By Professor David Hoile

Published by The European - Sudanese Public Affairs Council

Chapter 1


The conflict in Darfur has nothing to do with marginalisation or the inequitable distribution of wealth. Inherently it is a struggle between the two factions of the Sudanese Islamist movement, the (opposition) Popular Congress party and the ruling National Congress (party).

Sudanese Human Rights Activist Ghazi Suleiman [18]

The war in Darfur which began in February 2003 was markedly different from the conflicts which had hitherto been fought in the region Two armed roups, he Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Army LA), launched attacks on policemen, government garrisons and civilians in the area. [19] The first attack was on Gulu, the capital of the Jebel Marra region of central Darfur. There were a number of other systematic and well-organised attacks, most notably on al-Fasher and Mellit, respectively the capital and the second largest city in North Darfur. The attack on al-Fasher was by undreds of rebels, and there were significant military and civilian casualties. The rebel forces are said to be “well-equipped”. [20] The SLA was reported by Agence France Presse to have “modern satellite communications”. [21] UN media sources have also noted claims by tribal leaders that the rebels have better weapons than the Sudanese army. [22] The rebels have also been receiving military supplies by air. [23] The fighters, led bycommanders with satellite telephones, are well-armed with rocketpropelled grenades, heavy machine-guns, mortars and automatic rifles, and transported in fleets of all-terrain vehicles – mainly Toyota “ technicals” with mounted heavy machines guns, an infamous hallmark of the Somalian conflict. The rebels have killed over 685 policemen, wounded 500 others and attacked and destroyed over 80 police stations. [24]

In response to these attacks, government forces launched offensives against the SLA. These resulted in the death of the SLA military commander, Abdallah Abakkar, and the recovery of most of the areas previously held by the rebels. The rebel groups appear to have recruited from within two or three “African”, sedentary, communities such as the Fur and the Zaghawa tribes, and these areas bore the brunt of much of the fighting.

In perhaps the most objective reading of the present crisis in Darfur, the UN media service has made this analysis: “The conflict pits farming communities against nomads who have aligned themselves with the militia groups – for whom the raids are a way of life – in stiff competition for land and resources. The militias, known as the Janjaweed, attack in large numbers on horseback and camels and are driving the farmers from their land, often pushing them towards town centres.” [25]

The violence in Darfur has taken on several forms. The government has used its army and air force in its response to the rebellion. It has also drawn on local “popular defence forces”, made up of national and local volunteers. And it has also recruited from amongst politically supportive local tribes to form additional irregular forces. It is also clear that a variety of armed groups have been active in Darfur over the past year or so, either as participants in the war or taking advantage of the turmoil the conflict has caused. The systematic murder by rebels of several hundred policemen and the destruction of over 80 police stations created a security vacuum. The rebels’ targeting of tribal leaders and tribesmen from several “Arab” tribes, and the theft of thousands of head of livestock from these tribes, has resulted in an explosion of intercommunal violence with revenge attacks and livestock raids by equally well-armed nomadic tribes. [26] Darfur has also historically had a serious problem with armed banditry, the so-called “Janjaweed” phenomena, and heavily armed criminal gangs from both sides of the Chad-Sudan border have added to the chaos.

A disjointed peace process saw several short ceasefires in the course of 2003. On 19 April 2004, however, the government and rebels signed a significant humanitarian ceasefire agreement mediated by the Chadian government as a first step towards a lasting peace. In November 2004 African Union (AU) mediation resulted in the government and rebel movements signing the Abuja protocols, extending the ceasefire and aid access agreements. [27] The African Union will be providing both a forum for continuing peace talks and ceasefire supervision. It is essential that agreements are honoured, monitored and followed through as the international community attempts both to address the humanitarian aid needs of those hundreds of thousands of civilians who have been displaced by the war and to facilitate a political solution to the conflict. While the ceasefire has been violated from time to time by all parties to the conflict, the bulk of events now in focus happened before the April ceasefire.

What Has Caused the Unrest?
It is essential for anyone intent on bringing the Darfur conflict to an end to examine closely the causes of the violence that has convulsed the region. The insurgents claim to be acting because of Darfur’s marginalisation and underdevelopment. That Darfur is underdeveloped is self-evident. It is no more underdeveloped, however, than several other parts of Sudan. It is also clear that this historic underdevelopment – however it is measured – does not adequately explain the intercommunal violence in past decades. It is difficult to accept that underdevelopment and marginalisation accounts for the level of focused and orchestrated violence aimed at the Government of Sudan since early 2003, and clearly planned for some considerable time beforehand.

It is difficult, for example, to ignore Khartoum’s assertions with regard to development in Darfur since the present government came to power in 1989. The government has stated that, before 1989, there were only 16 high schools in Darfur: there are presently some 250 schools; the number of primary schools had increased from 241 in 1986 to 786 in 2003. In 1989 there were 27,000 students in schools; in 2003 there were more than 440,000. In 1989 there was not a single university in Darfur; there are now three. The number of hospitals in Darfur has increased under this government from three hospitals in 1988 to 23 hospitals by 2001; health centres had increased from 20 to 44 in the same period. Water pump production in greater Darfur has also increased from 1,200,000 cubic metres in 1989 to 3,100,000 cubic metres in 2003. During 2000-2003, the following water projects were implemented in greater Darfur: the installation of 110 deep ground wells, the rehabilitation of 133 ground wells, the building of 43 dykes and 30 dams, the drilling of 842 hand pumps and the rehabilitation of 839 hand pump wells. The total power generation in greater Darfur has risen under this government from 2,300 kilowatts in 1989 to 4,500 kw by 2000. Before 1989 there was not a single airport in Darfur; there are now three, in al-Fasher, Nyala and al-Geneina, along with three aerodromes at al- Deain, Zallingi and Jama – this represents 40 per cent of airports outside of the national capital. There has been a three-fold increase in paved roads since 1989. And, politically, Darfur is very well represented at all levels of Sudanese society. There are eight government ministers from Darfur and four Darfurian state governors. [28] Darfurians are also members of the supreme and constitutional court. Darfurian representation in the National Assembly is second only to the southern states. [29]

The Sudanese government has also made the point that, far from showing interest in development issues for Darfur, rebels have repeatedly attacked key education and development projects and civilians involved in these projects. In April 2003, rebels murdered Engineer Ahmed Youssef Mahdi, the director of the Jebel Marra agricultural scheme. On 21 November 2003, for example, rebels murdered al-Tayeb Abdul Gadir al-Nour, a telephone engineer, while he was inspecting the fibreglass cable line linking Nyala and al-Geneina. On 27 November they murdered three water engineers working on rural water schemes. In March 2003 rebels attacked the school examination centre in Tina and stole the examination papers. This led to the abandoning of certain school examinations nationally, adversely affecting tens of thousands of school students and their families. [30]

Rebel attacks on development projects continued into 2004. In June 2004, for example, rebel attacks stopped work on an emergency water supply project for al-Fasher. [31] Their attacks on development and infrastructure projects have been criticised by several Darfurian community leaders. The chairman of trade unions in North Darfur, Alamir Altagani Ali Dinar, stated that it was “strange” that the rebels attacked the development projects in the state, while claiming lack of development as the cause of their movement. The general secretary of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Mohammed Nour Ahmed, said that the attacks delay development projects in Darfur. [32] What is becoming increasingly obvious is that whatever legitimate issues may have arisen out of concerns about underdevelopment they have been hijacked by various opportunistic forces to serve different ends. The question that must be answered is what was it that turned limited, low-intensity conflicts between the pastoral and arable farming groups in Darfur into a well-organised, well-armed and well-resourced civil war? Rebel claims that the war is simply the inevitable result of marginalisation have been contradicted by reputable, independent observers. A particularly credible observer is Ghazi Suleiman, Sudan’s most prominent human rights activist. He has been described by Reuters as “a prominent non-partisan political figure” [33] and by the Knight- Ridder news service as a “well-known Sudanese human rights lawyer. [34] Suleiman has publicly stated: “The conflict in Darfur has nothing to do with marginalisation or the inequitable distribution of wealth. Inherently it is a struggle between the two factions of the Sudanese Islamist movement, the (opposition) Popular Congress party and the ruling National Congress (party).” [35]

One of the few recognised experts on Sudan, albiet it from a clearly antigovernment perspective, is Dr Alex de Waal. [36] Described by The Observer newspaper of London as a “world authority on the country”, de Waal is a human rights advocate who has published widely on Sudan.He as also previously worked in Darfur. De Waal has also made interesting points about the marginalisation issue. He has noted, for example, that the black Arabs of Darfur are “among the most disadvantaged of all Darfur’s communities”. [37] The Zaghawa community, on the other hand, has established itself commercially in Darfur and other parts of Sudan. De Waal has noted: “They cannot simply be described—as they often are—as “nomads” or “farmers”: they are both, and more besides. For sheer business acumen, the Zaghawa surpassed all contenders in Darfur, making spare but impressive profits in an economy that seemed to have no surplus.” In addition, the Zaghawa are the ruling élite in Chad – Chadian President Idriss Déby, and many of the ministers around him, are Zaghawa. [38] It is also the case that the rebels cannot in any case claim the full support even of their own communities. In April 2004, for example, SLA rebels kidnapped and murdered Abdel Rahman Mohammain, a prominent Zaghawa tribal leader, because of his opposition to them. The UN stated that this murder was “aimed at intimidating and deterring” local leaders in Darfur. [39]

Claims of Fur marginalisation are also very questionable. Douglas Johnston has also shown that at the time of many of the pre-2003 conflicts between pastoralists – Arab and African, such as the Zaghawa– and farmers, far from being marginalised it was the Fur who dominated government structures in Darfur: “With the upper levels of the regional government being occupied by Fur, the broader structural changes of regionalization from 1981 onwards led to a sharpening of partisan politics in the approach to pastoralist/non-pastoralist confrontations.” [40] Even Sharif Harir, a long-time critic of Khartoum and himself now closely identified with the Sudan Liberation Army, has noted that the appointment in 1981 of the Fur politician Ahmed Ibrahim Diraige as Governor of Darfur saw a Fur political ascendancy in the region. He also noted that Fur hegemony resulted in the crystallisation of two political alliances – with the Fur and elements of urban Darfurian elites on one hand, and the Zaghawa, nomadic Arab groups and the Islamist extremists on the other. [41] Harir even went so far as to state that “ a deep hostility began to develop between the persecuted groups and the Fur-led government.”

While citing marginalisation, it is clear that those sections of the Zaghawa, Fur and other tribes, who are at the forefront of the rebellion in Darfur have themselves in large part dominated political and economic life in Darfur. Their motivations continue to be influenced by political ambition and, in the case of elements of the Zaghawa, by a continuing allegiance to Islamist politics and Dr Hasan Turabi.

The Islamist Roots of the Darfur Conflict For all the claims of marginalisation, there is no doubt whatsoever that the conflict within the Sudanese Islamist movement following the government’s sidelining of the Islamist eminence grise Dr Hasan Turabi in 1999 is central to the Darfur conflict. Once the mentor of the present government, Dr Turabi had long been seen by reformists within Sudan as an obstacle both to the normalisation of relations with the United States and a peace agreement with southern rebels. The ruling National Congress party, al-Mutamar al-Wattani, split in 2000/2001 with hardliners under Turabi, many of them from Darfur, forming the Popular Congress party, al-Mutamar al-Sha’bi, in opposition to any engagement with Washington and the West and peace in southern Sudan. (De Waal has observed: “It is almost unbearably ironic that just as southern Sudan is on the brink of peace, Darfur – and with it the entire north – is convulsed by another war. The linkage is not accidental” [42]. Sudarsan Raghavan, the Africa bureau chief for Knight-Ridder Newspapers, a veteran commentator on Darfur and critic of the government, has reported on the Islamist twist to the Darfur issue: “The violence in Sudan’s western province of Darfur…is widely portrayed as an ethnic-cleansing campaign by Arab militias against black African villagers. But it’s also part of a long-running fight for political supremacy between Sudanese president Omar al Bashir and an Islamist who called Osama bin Laden a hero. [Emphasis added] For 15 years, Hassan Turabi was Sudan’s most powerful man, deftly manoeuvring its leaders from his perch as speaker of the parliament. He counted bin Laden among his close friends and once called the United States ‘the incarnation of the devil’.” Turabi has subsequently been very critical of Khartoum for “selling out” to Washington, including Sudan’s considerable assistance in the war on terrorism and concessions Khartoum has made in the peace process. Raghavan asserts that “the government is deathly afraid of Turabi” and has noted: “many Sudanese believe…Turabi’s supporters are the core of the rebel groups”. [43] He also cites Ghazi Suleiman, whom he described as a “well-known Sudanese human rights lawyer”, as saying of the war in Darfur: “It is a struggle to seize power in Khartoum, and the battlefield is in Darfur.” [44] In a different interview, with Reuters, Ghazi Suleiman stated that “Turabi is the mastermind of the existing conflict in Darfur. If he is released and if the government tries to come to an agreement with him he will stop what is going on in Darfur in a week.” [45] This line of analysis has also been confirmed by other anti-government commentators. Dr Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, the general-secretary of the Pan African Movement and co-director of Justice Africa, a human rights organisation, has also said: “Darfur is a victim of the split within the National Islamic Front personified by…Dr Hassan al-Turabi and his former protégé, General Omar al-Bashir. Al-Turabi’s support is very strong in Darfur…” [46]

The Justice and Equality Movement, at the heart of the Darfur conflict, is led by Turabi protégé Dr Khalil Ibrahim. Formed in November 2002, it is increasingly recognised as being part and parcel of the Popular Congress. Time magazine has described JEM as “a fiercely Islamic organisation said to be led by Hassan al-Turabi” and that Turabi’s ultimate goal is “the presidential palace in Khartoum and a stridently Islamic Sudan”. [47] Khalil is a long-time associate of Turabi’s and served as a state minister in Darfur in the early 1990s before serving as a state cabinet-level advisor in southern Sudan. Ibrahim was a senior member of the Islamist movement’s secret military wing. The International Crisis Group has noted that “Khalil Ibrahim…is a veteran Islamist and former state minister who sided with the breakaway [Popular Congress] in 2002 and went into exile in the Netherlands.” [48] He was closely involved in raising several brigades of the Popular Defence Force (PDF) and mujahideen, many of them personally recruited from Darfur tribes, to fight rebels in southern Sudan. He was known as the emir of the mujahideen. Ibrahim recruited several hundred JEM fighters from the ranks of those Darfurian tribesmen he had led in the south, claiming that the Khartoum government had sold out to the southern rebels and Washington.

De Waal has mentioned that the student wing and regional Islamist ce ls
followed Turabi into opposition following the split. Two other parts of the Islamist infrastructure that joined Turabi virtually en masse following the break were the financial cell and the military wing (which continued to exist separately of the Sudanese armed forces even after the 1989 coup which brought the present government to power, and which had previously administered the PDF and jihad fighters). Both had always been strictly controlled by Turabi. This military wing formed the core of JEM and the military structures which planned and initiated attacks in Darfur. In November 2003, the Popular Congress admitted that some party members were involved in the Darfur conflict. [49] InJanuary 2004 Turabi admitted supporting the Darfur insurrection: “We support the cause, no doubt about it…we have relations with some of the leadership.” [50] In the same month, Turabi admitted that 30 members of his Popular Congress party had been arrested in connection with activities in Darfur. [51]

The influential Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram was also explicit in its linking of JEM to extremist Islamism: “JEM is a militant Islamist organisation reputedly linked to the Popular National Congress Party (PNC) of the Sudanese Islamist ideologue and former speaker of the Sudanese parliament Hassan Al-Turabi.” [52] Al-Ahram has also noted Turabi’s involvement in Darfur: “Al-Turabi wields powerful influence among certain segments of Darfur society. Darfur, a traditional Islamist stronghold…The Sudanese government is especially concerned about the involvement of elements sympathetic to Al-Turabi in the Darfur conflict.” [53]

The International Crisis Group has also noted the Darfur war’s Islamist origins: “Darfur’s crisis is also rooted in the disputes that have plagued Sudan’s Islamist movement since it took power in 1989. Following a disagreement with Hassan el-Turabi, the architect and spiritual guide of the Islamist movement, a second split in the ruling Islamist movement had an equally destabilising impact on Darfur. In 2000, Turabi, then speaker of parliament, formed the Popular National Congress (later renamed the Popular Congress, PC) following a fierce power struggle with the ruling National Congress Party. To broaden its base, PC activists reached out to Sudan’s majority but marginalised African population.” [54] These roots have also been commented upon by human rights activists: “The second rebel group is the Justice and EqualityMovement (JEM), based mostly on the Zaghawa tribe. It is linked with the radical Popular Patriotic Congress party led by the veteran Islamist Hassan al-Turabi who has now fallen out with his former NIF disciples…The relationship between JEM and SLM remains one of the obscure points of the Darfur conflict, even if the two organizations claim to be collaborating militarily. The JEM is by far the richer of the two and the one with the greater international media exposure, even if its radical Islamist connections make it an unlikely candidate for fighting a radical Islamist government…The main financial support for the uprising comes… in the case of the JEM, from foreign funds under the control of Hassan al-Turabi. It is the importance of this last financial source that explains the fairly impressive and modern equipment of the rebel forces.” [55] De Waal has also written about the split between the Islamists and the Khartoum government: “It was a protracted struggle, over ideology, foreign policy, the constitution and ultimately power itself. Bashir won: in 1999 he dismissed Turabi from his post as speaker of the National Assembly, and later had him arrested. The Islamist coalition was split down the middle…The students and the regional Islamist party cells went into opposition with Turabi, forming the breakaway Popular Congress. Among other things, the dismissal of Turabi gave Bashir the cover he needed to approach the United States, and to engage in a more serious peace process with the SPLA – a process that led to the signing of the peace agreement in Kenya.” [56]

The International Crisis Group has noted that “the alleged link between JEM (Justice and Equality Movement) and the [Popular Congress] is the most worrisome for [Khartoum], since it fears Turabi is using Darfur as a tool for returning to power in Khartoum at the expense of his former partners in the ruling National Congress Party (NCP).” [57] It has also further noted that “The belief that the Darfur rebellion has been hijacked by disaffected rival Islamists is a main reason behind the government’s refusal to talk to the rebels, particularly JEM. The personal rivalry between Vice-President Taha and his ex-mentor Turabi for control of the Islamist movement and the country is being played out in Darfur, with civilians as the main victims.” [58] Dr Richard Cornwell, the Sudan expert at the South African-based Institute of Security Studies, has said that many Sudanese believe that JEM was formed as result of the power struggle between President Bashir and Hasan Turabi: “The Turabi link is very important…there are some people who are of the opinion that Turabi’s supporters in Khartoum and Darfur deliberately manufactured this crisis with a view of taking power.” [59] Agence France Presse has concluded that “disgraced Turabi loyalists of Muslim African origin…constitute the core of the JEM’s current leadership…More than a liberation movement, the JEM is seen as an organisation used as a tool by members of the political opposition to destabilise Beshir’s regime.” [60]

The Government of Sudan was initially very reluctant to concede that Dr Turabi and the Popular Congress were intimately involved in the Darfur conflict. In May 2004, however, Sudanese Interior Minister Major- General Abdul-Rahim Mohammed Hussein admitted as much: “The Popular Congress is involved in the incidences in Darfur and the JEM is just another face of the Popular Congress.” [61] In September 2004, the Governor of West Darfur, Suleiman Abdullah Adam, stated that the Justice and Equality Movement was the military wing of the Popular Congress: “The JEM are the military wing of the Popular Congress and, as the military wing of the Popular Congress in Darfur, they try to escalate the situation.” [62]

It is also becoming apparent that the Popular Congress has been using a dual – interconnected – strategy in its attempts to overthrow the Khartoum government. They have used orchestrated events in Darfur to weaken the government domestically and internationally – perhaps even to the extent of foreign military intervention. And they have also attempted, in combination, to mount a military uprising. In March 2004, military officers linked to the Popular Congress attempted a coup d’état in Khartoum. The BBC said: “Those detained are also being linked to the uprising in the Darfur region.” [63] They also planned attacks on oil refineries and power stations. [64] In September 2004 the government also foiled another Popular Congress coup attempt. [65] The Islamist plotters were accused of plotting to assassinate or kidnap government officials and take over strategic installations, including state radio and television. [66] The government captured a large arms cache “with which the conspirators planned to kidnap and kill 38 government officials and destroy strategic targets in Khartoum”. [67] The trials of those involved in the coup attempts, including five retired members of the armed forces and a former cabinet minister began in late 2004. [68] They were charged with possessing weapons, terrorism, undermining the constitutional system and plotting war. Twenty-one serving members of the armed forces were charged separately. [69] The Sudanese government began to move against Islamist extremists. [70]

It is clear that Turabi and Popular Congress deliberately chose Darfur to be the cockpit of their war against Khartoum. They also cold-bloodedly sought to project a racial element on the issue. Popular Congress activists originated and distributed a publication known as “The Black Book” alleging Khartoum’s marginalisation and neglect of Darfur and claiming that Sudan’s political elite was dominated by a northern Arab clique – seemingly the same clique once led by Dr Turabi. The Financial Times confirmed that the “Black Book” had been written by Justice and Equality Movement activists. The newspaper also noted that “ The appearance of the Black Book did coincide with a deep split in the regime, which has exacerbated tension in society.” [71] Alex de Waal has also commented on the importance of the “Black Book” in subsequent events in Darfur: “The Islamist split quickly took on regional and ethnic dimensions. The west Africans and Darfurians who had come into the Islamist movement under Turabi’s leadership left with him…In May 2000, Darfurian Islamists produced the “Black Book”…The Black Book was a key step in the polarization of the country along politically constructed ‘racial’ rather than religious lines, and it laid the basis for a coalition between Darfur's radicals, who formed the SLA, and its Islamists, who formed the other rebel organization, the Justice and Equality Movement.” [72]

Charles Snyder, a former United States Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and the State Department’s senior adviser on Sudan, has noted the visceral nature of the intra-Islamist struggle: “The emergence of armed opposition in Darfur has profoundly shaken the government because it poses, in many respects, a greater threat than the activities of the SPLM in the south….Support for the JEM and SLM, however, comes from within the overwhelmingly Muslim population of Darfur; radical Muslim cleric Turabi, who was recently jailed by the current [government of Sudan], has links to the JEM. Moreover, over 50 percent of the Sudanese military is from Darfur, and that region is not far from Khartoum. A successful insurgency in Darfur would fuel potential insurgencies in other parts of the north. This, I believe, explains why the Government of Sudan has adopted such brutal tactics in Darfur. The GOS is determined to defeat the JEM and SLM at any cost…” [73]

The linkage between Darfur’s violence and the Popular Congress has an additional dimension. In February 2001, Turabi and the Popular Congress signed a joint memorandum with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army SPLA), the southern rebel movement led by Dr John Garang, which called for the “the escalation of popular resistance” against Khartoum. A secret codicil to the Popular Congress/SPLA memorandum was an agreement by the SPLA to train Darfur rebels. The International Crisis Group, an organisation very critical of the Sudanese government, has noted that “numerous sources link the SPLA to the beginning of the SLA rebellion by providing arms, training, and strategy…It allegedly trained as many as 1,500 Darfurians near Raja, in western Bahr el-Ghazal, in March 2002.” [74] These trainees subsequently formed the basis of the Sudan Liberation Army and Justice and Equality Movement. The SPLA have clearly maintained their relationship with the Dr Turabi and the Popular Congress, demanding that Turabi be invited to the January 2005 signing of the north-south peace agreement. [75]

In October 2004, the Sudanese government warned that a new armed movement with links to Dr Turabi had emerged in the central Kordofan region of Sudan. Called Shahama, this group was headed by Mussa Ali Mohammedin, another member of the Popular Congress. It was said to operate from bases in Bahr al-Ghazal. [76]

The intimate involvement of Islamist extremists such as Dr Turabi and his Popular Congress party in the Darfur insurgency has worrying implications for those eager to end and resolve the war. It is very difficult, for example, to end a conflict said to be about marginalisation and underdevelopment when at least one of major participants would appear to have a hidden agenda of overthrowing the Government of Sudan and replacing it with a more hard-line Islamist regime. Building schools and roads and drilling more water wells in Darfur, while doubtlessly useful, is not going to satisfy hard-line Islamist rebels in Darfur any more than reconstruction projects in Iraq have satisfied Islamist insurgents in that country.

External Involvement in the Darfur Conflict
It is additionally clear that the Darfur insurgents have had considerable external assistance. The Sudan Liberation Army, for example, is said to be receiving arms and support from Eritrea. [77] The Justice and Equality Movement is said to be receiving assistance from Islamist groups and al- Qaeda. [78] The Sudan Liberation Army was reported by Agence France Presse to have “weapons, vehicles and modern satellite communications”. [79] The insurgents have also been receiving military supplies by air. [80] The rebels are operating in groups of up to 1,000 men in four-wheel drive vehicles. [81] Eritrea has militarily, logistically and politically assisted the Darfur gunmen in its continuing attempts to destabilise Sudan. Khartoum has lodged official complaints about this involvement with the United Nations and African Union. [82] The Sudanese government has also pointed to the agreement signed in the Eritrean capital between Darfur gunmen and elements of the Beja Congress, an armed anti-government group based in Eritrea. [83] In addition, Asmara has also continued to host Darfur rebel organisations.

The Sudanese government has had grounds to doubt the credibility of their counter-parts in the Naivasha peace process, Dr John Garang and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). While engaged in peace talks with Khartoum, the SPLA has both trained and helped arm the Darfur rebels. As observed above the International Crisis Group has noted SPLA involvement in training Darfur rebels. The ICG has also commented on the SPLA involvement with the Darfur rebels: “While the exact ties between the SPLA and the Darfur rebels have not been documented, there appear to be at least important tactical links. The SPLA – which has always recognised that the more rebellion could be extended to the rest of Sudan the better positioned it would be – encouraged the Darfur insurgents as a means to increase pressure on the government to conclude a more favourable peace deal at Naivasha.” [84] Despite mounting evidence to the contrary, SPLA spokesmen were still claiming as recently as September 2004 that the SPLA “has nothing to do with the present rebellion in Darfur”. [85]

There have also been reports of some degree of American involvement in sustaining the insurgency. Writing in August 2004, veteran Canadian foreign correspondent Eric Margolis noted: “[The] CIA has reportedly supplied arms and money to Darfur’s rebels…Washington is using Darfur’s rebels, as it did in southern Sudan’s thirty-year old insurgency, to destabilize the Khartoum regime, whose policies have been deemed insufficiently pro-American and too Islamic. More important to the increasingly energy-hungry US, Sudan has oil, as well as that other precious commodity, water.” [86] Disturbingly, some level of American assistance to the Sudan Liberation Army has been documented. [87] The close involvement in Darfur of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), led by long-time pro-SPLA activist Roger Winter, provides the continuity for reports of such support. There is no doubt, for example, that USAID has been at the heart of the “talking up” of possible deaths from the ongoing conflict, and has played a central role in the declaration of “genocide” in Darfur by the United States. [88]

Darfur: The New Afghanistan?
Any study of the conflict in Darfur can now no longer ignore the involvement of al-Qaeda with the Islamist JEM organisation. There is no doubt that al-Qaeda is deeply interested in Darfur. This would be for several reasons. One is the location of Darfur. American counterterrorism expert Richard Miniter, in his latest book, Shadow War: The Untold Story of How Bush is Winning the War on Terror, has reported that the al-Qaeda network has for some time been establishing itself in the Sahel area, an area which is made up of Niger, Mali, Chad and Sudan. [89] Dozens of al-Qaeda terrorists were killed in Chad in 2004. [90] Miniter states that al-Qaeda involvement in Darfur “dovetails with other reports from North Africa. The desert wastes have become al- Qaeda’s latest battleground.” [91] There is no doubt that al-Qaeda is already seeking to turn parts of the Sahel – and in this case Darfur – into the next Afghanistan. [92] There are many all-too-familiar ingredients. Darfur’s physical inaccessibility, its Islamist heritage, its proximity to several failed or semi-failed states, porous borders, and its inaccessibility to western intelligence services make it a very attractive location to hide in and from which to attack.

Mr Tom Vraalsen, the UN secretary-general’s special envoy for humanitarian affairs for Sudan, has pointed out some of the regional implications of the Darfur conflict: “A continuation of the problems in Darfur could have serious political repercussions in the sense that it could destabilize the area along the Chad-Sudan border and it could have repercussions also regionally if it continues. It has to be brought to an end.” [93] Dr Ali Ali-Dinar, a Darfurian critic of the government, has made the simple point that “Peace in Darfur is necessary for stabilising the surrounding regions which include southern Sudan, Chad, and Central African Republic and to prevent the conflict spreading. The future of the region is at stake.” [94] This is also precisely why ultra Islamist groups such as al-Qaeda would be interested in a continuing cycle of violence in Darfur. And as with Afghanistan – and Iraq for that matter – any Western military intervention in Darfur would serve as a rallying point for Islamist extremists, both within and outside of Darfur and Sudan. Darfur in any instance is fertile ground for militant Islamic groups such as al- Qaeda and JEM. Al-Ahram, for example, has described Darfur as a “ traditional Islamist stronghold”. [95] It was from the Fur and Baggara that Muhammad Ahmed, the “Mahdi”, drew the fundamentalist shock troops that crushed Egyptian rule in Sudan and held the British Empire at bay for ten years up till 1898, as noted by Margolis:

One of the Islamic World’s first anti-colonial movements, known in the west as the Dervishes, burst from the wastes of Darfur in the1880s. Led by the fiery ‘Mahdi’, the Dervishes drove the British imperialists from the Sudan, and event immortalized in the splendid Victorian novel, ‘Four Feathers.’ The Dervishes took Khartoum, slaying Britain’s proconsul, Sir Charles ‘Chinese’ Gordon. [96]

And, in Dr Turabi’s close involvement with JEM, there is already a clear al-Qaeda link. Knight-Ridder Africa editor Sudarsan Raghavan described Turabi as “preaching a strict brand of Islam that made Sudan a haven for extremists such as bin Laden, whom Turabi once called a hero”. [97] That Bin Laden and Turabi are close is undisputed. Richard Clarke, the Clinton Administration’s anti-terrorism supremo, described Turabi as a “soul mate” of Osama bin Laden who shared his “vision of a worldwide struggle to establish a pure Caliphate”. [98] Bin Laden is also married to Turabi’s niece. [99] Many of those members of the military wing of the Popular Congress now involved with JEM trained with al-Qaeda members in the 1990s. Miniter states that al-Qaeda instructors, including specialists in guerrilla and urban warfare and logistics, have been involved in training Justice and Equality insurgents in Darfur. Al- Ahram has already noted connections: “JEM also is suspected of having links with several militant Islamist groups in Africa and around the world.” [100] It is also worth noting that amongst the rebels there is a selfstyled “ Tora Bora” militia – named after the Afghan mountain range in which Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda and the Taliban fought one of their last battles, and from which bin Laden escaped American capture. [101]

In another analogy with Afghanistan, blind western support for the Darfur rebels, and especially JEM – for whatever short-term political reasons – runs the risk of repeating the mistake of building up Islamist fundamentalist forces which then themselves pose national and regional threats to western interests. Providing Afghan and Arab fundamentalists, amongst them a young Osama bin-Laden, with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military and logistical support in the 1980s has been seen as a tactical error which led to the birth of the modern international terrorist movement we see today.

The possible al-Qaeda-Darfur connection is of concern to the United Nations. The Irish newspaper The Sunday Tribune reported in December that “[t]he threat of al-Qaeda opening another front against western aid organisations and personnel in Darfur is real, according to UN officials in Sudan”. A senior UN official noted that Darfur rebels had already been made a specific threat to aid workers. According to The Sunday Tribune: “It fitted the pattern of violence against western aid organisations and personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq.” [102] The fundamentalist involvement has been poorly reported, but some details have emerged. In July 2004, for example, a Saudi national said to have been “preaching holy war” within a refugee camp in Chad was arrested. There had been violent scenes at the camp in which two refugees had been short dead by local security forces. Arms caches had also been seized in the camp. [103]

It is worth noting that the pattern of terrorism in Darfur has echoed al- Qaeda and Islamist tactics in Iraq, especially with regard to attacks on policemen and police stations. [104] Over 685 policemen have been murdered, and hundreds more wounded, in terrorist attacks on policemen in Darfur. The United Nations Secretary-General noted in his October 2004 report to the Security Council that Darfur rebels had attacked a police station in Medo, in North Darfur, on 12 September 2004 and that “further SLA attacks on police posts were reported on 14, 15, 17, 18, 19 and 22 September. Further SLA attacks on police in Ghubayash village, Western Kordofan, in the last week of September indicates that these violations may not remain confined to Darfur.” [105] The Secretary-General’s November report noted the “SLA reportedly attacked police posts nine times in October, killing at least nine policemen.” [106] European Union military observers mission have confirmed rebel attacks on policemen in Darfur: “The SLA has been attacking continuously police stations.” [107] These are just a few examples of UN reports of attacks on policemen in Darfur. The African Union has also confirmed that “innocent policemen” have been the “major victims” of the rebels. [108] Knight-Ridder has also confirmed rebel attacks on police stations. [109] Human Rights Watch has reported: “Rebels have attacked many police stations and posts in Darfur.” [110] These attacks are of deep concern for at least two reasons. Firstly, as agreed with the United Nations, and outlined in the joint government-UN action plan, the deployment of police forces within Darfur was to protect displaced people and displaced peoples’ camps from attack by criminal elements, Janjaweed or otherwise. Attacks on police stations, therefore, fuel civilian insecurity in the region. Secondly, Darfur rebel attacks on policemen have not only mirrored attacks in Iraq, but have also been part of a pattern of similar attacks on police stations within the Sahel. Almost identical sorts of attacks to those in Iraq and Darfur have occurred as far apart as northern Nigeria and Liberia. [111] This pattern of attacks also begs a simple question. Why is the murder of hundreds of poorly armed policemen in Iraq deemed to be terrorism by the United States – with all the consequences of that definition – while the murder of hundreds of poorly-armed policemen in Darfur appears not to be terrorism by the American government? Disturbingly, it would seem that the United States is actually helping to fund some of the activities of the very gunmen involved in killing the policemen – gunmen who if not themselves Islamist extremists are nevertheless closely allied with the Justice and Equality Movement. [112]

The involvement of foreign governments such as Eritrea, and foreign terrorist networks, in encouraging the destabilisation of Darfur, and their support for, and arming of, insurgents is very serious. Any attempts to stop the war by seeking to address any marginalisation or underdevelopment – if that was ever the motivation for the violence– will cut no ice with these forces.

Propaganda and Sensationalism within
To address the Darfur crisis it is essential that events in Darfur are evaluated as objectively as possible. To do so observers must cut away the pressure group politics – especially within the United States – warrelated propaganda and media sensationalism that has already distorted perceptions of the Darfur crisis and Sudan. [113] The government has stated that: “Those with their own agendas are trying to give a very sad view of what is happening. The propaganda in the West is trying to exaggerate what is taking place in Darfur.” [114] That the Darfur issue has been enmeshed at least in part in propaganda images and claims is clear. It would be naïve not to factor such a dimension into any study of the crisis. There have been allegations of genocide, ethnic cleansing and the use of chemical weapons in Darfur. Recent claims, for example, of the use of chemical weapons in the region have unravelled. A prominent conservative German newspaper, Die Welt, alleged that the Syrian and Sudanese governments had used chemical weapons against civilians in Darfur. [115] This claim, although exposed as misinformation, was widely repeated and serves as a further illustration of the propaganda war surrounding Darfur. [116] Similarly sensationalistic claims, while serving any number of short-term political goals, complicate and distort an already complex issue. Much of the propaganda which has come out of the Darfur conflict has emanated from the rebels. Rebel claims across the board have proved to be questionable. As we have seen, rebel claims to be fighting against marginalisation have been contradicted by reputable sources such as Ghazi Suleiman. And, more recently, the SLA initially denied any involvement in the November 2004 attacks in north Darfur, claiming that Khartoum’s claims were “totally erroneous”. [117] The international community was in a position to verify the rebels’ complicity and the UN, USA, Britain and others roundly condemned the attacks, stating they had once again clearly violated the cease-fire agreement. [118] Even day-to-day claims such as the SLA’s January 2004 to have shot down three Apache helicopter gunships have shown their unreliability. [119] That Khartoum had a fleet of Apache attack helicopters would have come as news to the American government who have strictly controlled purchases of the Apache helicopter: Apaches have not yet even been deployed by the British army. The Die Welt “chemical weapons” propaganda story outlined above was sourced back to the SLA. [120]

The Sudan Liberation Army has also appeared to contradict themselves on critical issues at critical times. At the end of November, SLA spokesman Mahjoub Husayn declared that the movement was ending its truce with the Sudanese government: “Agreements on a cessation of hostilities signed in Ndjamena, Chad, last year and a security protocol in Abuja, Nigeria, signed earlier this month [are] null and void.” [121] A day later, SLA leader Abd al-Walid Mohamed al-Nur contradicted his spokesman, claiming that “The SLM is committed to fully respect the truce and all the agreements reached since the 2004 ceasefire.” He stated that “What the spokesman for the SLM said about considering the agreements we have signed as null and void is not true.” [122]

Any solution to the Darfur crisis has to cut through the propaganda wall that is inevitably in place and move on. It is useful therefore to assess some of the major allegations that have been made with regard to events in Darfur.`


18 “Sudan Islamists use Darfur as Battleground”, News Article by Reuters, 22 September 2004.
19 The Sudan Liberation Army, which originally called itself the Darfur Liberation Front, is also known as the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM). To avoid confusion this study will refer to the Sudan Liberation Army or SLA.
20 “Sudan: Rage Finds Outlet in Rebel Camps”, Mail and Guardian (Johannesburg), 28 August 2004.
21 “New Rebel Group Seizes West Sudan Town”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 26 February 2003.
22 “The Escalating Crisis in Darfur”, News Article by Integrated Regional Information Networks, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 31 December 2003.
23 See, for example, “Sudan Accuses Southern Separatists of Supplying Arms to Darfur Rebels”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 28 April 2003, and “Sudanese Armed Forces Attack an Unidentified Plane for Helping Western Rebels”, News Article by Associated Press, 28 August
24 See, for example, Report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur to the United Nations Secretary-General, United Nations, January 2005.
25 “Widespread Insecurity in Darfur Despite Ceasefire”, News Article by Integrated Regional Information Networks, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 3 October 2003.
26 See, for example, “Khartoum Forces Free Tribal Leaders Held Hostage in Darfur: Press”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 30 March 2003 and “Arab Leaders Killed by Sudan Insurgents”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 24 March 2004.
27 See “Sudan, Darfur Rebels Sign Pacts to End Hostilities, Aid Refugees”, USA Today, 9 November 2004; “Sudan Signs Pacts with Rebels in Darfur Region”, The New York Times, 9 November 2004.
28 This compares with Darfur opposition leader Ahmed Ibrahim Diriage’s comment that up until 1965 there had not been a single minister from either Darfur or Kordofan, in Management of the Crisis in the Sudan, Proceedings of the Bergen Forum, 23-24 February 1989, University of Bergen.
29 Various government publications, including The Development of the Situation in Darfur and the State’s Efforts to Deal With It, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Khartoum, 30 December 2003. See, also, Understanding the Darfur Conflict, Khartoum, December 2004, < http//www.reliefweb.org> and Government’s Efforts in the Areas of Development and Services in Darfur States, Ministry of Cabinet Affairs, Khartoum, 2004, <http://www.sudan.gov.sd>
30 Ibid.
31 “Darfur Rebel Attack Stops Water Supply Project”, Sudan Vision (Khartoum), 7 June 2004.
32 “Darfur Leaders Condemn Rebel Attacks on Development Projects”, Sudan Vision (Khartoum), 28 October 2004.
33 “Darfur Governor Links Khartoum Plot with Rebels”, News Article by Reuters, 26 September 2004. Ghazi Suleiman is the chairman of the Sudanese Human Rights Group. He was been arrested and detained by the Sudanese government on more than a dozen occasions.
34 Sudarsan Raghavan, “Sudan Violence is Part of Power War”, News Article by Knight Ridder Newspapers, 20 August 2004.
35 “Sudan Islamists use Darfur as Battleground”, News Article by Reuters, 22 September 2004.
36 Dr de Waal is a director of the human rights group, Justice Africa and a fellow of the Global Equity Initiative at Harvard University. He is the author or editor of several books on human rights, famine and conflict in Africa, including Famine that Kills: Darfur, Sudan, 1984–1985, Islamism and Its Enemies in the Horn of Africa and Who Fights? Who Cares? War and Humanitarian Action in Africa. He is editor of the ‘African Issues’ series with James Currey Publishers. De Waal was a founder and director of African Rights and chairman of Mines Advisory Group 1993-8 (colaureate of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize) and has worked for the Inter-Africa Group.
37 Alex de Waal, “Tragedy in Darfur: On Understanding and Ending the Horror”, Boston Review, Volume 29, Number 5, October-November 2004.
38 Idriss Déby is a Zaghawa of the Bedeyat clan from north-east Chad.
39 Situation of Human Rights in the Darfur Region of the Sudan, E/CN.4/2005/3, UN Commission on Human Rights, Geneva, 7 May 2004, paragraph 53.
40 Douglas H. Johnson, The Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars, James Currey, London, 2004,p.139.
41 Sharif Harir and Terje Tvedt (Editors), Short-Cut to Decay: The Case of the Sudan, Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, 1993, pp 160-61.
42 Alex de Waal, “Tragedy in Darfur: On Understanding and Ending the Horror”, Boston Review, October-November 2004.
43 Sudarsan Raghavan, “Sudan Violence is Part of Power War”, News Article by Knight Ridder Newspapers, 20 August 2004.
44 Ibid.
45 “Darfur Governor Links Khartoum Plot with Rebels”, News Article by Reuters, 26 September 2004.
46 “What Kind of Intervention Will Work in Darfur?”, News from Africa, Nairobi, August 2004.
47 “Power Struggle: Darfur’s Janjaweed Militia Aren’t the Only Ones Sowing Chaos and Death. Meet the Two Rebel Factions Threatening Yet Another Civil War”, Time, 31 October 2004.
48 Darfur Rising: Sudan’s New Crisis, International Crisis Group, Africa Report No 76, Brussels, 25 March 2004.
49 “Sudanese Government Warns Opposition Party to Stop ‘Sedition’ in West”, News Article by Associated Press, 23 November 2003.
50 “Peace Still Some Way Off in Sudan”, Middle East International (London), 8 January 2004.
51 “Al-Turabi Denounces US Role in Peace Process”, News Article by Al-Hayat (London), 26 January 2004.
52 “Sudanese Peace Talks flounder over the Legal status of the Capital Khartoum”, al-Ahram (Cairo), Issue No 686, 15-21 April 2004. Turabi’s Popular National Congress soon changed its name to the Popular Congress.
53 “Plot Thickens Around Darfur”, Al-Ahram (Cairo), Issue No 684, 1-7 April 2004.
54 Darfur Rising: Sudan’s New Crisis, International Crisis Group, Africa Report No 76, Brussels, 25 March 2004.
55 See, for example, “The Darfur Conflict: Crimes Against Humanity in Sudan”, Crimes of War Project, <http://crimesofwar.org>
56 Alex de Waal, “Counter-Insurgency on the Cheap”, London Review of Books, Volume 26, Number 15, 5 August 2004.
57 Darfur Rising: Sudan’s New Crisis, International Crisis Group, Africa Report No 76, Brussels, 25 March 2004.
58 Darfur Rising: Sudan’s New Crisis, International Crisis Group, Africa Report No 76, Brussels, 25 March 2004.
59 “Darfur Crisis Has Complex Roots with No Immediate Solution”, News Item by Voice of America, 17 December 2004.
60 “Rebel Groups in Sudan’s Darfur”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 18 December 2004.
61 “Sudan Says Troubled Darfur Region is Now Stable”, News Article by Reuters, 17 May 2004.
62 “Darfur Governor Links Khartoum Plot with Rebels”, News Article by Reuters, 26 September 2004.
63 See, for example, “Sudan Links Rebels to Plot to Attack in Capital”, News Article by Reuters, 3 April 2004; “Sudanese Islamist Leader Arrested”, News Article by BBC Online, 31 March 2004.
64 “Sudanese Claim Terrorism Plot Exposed”, News Article by Reuters, 4 April 2004.
65 See, for example, “Sudan Accuses Opposition of Coup Attempt, News Article by The Guardian (London), 25 September 2004; “Sudan Finds Arms Cache for Coup Plot”, News Article by Reuters, 25 September 2004; “Darfur Governor Links Khartoum Plot with Rebels”, News Article by Reuters,
26 September 2004; and “Sudan Arrests 14 Islamists for Sabotage Plot”, News Article by Reuters, 8 September 2004.
66 “Sudan Court Charges 21 Soldiers over Alleged 2004 Coup Attempt”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 5 January 2005.
67 “Darfur Governor Links Khartoum Plot with Rebels”, News Article by Reuters, 26 September 2004. See, also, “Sudan arrests 14 Islamists for sabotage plot”, News Article by Reuters, 8 September 2004.
68 “Sudan Starts Trial of 78 Suspected Coup Plotters”, News Article by Reuters, 16 December 2004.
69 “Sudan Court Charges 21 Soldiers over Alleged 2004 Coup Attempt”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 5 January 2005
70 “Sudan Steps Up Campaign against Islamists, Under Fire from Rights Groups”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 2 April 2004.
71 “The Black Book history or Darfur’s darkest chapter,” The Financial Times (London) 21 August 2004.
72 Alex de Waal, “Tragedy in Darfur: On Understanding and Ending the Horror”, Boston Review, October-November 2004
73 “Ethnic Cleansing in Darfur: A New Front Opens in Sudan’s Bloody War”, Testimony Before the House International Relations Committee by Charles Snyder, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Washington, DC, May 6, 2004.
74 Darfur Rising: Sudan’s New Crisis, International Crisis Group, Africa Report N°76, Brussels, March 2004.
75 “Sudanese rebels want jailed Islamist leader at peace ceremony”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 6 January 2005.
76 “Khartoum Says New Islamist Rebellion Emerges in Central Sudan”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 21 October 2004
77 See, for example, “Sudan Accuses Eritrea of Involvement in Darfur Crisis”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 31 July 2004; “Eritrea Shipping Arms to Darfur Rebels: Report”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 5 December 2004. Eritrea’s clear involvement in Darfur was mentioned in a keynote article by Senator Jon Corzine and Richard Holbrooke, the Clinton Administration’s former ambassador to the United Nations. They stated that the rebels “receive outside assistance, primarily from Sudan’s eastern neighbour, Eritrea, which…has shown…a surprising aggressiveness towards its much larger neighbors.” (“Support the African Union in Darfur”, The Washington Post, 10 September 2004.)
78 See, for example, “The New Afghanistan and the Next Battlefield?”, in Richard Miniter, Shadow War: The Untold Story of How Bush is Winning the War on Terror, Regnery Publishing, Washington-DC, 2004.
79 “New Rebel Group Seizes West Sudan Town”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 26 February 2003.
80 See, for example, “Sudan Accuses Southern Separatists of Supplying Arms to Darfur Rebels”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 28 April 2003, and “Sudanese Armed Forces Attack an Unidentified Plane for Helping Western Rebels”, News Article by Associated Press, 28 August 2003.
81 “Dozens Reported Killed or Wounded in Attack in Western Sudan”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 6 October 2003.
82 See, for example, “Sudan Calls on U.N. to Take Action against Eritrea”, News Article by Deutsche Press Agentur, 5 January 2004; and “AU to Consider Sudan Complaint Against Eritrea”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 10 January 2004.
83 See, for example, “Sudan Rebels Form Alliance against Khartoum Government”, News Article by Africa Online, 28 January 2004.
84 Sudan Now or Never, International Crisis Group, Africa Report No 80, Brussels, 21 May 2004.
85 “Sudan’s Southern Rebels deny Involvement in Crisis in Darfur Region”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 16 September 2004.
86 Eric S. Margolis, “No Time for a Crusade in Sudan”, 12 August 2004, available at < http://www.bigeye.com>.
87 See, for example, reporting of American financial assistance to the SLA in “Sudan Government’s Attacks Stoke Rebels’ Fury”, The New York Times, 11 September 2004.
88 “US ‘Hyping’ Darfur Genocide Fears”, The Observer (London), 3 October 2004.
89 See, also, for example, “US Says Militants Lurk in Horn of Africa”, News Article by Reuters, 28 December 2004.
90 See, for example, “Chad ‘Defeats’ Algerian Muslim Extremists”, News Article by Associated Press, 26 March 2004, and “US Applauds Chad Offensive on Islamic Militants”, News Article byReuters, 13 March 2004.
91 Richard Miniter, Shadow War: The Untold Story of How Bush is Winning the War onTerror, Regnery Publishing, Washington-DC, 2004, pp. 98-99.
92 There is no doubt that there are a number of stark social, political and geographical similarities with Afghanistan. Compare Darfur, for example, with this background to Afghanistan: “The geographical features of Afghanistan have had a great impact on the cultural development of its
people. An insufficient transportation system has impeded internal communications and, because of this, economic, social, and political integration has been slow…The mountainous features of Afghanistan make it necessary for many villages to be self-sufficient. They build their houses, grow their crops, and protect their community. Trade is primarily on the regional level, rather than national; for centuries the regional market economy was the primary source of commerce. Therefore, Afghanistan has never been able to integrate regional economies on a national scale…On
the ethnic level the members of an ethnic group, in particular within a tribe, share ‘a common ancestor, a common leader and a common territory in a positive way and harbour negative attitudes towards members of other tribes.’…Because of highly ethnic and communal diversities and because
of inefficient transportation and communications systems, the linkage between governmental centers (mostly located in the towns) and rural areas was very weak. Through the course of time, this geographical and ethnic situation created a social environment that was closed to outsiders…Often the role of the central government in the daily affairs of the rural communities was marginal. Many villages not only produced their food without outside help but also managed their administrative affairs such as marriage, divorce, conflict over land, and business… Usually, the government representatives, without the help from local leaders, were seen as outsiders.” (Neamatollah Nojumi, The Rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan: Mass Mobilization, Civil War, and the Future of the Region, Palgrave, New York, 2002, pp5-6.) See, also, Diego Cordovez and Selig S. Harrison, Out of Afghanistan, Oxford University Press, London, 1995, and Beattie Hugh, Afghanistan Studies, Volumes 3 and 4, Society for Afghanistan Studies - British Academy, 1982.
93 “Situation in Sudan’s Dafour Region ‘Very Serious’, Says UN Envoy”, News Article by Africa Online, 16 January 2004.
94 Ali Ali-Dinar, “Why Khartoum Wants a War in Darfur”, Sudan Tribune, 30 July 2004.
95 “Plot Thickens Around Darfur”, Al-Ahram (Cairo), Issue No 684, 1-7 April 2004.
96 Eric S. Margolis, “No Time for a Crusade in Sudan”, 12 August 2004, available at < http://www.bigeye.com>.
97 Sudarsan Raghavan, “Sudan Violence is Part of Power War”, News Article by Knight Ridder Newspapers, 20 August 2004.
98 Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror, Free Press, New York, 2004, p.136.
99 “US Targets Three More Countries”, The Sunday Times (London), 25 November 2001.
100 Gamal Nkrumah, “Plot Thickens Around Darfur”, Al-Ahram (Cairo), Issue No 684, 1-7 April 2004.
101 See, for example, “Tora Bora Army Strikes Back at the Janjaweed”, The Independent (London), 16 August 2004.
102 “Sudanese Authorities Fear al-Qaeda Attacks on Western Aid Agencies”, Sunday Tribune (Dublin).
103 “Two Darfur Refugees Killed in Chad Amid Tensions With Aid Groups: UN”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 25 July 2004.
104 See, for example, “Khartoum Accuses Darfur Rebels of Killing Two Police in Truce Breach”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 26 September 2004; “Sudan Says More Than 30 Police Killed in Darfur”, News Article by Reuters, 23 November 2004; “Seven Police Officers Injured in
Rebel Attack in Darfur: Sudanese Govt”, News Article by Associated Press, 12 December 2004; “ Darfur Rebels Attack Convoy, Police – Sudan Official”, News Article by Reuters, 16 December 2004.
105 Report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Sudan Pursuant to Paragraph 15 of Resolution 1564 (2004) and Paragraphs 6, 13 and 16 of Security Council Resolution 1556 (2004), S/2004/787, United Nations, New York, 4 October 2004.
106 Report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Sudan Pursuant to Paragraph 15 of Resolution 1564 (2004) and Paragraphs 6, 13 and 16 of Security Council Resolution 1556 (2004), S/2004/881, United Nations, New York, November 2004.
107 “War Weary Darfur on the Brink of Deadly Famine”, Sunday Tribune (Dublin), 5 December 2004.
108 Report of the Ceasefire Commission on the Situation in Darfur, African Union, Addis Ababa, 4 October 2004.
109 “Independence of Darfur Rebel Commanders Threatens Peace Efforts”, News Article by Knight Ridder Newspapers, 4 December 2004.
110 “If We Return, We Will be Killed”, Human Rights Watch, New York, November 2004.
111 See, for example, “Liberia: Islamic Militants Launch Fresh Attacks on Police Stations”, News Article by Integrated Regional Information Networks, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 22 September 2004; “Nigerian Islamist Rebels Attack Police, Taken Officers Hostage”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 9 October 2004; “Radical Sect Attacks Police Convoy in Nigeria; 3 Officers Killed”, News Article by Associated Press, 10 October 2004.
112 See, for example, reporting of American financial assistance to the SLA in “Sudan Government’s Attacks Stoke Rebels’ Fury”, The New York Times, 11 September 2004.
113 For an overview of propaganda within the Sudanese conflict see, David Hoile, Images of Sudan: Case Studies in Misinformation and Propaganda, European-Sudanese Public Affairs Council, London, 2003, available at <http://www.espac.org>.
114 “The Escalating Crisis in Darfur”, News Article by Integrated Regional Information Networks,UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 31 December 2003.
115 See, for example, “Syria Tested Chemical Arms on Civilians in Darfur Region: Press”, Agence France Presse, 14 September 2004.
116 “US Doubts Report on Syrian Chemical Weapons Testing in Darfur”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 15 September 2004.
117 "Darfur Rebels Deny Police Killings that Led to State of Emergency", News Article by Agence France Presse, 24 November 2004.
118 See, for example, "U.S. and U.N. Blame Rebels in Upsurge of Violence in Sudan's Darfur Region", News Article by Associated Press, 23 November 2004; "UN Condemns Sudan Rebel Attacks in Darfur, Calls for Halt to all Fighting", News Article by Associated Press, 24 November 2004; "African Union Urges Sudan Rebels to End Truce Violations in Darfur", News Article by Agence France Presse, 26 November 2004.
119 "W.Sudan Rebels Says Killed 1,000 Govt Troops, Militia", News Article by Reuters, 19 January 2004.
120 See, for example, "Sudan Chemical Weapons Allegations from Norway, Germany", News Article by Afrol News, 15 September 2004, available at <http://www.afrol.com/articles/13956>.
121 See, for example, "Sudan Rebel Chief: We'll Honour Truce", News Article by al-Jazeera, 26 November 2004 and "Darfur Rebels SLA Declares Truce with Khartoum Over", News Article by Agence France Presse, 24 November 2004.
122 "Sudan Rebel Chief: We'll Honour Truce", News Article by al-Jazeera, 26 November 2004.



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