August 11, 2004
DARFUR: ONLY 'CONCRETE MEASURES' CAN STOP THE
** Sudan "must not be
allowed to get away with" its "egregious" actions in Darfur.
** Muslim writers uniformly
reject the "threat of foreign intervention" in Sudan.
** Skeptics scorn the
UN-Khartoum pact as "not worth the paper it was written on."
** African dailies demand
their "puerile" leaders go "beyond mere rhetoric."
'Massive military intervention'--
and moderate Euro papers agreed that "military force" is necessary to
halt the "horrendous genocide" in Darfur. Britain's independent Economist stated
that Darfur "needs peacekeepers now," while the pro-opposition Kenya
Times reminded readers that "international law recognizes the
right...to intervene in another country on humanitarian grounds." Writers praised the U.S.'
"inspiring" and "noble" stand against Khartoum; Holland's
left-of-center Trouw urged Europeans to "live up to their moral
pretenses and take action." Other
outlets blasted global "indifference and indolence" for allowing
another "Rwanda-style genocide."
'International interference in another Arab country'-- Arab outlets blasted the "threatening
language" from the U.S. and instead backed a "collective Arab
move" to fix the crisis. Saudi and
Lebanese papers noted the "humanitarian crisis" but rejected
Hardline outlets alleged the U.S. sought "another stage for military
intervention after Iraq." Sudanese
observers saw a "new colonization campaign"; pro-government Al-Rai
Al-Aam termed Darfur an "opening for foreign military
intervention" to "demolish the Arab-Islamic identity of
Sudan." Non-Arab leftist dailies assailed
the West's "sanctimonious prattle" favoring intervention.
'Bluster and noise'--
Pro-interventionists dismissed both the "weak" Khartoum-UN
agreement, which "lacked resolute measures to enforce compliance,"
and the "toothless" UNSC resolution, which exemplified the UNSC's
"big-talk, little action response."
Analysts blamed China and Russia's "big oil interests in the
Sudan" for the "diplomatically whitewashed" resolution and opined
that the "greed of major countries for oil" outweighed "human
solidarity." Khartoum sympathizers
such as China's official Global Times countered that the resolution was
part of the U.S. goal of "monopolizing Sudan's oil resources."
A 'conspiracy of silence amongst African leaders'-- African writers expressed outrage at the African
Union's "culpable silence and passivity" in the face of the
Nigeria's independent Punch fulminated that the AU always
"fails to act decisively."
Non-African writers praised what they perceived as the African Union's willingness
"to get involved"; India's centrist Hindu urged Sudan's
African neighbors to "play the primary role in crafting an enduring
solution." Several commentators
stressed that Sudanese "must settle the Darfur tragedy by
themselves." Saudi Arabia's conservative
Al-Nadwa advised the world to trust Khartoum's "honest
Media Reaction reporting conveys the spectrum of foreign press
sentiment. Posts select commentary to
provide a representative picture of local editorial opinion. This report summarizes and interprets foreign
editorial opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S.
Government. This analysis was based on
81 reports from 31 countries over 27 July - 11 August 2004. Editorial excerpts from each country are
listed from the most recent date.
Kamal Bakhit said in pro-government Al-Rai Al-Aam
(8/8): "The UNSC resolution
regarding Darfur...is unfair and considered by many observers as part of a
conspiracy against Sudan, with Darfur the opening for foreign military
intervention in the country to demolish the Arab-Islamic identity of
Sudan. However, Sudan must deal with
this unfair resolution rationally and diplomatically, rather than by uttering
slogans.... The Sudanese government does
not have the ability to implement the UN resolution in the required time;
however, a strategic coalition between Sudan, Egypt and Libya might help Sudan
implement this resolution.
Moreover...this alliance could persuade the international community to
give the Sudanese government more time to resolve the Darfur problem.... The Sudanese government made big miscalculations
by sidelining the Arab countries' role in the Darfur conflict, ignoring the
fact that Libya and Egypt have excellent relations with Sudan's neighboring
countries who are party to this ongoing conflict."
"The Noble One Lies"
Pro-government Al-Rai Al-Aam maintained (8/5): "The international community has now a
unified stance regarding Darfur and stresses the importance of disarming the
Jenjaweit, but what about the rebels in Darfur? Who will disarm them? If we look at this from another perspective
we cannot help but question the real motives for this intervention.... Any foreign invasion to the Sudan will be
triggered by a hidden intention of taking control of the oil in Darfur and
Southern Sudan. As we all can see the
era of morals and scruple is over. The great and noble are derived by their own
interests and preach morals of human rights as a pretext to their real
"The U.S. Role"
Rashid Abdel Al-Rahim asserted in pro-government Al-Rai Al-Aam
(8/5): "The U.S. statements regarding
the UNSC resolution aim to influence the Council to bring it over to the U.S.
side. The USG is trying to transform the UNSC into an appendage of the
Department of State. In the process it seems to forget that the Council’s main
objective is to preserve peace and security around the world.”
"Support The Demonstration Against Foreign Intervention"
Anti-West aggressive Al-Wifag opined (8/5): "The demonstration today should demand
the throwing out of the Crusader Ambassadors in Khartoum--the U.S. Charge Galluci
and his companion British Ambassador Patey--who should not stay an additional
night in Khartoum--the city which in the past assassinated the British General
"Opposition Should Be Loyal"
Official Al-Anbaa remarked (8/5): "Given the silence of the political
leadership and religious scholars towards foreign intervention in the Sudan,
these public figures have lost their political, and religious credibility. Does the opposition Justice and Equality Movement
wish to assist the British and the U.S. troops in their new colonization
campaign in the Sudan which aim to deprive the Sudan of its resources and
embark on the Christianization of the people of Darfur?”
"The U.S. And Sudanese Positions"
Pro-government Al-Sahafa observed (8/5): "The GoS should have called for a
mobilizing campaign to address the needs of 1 million and half IDPs in
Darfur. The GoS however, wishes to
resort to its old-fashioned denying tactics of labeling the international
community’s intervention in Darfur as part of a campaign targeting Islam and as
a conspiracy to overthrow the current regime.
The INGAZ (Salvation) movement is well aware of the fact that the U.S.
administration did not seek to overthrow the regime in Khartoum. Looking back, and at the very beginning of
this crisis, the U.S. State Department Spokesman referred to the issue of
Darfur as an 'internal issue.' The
problem however escalated due to a campaign launched by human rights groups and
NGO’s and other European countries, which did not have a particular interest in
the Naivasha agreement. The Democratic
Party then came into the picture and tried to deprive the Bush Administration
of its success in the South of the Sudan.
Soon afterwards, Black and Jewish lobbies exerted pressure on the U.S.
administration...to change its stance with respect to its 'partners' in
Khartoum. Therefore if we are to
evaluate the U.S. position with respect to Darfur, we are to infer that the
U.S. did not have a hidden agenda for the Sudan from the start, but was forced
to take action under immense local and international pressure. ”
Intervention Critical In Sudan’s Darfur Crisis"
The opposition KANU party-owned Kenya Times remarked
(8/7): “The grim reality is that it is
unlikely that Western powers will react to the Darfur crisis in the manner they
did over Kosovo in 1999 when NATO planes bombed Serbia. The two crisis have certain things in common. That is the aspect of human catastrophe, armed
militias raiding and slaughtering a defenseless population and a government
that is reluctant to intervene. The
differences are that unlike Kosovo, Darfur is extremely large and remote. Since international law recognizes the right
of world nations to intervene in another country on humanitarian grounds,
probably it is high time the Security Council was asked to approve this kind of
intervention before the African Darfuris are decimated by devout Muslims.”
"Darfur: A Deadly
Independent left-of-center Nation commented (7/30): “The Sudan government must not be allowed to
get away with what some people are calling the 'Darfur genocide.' Oil, again, seems to be the force driving the
international community’s fatal hesitation to deal firmly with the Sudanese
government over Darfur. The killings
serve its interests because uprooting and murdering large numbers of non-Arab
populations reduces the political leverage that the numbers in the south gives
its opponents. And it will bog down the
SPLA when implementation of the peace agreement gets under way, because it will
have millions of refugees to repatriate and resettle.”
NIGERIA: "Lethargy Of
Olu Akaraogun wrote in the independent
Lagos-based Daily Champion (8/8):
"Events in western Sudan currently is a grim reminder of the
unhappy experience of the contact between black Africans and the Arabs who
people the northernmost tip of the African continent.... We should stop pretending. To those people at the northern tip of the
African continent, their claim to Arab nationality is more real to them than
any nebulous connection with black Africa....
What the so-called civil war in the Sudan is about is that the so-called
Arabs in the north of the Sudan, have no wish to live in peace and harmony with
the black people in the south.... Most
of the people in the Darfur region of western Sudan are Moslems. But that has
not helped their situation.... The track
record of achievement of the African Union, in the face of what has been
described as the biggest humanitarian tragedy in the world which is going on in
Darfur...is ZERO.... While leaders
represented in the African Union have been doing what they know best how to
do--that is chatter away and prattle seemingly without end, others outside
African have been taking relevant and concrete action.... The visit to the Darfur region by the U.S.
Secretary of State is turning out to be very useful. The UNSC has already
passed a resolution which gave the Khartoum government a period of 30 days
within which they should see to it that the so-called pro-Arab militias are
disarmed.... The threat of imminent
sanctions by the UNSC has concentrated the minds of the authorities in Khartoum
wonderfully well.... It would be a stain
on the consciences of all of us who are alive, if through indifference and
indolence, we allow the inhuman barbarity that characterized the genocide which
occurred in Rwanda in 1987, to recur in the western region of the Sudan."
"Test Case For African Union"
An editorial in Lagos-based independent Comet
judged (8/5): "It is sad that there
is a conspiracy of silence amongst African leaders in spite of the so-called
peer review mechanism, an important plank in the New Partnership for African
Development (NEPAD).... This is a case
in which Nigeria should have exercised leadership and now that President
Obasanjo is chairman of the African Union, the ball is in his court and the
whole world is watching to see exactly what the AU is going to do. A meeting has held in Accra, Ghana and the
crisis in Darfur has been twined with the old crisis in Ivory Coast possibly to
water down whatever condemnation of the Sudan that should emanate from the
Accra Conference. The Comet had
hitherto called attention to this genocide in Darfur and we believe that the
relevance of the AU hangs in the balance over the way forward to peace in
"Calling On The International
The Lagos-based independent Punch
editorialized (8/5): "Amid
expressions of disgust from Western countries, African leaders have continued
to grope in the dark on how to handle the Arab-led horror against the black
population in Sudan.... It is imperative
that the Obasanjo-led African Union should go beyond mere rhetoric and red tape
and rein in the government in Khartoum.
The Sudanese war has gone too far, and the rest of humanity must seize
the initiative from the puerile African leaders if the AU fails to act
decisively. By its connivance with the
Janjaweed militia, the Khartoum government has compromised the purpose of
government, which is the protection of lives and property and has thus lost the
right to rule. The UN should set up a
War Crimes Tribunal to try whoever is the mastermind of the Darfur genocide."
"A Dangerous Silence"
Bobson Gbinije commented in the respected
Lagos-based Guardian (8/5):
"The egregious decimation and horrendous genocide being unleashed
on defenseless civilians, children and women by the Sudanese
government-sponsored Janjaweed Arab militia should prick the conscience of the
African Union and the international community.
The culpable silence and passivity of the United Nations, African Union,
the United States and the Arab League betrayed one basic fact, that the
international community cares less about what happens across the fences of
their political neighborhood.... The
Janjaweed's criminal and sadistic acts must be nipped in the bud today. We hope President Obasanjo will make the
difference as the new African Union chairman."
"African Leaders Wake Up"
Lagos-based independent daily New Age editorialized
(8/2): "Apparently with Khartoum’s
imprimatur, the Janjaweed has been wreaking unspeakable havoc, killing
and maiming, raping girls and women and razing down African settlements. The result is the world’s current worst
humanitarian disaster, with an average of 300 deaths every day and 2.2 million
people in urgent need of food aid....
African leaders, for whom the Darfur situation has been a particular
nightmare especially given the antics of the Sudanese government would need to
build up a capacity to respond quickly to crises of this nature. Acting in concert with the international
community, they must ostracize governments such as Khartoum’s which are beyond
the pale before they do too much harm."
"Sudanese Govt. Delaying Action In Darfur"
The English-language, IPP Media-owned Guardian commented
(7/27): " The serious humanitarian
crisis in Darfur, Sudan whereby thousands have been displaced and a million
feared killed should give the whole of Africa a sleepless night. Reports have it that while men are being
killed by the Janjaweed militias in an attempt to wipe out the black race,
women and children are subjected to gang rapes and sex servitude. Women have described horrifying episodes
whereby a gang of five to six men satisfied their sexual appetites on one
woman. In some incidents, men talked of
cold murder as children’s throats were slit open by militias who alleged that
the Sudanese government was backing them.
Of course the government has dismissed the reports by humanitarian
organizations as outright lies. Meeting
in Addis Ababa last month, the African Union Heads of State and Government
failed to come into a consensus as the Sudanese government maintained that it
should be left alone to resolve the crisis alone. In fact, the Sudanese President Mohammed El
Bashir has attempted to persuade the world that the situation is not that bad
as press reports seem to imply and it was doing the best it can, to stop the
senseless killings.... We would like to
believe that the Sudanese President is telling the truth to the world. But we are afraid to say, mere words won’t
heal the wounds of those who have lost their loved ones, the women who were
raped and the displaced persons now living in perpetual fear. Why has it taken so long for the government
of Sudan to act in defense of the defenseless?
Why is it afraid of an AU joint action?
Well, perhaps the Sudanese government is not in a hurry to act and so
save lives. Then, it should leave those
who have been hurt by the Darfur crisis, including Britain, to act."
UGANDA: "It's Genocide
Muniini K. Mulera wrote in the independent Monitor
(8/9): "One watches in disbelief as
the world's great and not-so-great leaders continue to debate, once again,
whether or not the deliberate extermination of humans and the despoliation of
entire black African communities in western Sudan amount to genocide.... Just to make it clear how serious the
situation is, the UN calls Darfur the 'world's worst humanitarian crisis'.... So is born UNSCR 1556, one of those documents
that the great wordsmiths in New York have a knack for churning out as a
temporizing measure while the world ponders what to do. Memories of a similar debate ten years ago
flood back like the blood-stained waters of the River Kagera.... For months, of course, many of us have been
calling the widespread massacres in Darfur exactly what they are:
genocide.... In Darfur, it is as if the
Arab militia, the Janjaweed, who have been engaging in a sustained program of
ethnic cleansing against the Fur, Massaleet and Zagawa communities, have been
using...the Convention on Genocide as their working manual.... It is genocide in Darfur and the wise men and
women at the UN and in the great capitals of the world know it. Yet they dither
and play with words and phrases.... In
Darfur's case, everybody knows that the only effective action that will halt
the genocide is a massive military intervention by the international
community. But since few, if any,
countries want to get involved in the bloody mess that awaits any intervention
force in Sudan, better to pretend that the killing fields of Darfur fall short
of genocide.... The Arab militia, fully
supported by the Sudanese authorities, are not about to let up on their
singular mission to take full control of the oil-rich swathe of desert that
they have hitherto shared with millions of black Africans. Unless of course they are forced out of
Darfur. Whether or not this will happen
will first depend on the resolve of Africans, both on the continent and in the
Diaspora, to speak loudly, clearly and repeatedly to the UN and the rest of the
world that our kinsmen, nay, our fellow humans are being systematically
annihilated in the first genocide, yes genocide, of the 21st Century."
We Are All Guilty Of Watching Them Die"
Elias Biryabarema observed in the independent Monitor
(7/30): "For 15 months now,
ruthless militiamen have wrought devastation in western Sudan, butchering an
estimated 10,000 to 30,000 black African people and uprooting another one
million. To our consternation eminent
men of Africa congregated in Addis Ababa on July 7, gorged themselves on food
and drink and declared: No Genocide in
Darfur. For the bleeding, dying and
agonizing in Darfur, it did not make a whole lot of difference whether their
crisis was a genocide, liberation war, ethnic cleansing or whatever you might
want to name it. The people of Darfur
did not wake up on July 7 to await what definition African Union (AU)
presidents assembled in Addis would assign to their suffering. I have always harbored intense dislike for
U.S. hypocrisy and [its] slanted approach in responding to the agony of
humanity, yet I feel humbled by the U.S.’ inspiring stand against Sudan
regarding the Darfur genocide. As the
African presidents wined and dined in Addis, U.S. Secretary of State Colin
Powell who had just visited Darfur was telling the UN and Americans that the
Khartoum government must act to stop its insane alliance with the crazy
Janjaweed men or else be compelled to do so.
That was a noble act from a world leader. He had refused to be drawn into silly
semantics that delay action while life losses pile up. It does not matter what you call it, Powell
said. All he knew, he said, was
barbarous acts were going on; killing and rape of Black Africans, burning of
villages and mass displacement of people; all of which had to be stopped."
"Sanctions, Intervention No Solution to
The conservative Islamic Weekly Message commented
(7/27): "The Western media and
governments have said a lot regarding the conflict in the Darfur region of the
Sudan. Every day we are shown images of
people in desperate need of humanitarian assistance, but unfortunately the
Western media has not shown the world what their governments are doing to help
the people of Darfur and the government of Sudan. Instead what we see are threats of sanctions
and intervention by the superpowers, which are offering little help to the
Sudan government to assist it in halting the crisis. Working hand in hand with the Sudan
government is the only way to a peaceful end to the conflict. Superpowers should learn from the experience
of Iraq that unilateralism has only served to make it the most insecure spot in
the world. It must be understood that
intervention in a sovereign country if allowed, will not stop in Sudan only; it
will become a hobby of the superpowers."
"Decades Of Neglect In Darfur Cannot Be Corrected Overnight"
An editorial in the independent Financial
Times read (8/9): "The urgency
of this human catastrophe is clear. But
there can be no quick fix to a situation that has been caused by decades of
neglect, drought, and ethnic tensions deliberately stoked by a corrupt and
divided regime in Khartoum.... The
answer is to extend the present north-south peace process in Sudan to include
the west, providing the prospect of an end to the conflict, and thus persuading
enough of the combatants to stop fighting.
Only then will the miserable civilians be able to go home in safety. It will take time.”
"Shuffling Paper While Africans Die"
An editorial in the independent weekly Economist
held (8/7): "Military force will be
needed to safeguard aid deliveries, and to reassure those who have fled their
homes that it is safe to return....
Since every day's delay means hundreds more unnecessary deaths, Darfur
cannot wait another month for help. It
needs peacekeepers now."
"Diplomacy Is Forgotten In The Mania For
Jonathan Steele noted in the left-of-center Guardian
(8/6): "The current media-driven
push for military intervention in Sudan's western province of Darfur has all
the hallmarks of the run-up to the west's last three wars. The fact that none has yet produced stability
or justice is overlooked."
"Threatening The Sudan Government Won't
A commentary in the center-left Independent
by Adrian Hamilton asserted (8/5):
"Here we are with what almost everyone accepts as the worst
humanitarian crisis of our time in the Sudan, and there's still no policy to
deal with it.... Iraq has made
consensual solutions to crises such as Sudan a great deal more difficult. All the discussions that might have taken
place in the grey areas of pressure and persuasion have been made impossible by
an international discourse that can only see crises in terms of intervention or
non-intervention, regime-change or appeasement.
Such is the sense of a 'battle of civilizations' engendered by the
invasion of Iraq that Muslims are reluctant to see any action taken against
Khartoum for fear that it is part of a Western war against their confreres,
while African and other Third World countries oppose it on the grounds that it
opens up the way to a more general Western intervention in the internal affairs
of the other countries. Grandstanding is
the last thing that the poor people of Darfur need.... You can start putting the squeeze on Khartoum
to get the refugees returned, not in the language of threat but with the simple
point that Sudan cannot hope to find support or aid from the international
community until it fulfills its obligations to its own people."
"The Mask Of Altruism Disguising A Colonial War"
John Laughland commented in the left-of-center Guardian
(8/2): "Humanitarian aid should be
what the Red Cross always said it must be--politically neutral. Anything else is just an old-fashioned
colonial war--the reality of killing, and the escalation of violence, disguised
with the hypocritical mask of altruism.
If Iraq has not taught us that, then we are incapable of ever learning
"The Long Thirty Days"
The conservative Times editorialized (8/2): "At the least, the UN should prepare a
stand-by force to shield the aid convoys or set up safe areas, much as it did
to protect the Kurdish refugees from Iraq in 1991. Darfur is remote, poor, contested and of no
economic or strategic value. But the
world is as challenged here as in Kosovo or Rwanda to uphold and defend the
universal right to life."
"The Fairytale Of A Religious War"
Arne Perras opined in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of
Munich (8/10): "The regime [in
Khartoum] wants to drive a wedge between the Arab world and the West. It behaves as if a UN under the control of
the U.S. was waging war against Islam.
That's absurd, because the victims in Darfur are Muslims
themselves. There is no religious war
and it is not Washington's intention to topple the regime in Khartoum, as it is
claimed in many Arab countries.
Washington is at peace with Khartoum, was a successful broker in the
decades-long war between the Islamic Northern Sudan and the Christian-Animistic
South. This peace between North and
South is now in danger, and only the rulers in the upper Nile region fail to
understand that this new war could cause Sudan to fall apart, if no political
solution can be found with the rebels in Darfur. Khartoum must share power and wealth with
more ethnic groups, otherwise more groups would rebel and turn the country into
a new Somalia."
"The UN Is Too Satisfied Too Quickly"
Dominic Johnson argued in leftist die tageszeitung of
Berlin (8/10): "The latest
agreement between the UN and Sudan's government is not worth the paper it was
written on. The Sudanese regime does not
even promise coercive measures against militias in Darfur. All it wants to do is to tell some
militiamen to stop their activities....
It remains a mystery why the UN envoy Pronk has agreed on this, because
this is worse than anything Sudan has already complied with. Maybe he has realized that neither the UN nor
Sudan would deliver more at the moment....
Both turn a blind eye on Arab militias."
"The Patron Demands His Price"
Arne Perras had this to say in an editorial in
center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (8/6): "Among Europeans, France likes to see
itself as the bridge to Africa. What
could express this even more than pictures of French soldiers carrying food packages
from the belly of a Transall transport plane...in Chad.... President Chirac can again present himself as
the good patron a role he likes to play when the former colonies are
involved.... But the façade of the
benevolent patriarch hides something else but pure philanthropy. Even four decades after the end of its
colonial rule, Paris still has to defend a closely knit web of political and
economic interests...and is trying to prevent its claim to be a major power
with the support of African allies from a creeping loss.... The French move in
Chad [to support refugees from the Darfur region] which France declares as a
humanitarian action has in reality strategic reasons. Paris wants to continue to use the country as
an air force base, and Chirac fears that the war in western Sudan could spread
to Chad, whose president he protects. Even
though the French forces are relatively small with 200 troops, France is
signaling that it will be willing to intervene if the conflict spreads. This can happen, for in western Sudan, the
military forces commit massacres of ethnic groups that also live in Chad. And we have already heard of scattered
fighting, developments that do not stop at borders."
"Saber Rattling In Sudan"
Dominic Johnson editorialized in leftist die
tageszeitung of Berlin (8/6):
"Will there be an American-British intervention as conservatives in
both camps are demanding? This would
first mean to present evidence that Sudan does not take action against the
murderous militia groups. Independent
observers are convinced that Sudan is doing nothing to stop them, but the UN
Security Council gave Khartoum a 30-day deadline on July 30 to rein in the
militia forces. A further decision is
not thinkable before the expiration of this deadline. And what will happen afterwards? It would really be surprising if George W.
Bush initiated a new risky military intervention in a rough terrain without an
outstanding strategic significance for the United States at the Republican
Party convention and the subsequent hot election campaign stage. The hard-liners in Khartoum can feel
reassured. They still have much time in
Centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin editorialized
(8/2): "Sudan relies on China and
Russia further vetoing stricter UN resolutions, and it relies on the weakness
of the UN. The measures against the Arab
militiamen will show whether the Sudanese government is determined to stop the
mass murder. All we can say at the
moment is that Khartoum has broken almost all its promises."
Center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich noted
(8/2): "American Ambassador to the
UN Danforth speaks of a 'resolution with teeth', but he can only mean milk
teeth. The text of the resolution is not
appropriate for the situation in Sudan.
While tens of thousands are dying and hundreds of thousands are fighting
for their survival in Dafur, the U.S. had to redraft its resolution four times
to mollify hesitant countries like China, Russia, Pakistan and Algeria. As a result, the council that is supposed to
be the watchdog on peace is not threatening to impose 'sanctions', but only
speaks of 'measures'.... It is not what
you say, but the way you say it.
Sudanese leaders realized that there are countries in the Security
Council that are not willing to confront Khartoum and can praise the text as
their diplomatic victory. Thanks to
Germany's initiative to put the crisis on the UN agenda in April and the
resolute U.S. policy the UN is exerting some pressure. Washington and Berlin faced the problem that
they wanted to include Muslim countries [in the process]. If they had rejected the resolution, Khartoum
could talk of a clash of civilizations and the conflict could
Brigitte Kols opined in left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau
(8/2): "Khartoum is not getting the
jitters, but welcomes the decision. The
U.S. resolution on Sudan was diplomatically whitewashed, owing to the stubborn
pressure of several countries. The
result is just a new chapter in the history book of a foreseeable
catastrophe.... Strong powers have
become weak in the UNSC's fight for human rights in Darfur, because the
Khartoum government played the oil card.
It is not a coincidence that Sudan is putting down bait just now: the further exploitation of oil fields. Companies from China, the Arab Emirates, but
also France and Britain have swallowed it.
Imposing economic sanctions or closing foreign accounts don't fit
here. Russia is even inhibited enough to
strike military deals. A weapons embargo
can be imposed when all sides are supplied with enough ammunition.... Sudan cannot be seen isolated from Iraq and
Afghanistan, which are not yet pacified despite the military
interventions. Sudan is another failed
state that frightens the world community.
As a result of the Iraq war, the mistrust in the Arab world is huge at
the moment. Therefore, it was a mistake to let the U.S. draft the
resolution. The EU should have done more
than participating in exerting pressure.
Finally, it is clear that Africa cannot cope with the many wars on its
"UN 'Muscles' In Darfur"
An editorial in elite, classical liberal Il
Foglio stated (8/4): “The United
Nations, perhaps concerned about making the mediation in southern Sudan even
more difficult, did not worry about Darfur until the latter became a public
opinion issue.... Last Friday,
therefore, the UN Security Council issued an ultimatum to the Sudanese
government (disarm militia groups in Darfur within 30 days, otherwise sanctions
will begin, economic and possibly military).
Perhaps this is, at the same time, too much and too late. To disarm in four weeks groups of fanatics
and looters in a huge and semi-unknown region like Darfur would be almost
impossible even for a government willing to do it.... In the meantime, the Sudanese government
pretends to be more reasonable and asks for a three-months deadline. But it will do nothing, and therefore the
fate of civilians will remain in the hands of the looters. The UN, which is fooling itself of having
saved its conscience with the ultimatum, will have to count victims in the end,
RUSSIA: "A New U.S.
Boris Pilyatskin wrote in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta
(8/9): "Internal conflicts in
African countries cause their well-wishers abroad to try to fish in troubled
waters. Sudan is one example. President Bush, ever since he named that
country among America's enemies, has been waiting to show that he is as good as
his word. Apparently, he thinks now is
the time. Washington has decided to
launch a crusade against Sudan, using genocide in Darfur as an excuse.... Though the (Sudanese) government has stated
officially that it does not support the militants of whom over a hundred have been arrested by now, the U.S. Congress
has unanimously passed a resolution not only blaming Khartoum for genocide, but
also urging the White House to interfere....
Sudan has agreed to accept peacekeepers from African Union
countries. Hopefully, they will help
stabilize the situation in the South. It
is too bad that genocide is only a bargaining chip for some who don't really
care about Africa's interests."
Mikhail Zygar wrote in business-oriented Kommersant
(7/30): "Last week Washington,
speaking of the situation in that country, called it genocide.... China and Russia, both with big oil interests
in Sudan, stood up for the Khartoum regime....
A temporary compromise on sanctions was found when the U.S. agreed to
replace 'sanctions' with the vague 'measures' in the text of the
resolution. Clearly, the 'toothless'
resolution is only the beginning of a Sudan crisis."
"It's All In The Price Of Oil"
Valeriy Panyushkin commented in business-oriented Kommersant
(7/30): "Sudan, just like any other
multi-ethnic country, is familiar with things like ethnic antagonisms, ethnic
strife and ethnic hatred. The names may
change depending on the price of oil.
Arabs and black Africans don't like each other very much. They may hate and even kill each other. Which it is they do to each other depends on
the price of oil, too. If there is no
oil in a country or oil prices are low, ethnic strife takes the form of
scuffles among young people. In a less
fortunate country, one with oil, it escalates into genocide. At a certain price of oil, a local ethnic
conflict becomes a profitable business.
Sudan has always been known for ethnic strife, but until recently the
conflicting parties did not have the money to kill each other as effectively as
now. It is just that oil prices were
low. It is logical to assume that as oil
prices change they can make a big international conflict like, say, the one in
Iraq, into a bonanza enterprise. To
carry it even further, with some oil prices, even a world nuclear war will
bring windfall money."
AUSTRIA: "Not Afraid
Of UN Sanctions"
Ernst Heinrich judged in mass-circulation provincial daily Kleine
Zeitung (7/30): “Although political
pressure on the regime in Sudan has been growing during the last few days,
President Omar al Bashir, the dictator who, together with his clique, exploits
Africa’s largest state, remains unfazed.
He knows very well that UN sanctions, assuming they are actually imposed
and not vetoed by Russia or China in the Security Council, would not affect
him, the dictator, but only the people....
For decades, the strongmen in Sudan have been treating the Darfur region
like all the other peripheral regions of the country: as a source of raw
materials. The people in this region--African
ethnic groups--are merely a hindrance to this exploitation. In addition, there is the fact that Sudan,
like so many African states, is an artificial construction of the British
Empire, which forced together what did not fit together. Sudan is divided--there is the Arab-Islamist
culture on the one hand, and on the other, African culture shaped by animist
and Christian traditions. This conflict
is more likely than sanctions to lead to the eventual breakdown of the regime
in Khartoum.... This is something that
not only those in power should be afraid of, but also international
corporations with interests in Sudan. A
few days ago, French, British, Chinese and Malaysian companies made a
billion-dollar deal with the dictator Bashir to expand the oil business, and
celebrated this with great pomp. The
regime offers favorable conditions--and it finds willing partners all over the
globe. The genocide in Darfur has not changed
"Chronicle Of A Catastrophe Foretold"
Senior editor Helmut L. Mueller opined in independent Salzburger
Nachrichten (7/30): “With enormous
delay, the international community reacted to the catastrophe in Darfur. This spring, human rights organizations rang
the alarm bells, but the UN remained passive.... Faced with the Darfur drama, the world’s
powers proved indecisive, because they are divided as always. Profit counts more than human
solidarity. There are those that fear
for their lucrative weapons deals (Russia), other for their oil revenues (China
and France). Washington is also held
back by complicated calculations: on the
one hand, the peace arrangement that the U.S. worked out to end the
long-standing civil war in the south of Sudan--a region with a lot of
oil--should not be endangered. On the
other hand, the world power needs the Sudanese government for the fight against
Islamist terrorism. The strongmen in
Khartoum are aware of the cracks in the UNSC and exploit the differences among
the ‘big players’. The final conclusion
is a bitter one: the community of
nations turns out to be a fiction.”
"The Crisis In Sudan Has An International Dimension"
Colette Braeckman analyzed in left-of-center Le
Soir (8/11): "The crisis in
Darfur is currently undoubtedly the main humanitarian emergency. But it is also
a major political crisis, whose possible repercussions in the Arab world and in
Africa explain the caution of European reactions as well as statements of NGOs
like Doctors Without Borders that said that, in spite of the violence targeting
civilians, it was not a genocide....
Trying to win the votes of Afro-Americans and of Evangelist preachers
who care for Sudan, attempting to make people forget about the Iraqi disaster,
and hoping to prevent 'another Rwanda,' the U.S. Administration wanted a forceful
intervention and inspired the resolution that the UNSC approved last July 30,
ordering Khartoum to disarm the militias by the end of August. One can also wonder whether this solicitude
was not motivated by Sudan's oil resources...and by the fact that China is
Khartoum's main trading partner, to the detriment of Total--which is present in
Chad--and of American multinationals. Besides, Sudan is still considered a
sponsor of terrorism. The UN ultimatum
and Western pressure were relayed by the African Union, which decided to send
300 troops in charge of protecting observers. This force, which could be
increased to 2,000 troops and become a peacekeeping force, would be dispatched
to Darfur by two of the countries that are the closest to the U.S.... Nigeria and
Rwanda.... However, the African Union's
project had to be postponed because of the fierce opposition of Khartoum, which
considers that the crisis in Darfur is a domestic affair.... In spite of the evidence of connections
between Sudanese governmental forces and militias, the Arab League supported
Khartoum's position.... They opposed the
UN ultimatum and the threats with sanctions. At the least, they wanted Arab
observers to be included in the African force, which they also did not want to
become a peacekeeping force. These Arab countries obviously feared that, like
in Iraq, a foreign intervention in Darfur leads to an influx of Islamic
combatants, and they also did not want to see African countries that are close
to Washington and to Israel get a foothold in Sudan, which is still considered
Egypt's 'rear base' and is a neighbor of the source of the Nile."
"Arab League Fails People Of Darfur"
Center-left Politiken editorialized
(8/10): “The absence of responsibility
among regional powers does not make it any easier for the UN and the
international community to help the beleaguered people of Darfur. The UN's Pakistani observers state that it is
beyond doubt that the Sudanese government is responsible for illegal and random
executions. Notwithstanding this, the
Arab League seems to think it important to use its powers to help the Sudanese
government resist pressure. It would be
more fitting if the League supported those being oppressed rather than the oppressors.”
"Taking Action In Sudan Crisis"
The center-left Irish Times declared
(8/10): "International aid agencies
say there is still an inadequate response, despite the fact that 940,000 people
are being fed and air drops have started.
At the UN, the UNSC has passed a resolution demanding that the Sudanese
government should take serious action within 30 days to disarm the militia and
prosecute human rights violators. But
the sanctions proposed if this is not done are weak and there is little stomach
for more resolute measures to enforce compliance. As a result, the Darfur crisis is being
contained not resolved.... The African
Union is pledged to increase its deployment of troops to protect aid
personnel...and is discussing whether to give them peacekeeping duties as
well. Such a force is quite incapable of
forcing the government to move against the Janjaweed militias which have
pillaged, looted, raped, burned, killed and expelled 1.2 million people. In the meantime, the Nigerian president has
invited the Sudanese government and rebel negotiators to hold talks in
Nigeria.... In any case measures
discussed in Washington and London concerning more robust action have not gone
beyond supplying troops to protect the camps from further attack. There is a lot of bluster and noise here, but
not enough action to cope with the scale of this humanitarian crisis. The Darfur crisis has exposed deep cultural,
ethnic and political cleavages between Arab and African states as well as
profound hostility to Western intervention.
Sudan's oil resources are another factor in the political equation.”
Left-of-center Trouw had this to say
(7/30): “The U.S. Congress has defined
the situation in Darfur as a case of genocide, which, following international
laws implies the obligation to intervene....
American intervention will be minimal given the presidential
elections. Moreover, given America’s
controversial reputation with the Islamic Sudanese, American dominance would
not increase the chances for success....
But then, we might not get a military intervention at all for there is
nothing to be gained in Darfur with no geopolitical interests at stake. After the failure in Iraq, the UN should now
prove that it is an organization that can take effective measures in an
international crisis. And countries such
as the Netherlands should live up to their moral pretenses and take action in a
situation crying for an intervention--much more so than Iraq under Saddam in
2003 did. Later will always be too late.”
Influential independent NRC Handelsblad
editorialized (7/29): “The G-word has
been dropped. We have a case of genocide
in Sudan, said the American Congress....
It is ‘only’ Congress that used this word.... The UN is not there yet. Were the UN also to assess the situation as
genocide then there would have to be consequences. The world community committed itself in the
Genocide Convention to intervene in cases of genocide.... In its capacity as president of the EU, the
Netherlands issued a strong warning to Sudan.... The question is whether the EU warning has
impressed Sudan.... It is now up to the
Sudanese government to make a move. For
example, by getting serious about disarming the Janjaweed militia and
regenerating the Darfur peace talks.... If not, then the warnings addressed to
Sudan will have to be put into action one way or the other.“
"Africa And Darfur"
Newspaper-of-record Aftenposten commented
(8/6): "The African Union (AU) is
willing to get involved in Darfur, and is considering sending a force of 2,000
men.… This would be the correct line to follow.
If Sudan interprets Western UN troops as interference from 'imperial
powers,' this is an accusation that cannot be directed at the AU. An African force would signify that Africa is
taking responsibility to hinder a humanitarian catastrophe on its own
continent, and demonstrate an ability to cooperate in a critical
situation. The AU’s force should come,
and come soon."
"Passivity Against Death In Darfur"
Newspaper-of-record Aftenposten commented (7/30): "There can be no doubt that the Sudanese
government is behind the Arabic Janjaweed militia, that has wreaked havoc for
so long...in Darfur.... France seems to
think the problem in Sudan should be solved by the African Union.... Nobody can doubt that only strong
international pressure, which the U.S. to its credit is now spearheading, may
give hope of bringing an end to the catastrophe in Darfur. Once again African and Islamic countries have
been unable to solve problems within their own ranks."
"The Reality About Sudan"
Sami Kohen wrote in the mass-appeal Milliyet
(8/6): "The Sudan case brings some
facts to light. It seems the conflicts
related to race and religious differences are hard to control in Africa or
anywhere else where the tribal state system remains. In such countries the powerful side does
whatever it wants and the oppressed side remains helpless. The outside world is also helpless because it
fails to cope with this kind of situation.
The UN only has power to issue a resolution, as we saw in the Sudan
case, yet no strength to have it implemented.
The issue of intervention, i.e., sending international troops to the
conflict-ridden area remains controversial.
In the Sudan case, the international organizations which are supposed to
pay attention (such as the African Union or the Organization of Islamic
Conference) are just watching.... The
debates in the United Nations about helping Sudan give no hope. Members of the UN act on their interests
first rather than focusing on human despair.
Russia sells arms to Sudan. China
has trade relations with Sudan. The
U.S., UK and France emphasize the strategic location of Sudan as well as oil
resources. The whole
'my-interests-first' scenario in the UN overshadows humanitarian aid, which
unfortunately constitutes the reality about Sudan."
"No Foreign Interference"
Sana Fouad said on official Republic of Egypt
Radio (8/9): "Egypt has rejected
any foreign interference in Sudan's internal affairs and, within this
framework, said Sudan should be given sufficient time to solve--on its own--the
problem of Darfur.... Arab foreign
ministers convened an emergency meeting Sunday in Cairo to reach a unified Arab
stance on the Darfur crisis.... In
addition, the meeting was to focus on coordinating Arab and African efforts, as
Oumar Konare, head of the African Union Commission, also took part in the meeting.... Khartoum recently signed an agreement with
the UN to disarm the Janjaweed militia and deal with the humanitarian
catastrophe in Darfur. Moreover, a UN
team is holding talks with the head of the African Union Commission to support
the African peacekeeping forces which will be deployed in Darfur. Nevertheless, the Sudanese government should
take all the necessary steps to end the suffering of the people in that region
and it should realize the political aspects of the crisis.... It is important then to coordinate all
efforts of the Arab League, African Union, Organization of the Islamic
Conference and the UN to remove the threat of foreign intervention in Sudan, as
this intervention will only complicate matters."
"Sudan Is Responding"
Leading, pro-government Al-Ahram held
(8/9): "The semi-military
intervention and sanctions against Sudan have been slightly delayed after UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the world body and Khartoum had agreed on a
road map to the implementation of what the Sudanese government had promised at
the recent African Union summit in Addis Ababa.... There are indications that Sudan was
responding to the UNSC resolution. On
the other hand, Arab states' readiness to take part in the African force to
monitor the situation in Darfur is a positive step aimed at helping the
government fulfill its promises and protect it from falling prey to foreign
resolutions, which may result in UNSC-imposed sanctions against
Khartoum.... If only the number of Arab
states taking part in the monitoring force in Darfur could increase."
"Crisis Of Darfur Requires Urgent Arab Support"
Riyadh’s business-oriented Al-Iqtisadiah editorialized
(8/10): "Arab countries must
support the efforts of the African Union countries to establish cease-fire
monitoring forces in the region, which would block any attempt for foreign
presence and intervention.... Arab
countries must focus on how to provide logistics, relief aid, and political
support to end the crisis quickly.... We
have to remember that there are international powers which aim to further
aggravate suffering of the homeless people there in order to use them as a
pretext to advance their own agenda."
"A Road Map For Darfur"
Jeddah’s conservative Al-Madina stated (8/10): "Sudan now does not need statements of
condemnation or rejection for foreign interference in its domestic
affairs. Sudan needs cooperative
practical support from both Arabs and their African brothers. The help must be
realistic and offer solutions to help resolve the crisis with transparency and
clear vision.... Dialogue between the
interested parties is the way to solve disputes. The dialogue must be transparent and with a
high spirit of responsibility. The
Sudanese are capable of resolving their own issues; the support from their Arab
brothers under the supervision of the Arab League and the African Federation
must be in the form of assistance to help find the solution."
"Practical Moves For Sudan"
Riyadh’s moderate Al-Jazirah held (8/10): "Foreign Ministers of Arab countries
were united in their opinion about any external interference in Darfur. They have shown support to Sudan to comply
with the UN resolution, which sets a three-month period to solve the
problem.... The problem about Darfur has
a humanitarian side that we must not neglect and it should be given the
priority.... There are negativities
about the joint work of Arab countries. However, the recent meeting of the
Foreign Ministers has sent a clear message to the international community about
Sudan and expressed their rejection of any external interference. This restored the trust in the joint work of
Arab countries within the frame of the Arab League."
"Another Way To Support Khartoum"
Jeddah’s conservative Al-Madina stated (8/9): "The time period that has been given to
the government of Khartoum to disarm the militias has become a political tool
to hinder the authority of the Sudanese government. It is a way in for the new international
system [the U.S.] to interfere in Sudan’s domestic affairs.... Those who want to support Sudan in its
current crisis must keep in mind that a victory for human rights in Darfur is
the main goal. A citizen in Darfur
regardless of his Arab or African racial origin is still a Sudanese citizen. Any support that does not take this into
consideration will give the wrong message."
"Darfur And Humanitarian Solutions"
Jeddah’s moderate Okaz maintained (8/9): "Sudan is very enthusiastic in preparing
its army to face any external interference to solve the Darfur crisis. Although we know that the Iraq case will not
be repeated, logically, we also must be enthusiastic in looking for solutions. We disagree with the threatening tone that
the U.S. and UK are using with Sudan.
The UN must participate in solving the Darfur crisis by sending urgent
aid to calm the situation there.... We
believe that Sudan must move fast to solve the situation. When we say Sudan we mean Arab countries as
well. Arab countries must support Sudan
by sending aid and by adopting an efficient political position to solve the
"Arabs And The Crisis In Darfur"
Makkah’s conservative Al-Nadwa noted (8/9): "Arab efforts to solve the crisis in
Darfur must focus on convincing the UNSC that the thirty-day period is not
enough to achieve the required stability....
Even if not all the goals that have been set were achieved within that
period, the government of Khartoum has good and honest intentions to comply
with the international decision. To
resolve this crisis without repeating the scenario of international
interference in another Arab country’s domestic affairs, the Sudanese
government should be given an extension to complete its mission. This should become the focus of Arab foreign
"Darfur And The Humanitarian Solution"
Jeddah’s moderate Okaz editorialized
(8/4): "We believe that the
situation in Iraq will not be repeated in Sudan; at the same time we totally
reject the threatening language the U.S. and its allies are using these
days. That is why it is important to
have a collective Arab move to resolve the situation in Sudan. The UN also has to play a role by sending
urgently needed humanitarian aid and relief funds. The provision of food and shelter will
preserve peace and stability better than politics and military actions. This will be true only if the U.S. and its
ally Britain are serious about finding a humanitarian solution for the crisis
in Darfur as they claim. But we'd like
to ask here about the fate of the homeless and bleeding Palestinians whose
homes have been demolished and the their land stolen. Do these people not deserve mercy and human
"The Darfur Crisis"
Makkah’s conservative Al-Nadwa
editorialized (8/4): "The situation
in the Darfur region is without a doubt a humanitarian crisis. If the U.S. is seriously interested in
resolving the situation, then the threatening language must be dropped. Otherwise we are risking an escalation of
tension and further complication of the problem. To meet the deadline that has been set by the
UNSC, the international community must cooperate with the government in
Khartoum and do whatever is needed to overcome the difficulties. The Saudi government has indicated that even
after the thirty days are over, there is no room for this threatening
"Darfur Crisis Requires Extreme Insight"
Jeddah’s moderate Al-Bilad editorialized (7/31): "The reality is that the world won’t again
fall for a WMD scenario, like the justification the U.S. put forward for the
destruction of Iraq.... What has worked
in Iraq will not work in Sudan.... Maybe
the insurgency in southern Sudan is motivating the U.S. to interfere with
Sudan’s affairs. Recently, U.S. foreign
policy has encouraged separatist trends among religious factions and racial
minorities in Iraq. The situation in
Darfur requires extreme insight to prevent similar outcomes."
"America And The UN Once Again"
Abha’s moderate Al-Watan editorialized (7/31): "No one doubts the urgency of the
humanitarian need in Darfur. If the
American intent was merely to save human lives in Sudan, why then did the U.S.
vote against demolishing a racist separation wall that incarcerates an entire
nation?... The solution to the crisis in
Sudan is to remove specific militias, globalize the matter, or give it a
humanitarian face, when there are political goals behind all that. The solution is to keep it an African issue,
disarm all the militias, and keep the promises made to Sudan about humanitarian
aid.... If there are other political
goals behind the U.S. move, then we wonder what is the role of the UN in this
case, if any?"
Occupation Is Inevitable"
Semi-official, influential Arabic-language Al-Rai argued
(8/8): "Foreign 'occupation' of
Darfur is inevitable, regardless of Sudan's response to the UNSC
resolution.... Even if the resolution is
complied with, occupation is coming.
British troops are at the western gates waiting for the order to move
in.... There appears to be a desire to
keep this brotherly country under the scourge of civil war...and make it
another stage for military intervention after Iraq.... There are double standards in the international
community's response to the Darfur crisis and its handling of the Middle East
conflict.... Israel is pursuing a war of
annihilation in Gaza and Beit Hanoun...but no one is asking the UNSC to convene
over that.... Darfur is an Israeli game
in the Horn of Africa."
LEBANON: "Arabs And
The Problems Of Sudan"
Radwan As-Sayyed asserted in pro-Hariri Al-Mustaqbal
(8/10): “To talk about foreign
intervention in Sudan is something funny.
It was the Sudanese Government that summoned the U.S. to help it in
solving the situation in the South, but was dissatisfied with it and with
Britain after they showed sternness regarding Darfur. And although it is not probable for the
Americans to resolve to sending troops or to toppling the regime, still their
change in position is very noticeable after they actually worked for two years
with the Sudanese Government.”
“Do The Arabs Remain A Phenomenon Of Verbal (Statements)”
Rafiq Khoury wrote in centrist Al-Anwar (8/10): “There is a huge difference between Arab
solidarity with an Arab country facing foreign military intervention and
sanctions imposed by the UNSC and solidarity with an authority in disagreement
with its people or at least parties and main streams in the country. It is true that a foreign interference can
complicate the situation further making it a dangerous reality similar to what
happened in Iraq after the American occupation.
But what is also true is that the capacity of the Sudanese government to
end the human disaster and settle the political situation is limited.”
Omar Jaftaly contended in government-owned Tishreen
(8/10): "Once again the Arabs prove
that they can be effective if they put their mind to it, and that their unified
word has an impressive role in tackling any problem and confronting an emerging
crisis such as the Darfur crisis which is the last cycle of international and
Zionist conspiracy against the Arab nation [Umma]. The Arab Foreign ministers' decision in their
emergency meeting is a glimpse of hope on an pan-Arab awakening. But what is
important is to carry out this decision....
The most prominent lesson that should not be absent from our mind is
that our [Umma] is really targeted. Today it is Sudan, tomorrow it will be
another Arab country. International greed has fragmented the Arab nation and
implanted the Zionist entity in the Arab homeland to finalize its schemes, to
build on the factors of Arab weakness and to fabricate crises justifying
foreign intervention under humanitarian, political pretexts to divert Arab
attention towards marginal issues so as to distance them from their fundamental
causes.... Translating the Darfur lesson
is a pan-Arab action that will undoubtedly determine the Umma's real inclination
before the world community and the international organization."
"A Required Arab Position In Support Of
Mohamed al-Khudr commented in government-owned Al-Ba'th
(8/9): "No sane can believe that
what is taking place in Sudan is caused merely by domestic factors such as the
claim on ethnic cleansing conducted by 'Arabs' against Africans in Darfur, an
excuse the U.S. administration is using against the Sudanese
government.... Arab brothers in Sudan,
who are surprised at the volume of international intervention, have real fears of
an Israeli factor.... Khartoum is citing
the address of the Israeli ambassador at the UN during the debate of the racist
separation wall in the West Bank, mainly his rude and flagrant linking between
the separation wall and what Arabs are doing in Darfur in an attempt to label
Arabs as racists.... Khartoum made big
efforts to withdraw justifications for internationalizing the crisis. Arabs and
Sudanese pin hope on a unified Arab action to materialize during the Arab
foreign ministers meeting in Cairo."
"Stop Intervention In Sudan"
Chief Editor Fouad Mardoud observed in the
English-language, government-owned Syria Times (8/8): "In a cynical attempt to woo black
American voters and because of the Sudanese government's opposition to the U.S.
war in Iraq. The Bush administration has
led an international campaign against Khartoum over its policies towards
Darfur.... Administration officials have
explicitly and repeatedly referred positively to the last week's congress's
resolution that said the Sudanese government was committing genocide in this
Western region.... Why now? The true answer may lay in President Bush's
ambition to win the race for the White House for a second term. American back voters can easily tip the
balance with or against him.... The
other possibility is that the Bush administration's failure to provide security
and peace in Iraq means it is exercising a new 'preemptive doctrine' in another
Arab country, a doctrine that makes it easy for Western powers to meddle and
intervene in the internal affairs of other states. The Darfur's problem will not be solved by foreign
intervention.... The country rather
needs a negotiated settlement, but that won't happen unless the West ceases
their interventions and provide instead more help.... And aid."
"The Cake Of Spoils"
Dr. Haydar Haydar editorialized in government-owned Al-Thawra
(7/30): “British and Australian
officials showed a sudden ‘humanitarian' passion and expressed readiness to
send military forces to the Sudanese region of Darfur, giving Bush's
administration time to manage the battle of the frenzied race toward the White
House. Shedding crocodile tears over
difficult humanitarian conditions, especially in regions with huge resources or
strategic importance, or with both like the Arab region, is nothing new. Bush's administration, for example, ‘wept’
over the persecution that the people of Iraq suffered at the hands of tyrant
Saddam, and cited this as one of the reasons of the war against Iraq. Before that, and in the name of the fight
against terrorism, the same administration launched a destructive war against
Afghanistan, taking advantage of the broad international sympathy for the
American people after the 9/11 events.
The lessons of history, which people learn by heart, clearly show that
the knights of globalization are rushing to impose sanctions on Sudan to
pressure and confuse the Sudanese government and foil Arab and African efforts
with a view to creating the appropriate circumstances to divide, and
consequently making it easier to swallow up, this Arab country. Does the improvement of people's life in
Sudan require foreign invasion and aggression?
Or does the solution lie in conducting useful negotiations and making
efforts to help Sudan resolve the intricate crisis of Darfur? Sudan, for its part, asked for nothing other
than time to find a political way out of the crisis, away from the language of
threats and sanctions. It wanted to
continue the efforts to resolve the crisis peacefully in cooperation with the
Arab League, the African Union, and the United Nations. But those who are pressing for sanctions and
military intervention have their intentions exposed. They are deceiving no one, except for those
who deal with them to set the stage for a new aggression and divide up the
"Arab League And Darfur"
The English-language expatriate-oriented Khaleej
Times declared (8/9): "Darfur
has evoked a response from the Arab League, at last. The foreign ministers of
the League nations will hold an emergency session in Cairo to discuss the
crisis in the war-torn region. Top
officials from the UN and African Union will also travel to Cairo for talks on
the sidelines. Meanwhile, UN aid officials are warning of severe outbreaks of
disease in refugee camps for displaced people.
About one million people have fled their homes in the humanitarian
crisis. The Arab League meet is another
embarrassment. It’s a pity that Amr
Moussa, the Arab League secretary-general had to call the meeting now. Did he not know that this was coming? He is supposed to be a senior diplomat and
politician.... Why did he call a meeting
now when only 20 days are left for the deadline of sanctions to be
imposed. It would indeed be a bad
situation if the League decides to take a stand now, calling for an extension
of the sanctions deadline, and the world community chooses to ignore it. This will be further proof of the
ineffective...functioning of the Arab League.... The League must take a stand only if it can
stand by it. In the past too, it has
passed certain resolutions, but it hasn’t been able to carry them out. So, how can you expect it to take a stand
now? Meanwhile, one hopes that the
crisis in Darfur gets resolved quickly as its delay will only hurt Sudan
more. Arab League or no, the crisis must
be resolved before it gets out of hand, as intervention too would be messy at
that late stage."
AUSTRALIA: "Time Is
Running Out On Sudan Crisis"
The national conservative Australian asserted (8/2): “The world's worst humanitarian crisis, in
the Darfur region of western Sudan, is unlikely to be alleviated by a UN
resolution so feeble it doesn't even dare use the word 'sanctions'. This is not the fault of the resolution's
sponsor, the U.S., but the result of realpolitik. China and Russia, both permanent Security
Council members with veto powers, have rebel provinces of their own to deal
with, and they usually do so brutally.
They are not going to agree to threaten anything too drastic against the
Arab-dominated government in Khartoum....
With the UN, even now, threatening only to become seriously unhappy if
the situation does not improve, civilized nations are asking if a Kosovo-type
operation, outside UN auspices, could be the answer. The fledgling African Union, to its credit,
has shown more mettle than the UN, and says it will commit peacekeeping
troops--but its resources are slim, and only a few hundred troops are
available.... If a British or EU-led
peacekeeping force does try to restore order in Darfur, Australia should
consider sending a platoon. While the
challenge of policing an area the size of France would be enormous, the warring
factions in Darfur are likely to buckle when they face armed soldiers rather
than unarmed villagers. Kosovo showed we
must never underestimate the prospects of a peacekeeping mission with both might
and right on its side.”
"Why The U.S. Take Sanctions Against Sudan"
Li Hanping commented on the official Communist
Party international news publication Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao)
(7/30): "China has maintained
long-term friendly relations with Sudan and has a large oil and natural gas
cooperation project with Sudan.... China
hopes that Sudan can solve its internal issues by itself and doesn’t support a
rash UNSC resolution on sanctions. China
also calls on the international community to increase assistance to the Darfur
region. Along with the seriousness of
the Darfur issue, the Bush administration gradually has shifted its
focus.... Sudan officials point
out: the U.S. by promoting sanctions
against Sudan intends to oust the current Sudanese regime, just as it did in
Iraq, and thereby finally realize its goal of monopolizing Sudan’s oil
resources. It is said that the U.S.
secretly forced a Canadian company to give up its interests in Sudan. Now the countries left in Sudan to explore
oil are China, Malaysia and India etc."
CHINA (HONG KONG SAR): "The West's Dubious Savior Complex"
Philip Bowring wrote in the independent English-language South
China Morning Post (8/9): "The
latest people the West wants to 'save' are those in Darfur.... The media spurs the hue and cry by presenting
a black and white version of events. The
goods guys are 'innocent black Africans;' the villains are the Sudanese
government and the Arab militias that it supports. The words 'ethnic cleansing' are again in the
air as reason for intervention.... No
one seems to be asking: who armed the rebels?
As for retaliatory bombing and burning of villages, this is very similar
to what has been done in Fallujah, eastern Afghanistan and Gaza. That is not nice, but given how many Iraqi
and Afghan civilians have been killed by British and American bombing, to hear
the sanctimonious prattle of...Colin Powell and Tony Blair about Sudan is
sickening...given the West's selective application of 'international
justice'.... It would be nice to see
international organizations such as the UN and World Court being
strengthened. But international bodies
can only work effectively if they are believed to be even-handed, not
dispensers of 'victors' justice.'"
Sudan Moves To Avoid UN Sanction"
Top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri stated
(8/11): "The Sudanese government,
in the face of a UN ultimatum threatening economic sanctions, has agreed to
take measures to protect refugees in Darfur.
President al-Bashir hopes to avoid such sanctions and deflect
international criticism by stopping the widening conflict. Resolving the situation will require the
disarming of Arab militiamen, which is unlikely to happen."
"Darfur Crisis And U.S. Interest"
Budi Rachmat Suryasaputra wrote in
Muslim-intellectual Republika (8/11):
"No doubt, the oil factor in Sudan has complicated the crisis
because it has invited countries seeking access to oil reserves for the
future. One of the countries with such
an interest is the U.S.... The Darfur
crisis is a human tragedy that needs a quick resolution by the international
community. This should be conducted not
out of the greed of certain countries and but with a pure humanitarian
goal. The conditions in Iraq have
demonstrated how greed of major countries for oil has only brought about
"Cynicism Arises Over Demonstration Related
To Darfur Tragedy"
Leading independent Kompas commented
(8/6): “Inevitably cynicism is arising
over the demonstrations that have taken place in Khartoum, Sudan, in protest of
possible intervention by foreign forces--Western forces in particular--to end
the crisis in Darfur. There has been a
joke that if the government and people of Sudan have been able to subdue the
insurgency in Darfur, foreign forces will not be tempted to intervene.... But it is also understandable why
demonstrations have been staged in Khartoum.
Although there are no signs yet of intervention by Western troops, the
Sudanese government is already disturbed by the call for foreign troop
deployment in Darfur to disarm the rebels and the militia alike.... The government and people of Sudan should
settle the Darfur tragedy by themselves.
The presence of foreign troops would only worsen the situation. Somehow, they know best the problems and
challenges they face. But in fact the
Sudanese government has failed to stop the Darfur crisis. Victims keep falling everyday.”
"Hope For Darfur"
The centrist Hindu declared (8/11): "The decision by Sudan, after initial
reservations, to comply with a UNSC resolution to disarm the janjaweed...is a
positive development. Disarming these militias, widely believed to have the backing
of the Government in Khartoum, is the immediate first step in resolving what
the U.N. recently described as the world's 'worst' humanitarian crisis.... A promising aspect of the multilateral
approach is the pro-active role being played by the African Union in defusing
the crisis. The African Union, which is normally reluctant to comment on the
internal affairs of its members, was among the first to protest against the
atrocities in Darfur. Nigeria and Rwanda
sent their soldiers to the region as part of a peacekeeping force to protect
the monitors of a ceasefire that was signed between the Government and the
rebel groups in April. They are now considering scaling up the number.... Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has
invited the Sudan Government and the rebels to resume peace talks in his
country later this month. Sudan's African neighbors understand the gravity of
the problem and the complexities of the issues involved better than any other
country. They must play the primary role in crafting an enduring solution to the
humanitarian and political crisis in Darfur."
"Violation Of Human Rights In
The Bangalore-based left-of-center
English-language Deccan Herald contended (8/10): "The continued acceleration of conflict
between the government of Sudan and its allegedly backed armed militia...and
the rebels in the Darfur region of western Sudan...has led to some of the worst
forms of human rights abuses such as extra-judicial and summary executions of
civilians, looting, burning and sexual violence including rapes.... The press and other media in the West have
already exaggerated the depth of the crisis in Darfur by reviving the memories
of the Rwandan ethnic crisis and the Yugoslav wars of the nineties.... The worsening political conditions generated
by the intra-state conflicts in Sudan will inevitably have a telling impact on
several countries.... Apart from its
unique geostrategic location Sudan has been endowed with substantial deposits
of precious resources like oil. Hence
Sudan is likely to be at the center of politics related to energy security, in
the coming decades.... Sudanese Vice
President Ali Osman Taha has accused the western powers of fabricating and
fomenting the trouble in Darfur.
Actually, the struggle of the contending parties to control scarce
resources in a drought-prone area is also leading to conflict. However, the Sudan government is complying
with the UN appeal and proactive efforts of Colin Powell...to end
hostilities.... India has stakes in
political stability in Sudan and harmonious ties with the Bashir regime owing
to the Organization of Natural Gas Corporation Videsh's equity (OVL) share
worth $750 million in Sudan's petroleum sector.... India will have to play a proactive role in
bringing about peace in the intra-state conflict in Sudan in the hope of
ensuring energy security for its rapidly growing economy."
"Attempt To Exploit Darfur Tragedy"
Independent Urdu-language daily Munsif editorialized
(7/28): "The U.S. and the UK, and
the West in general is trying to exploit the human misery in Sudan in their own
political interest. As they did to
amputate Indonesia by separating East Timor, they are mounting unnecessary
pressure on the Sudan with the aim that either the country surrenders
unconditionally to Western designs or it be ready to lose the part of its land
that is inhabited by [a] Christian minority.
The reality is that the Darfur crisis is the outcome of the prolonged
violence unleashed by the Christian militia aided, armed and actively supported
by the U.S. and other Western countries....
The pressure against the Sudan is part of a wider campaign of hatred and
vengeance that the U.S., the UK, Australia and other countries of Christian
Europe have initiated against Muslim countries."
"Sudan: The New U.S. Target"
Qayyum Nizami contended in independent
Urdu-language Din (8/11):
"The crisis in Darfur is Sudan's internal matter. At the same time, however, it is also a
humanitarian issue and the UN must make serious efforts to resolve it. The UN must not allow any superpower to use
this issue to meet its own objectives.
In the recent years, Sudan has discovered vast oil reserves with the
help of China. The U.S. has now set its
eyes on the Sudanese oil reserves. May
God protect Islamic Sudan from enemies!"
"Easing Pressler Sanctions"
The Karachi-based, center-left, independent,
national English-language Dawn judged (8/6): "While political issues take time to get
resolved, the worsening humanitarian situation in Darfur cannot be left to
fester. Khartoum will have to take into
account the international community's concerns in this regard.... With the adventure in Iraq having gone awry,
Palestine still bleeding, Afghanistan unstable and al-Qaida flexing its
muscles, the world can ill-afford another Arab-Islamic flash point in the heart
of Africa. Any international response to
the crisis in Sudan must take stock of all these factors."
"Growing Pressure Over Sudan, Iran"
Karachi-based, right-wing, pro-Islamic unity Urdu-language Jasarat
contended (8/2): "The growing
pressure on Sudan and Iran, on the one hand, is related to the internal
politics of President Bush and on the other hand is the continuation of U.S. assault
on the Islamic world. At this point in
time it is difficult to assume whether the U.S. would go for a military option
against Sudan or Iran, but the environment is being made conducive for such an
"Moral Outrage Should Cut Both Ways"
The Lahore-based English-language liberal independent weekly Friday
Times took this view (7/30):
"How many 'concerned' Muslims in Pakistan or elsewhere in the
Islamic world know or care that Muslims in the far away, oil-rich, Darfur
region in Sudan are killing fellow Muslims?...
How many resolutions have our great and Islamic parliaments passed
against the Muslim perpetrators of this slaughter in the Sudan? The tragic answer to all these cries in the
wilderness doesn't need to be spelt out.
We Muslims are outraged by the shameful acts of infidels but blind to
the bloody transgressions of our own faithful followers."
"A Crack In Sudan's Door"
The leading centrist Globe and Mail
judged (Internet version 8/6): "The
Sudanese government finally appears to understand that it can no longer thumb
its nose at the international community over the worsening humanitarian
disaster in Darfur. United Nations
special envoy Jan Pronk has negotiated a deal with Sudanese Foreign Minister
Mustafa Osman Ismail to stop military action in the strife-ridden region and to
remove remaining roadblocks to humanitarian aid. Mr. Pronk sounds confident that the deal,
which still requires approval from the Sudanese cabinet, will be enough to
avert possible UN sanctions. But given
Khartoum's record and the big-talk, little-action response of the UNSC and
various Western governments so far, we must remain skeptical. The deal calls for the disarming of the
government-backed Arab militias, known as Janjaweed, and other raiders
responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people. Another 1.5 million have been driven from
their homes in a long-running conflict between Arabs and black Muslim farmers
over control of the fertile land. These
are the same militias over which Khartoum has claimed, implausibly, that it has
no control. In fact, the regime has
encouraged their reign of terror while either ignoring calls to stop the
bloodshed or making empty promises to do something about it. The Sudanese could do so knowing that the
threats of intervention coming from Washington, the European capitals and the
UN were not accompanied by meaningful action.
Indeed, the UNSC called on Khartoum last week to disarm the militias but
did not explicitly call for economic sanctions if Sudan refused. As recently as Wednesday, Khartoum
stage-managed a mass demonstration against foreign intervention, although no
intervention has been sanctioned. What may
have turned the tide is the determination of Sudan's African neighbors to prevent
another Rwanda-style genocide. Rwanda
itself and Nigeria have committed to sending 1,000 troops each to Darfur to
protect defenseless refugees. Libya will
guarantee the safe shipment of food aid to Sudan from its seaport at
Benghazi. Now it's up to the Sudanese
government to show that it is no longer stalling for time while its surrogates
in Darfur complete their bloodthirsty work.
If it turns out that Khartoum is still not prepared to take genuine
steps to stop the violence, the international community must intervene."
"Relief In Sudan"
The centrist Winnipeg Free Press
commented (8/4): "Weeks of
frustrating negotiations may suddenly bear fruit in Sudan.... It would be premature to say that this offers
hope to the population of Darfur; at best it will begin to offer them small
relief from the worst of their sufferings.
Hope will be a longer while in coming.
Last week, under pressure from the U.S., the UNSC was finally able to
pass a resolution on Sudan, but not until Washington made some major
concessions in moderating its language to satisfy the objections of Russia and
China.... Last week's achievements
amounted to slight progress. To keep it
going, the UN and the Western allies, Canada among them, must make it clear to
Sudan that even a small step backwards will prompt a giant step towards
international sanctions and an international military force."
BRAZIL: "Genocide In
Liberal Folha de S. Paulo contended (8/8): "Like a nightmare, the assassinations in
Rwanda ten years ago are beginning to repeat themselves in Sudan.... There are many indications that the Sudanese
government is supporting the Janjaweed militia.... At the UN, as happened ten years ago, the
powers have refused to clearly pronounce the word 'genocide'.... Stuck in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. seems
not to be inclined to lead an intervention in an African nation of a Muslim
majority. The Europeans, as usual, are
waiting for a signal from Washington.
Russia and China never use the world 'genocide' because they do not want
to see it used in the context of Chechnya or Tibet. Meanwhile, like ten years ago, there is much
evidence that a genocide is in progress."
Academic Gabriela de la Paz wrote in independent
El Norte (8/4): "The U.S.
can't do it any more. Not after its
humanitarian intervention in Somalia failed due to poor bureaucratic and
military strategies in 1993. The U.S.
strategic interest in Sudan could be oil, but overall, this has been a key
country for Osama bin Laden and this is an opportunity to eliminate his network
in North Africa. But most importantly,
it is a way of apologizing for not doing anything during Rwanda’s genocide in
1994. More than the U.S., it is the
Europeans who are in debt to Africa for the years of colonialism. Only some like Great Britain have offered
troops to the UN, not to attack, but to protect refugee camps that become a
tempting target for people who commit genocide.
The government of Sudan has threatened to shoot if [foreign troops]
enter their country and of course it lets its military act at whim. The UN has been surpassed by the conflict.”