By Mahmoud A. Suleiman
This article comes against the backdrop of the report presented to the UN on April 4, 2017 by the newly appointed UNAMID head Jeremiah N. Mamabolo which indicated that Darfur of today is different from 2003: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article62099 The new leader of the UNAMID continued saying that “the Darfur of today is a very different place from what this region was in 2003 when the armed conflict began, and from that of a year ago," Mamabolo said. He also added that the fighting between the government and holdout Darfur rebel groups has "considerably diminished". Mr. Mamabolo South African diplomat and leader of the UNAMID began his viewpoints by blaming and shaming the Darfur armed rebel movements by expressing his regret over the rebel group’s continuing refusal to join the regional and international efforts for peace in Sudan, as though he were a representative of his compatriot former President of South Africa and the current African Union High-Level Implementation Panel on Sudan (AUHIP)! There is nothing worse than war but war itself; the people of the war-torn The Darfur rebel movements have explored every avenue in an attempt to stop the war, but they didn’t find the partner keen in ending the war.
The recent UNAMID report to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the exit strategy from Darfur is driven by collusion and based on fabricated and biased information gathered from the National Congress Party (NCP) regime itself without including the suffering of the Sudanese civilian populations who have been targeted and languishing under the scourge of the war of attrition in which chemical weapons have been used by the army of the government of Omer al-Bashir in the Jebel Marra locality in the war-ravaged Darfur region. There is credible evidence of children killed and maimed by horrific chemical weapons attacks in Darfur. Amnesty International has gathered harrowing evidence strongly suggesting the repeated use of chemical weapons against civilians, including very young children, in Jebel Marra - one the most remote parts of Darfur. https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/09/chemical-weapons-attacks-darfur/ The Darfur region has been stuck in a catastrophic cycle of violence for more than 13 years, nothing has changed except that the world has stopped watching,” said Tirana Hassan of Amnesty International. https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/09/sudan-credible-evidence-chemical-weapons-darfur-revealed/
The thing that is more irritating is the UNAMID report’s turning a blind eye to the Chemical weapons used by the Sudanese army against the civilian citizens of Jebel Marra with intent and premeditation, as reported above by the Amnesty International. The NCP regime tried by all means to conceal the crime of using chemical weapons against civilians in in the Jebel Marra area. The British journalist Phil Cox, who works for the British Television Channel IV and his interpreter Daoud Hari were arrested in December 2016 and subjected to torture in prison. The practices of the al-Bashir regime were exposed through a TV programme of broadcast by the Channel Four on 6th of April 2017. The British journalist Phil Cox said that they went to Darfur to investigate what was happening on the ground, and to follow up allegations that chemical weapons were being used by the Sudanese government against its own citizens. Phil went on saying “we had been tracked by the Sudanese military and captured by a local militia. At this point, we had no idea what would happen to us. Amnesty International concluded that these actions show that the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has something to hide in Jebel Marra. Otherwise, why does the regime not allow journalists to do their work, but arrests and tortures them? https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/05/captured-in-darfur-south-sudan. Ironically, in the Era of ironies that the United Nations body responsible for the safety of civilians from chemical weapons has chosen Sudan as a chemical weapons watchdog. It seems in that as though we are in the times of the farce that say everything has been in the wrong place. The recidivist thief has been made a guardian of possessions and the property of vulnerable people or as if we are employing a common criminal robber as a bank guard! Furthermore, it is an abject shame on the part of the UN Body responsible for Chemical Weapons in allowing such a country as Sudan under the NCP genocidal regime to be the watchdog on chemical weapons while it is using them against its own citizens. The National Islamic Front/National Congress Party (NIF/NCP) regime in Khartoum has been elected on Friday 10 March 2017 as Vice Chair of Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) with the support of the Africa bloc in the Organisation. The Jebel Marra massacres of chemical weapons continued from January to August 2016 ... 240 days in total. http://www.sudanjem.com/2017/04/%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D8%A8%D8%B6-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%A8%D8%B4%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%83%D9%8A%D9%85%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%8A-%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D8%B4%D9%8A%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%83%D9%8A%D9%85/#more-132555 Moreover, the massacres of Jebel Marra were the result of the bombing of the (NCP) regime for civilians in Jebel Marra area with chemical weapons by Antonov aircraft, deliberately and premeditatedly. The silence of the international community on the massacres of chemical weapons in Jebel Marra area is, at the very least, outrageous. Instead of investigating the use of chemical weapons against civilian Sudanese in Jebel Marra the Security Council (UNSC) on Wednesday April 5, 2017, condemned the rebel leader Abdul Wahid Mohammed Ahmed al-Nur, accusing him of causing problems in Darfur as a result of his intransigence and his refusal to negotiate with the genocidal ruling regime of the National Congress Party (NCP). Injustice and travesty of justice have prevailed at the (OPCW) when the culprit rewarded instead of punishment for the crimes perpetrated. On Friday, March 17, 2017, Amnesty International described Sudan’s election as a slap to the face of the victims of chemical weapons. It is a stigma on the forehead of the Chemical Weapons Prohibition Organization (OPCW) which is set up to prevent the use of chemical attacks such as that launched by the Khartoum regime in 2016 in Darfur And the regions of the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile.
On the other hand, the report of the new UNAMID leader goes on glorifying the Sudanese government’s positions on peace, allowance for relief delivery to the needy and decrease of violence. On the contrary, the regime has unleashed the former Janjaweed militias, now called the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to do whatever they want of crimes against humanity without accountability because they find absolute protection and support from the head of the National Congress Party (NCP) government, the genocidal criminal and fugitive from the International Justice, Marshal Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir personally. In addition to the insecurity in all the five States of the Darfur region where crime has become the master of the situation and the hapless Sudanese citizen and his possessions became the victim and the result is nothing but death and continuous destruction amid terrible silence of the so –called National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) because the assailants are the part and parcel of the (NISS). As the saying goes, the protector is the criminal par excellence! As they say, speak without feeling embarrassed about the ongoing tribal warfare in Darfur resulting from the omen of the neo-Gold Rush over whom to own the gold mines. Obviously, the victim is a numerous loss of innocent souls, a new wave of internal displacement, migration, burning of villages and lawlessness. The culprit continues to be the (RSF) and other related lawless thugs; both are proxies of the Khartoum regime. Thus, the recent report to the UN by the UNAMID leader is completely devoid of the aforementioned important information; he deliberately avoided making any hints or mere reminders about the underlying factors that making exit strategy of the UNAMID something unthinkable amidst the current state of terror and lawlessness and ongoing loss of innocent souls. Without any shred of doubt, the aforementioned is a part and parcel of the Darfur crisis which has been raging since its outbreak in February 2003, when the government of the National Islamic Front (NIF)/National Congress Party (NCP) led by Omer al-Bashir, refused to listen to and try peacefully meeting the legitimate demands of wealth and power sharing for the people of Sudan in Darfur because, according to al-Bashir, he would not negotiate with anyone not taking up arms, as he was! So far nothing has changed to say that conditions on the ground in Darfur have improved but the debilitating war secretions through the lean years of calamity and ruin. The voice of young children in camps of displacement and asylum who are hungry without schools for education and no work prospects for the grown up of them who do not know that the future hides for them. If we delve into the issues of elusive sustainable peace in Darfur to which the citizens longing for, we find the roadblocks established by the (NCP) regime in Khartoum to protect its president Omer al-Bashir from the apprehension by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the heinous crimes he has committed in Darfur in 2004 and for which he has been indicted by the (ICC) at The Hague in 2009 and issued an arrest warrant. Reneging peace agreements concluded through negotiations and signed with the parties in dispute remained the characteristic of the NCP regime and a stumbling block for the end of the civil warfare in Sudan’s Darfur over the past 14 years. Procrastination, manoeuvring, placing obstacles and taking militias and mercenaries as proxies to fight the Darfuri armed movements and disbursement of public money to them are among the most important reasons that prevented the end to the crises in the war-torn Darfur region and elsewhere in Sudan.
Of the tragedies created by the war in Darfur region is the presence of twelve refugee camps in the neighbouring Chad with over 300,000 Sudanese refugees in eastern Chad; virtually all from Darfur—virtually all ethnically African. http://sudanreeves.org/2016/07/07/invisible-forgotten-and-suffering-darfuri-refugees-in-eastern-chad-april-28-2016
Moreover, in addition to the foregoing figure, there are more than 2 million people remain internally displaced (IDPs) inside the IDP camps in Darfur as of as recently as May 2010. https://www.dissentmagazine.org/blog/how-many-internally-displaced-persons-are-there-in-darfur
Other references include How Many Refugees in Chad?” (August 2016) http://sudanreeves.org/2016/08/09/how-many-refugees-in-chad-august-2016/
The issue of the people of Sudan in Darfur region has unfortunately been ruled to remain unresolved as a result of intertwined factors. The most important of which is the unwillingness of the ruling regime of the (NCP) to end the suffering of the people of Sudan in that region for reasons related to the protection of Omer al-Bashir from the fate awaiting him with the (ICC). Furthermore, the international community represented in the mighty United States of America and the other Permanent Members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) have been focusing all their attention on the never-ending warfare and the crisis in the Levant region in Syria, Iraq. Moreover, the European Union (EU) desires to stem the migration from the Horn of African countries of Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti through Sudan to the European shore via the chaotic Libya. The European Union, in its quest for converging with the NCP ruling regime, has used financial incentives, has paid more than 150 million euros, which observers believe it is more likely to take its course into the pockets of the influential kleptocracy in the regime as usual! And at the same pace, the justifications for the partial lifting of economic sanctions on Sudan by the former US President Barak Obama administration have been based on false claims that the Sudan government’s record has improved on many issues including the arrival of relief, and there have been no serious violations in conflict areas. Here we see the deliberate neglect of the resolution Issued by the Obama administration for the other blatant violations of human rights practiced by the ruling regime of the (NCP) and implemented by its allied militias of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the security service called the National Security and Intelligence Services (NISS) The consistent thing in the behaviour of the (NCP) regime under the leadership of genocidal criminal Omar al-Bashir is irreparability, as quoted to have been said by the late Dr. John Garang Mabior :( the NCP regime is so deformed to be reformed!). Saying the truth is better than pursuing in falsehood, but this is contrary to the Diplomatic norms in the World of Political Hypocrisy; the end justifies the means! On the other hand, let’s not ignore the role played by the intersecting interests between those international community countries and the Sudanese regime that have become stumbling block against the people of Sudan in Darfur for achieving sustainable peace. Thus, the people of Darfur represent the victims of injustice who continue suffering into oblivion. However and despite the chronic failure of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) to protect civilians, its presence in Darfur is the only safe haven available to the surviving civilians fleeing the scourge of war when their homes get burnt down and their relatives killed by pro-government Janjaweed militias, Sudan Armed Force (SAF) and the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS). The injustice that has been inflicted on the people of Sudan in Darfur has been prolonged too far and it is an onus on the international community to not turn a blind eye to it because of the intersecting interests with the perpetrators of the crimes against humanity, war crime and crimes of genocide. So far, the recent international community’s response to the plight of the Darfuri Sudanese people has been deplorable Doing justice and reparation for the victims and survivors of injustice is the paramount duty of humanity.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela the South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 has been quoted as saying: (As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world; none of us can truly rest). https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/n/nelsonmand737776.html?src=t_injustice
Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is an author, columnist and a blogger. His blog is http://thussudan.wordpress.com/