International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

August 11, 2004

August 11, 2004





**  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'--  African 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 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 "external interference."  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 "humanitarian tragedy."  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 intentions."


EDITOR'S NOTE:  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.




SUDAN:  "Unfair Resolution"


Kamal Bakhit said in pro-government Al-Rai Al-Aam (8/8):  "The UNSC resolution regarding 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 intentions.”


"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 Gordon.”


"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. 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. 


KENYA:  "UN 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 Paradox"


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 African Union"


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 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 Darfur."


"Calling On The International Community"


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."


TANZANIA:  "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 In Darfur"


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."


"Darfur:  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 Darfur Crisis”


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." 




BRITAIN:  "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 Intervention"


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 Help Darfur"


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 anything."


"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."


GERMANY:  "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 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 Darfur."


"Not Again"


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."


"Tame Watchdog"


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 deteriorate."


"Foreseeable Catastrophe"


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 continent."


ITALY:  "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, as always.”


RUSSIA:  "A New U.S. Testing Ground?"


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."


"UN Resolution"


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 that.”


"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.”


BELGIUM:  "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."


DENMARK:  "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.” 


IRELAND:  "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.“


NORWAY:  "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 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."


TURKEY:  "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."




EGYPT:  "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."


SAUDI ARABIA:  "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 crisis."   


"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 ministers."


"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 sympathy?"


"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 tone."


"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?"


JORDAN:  "Foreign 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.”


SYRIA:  "Darfur's Lesson"


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 Sudan"


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 spoils.”


UAE:  "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.”


CHINA:  "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.'"


JAPAN:  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."   


INDONESIA:  "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 damages.”


"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.”




INDIA:  "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 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 Sudan" 


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 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."


PAKISTAN:  "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 action."


"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."




CANADA:  "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 Progress"


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."


MEXICO:  "Darfur, Sudan"


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.”



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