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Sudan Tribune

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Darfur’s Arab tribes complain of marginalization

Darfur’s Arab tribes complain of marginalization
BBC Monitoring Service – United Kingdom
Published: Mar 10, 2007

Text of report by Sudanese newspaper Al-Khartoum on 10 March

Arab tribes in Darfur have warned that discord will spread in the region if their claim to the power sharing, stipulated in the Abuja agreement, is ignored. They further blamed the international community, as custodian of the agreement, for this marginalization and said it was targeting Arab tribes as part of its project to divide Sudan along tribal and ethnic lines.

The head of the Arab tribes’ shura [consultative] authority, Eng Mahmud Musa Uthman, pointed out that the implementation of the Abuja agreement had shown that the Arab tribes in Darfur were the most marginalized in terms of power sharing. He said this was contrary to what the agreement had stipulated. He said that out of 90 posts stipulated in the agreement, only six had been allocated to Arab tribes in Darfur. He further said that current arrangements towards finalizing peace were heading towards increasing the armed movement’s share even though they do not represent 10 per cent of the population in Darfur.

Uthman said the Arab tribes were the first to be targeted by the rebels who, despite talk of marginalization, had destroyed the infrastructure present since independence and had stopped the implementation of development projects at a time when a just distribution of power and wealth should have been sought in Khartoum. He said the real nature of the rebels had become clear when they began struggling over who would be governor, deputy governor or other positions gained through the Abuja agreement.

Uthman said the targeting of Darfur’s Arab tribes was closely linked to US schemes related to its interests in west Africa and were aimed at countering what it considers an Arab and Islamic encroachment westwards into Africa.

Uthman pointed out that the international community which made Arab tribes a part of the problem had to accept the tribes’ participation in finding a lasting and fair solution. He warned that any compromise to resolve the problem of Darfur that sidelined the Arab tribes would fail.

He further rejected descriptions they were given by the western media. “We are not Janjawid,” he said. Uthman further reiterated that Arab tribes were the most marginalized saying a pregnant woman would give birth in the morning and move on to the desert in the evening without receiving any medical care for her or her child and no veterinary care for the animals.

Source: Al-Khartoum, Khartoum, in Arabic 10 Mar 07