Khalid Fishawy, and Ahmed Zaki; editors of Kefaya.org
None of the key parties that have engaged in the Sudanese [Darfur] crisis, whether international, regional or national, sincerely welcomes a peaceful solution to it. U.S. and other competing powers are investing this conflict so as they can bring the Sudanese regime to knee, for reconfiguring it or, instead; entirely replacing it – both ways leads to a new Iraqi-style government and country…
The Sudanese regime is thriving for maintaining the military as the sole ruling institution, denying the other political civilian parties their right to rule. The Sudanese military seized the opportunity of international threats by intervention for promoting support of Arab and Muslim countries on the official and popular levels… (…Sudanese Resistance?!)
The Sudanese armed opposition groups have surrendered to deeper links with “foreign superpowers”, therefore taking inexplicable tough positions in the negotiations with the military government, aiming to undermine the ruling regime.
At the meantime, the civil political opposition has been diminished consequent to the national security threats by the foreign enemies knocking at the doors of homeland.
Vicious circles, and audacious “warlords”, big and small in scale, aggravate the long lasting contradictions, and demolish any hope of peaceful solutions.
For ordinary Sudanese, the choices left are either waiting for bouts of violation and terror by death squads of the local fighting parties, supported by national, regional and international “Evil” axis, or a disastrous climate deteriorating the desperately bad survival conditions relieved by scarce humanitarian aids from politically biased regional and international aid organizations.
Suddenly, after more than one year with U.S. and subordinates ignoring violations and sufferings going on in Darfour, only last month, international establishment media and, official and semi official, international community organizations started focusing on the human tragedy taking place there. They loudly claimed that imposing sanctions on the Sudanese regime, as well as military intervention, would be a necessity to ensuring protection for the wretched population there. (The same logic ruled imposing sanctions on Iraq for ensuring security to its neighbors!).
A number of views tries to find out the deep roots beneath the overly hypocritical focus of U.S. administration and subordinates on the sufferings in Darfour, ranging from argument telling that it is intended as a coverage to the present escalation of military confrontations in Iraq – between U.S. Coalition troops and Iraqi resistance groups, particularly the direst plans designed for Najaf nowadays… others argument that it is intended as a part of Bush presidential campaign for re-election to win the U.S. African votes under the title of securing lives of African ethnic communities in Sudan… or arguing that it is intended for U.S. domination over African oil resources in this region; as its production estimates amount to 345,000 barrels/day, and should grow up to 660,000 barrel/day after completion of some expansion projects in the region (according to U.S. principle, oil-rich regions need U.S. military bases for controlling and patrolling production and distribution). Furthermore, there is the argument of U.S. continuous need to humiliate a weak state for terrorizing the rest of world away from its plans of “war on terror”.
All the fore-mentioned arguments could be collectively or individually true, but the most certain is that the right wing Bush's administration has persistently enlisted Sudan as one of “Evil” axis countries. This has been also true since the era of “Bush” Senior. The Democrats' administration has also shared the Republican view-point regarding Sudan as one of the states sponsoring terrorism.
Concerning the United Nations, it is rendered, after the collapse of the bi-polar world order, as a merely one of the U.S. foreign policy tools; sometimes used for legitimizing US intervention actions, and sometimes excluded so as not to interfere with Washington absolute will. US had recalled UN to Sudan, and when arrangements with the Sudanese regime were inconsistent with US interests, she pressed Security Council to draft a resolution – more appropriate to be called an American ultimatum – to implement a solution for the decades-long problem within a month!
All parties are sure the desperately deteriorating conditions cannot be resolved within a month… Not even a year! Reports of international humanitarian aid organizations about efforts to improve the living conditions in Darfour are very pessimistic. The local manager of World Food Program said that by the beginning of Rain season, transportation of aid articles via land routes will be rendered impossible; there would be no other route except via air which is so expensive. Meanwhile, the Program has not received up till now but $ 78.5 million from a budget of $ 195 million required for its operations in the year 2004 alone. At the end of this month [August], the Program would have no fund to proceed on. Within the same context, “No Frontiers Doctors” organization says in its recent reports that death rates in the refugees' camps have reached catastrophic levels due to severe shortage in provision of water, food and shelter.
The opponent parties don't care; even, they exploit this fact to prove the incompetence of the military regime in Khartoum.
The competing western European states that opposed the US and coalition invasion of Iraq… have displayed better pliancy at Security Council and passed the American Ultimatum [proposal] there. We should not expect in the Sudanese case an European resistance to the American project as deceiving as that they are acclaiming in case of Iraq. This time, many clues indicate that there are certain aspects of cooperation and mutual benefits between the global economic powers involved. Italy, Britain and France have solid interests in Africa's oil. France could use its military base in Djibouti in any future military intervention in Sudan. According to Sunday Independent, the British 12th vehicle infantry division, consisting of 5000 soldier, are ready to intervene in Darfour, through neighboring Libya and Chad. The Newspaper confirms that the British trust the new Libyan position is positive. France has already strengthened its garrison in Chad with more troops; as most of the French force, there, moved to the borders with Sudan.
Although the American and Western objectives in the region are clear cut, the events on ground in Sudan, cannot grant vindication of the ruling military regime there. In November 1989, General Omar El Bashir's regime seized power after a military coup, with active political support of the Islamic Front and its leader Sheikh Al Tourabi (now detained by the militarists). The militarists overthrew the civilian democratically elected government of “Al Sadek Al Mahdi”, the successor of one of the most two popular politician families in Sudan entirely.
Since then, the regime rejected all calls for dialogue with the political, social, tribal, or ethnic entities in the country. The militarists resumed the civil war in the south, ignoring all local or regional initiatives for reconciliation or for putting an end to the shedding of blood. Even when the military regime is coerced by US and international irresistible pressures to sign a treaty with the southern rebels to end the war; Sudanese civilian political parties demanded to participate in the peace negotiation. The majority of Top officials of the military regime responded negatively, saying that negotiations are to be held with those carrying guns!! It has run thence as a call for those seeking their share in power to carry arms. The reply was positive by many; particularly in western and eastern Sudan.
It is not colonialist conspiracies – U.S. and Western Europe – that are solely responsible for these and those crimes against humanity. Successive despotic regimes of Sudanese militarists – the existing regime to be one of them – have systematically denied recognition of ethnic and cultural diversity in Sudan, and confiscated their human rights, trying arbitrarily to reduce identity of the country into a racist, mono “Arabized Islamic” one. These regimes are anti non-Arab, anti non-Moslem. They are as mutually condemned with these crimes against humanity as the imperialist powers. This racist approach and this imperialistic undemocratic policy are the culprits. The Sudanese Military Regime set the theatre for criminal international conspiracies and undertook active role.
The darkest side of the case is that, instead of seeking democratic peaceful settlement between all Sudanese social, ethnic and cultural elements, the ruling regime still holds the same policy, confronting international interventions, and internal disobedience by seeking to agitate an Arabic and Islamic mobilization at the diplomatic and mass levels for backing its maneuvers. It is the same policy Saddam had taken leading him to full fledged defeat and people of the region to more aggravated disasters.
If powers of destruction and war still hold Sudan in its grip, and push him to chaos, we cannot expect a way out of this long lasting crisis in which millions of Sudanese had been slaughtered, and are still directed to the same destination.
If there were any hope left, it wouldn't depend on any of the global, regional or local undemocratic forces, whose interest flourishes during violent conflicts, and crisis.
Could we imagine building a front to the potentials of peoples and democratic movements in Sudan, hurt and disaffected by war, with the solidarity of global antiwar movement, to impose democratic mechanisms caring for interests of oppressed Sudanese communities, races, cultures and classes, against rapacity of interests of US and Western Europe Imperialists? Could this aim be possible? Is it promising for the global justice and peace movement to regain its momentum, instead of supporting again undemocratic authoritarian and fundamentalist forces, this time in Sudan, under the title of allying with whomever against American Empire?