Editorial, The Khartoum Monitor
May 29, 2005 — Kofi Annan, this distinguished son of Africa, is currently in Sudan but the way he has been treated by some newspapers and people in this country is very unbecoming. He has been called names. We totally reject these insults to this son of Ghana, the country of Kwame Nkrumah, one of the greatest pan-Africanists. Annan was instrumental in moving the United Nations Security Council to Africa to meet in Nairobi last year to discuss ways of bringing peace to Sudan. A comprehensive peace agreement has now been signed. He played a major role in the signing of this deal.
Annan is now focused on Darfur. Having brought peace to many parts of the world, he wants to make a difference in Darfur. The secretary-general has made it abundantly clear how appalled he is with the situation in Darfur. The thirst, diseases, deaths, famine and displacement. The man deserves respect and admiration but instead some groups have raised doubts about his neutrality. It does not serve Kofi Annan to be biased. It does not help him in any way. His main concern is the common man/woman in Darfur. This is where he differs from the belligerents in Darfur.
Although both the government and the rebels in Darfur always talk in the name of the common man in Darfur, their main concern has been military control of Darfur. This control they hope will give them political control and an advantage at any peace talks. This, they hope will give them power in Darfur, through the ballot box or any other means. The ordinary person has always been a secondary issue.
The displaced people in the camps in Darfur know this. About a year ago when Kofi Annan was in Jamjam camp near Al-Fashir, they told him clearly how their women and other civilians had been attacked by people in uniform.
He went yesterday to visit Kalma displaced camp near Nyala. When I was in the camp last year there was a lot of mistrust between the about 150,000 people in the camp and the police even though the commander of the police force then was a southerner.
These are the kind of things determining the kind of reports Annan presents to the UN Security Council. Many of the displaced in Darfur are alive because of the UN. Many of them are totally dependent on the UN. Many look to Annan for salvation. To them he means everything. Demonstrating against the UN chief will not change that. Sending a junior minister to meet him at the airport will not change that.