Darfur Genocide Continues as al-Bashir Cons the World
“Once again, world is silent on Darfur”
British academic and anti-genocide activist Eric Reeves writes in the Boston Globe this week that despite all the attention on the genocide in Sudan, the regime in Khartoum is still killing civilians and seeking to destroy the resistance movements who are fighting for their rights. President Omar al-Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP) seems set to retain power in widely-criticised elections planned for next month, allowing the government to continue its 20-year reign of terror.
The government’s most recent assaults are mainly in the mountainous region of Jebel Marra in Darfur, where they have deployed combat aircraft and the notorious Janjaweed militia forces. The most recent reports say that more than 400 people were killed in the attacks – which the government claims are targeting the rebel Sudan Liberation Army, but in reality include the destruction and pillaging of entire villages. In addition, around 100,000 civilians have been displaced by recent violence, and humanitarian personnel have been forced to evacuate.
Meanwhile, the Sudanese government has been gaining praise from the international community for signing a peace agreement with the rebel Justice and Equality Movement. Reeves argues that this agreement has helped “to splinter Darfur’s rebel groups, failed to include Darfuri civil society, and imposed no obligations on Khartoum. It serves as an example of how not to conduct peace negotiations for Darfur”. The agreement does little for the three million Darfuris who remain displaced, and merely includes a promise of further negotiations between the movement and the regime.
The Khartoum government is using intra-factional fighting within the Sudan Liberation Army as an opportunity to finally conquer the region, as they are now confident that they have neutralised the Justice and Equality Movement, which was the most militarily powerful of the rebel forces. This smooth operating by al-Bashir’s regime is manipulating the international community, while he continues to use brutal tactics to crush his internal enemies.
Meanwhile, Reeves says, “ethnically-targeted civilian destruction continues in Darfur; international vows to end these atrocity crimes remain empty. President Obama — so forceful about Darfur during his campaign — has appointed an envoy who seems more interested in accommodating Khartoum than pressuring the regime to halt its military campaign. Without a fundamental shift in US policy, hundreds of thousands of Darfuri lives are at increased risk”.