The local governor, Osman Youssef Kebir of North Darfur state, was quoted as saying the kidnappers were demanding a ransom and negotiations could soon lead to their release. The three workers from MSF's Belgian arm were seized along with two Sudanese as tension rose in Sudan following the International Criminal Court's decision last week to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir over accusations of war crimes in Darfur. Christopher Stokes, general director of MSF Belgium, told reporters in Brussels: "This will be a further blow to the delivery of humanitarian assistance in that area, so the consequences are also extremely worrying for the population, the civilians of Darfur."

Associated Press: Aid Group: 35 Foreigners Leave Darfur. A spokeswoman for Doctors Without Borders says 35 of its foreign staff are leaving Darfur after the abduction of three colleagues. The group says only two staffers will remain in Darfur to negotiate the release of the kidnapped. Spokeswoman Susan Sandars said Friday that no violence was used when the kidnappers broke into the group's compound in northwest Darfur late Wednesday and snatched a Canadian, an Italian and a French health worker.

Reuters: Many EU troops to join UN Chad peacekeepers. About 2,000 EU soldiers will transfer to a United Nations force when the world body takes over responsibility for peacekeeping in Chad from the European Union this weekend, EU officials said on Thursday. The European Union deployed 3,300 peacekeepers in eastern Chad and the Central African Republic last February to protect refugees and civilians who fled violence in neighbouring Sudan's war-torn Darfur region. A 5,000-strong U.N. military force is due to take over from them on Sunday. Czech Defence Minister Vlasta Parkanova, whose country holds the EU presidency, said after a meeting of EU defence ministers in Prague that many of the soldiers in the EU force (EUFOR) would remain and be "rehatted" into the U.N. force.

The following editorial appeared in Thursday's Daily Nation (Kenya). 

To support Bashir is to share Darfur guilt

It looks like the long-suffering people of Darfur might be the innocent bystanders who become the first victims of the International Criminal Court warrant of arrest issued for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

In the wake of the arrest warrant, a defiant al-Bashir has expelled dozens of aid agencies operating in Darfur. Gunmen, presumably pro-government militia, have attacked United Nations and African Union peacekeeping troops.

It is evident that the Sudanese leader is using the Darfur people as pawns and hostages in his battle against the threat to have him tried for mass murder and crimes against humanity.

He has been emboldened in his defiance by the fact that African countries, Kenya included, have been opposed to the warrant of arrest against a brother African leader.

But if the Sudanese president is going to inflict even more suffering on the people of Darfur, then the African Union and its member states must re-think their position. President Al-Bashir was indicted for the deaths of hundred of thousands in a sectional and racial pogrom executed in Darfur.

Were it not for the presence of UN and other international aid agencies, as well as peacekeeping troops, the deadly campaign against the people of Darfur would have be even more devastating.

The African countries must take the lead in pressuring the Sudanese regime to let charity missions and peacekeeping troops operate unhindered.

They must also make it clear that their concern for the wellbeing of the people of Darfur overrides loyalty to a fellow leader of an AU-member state.

They must make it clear to Al-Bashir the if the innocent people of Darfur remain under the threat of genocide and extermination, Africa will not stand idly by, but will fully support the warrant of arrest and take whatever measures necessary to see it effected.

All African leaders who support Mr Bashir must realise that their own hands could be stained by the blood of the Darfur people.

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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