Passion of the Present has a detailed updae on the situation in Darfur. The most hopeful news in a generally depressing situation is that

The African Union is landing about 300 troops in a few days, to protect its monitors–some of whom are already in Darfur. The AU leadership is currently considering sending more.

This marks a welcome change from the past willingness of African governments to ignore each others’ crimes and failures in the interests of “African unity”.

It’s also promising that, while the Iraq war has made intervention more difficult (for example, by handing a readymade propaganda line to the Janjaweed thugs, who can present themselves as resisting “Crusaders”) it hasn’t stopped the US and “old Europe” co-operating to put pressure on the Sudanese government. That said, the situation in Darfur is bad, and not getting any better at present.

Here’s a report on the UNSC resolution

7 thoughts on “Darfur

  1. John, Sudan was in crisis – and Janjaweed spearheading it – long before the first troops landed at Basra. The only element that’s really changed recently is that the Khartoum government has secured a seat on the UN Human Rights Commission. Plus ca change.

  2. here are a couple of links that have a broader look at real crisis but thier use with in larger imerialistic framework. things are a lot more complicated and what ever actions are taken need to be carefully considered before good people jump on this latest stop the genoside wagon. incidenly one site is from left and other is right as traditionally defined..

    July 30, 2004
    Posted by David Peterson at July 30, 2004 10:38 PM

    Sudan in the Crosshairs — Preventing Genocide … or Another Case of Post-Modern Imperialism???
    July 29, 2004

  3. The question of what should we do about the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, is one that I think has clear links to the debate over Iraq. I have made some comments about what I see as this dilemma for non-interventionists in John’s previous post- The Stalinist Delusion. Perhaps the non-interventionists would like to explain their stance on Darfur with the benefit of hindsight in Iraq. Personally, I am in favour of African Union unilateralism here, but I am aware many have past objections to such high-handedness.

  4. Geoff, Sudan has been in crisis for a long time, but until recently, the main problem was the long war between Christians in the south and the Muslim government in the north. This war is just approaching settlement, something which makes the Darfur situation (to oversimplify grossly, Arab Muslims vs African Muslims) even more complex than it would be otherwise.

  5. Geoff, Sudan has been in crisis for a long time, but until recently, the main problem was the long war between Christians in the south and the Muslim government in the north.

    A sidelight, which contradicts neither John Q’s point, nor Geoff’s, but is both interesting and horrific: the exact tactics currently being used in Darfur were first used in the war in the South. That is, the Muslim government ‘subcontracted’ the task of using violence against its enemies in the South (who are at least as much animist as Christian, btw) to Arab tribal militias, who ethnically cleansed land of opponents, using murder and rape to transfer huge populations. The militias did this partly to ‘punish’ dissident or potentially dissident ethnic groups and partly to grab valuable pastoral land- it was a marvellous mixture of ethnic score-settling, Jihad and commercial gain. The Sudanese government really is disgusting.

  6. Sorry- forgot to include a reference on the above- David Keen, ‘The Benefits of Famine’, which is a terrifying empirical study with a fair bit of superfluous Foucaldianism. Worth a look.

  7. Not good enough
    The UN Security Council passed a resolution on Darfur. Not good enough. As Alan points out:Somehow it just doesn’t read as all that imminent. If the crude mortality rate in Darfur is 10 000 each day then 30 days is…

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