By Professor David Hoile

Published by The European - Sudanese Public Affairs Council

Chapter 4


I don’t think that we should be using the word ‘genocide’ to describe this conflict. Not at all. This can be a semantic discussion, but nevertheless, there is no systematic target – targeting one ethnic group or another one. It doesn’t mean either that the situation in Sudan isn’t extremely serious by itself.

Dr Mercedes Taty, Médecins sans Frontières deputy emergency director [363] Our teams have not seen evidence of the deliberate intention to kill people of a specific group.

Médecins sans Frontières - France President Dr Jean-Hervé Bradol [364]

In September 2004, the American Secretary of State, Colin Powell, responding to domestic pressure from conservative and anti-Islamic constituencies, declared that events in Darfur constituted “genocide”. [365] This was despite having stated two months previously that events in Darfur did not “meet the tests of the definition of genocide”. [366] His September comment, in the lead-up to the US elections, was widely seen as both an attempt to divert media attention away from the disastrous events in Iraq and to pander to the large and well-established anti-Sudan lobby within the United States. [367] It appears that the Administration has decided that it was to its electoral advantage for the sensationalism and inaccuracy that has obscured events in Darfur to continue. It was a simple enough equation. The US election was going to be a very close run affair. [368] The war in Iraq was a key electoral issue, and that war continued to go badly. [369] The day before Powell’s Darfur comments had seen the American military death toll in Iraq since 2003 reach over one thousand. [370] Darfur was useful to Republican Party strategists for very simple reasons. The more US television coverage and column inches devoted to Darfur at the time, the less media time focused on the worsening situation in Iraq. While ultimately coming down to sheer electoral opportunism, Powell’s use of the genocide word has undoubtedly further tarnished the image of the American government. [371] The American record for crying wolf, in the wake of the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction fiasco, has not improved. [372]

That this move was a cynical one appeared to have been borne out almost immediately. Bizarrely, having made a public declaration of genocide before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Powell then stated that “[n]o new action is dictated by this determination…So let us not be too preoccupied with [it]”. [373] This lack of concern can also beseen as an indication that the declaration of genocide was made more as the result of internal political pressure and politics and less on the reality of events. An aid worker interviewed by The Observer newspaper touched on the apparent lack of concern shown by Powell: “It suited various governments to talk it all up, but they don’t seem to have thought about the consequences. I have no idea what Colin Powell’s game is, but to call it genocide and then effectively say, ‘Oh, shucks, but we are not going to do anything about that genocide’ undermines the very word ‘genocide’.” [374] In late September 2004 the Secretary of State Colin Powell admitted that the Bush Administration was alone in having alleged that genocide was happening in Darfur: “I must say, I am disappointed that not more nations have made this clear statement of
what’s happening there”. [375]

Understandably, given its transparent political opportunism, many in the international community have shunned the American declaration. The United Nations Secretary-General Mr Kofi Annan, for one, contradicted American claims: “I cannot call the killing a genocide even though there have been massive violations of international humanitarian law.” [376] The African Union’s position has been clearly outlined, most recently by its current Chairman, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo. In early December 2004, President Obasanjo stated that events in Darfur did not constitute genocide: “Now, what I know of Sudan it does not fit in all respects to that definition. The government of Sudan can be condemned, but it’s not as ... genocide.” Obasanjo stated that “the real issue of Darfur is governance. It is a political problem which has mushroomed into a military (one) when the rebels took up arms.” [377] Speaking at a press conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 23 September 2004 President Obasanjo had previously stated: “Before you can say that this is genocide or ethnic cleansing, we will have to have a definite decision and plan and program of a government to wipe out a particular group of people, then we will be talking about genocide, ethnic cleansing. What we know is not that. What we know is that there was an uprising, rebellion, and the government armed another group of people to stop that rebellion. That’s what we know. That does not amount to genocide from our own reckoning. It amounts to of course conflict. It amounts to violence.” This echoed an earlier African Union conclusion in July 2004 that “Even though the crisis in Darfur is grave, with unacceptable levels of death, human suffering and destruction of homes and infrastructure, the situation cannot be defined as a genocide.”

Similarly, the European Union’s fact-finding mission concluded that, although there was widespread violence, there was no evidence of genocide. A spokesman for the mission stated: “We are in not in the situation of genocide there. But it is clear there is widespread, silent and slow, killing going on, and village burning on a fairly large scale.” [378]

Of considerably more significance, perhaps, has been the fact that Washington’s genocide claims have been pointedly criticised by ellrespected humanitarian groups such as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, also known as Doctors Without Borders). [379] MSF-France President Dr Jean-Hervé Bradol subsequently described American claims of genocide in Darfur as “obvious political opportunism”. [380] Dr Bradol had previously stated that the use of the term genocide was inappropriate: “Our teams have not seen evidence of the deliberate intention to kill people of a specific group. We have received reports of massacres, but not of attempts to specifically eliminate all the members of a group.” [381] Dr Mercedes Taty, MSF’s deputy emergency director, who worked with 12 expatriate doctors and 300 Sudanese nationals in field hospitals throughout Darfur at the height of the emergency, has also warned: “I don’t think that we should be using the word ‘genocide’ to describe thisconflict. Not at all. This can be a semantic discussion, but nevertheless, there is no systematic target – targeting one ethnic group or another one. It doesn’t mean either that the situation in Sudan isn’t extremely serious by itself.” [382]

Médecins Sans Frontières is an exceptionally credible observer with regard to allegations of genocide for three reasons. Firstly, MSF was amongst the first humanitarian groups to establish a presence in Darfur as the conflict unfolded. MSF is very heavily involved in the provision of medical and emergency services in all three of the states that make up Darfur, deploying two thousand staff. [383] It has been actively assisting hundreds of thousands of people displaced by fighting throughout the region. Médecins Sans Frontières is also present and engaged in Chad. MSF, therefore, has a unique institutional awareness of events in Darfur. Secondly, MSF’s reputation is quite simply beyond reproach. Médecins Sans Frontières was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. It has also received numerous other awards recognising its outstanding humanitarian work throughout the world. [384] And thirdly, MSF’s record with regard to genocide is also unambiguous. Dr Bradol, cited above, headed MSF’s programs in Rwanda in 1994, and spent several weeks assisting the surgical team that struggled to remain in Kigali during the genocide. Dr Bradol and MSF called for armed intervention in Rwanda stating “doctors can’t stop genocide”. Dr Bradol has stated that “Genocide is that exceptional situation in which, contrary to the rule prohibiting participation in hostilities, the humanitarian movement declares support for miitary intervention. Unfortunately, an international military intervention against the genocide never came to pass and the Rwandan Patriotic Front did not win its military victory until after the vast majority of victims were killed.” Given the clear position with regard to genuine genocide taken by Dr Bradol and MSF, their unambiguous position in pointedly criticising allegations of genocide in Darfur is all the more powerful.

Reputable British newspapers have also voiced concern at the claims made by Colin Powell. The London Observer newspaper reported that international aid workers in Sudan were claiming that American warnings that Darfur is heading for an apocalyptic genocidal catastrophe, as voiced by the United States Agency for International Development, had been widely exaggerated by Administration officials in Washington. It was claimed that a desire for regime change in Khartoum had coloured their reports. The Observer pointed out that American genocide claims had been “comprehensively challenged by eyewitness reports from aid workers and by a new food survey of the region. The nutritional survey of Sudan’s Darfur region, by the UN World Food Programme, says that although there are still high levels of malnutrition among under-fives in some areas, the crisis is being brought under control.” Many aid workers and officials interviewed by The Observer were puzzled that Darfur had become the focus of such hyperbolic warnings when there were crises of similar magnitude in both northern Uganda and eastern Congo. [385] The Observer noted that “Concern about USAID’s role as an honest broker in Darfur has been mounting for months, with diplomats as well as aid workers puzzled over its pronouncements and one European diplomat accusing it of ‘plucking figures from the air’.” The newspaper also pointed out that two of USAID’s most senior officials, director Andrew Natsios, a former vice-president of the Christian charity World Vision, and Roger Winter, a former director of the US Committee for Refugees, have long been hostile to the Sudanese government. [386]

Winter had already attempted, in the course of the civil war in southern Sudan, to use “genocide” propaganda. While he was director of the US Committee for Refugees, the organisation published Quantifying Genocide in the southern Sudan 1983-1993. [387] As Douglas H. Johnson has noted: “At the release of this report the U.S. Committee for Refugees pre-empted criticism by suggesting that anyone questioning that figure was denying the scale of human devastation. Herein lies the value of the exercise: it is designed to attract attention. [388] Johnson then quotes David Henige: “Numbers wielded for the immediate benefit of others – whether statistics collected on crowd sizes or numbers of homeless estimated – need have no relation to reality, since it is only the impression that matters.” (389) Considerable caution, therefore, needs to be exercised before accepting any of the statistical claims made by American-commissioned reports of war-related deaths in Darfur. [390] In any instance, USAID claims projecting hundreds of thousands of deathshave been contradicted by the United Nations 2004 end-of-year report which stated that “The catastrophic mortality figures predicted by some quarters have not materialised”. [391] Interestingly, while content to use statistical extrapolations and projections in its ongoing propaganda campaign against Sudan on Darfur, Washington has been noticeably shy of accepting any similar statistical extrapolations with regard to its war in Iraq. [392]

Given the level of international concern about allegations of genocide in Darfur, the United Nations Security Council established the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur pursuant to Security Council resolution 1564 (2004), adopted on 18 September 2004. A five member body, chaired by Italian jurist Mr Antonio Cassese, was appointed by the Secretary-General in October 2004. The Commission was tasked to “to investigate reports of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights by all parties” and “to determine also whether or not acts of genocide have occurred”. It was requested to report back to the Secretary-General by January 2005. The Commission reported that while there had been serious violations of human rights in Darfur, genocide had not occurred. [393]

In her earlier groundbreaking study of media accountability, Compassion Fatigue: How the Media Sell, Disease, Famine, War and Death, Professor Susan Moeller made several points which are illustrated by recent media coverage of the Darfur crisis, points relevant to current attempts to label events there as “genocide”. Unlike many journalists, Professor Moeller has asked the key question “How does genocide differ, for example, from ethnic, tribal or civil war?” and warned that “In common parlance and in the media the term genocide has lost its specific meaning and become almost commonplace. It has become synonymous with massacre and gross oppression or repression.” [394] Charles Lane, writing in Newsweek, has also observed: “The world is full of places where one ethnic group is feuding with another…In every case, the fighting is characterized by atrocities, and the victims cry genocide.” [395]

This is also a point touched on by David White, the Africa editor of The Financial Times: The word genocide is too freely used. Deliberate attacks on civilians, including indiscriminate bombing and executions, can certainly be categorised as war crimes or crimes against humanity. Despite official denials, there is overwhelming testimony that attacks by Arab militia riders have been undertaken in joint operations with government forces. But this is not genocide in the sense of a deliberate plan to kill a whole population group, as happened in Rwanda. A more plausible version is that, by exploiting traditional tensions in the region, the authorities unleashed forces beyond their control and had difficulty coming to terms with the consequences. Clashes between farmers and nomadic herders go back for generations in Darfur. Conflict over land, access to water and the raiding of cattle have got worse in the past 20 years as a result of drought, desertification and the availability of modern weapons. At its origin it is a conflict about resources, not racial hatred. The standard labelling of ‘Arabs’ as opposed to ‘black Africans’ is misleading inasmuch as both groups are black and both are Muslim. The distinctions are more tribal and cultural. [396]

The issue was also addressed in The World Today, the journal of the Royal Institute of International Affairs. Peter Quayle, an expert working with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, said that it would be wrong to label events in Darfur as genocide: “The conflict is a complex social, political and military struggle for wealth and power. Although it coincides with racial differences, the ongoing destruction is a coincidental not motivating purpose.” Referring to the 1954 Genocide Convention, Quayle notes: “The Convention’s two invidious questions ought to be asked. Are non-Arab Darfurians a people that the Convention protects as a group in whole or in part? And is this group, if protected, attacked as such? The group appears not to be a protected group partly because it relies on a regional definition. In answer to the second unhappy question – are these people being attacked only because they are members of a protected group? No, Darfurians are targeted because of the possibility they shelter and sustain rebels. Outside the conflict zone they are unharmed.” [397]

Claims of genocide have also been pushed by several long-standing anti- Sudan activists. One of these activists has been Eric Reeves, an English teacher at Smith College in Massachusetts. He has been active for some time in a campaign against Sudan. In the course of this campaign Mr Reeves has written dozens of articles making serious allegations about events within Sudan. On examination many of these claims have fallen apart at the seams. Several measured criticisms of Reeves’s approach, methodology, and especially the sources he has relied upon for his claims, have been published and republished. [398] Reeves continues to make, or repeat, serious claims about the situation in Sudan – most recently focusing on Darfur – without any means of verifying them. He has, for example, made numerous allegations of genocide and ethnic cleansing in Darfur. [399] In a deliberate attempt to equate events in Darfur with the horrific case of Rwanda, Reeves has even used the termgenocidaires in referring to the Sudanese government. [400] He has claimed that as of January 2004, 400,000 people have died in the Darfur “genocide” – this almost six times the number of people who are feared to have died through violence or disease. [401] Figures for the number of people who have died in the Darfur tragedy vary from the World Health Organisation’s estimate of 70,000 through to Khartoum’s claim of 5,000. [402] Reeves’ 400,000 number jumped from his own early claims that deaths were “already approaching 100,000” in late June 2004. [403] That is to say Reeves now says that between July and December over a third of a million civilians died in Darfur – apparently without being documented either by the aid agencies or the many foreign journalists and diplomats in Darfur. Amazingly he has made these sorts of assertions while at the same time acknowledgin that such claims are based on “second-hand accounts” and “fragmentary” accounts. He has also acknowledged that verification of such claims has been impossible: “There have been virtually no first-hand accounts by journalists, and the observations by humanitarian organizations are necessarily scattered”. [404]

In common with several people who have claimed genocide in Darfur, Reeves has turned a blind eye to any of the reservations made by groups such as Médecins Sans Frontières about such claims. This is particularly disingenuous given that Reeves has repeatedly cited MSF as a credible source on Darfur. [405] Indeed, he states that it was through Médecins Sans Frontières that he first heard about Sudan. [406] Indeed, he cites a “lifechanging” conversation with the executive director of MSF as the reason he become in volved with Sudan. [407] Reeves’ selectivity with regard to which MSF material he wishes to use, especially if it contradicts his case, is deeply questionable. Despite having noted that Médecins Sans Frontières “has performed superbly in the field”, Reeves has abruptly turned on MSF, accusing the organisation of being “disingenuous” and that it had made “ignorant and presumptuous statements about the issue of genocide” in Darfur. He dismissed comments by Dr Jean-Hervé Bradol as a “particular disgrace”. [408]

Given this level of intellectual gerrymandering it is little wonder, therefore, that Reeves’ has even been criticised, especially on the genocide issue, by other established long-time anti-Sudan activists. In July 2004, for example, Jemera Rone, the Human Rights Watch Sudan specialist – whose work on Sudan has previously been described by Reeves as “assiduously researched”, “distinguished”, “unsurpassed” and “trenchant” [409]– publicly asked whether “people like Eric Reeves are abusing the legal term [genocide] to try and rouse people to act?” [410] Reeves’ credibility on Darfur is questionable across the board. In a 17 December 2004 commentary, for example, Reeves acted as an apologist for the cold-blooded murder by rebel Sudan Liberation Army gunmen of two Save the Children (UK) aid workers, in an attack on their clearlymarked vehicle, in Darfur on 13 December 2004. [411] The United Nations special envoy to Sudan Jan Pronk unambiguously confirmed rebel involvement in these deaths. Reeves, however, claims there were “somewhat conflicting accounts” of the crime. He claims that the “perpetrator was drunk” while admitting this may not be true. He claims that there was “a heated debate…about what to do with the aid workers”. Reeves then claims: “The person responsible for shooting the two aid workers…was himself summarily shot and killed by his fellow combatants.” All these assertions are untrue. Reeves attempted to downplay the murders by claiming that “the insurgents have shown inadequate discipline, even as they confront appalling provocation.” Quite what “appalling provocation” by aid workers helping to keep civilians in Darfur alive justifies cold-blooded murder is not made clear by Reeves. He also queried whether the SLA had been responsible for the October 2004 murder of two other Save the Children aid workers in a land-mine attack. The United Nations confirmed SLA responsibility. [412] Reeves’s attempt to downplay the December murders as an “action…by a single drunken soldier” is sickening. This rebel attack on aid workers was part of a clear and systematic pattern and follows recent rebel threats against aid workers. [413] In his January 2005 report on Darfur – and referring to rebel actions – the United Nations Secretary-General reported on what he termed a “new trend” in the pattern of attacks on, and harassment of, international aid workers: “While previous incidents have only been aimed at looting supplies and goods, December has seen acts of murder and vicious assaults on staff, forcing some agencies to leave Darfur.” [414] Reeves has also claimed that there are “no credible reports of rebel attacks on civilians as such”. This further attempt to whitewash the atrocious human rights record of the Darfur rebels was breathtaking in its dishonesty.

Far from demonstrating the objectivity, discernment and research skills one would have expected from a Smith College teacher, he has shown crass selectivity. It comes, however, as no surprise. He has previously embraced similarly serious claims about Sudan. In 2000, for example, Reeves accepted at face value outlandish newspaper claims that China was deploying 700,000 soldiers to Sudan to protect Chinese interests in the Sudanese oil project. [415] Reeves called it an “explosive report” stating “it is highly doubtful that the report comes from thin air, or that important sources are not behind it.” [416] When asked about this allegation, however, the British government stated that “We have no evidence of the presence of any Chinese soldiers in Sudan, let alone the figure of 700,000 alleged in one press report.” [417] Even the Clinton Administration, as hostile as it was to the Sudanese authorities, dismissed the claims, stating that even “the figure of tens of thousands of troops is just not credible based on information available to us”. [418] He has also relied upon dubious sources for some of his other claims about Sudan. These sources have included South African Islamophobes such as Derek Hammond. [419] Hammond’s website has overtly championed the “Christian” fight against “the evil of Islam”, referring to the “anti- Christian religion of Islam”. [420] Amazingly enough, given this sort of track record, Reeves has been allowed to write on Sudan in Amnesty International publications. [421]

In an independent critique of media coverage of Darfur, Online Journal has openly criticised Reeves’ claims about Darfur, stating that he “may be the major source of disinformation (he calls it ‘analysis’) about Darfur which is then spread throughout the U.S.A…How curious that the American media latches on to Mr Reeves’ one-sided falsehoods by way of presented out-of-context half-truths while at the same time ignoring the dispatches of other journalists, including those who have provided eyewitness accounts.” [422]

Allegations that the Darfur Conflict is Racial
One of the other sensationalist themes encountered with respect to the conflict in Darfur is that it is a racial one in which light-skinned “Arab” tribes have been engaged in the “ethnic cleansing” of black “African” tribes. [423] These sorts of claims are particularly inflammatory and very questionable. Mahmood Mamdani, director of the Institute of African Studies at Columbia University, noted that “The implication that these are two different races, one indigenous and the other not is dangerous.” [424] The simple fact is that there is very little, if any, racial difference between the many tribes of Darfur, “Arab” or “African”. Both communities are black. The London Observer newspaper has reported, for example, that “[c]enturies of intermarriage has rendered the two groups physically indistinguishable”. [425] The UN media service noted: “In Darfur, where the vast majority of people are Muslim and Arabicspeaking, the distinction between ‘Arab’ and ‘African’ is more cultural than racial.” [426] This reality has also been confirmed by de Waal and other anti-government activists. [427] Ryle has noted that Arabs and non- Arabs “are generally physically indistinguishable”. [428] The New York Times has exemplified contradictory reporting on this issue, with articles on one hand by their columnist Nicholas Kristof alleging, for example, that “black Africans have been driven from their homes by lighter-skinned Arabs in the Janjaweed” [429] while also publishing subsequent articles such as “In Sudan, No Clear Difference Between Arab and African”. [430] Even “African” Darfurian anti-government figures such as Dr Eltigani Ateem Seisi contradict the dangerously lazy shorthand of the New York Times. Speaking at a conference in Brussels he stated with reference to “Arabs” and “Africans” in Darfur that “we all look alike” and that one “can’t tell from the features if he is Arab or African”. He added that he, an “African”, had a lighter skin than many “Arabs”. [431] De Waal has also pointedly challenged the “Arab” versus “African” stereotype, stating that “Characterizing the Darfur war as ‘Arabs’ versus ‘Africans’ obscures the reality. Darfur’s Arabs are black, indigenous, African Muslims – just like Darfur’s non-Arabs.” [432] He has also said:

We will see that the story is not as simple as the conventional rendering in the news, which depicts a conflict between ‘Arabs’ and ‘Africans.’ The Zaghawa…are certainly indigenous, black and African: they share distant origins with the Berbers of Morocco and other ancient Saharan peoples. But the name of the ‘Bedeyat’, the Zaghawa’s close kin, should alert us to their true origins: pluralize in the more traditional manner and we have ‘Bedeyiin’ or Bedouins. Similarly, the Zaghawa’s adversaries in this war, the Darfurian Arabs, are ‘Arabs’ in the ancient sense of ‘Bedouin,’ meaning desert nomad…Darfurian Arabs, too, are indigenous, black, and African. In fact there are no discernible racial or religious differences between the two: all have lived there for centuries. [433]

A Policy of Ethnic Cleansing in Darfur?
There has obviously been a vast displacement of civilians within Darfur, especially amongst those communities from which the rebels have recruited and presumably sought other support. A sensationalist media and human rights industry has claimed that the government has pursued a policy of ethnic cleansing in Darfur. [434] The Sudanese junior foreign minister Najeeb Alkhair Abdelwahab has stated with regard to claims of ethnic cleansing in Darfur that: “The situation in Darfur is neither one of ethnic cleansing nor genocide. It is primarily a clash over resources.” [435] Médecins Sans Frontières has noted that “there is no systematic target – targeting one ethnic group or another one”. The UN Under-Secretary- General for Humanitarian Affairs, Jan Egeland, has also stated that the term “ethnic cleansing” did not fit events in Darfur: “I think we have more reports actually of a kind of scorched earth [policy] – and that nobody has taken over….It’s complex, because some have said that it doesn’t fit the legal definition of ethnic cleansing. The same tribes are represented both among those who are cleansed and those who are cleansing.” [436] Mr Egeland’s views have been echoed by key human rights experts. Asma Jehangir, the UN rapporteur on extra-judicial summary and arbitrary executions, for example, has said: “I wouldn’t categorise as ethnic cleansing at the moment because that is not the impression that I am getting. It could be an unintended purpose but the numbers are staggering, the situation is terrible.” [437]

Allegations of ethnic cleansing have also been clearly contradicted by Sudanese government actions. Far from wishing to see the displacement of “African” Darfurian communities, the government has self-evidently been very eager to see these communities returned to their homes. In the Plan of Action signed on 5 August 2005, the Government committed itself to signing an agreement with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to oversee and assist in the voluntary return of internally displaced persons. The UN Secretary-General has noted with regard to this agreement that “since the Management and Coordination Mechanism was established, progress has been made in reaching definitions of appropriateness and voluntariness and establishing standard operating procedures, and these definitions have been practically implemented”. [438] This agreement was signed by the Government, IOM and the United Nations on 21 August. In November 2004, Khartoum reported to the UN that 270,000 displaced people had been returned to their places of origin. The Sudanese humanitarian affairs minister, Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, stated: “More than 270,000 people have voluntarily returned to their homes. This is a very good sign and indicator that the situation in Darfur is improving.” [439] Jan Pronk, the UN Special Envoy to Sudan, was said to be concerned because neither
the UN High Commissioner for Refugees nor the UN Organisation for Migration had been consulted prior to the repatriation. While there may well be some concern as to whether all the returns were voluntary, Khartoum’s eagerness to return refugees to their place of origin is manifest. The United Nations has noted government pressure on displaced people to return home, and has undertaken profiling exercises which “will inform appropriate and timely planning of interventions when conditions for return are in place.” [440] Attempts to compare Darfur to Kosovo or any other example of ethnic cleansing fail to explain why it is that – unlike in Kosovo and other parts of the former Yugoslavia, for example, where there were clear attempts by governments to permanently exclude people from their homeland – in Darfur the government is being criticised for trying to return people to where they came from.

Allegations of a concerted, planned genocide or ethnic cleansing in Darfur also jar with the fact that Khartoum has allowed 8,500 aid workers, many several hundred of whom are foreigners, into the region. It has also allowed dozens of foreign reporters into Darfur. These have included journalists from virtually every Western nation, and have included reporters from the BBC, Reuters, The Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, Sky, CNN, Time, Knight-Ridder and The Economist. Several of these journalists have spent several weeks, and some several months, in Darfur. Most governments involved in a programme of genocide go out of their way to prevent any outsiders, especially journalists, from roaming around the area in question.


363 “Violence in the Sudan Displaces Nearly 1 Million. An Aid Worker Describes the Gravity of the Humanitarian Crisis”, News Article by MSNBC, 16 April 2004.
364 “Thousands Die as World Defines Genocide”, The Financial Times (London), 6 July 2004. See also, Bradol’s views in “France Calls on Sudan to Forcibly Disarm Darfur Militias”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 7 July 2004.
365 See, for example, “Powell Accuses Sudan of Genocide in Darfur”, The Times (London), 10 September 2004.
366 For a full transcript of Powell’s comments see “Powell Says Talks with Sudan Government Yielded Agreement”, 1 July 2004 at http://allafrica.com/stories/200407010005.html.
367 See, for example, Peter Hallward’s observation in The Guardian: “Bush’s opportunity to adop an election-season cause that can appeal, simultaneously, to fundamentalist Christians, the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, multilateralist liberals and the altruistic ‘left’ may now be too tempting to pass up.” (“Enough Imperial Crusades”, The Guardian, 18 August 2004.)
368 “Too Close to Call? Maybe”, Newsweek, 6-13 September 2004.
369 “Fierce Fighting Returns to Sadr City as Mahdi Army Battles US Troops”, The Guardian (London), 8 September 2004; “Worsening Security Hampers Reconstruction Efforts in Iraq”, The Financial Times (London), 9 September 2004; “Aid Agencies Say That They Might Pull Out of Iraq”, The Guardian (London), 9 September 2004.
370 “US Military Death Toll in Iraq Hits 1,000”, The Guardian (London), 8 September 2004.
371 One of the few voices of dissent within the United States with regard to Sudan and Darfur has been Texas Congressman Ron Paul. He cautioned that “we do not know and cannot understand the complexities of the civil war in Sudan” and noted the “very simplistic characterization of the conflict” in Darfur. He observed that “It seems as if this has been all reduced to a few slogans, tossed around without much thought or care about real meaning or implication. We unfortunately see this often with calls for intervention.” He warned that unbalanced American involvement “will do little to solve the crisis”. See, Congressional Record, United States House of Representatives, Washington-DC, 19 November 2004.
372 This was a point made by the Sudanese Foreign Minister, Dr Mustapha Osman Ismail shortly after Powell’s “declaration”: “Look at what is going on in Iraq. The United States kept saying there were weapons of mass destruction. The same thing as genocide. After six months, it will say there is no genocide (in Sudan).” (“Sudanese FM Refutes US Stance on Darfur Issue”, News Article by Xinhua News Agency, 13 September 2004.)
373 “Is Genocide Just a Word in Darfur Dilemma?”, Special to CNN.com, 13 September 2004.
374 “US ‘Hyping’ Darfur Genocide Fears”, The Observer (London), 3 October 2004.
375 “Powell ‘Disappointed’ US Stands Alone on Darfur Genocide Determination”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 29 September 2004.
376 “No Genocide in Sudan, Annan Says”, News Article by Deutsche Press Agentur, 17 June 2004.
377 “Nigeria’s Obasanjo Unconvinced on US Call of ‘Genocide’ in Darfur”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 3 December 2004.
378 See, for example, “EU Mission Sees Abuses, But Not Genocide, in Darfur”, News Article by Reuters, 9 August 2004; “EU Mission Finds No Evidence of Darfur Genocide”, News Article by al- Jazeera, 10 August 2004.
379 See, for example, “Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières Challenges US Darfur Genocide Claims”, Mediamonitors, 5 October 2004, available at <http://www.mediamonitors.net>.
380 “From One Genocide to Another”, Article by Dr Jean-Hervé Bradol, 28 September 2004, available at Médecins Sans Frontières (UAE) website, <http://www.msfuae.ae>.
381 “Thousands Die as World Defines Genocide”, The Financial Times (London), 6 July 2004. See also, Bradol’s views in “France Calls on Sudan to Forcibly Disarm Darfur Militias”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 7 July 2004.
382 “Violence in the Sudan Displaces Nearly 1 Million. An Aid Worker Describes the Gravity of the Humanitarian Crisis”, News Article by MSNBC, 16 April 2004.
383 See, for example, MSF's own briefing: “Médecins Sans Frontières has been working in Darfur since December 2003. Today, 90 international volunteers and nearly 2,000 Sudanese staff provide medical and nutritional care in areas with more than 400,000 displaced people. Medical teams conduct medical consultations and hospitalisation, treat victims of violence, care for severely and moderately malnourished children, and provide water, blankets, feeding and other essential items in Mornay, Zalingei, Nyertiti, Kerenik, El Genina, Garsila, Deleig, Mukjar, Bindisi, and Um Kher in West Darfur State; Kalma Camp near Nyala and Kass in South Darfur State; and Kebkabiya in North Darfur State. MSF also continues to assess areas throughout Darfur. Additional teams provide assistance to Sudanese who have sought refuge in Chad in Adre, Birak and Tine, Iriba and Guereda.” – “We are looking at a second catastrophe”, Darfur feature article on MSF Australia Website, http://www.msf.org.au/tw-feature/045twf.html.
384 Medécins Sans Frontières has received, amongst others, the following international awards for their activities: 1999, the Nobel Peace Prize; 1998, the Conrad Hilton Prize; 1997, Prix International – Primo Levi; 1997, Prix International Sebetiater; 1996, Prix International pour la Paix et l’Action Humanitaire; 1997, Indira Gandhi Prize; 1996, Prix Seoul pour la Paix; 1993, the European Parliament’s Prix pour la liberte de l’Esprit Prix Sakharov, 1993, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees’ Nansen Medal; 1992, the Council of Europe’s Prix Europeen des Droits de l’Homme.
385 See, for example, “Hidden War that Claims 1,000 Lives a Day: Fighting Threatens to Escalate in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Where Six Years of Turmoil have Resulted in ‘the World’s Worst Conflict Since 1945’”, The Daily Telegraph (London), 10 December 2004. In October 2004, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Jan Egeland, has declared the situation in northern Uganda the “world’s greatest neglected humanitarian crisis” and a “moralb outrage”.
386 “US ‘Hyping’ Darfur Genocide Fears”, The Observer (London), 3 October 2004. For a critique of USAID and Natsios’ previous involvement in Sudan, see USAID Chief Natsios on Sudan: Inept and Partisan, European-Sudanese Public Affairs Council, London, November 2001,available at <http://www.espac.org>.
387 Millard Burr, Quantifying Genocide in the southern Sudan 1983-1993, US Committee for Refugees, Washington-DC, October 1993.
388 Douglas H. Johnson, The Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars, James Currey, London, 2004, p143, note 1. Burr stated that 1.3 million had died by 1993. Johnson’s concern about the accuracy of Burr’s claims also hold for any of the so-called statistical claims made by similarly-funded and
propagandistic reports on Darfur: “The first difficulty in accepting Burr’s figure is the unreliability of demographic data coming out of Sudan…The multipliers then applied to extrapolate a total figure from these data present yet another problem…Since the publication of Burr’s report, the figure of war-related deaths has grown with each citation, and now figures of 2.5 and even 3 million are commonly cited and accepted. Adding this to other frequently noted numbers for displaced and enslaved persons gives a total which equals or even exceeds the recorded population of the Southern Region in 1983.”
389 David Henige, Numbers from Nowhere, Norman, Oklahoma, 1998, p.20
390 Colin Powell’s declaration of “genocide” in Darfur, for example, was based in large part – he claimed – on a study, commissioned and funded by sections of the American government and carried out by the New York-based Physicians for Human Rights.
391 Darfur 120-Day Plan Report September to December 2004, Office of the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Co-ordinator for the Sudan, Khartoum, January 2005.
392 See, for example, “100,000 Excess Civilian Deaths after Iraq Invasion”, The Lancet (London), 29 October 2004.
393 Report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur to the United Nations Secretary-General, United Nations, January 2005.
394 Professor Susan Moeller, Compassion Fatigue: How the Media Sell, Disease, Famine, War and Death, Routledge, New York and London, 1999, p.229.
395 Charles Lane, “When Is It Genocide?”, Newsweek, 17 August 1992, p.27.
396 David White, “Darfur is Part of a Wider Problem”, The Financial Times (London), 13 June 2004
397 Peter Quayle, “Grave Crimes”, The World Today, Volume 61, Number 1, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, January 2005.
398 See, for example, Eric Reeves’ “Reporting Credibility” on Sudan Devastated by Reuters Report, European-Sudanese Public Affairs Council, London, 16 February 2001, available at <http://www.espac.org>; Eric Reeves, The World Food Programme and Displacement,
European-Sudanese Public Affairs Council, London, 23 February 2001, available at <http://www.espac.org>; Allegations of Oil Development Displacement Assessed Against Independent Sources, European-Sudanese Public Affairs Council, London, March 2001, available at <http://www.espac.org>; Eric Reeves’ Credibility on Sudan Further Damaged by British Satellite Picture Analysis of Sudanese Oil Fields, Media Monitors Network, May 2001; Eric Reeves Against Africa, Media Monitors Network, May 2001; Eric Reeves, Sudan, Displacement
and Double Standards, European-Sudanese Public Affairs Council, London, 15 June 2001, available at <http://www.espac.org>.
399 See, for example, Eric Reeves, “African Auschwitz: The Concentration Camps of Darfur; The UN and the International Community Are Acquiescing in Genocide”, 12 May 2004, <http://sudanreeves.org>; “Stopping Genocide in Darfur: What Must Be Done”, 17 May 2004, <http://sudanreeves.org>; “The Data of Destruction: Accelerating Genocide in Darfur”, 27 May 2004, <http://sudanreeves.org>.
400 See, for example, Eric Reeves, “Rwanda Redux? As the Catastrophe in Darfur Continues to Accelerate, There Are Still No Signs of International Humanitarian Intervention”, 22 March 2004, <http://sudanreeves.org>.
401 See, Eric Reeves, “Darfur Mortality Update”, 18 January 2005, <http://sudanreeves.org>.
402 See, for example, “Sudan’s Foreign Minister Says only 5,000 Dead in Darfur”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 8 September 2004. Most reputable media reporting take the WHO figure. See, for example, on 12 January 2005 Reuters stated: “About 1.7 million people are homeless and 70,000 are estimated to have died in Darfur.” Human Rights Watch, in a 14 January 2005 interview with Der Spiegel, said that 70,000 people had died in Darfur.
403 Eric Reeves, “Quantifying Genocide in Darfur: A Summary and Update”, 28 June 2004, <http://sudanreeves.org>.
404 Eric Reeves, “The Accelerating Catastrophe in Darfur (Sudan): Khartoum Fixes Upon a Policy of War and Civilian Destruction”, 24 November 2003, <http://sudanreeves.org>.
405 See, as just a few examples, Eric Reeves, “Unnoticed Genocide”, The Washington Post, 25 February 25 2004 ; Eric Reeves, “Sudan’s Reign of Terror”, Amnesty Now, Summer 2004; Eric Reeves, “Darfur Mortality Update”, 27 August 2004, (four references); Eric Reeves, “Darfur Mortality Update”, 15 July 2004, <http://sudanreeves.org> (five references); Eric Reeves, “The Data of Destruction: Accelerating Genocide in Darfur”, 27 May 2004”, http://sudanreeves.org>; Eric Reeves, “As the Darfur Catastrophe Deepens, Genocidal Destruction Intensifies: Diplomatic Confusion Increases, With No Humanitarian Intervention in Sight”, 20 February 2004, <http://sudanreeves.org>.
406 See, for example, Reeves’ profile at <http://www.giraffe.org/giraffe_heroes/Eric_reeves.html>.
407 Eric Reeves, “The Overdue Journey”, NewsSmith, Smith College, Spring 2003.
408 Eric Reeves, “Genocide in Darfur: A Growing International Strategy of Equivocation; In Place of Humanitarian Intervention, Studied Avoidance of Moral Responsibility”, 6 December 2004, <http://sudanreeves.org>.
409 See, for example, Eric Reeves, “Human Rights Watch Appeal on Factional Fighting in Southern Sudan”, 4 February 2001, <http://sudanreeves.org>.
410 E-mail publication by Jemera Rone via Darfur_task_force@yahoogroups.com, 1 July 2004.
411 See, for example, Eric Reeves, “Humanitarian Aid in Darfur Threatened with Utter Collapse”, 17 December 2004, <http://sudanreeves.org>. The murders were condemned by the international community: “UN envoy for Sudan condemns ‘brutal’ murder of humanitarian workers in Darfur”, Press Release by UN News Center, New York, 13 December 2004.
412 “UN Envoy Blames Darfur Rebels for Deaths of Aid Officials”, New Article by Agence France Presse, 27 October 2004.
413 “Darfur Rebels Threaten Humanitarian Aid Workers”, News Article by UPI, 23 October 2004.
414 Report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Sudan Pursuant to Paragraphs 6, 13 and 16 of Security Council Resolution 1556 (2004), Paragraph 15 of Resolution 1564 (2004) and Paragraph 1574 (2004), S/2005/10, United Nations, New York, January 2005.
415 “China Puts ‘700,000 Troops’ on Sudan Alert”, The Sunday Telegraph (London), 26 August 2000.
416 Eric Reeves, “China ‘Flexing Its Muscle’ in Sudan: Its time for SEMA!”, 30 August 2000, <http://sudanreeves.org>.
417 House of Lords Hansard, Written Parliamentary Answer, 5 March 2001, column WA 10.
418 “U.S.: Reports of China’s Role in Sudanese War Are Overstated”, News Article by UPI on 29 August 2000.
419 Eric Reeves, “An Up-Dated Report on the Government of Sudan Attack on the Elementary School in Upper Kaoda”, 25 February 2000, <http://sudanreeves.org>.
420 “African Christian Faith in Action”, <http://www.liaafrica.org>. Hammond’s exaggerations are obvious: he also claimed that “Christians make up…over 80% of Southern Sudan.” (This figure should be compared with the figures of 10-15 percent carried in official American government
studies, Economist Intelligence Unit briefings or Human Rights Watch material).
421 See, for example, “Sudan’s Reign of Terror”, Amnesty Now, New York, Summer 2004.
422 Kersap D. Shekhdar, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Media Coverage of Darfur (But Were Afraid to Ask), Online Journal, 12 September 2004 <http://onlinejournal.com>.
423 See, for example, “Arab Militias Destroying Schools in Sudan to Wipe out Black Culture”, News Article by Knight Ridder Newspapers, 20 August 2004.
424 “In Sudan, No Clear Difference between Arab and African”, The New York Times, 3 October 2004.
425 “Empty Villages Mark Trail of Sudan’s Hidden War”, The Observer (London), 30 May 2004.
426 “The Escalating Crisis in Darfur”, News Article by Integrated Regional Information Networks, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 31 December 2003.
427 John Ryle is Chair of the Rift Valley Institute and a Research Associate of the Centre of African Studies at the University of London.
428 John Ryle, “Disaster in Darfur”, The New York Review of Books, Volume 51, Number 13, 12 August 2004.
429 Nicholas Kristof, “Cruel Choices”, The New York Times, 14 April 2004.
430 “In Sudan, No Clear Difference between Arab and African”, The New York Times, 3 October 2004.
431 Comments made by Dr Eltigani Ateem Seisi at the seminar “Confronting the Crisis in Darfur: A Transatlantic Assessment”, Transatlantic Institute, Brussels, 12 May 2004. Dr Ateem is the head of Darfur UK, an anti-government group based in Britain.
432 “Darfur’s deep grievances Defy all Hopes for an Easy Solution”, The Observer (London), 25 July 2004.
433 Alex de Waal, “Tragedy in Darfur: On Understanding and Ending the Horror”, Boston Review, Volume 29, Number 5, October-November 2004.
434 See, as but two examples, “Sudan: Government Commits ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ in Darfur”, Human Rights Watch, 7 May 2004 and “Ethnic Cleansing Blights Sudan”, News Article by BBC News Online, 27 May 2004.
435 “Bashir Sets Up Panel to Probe Human Rights Abuses in Darfur”, News Article by PANA, 9 May 2004.
436 “Interview with UN’s Jan Egeland on the Situation in Darfur”, News Article by UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, Nairobi, 5 July 2004.
437 “Sudan ‘Neglecting’ Darfur Crisis”, News Article by BBC News Online, 8 June 2004, available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/africa
438 Report of the Secretary-General on the Sudan pursuant to paragraphs 6, 13 and 16 of Security Council resolution 1556 of 30 July 2004, paragraph 15 of Security Council resolution 1564 of 19 September 2004, and paragraph 17 of Security Council resolution 1574 of 18 November 2004, United Nations, S/2005/68, New York, 5 February 2005.
439 “Sudan Claims 270,000 Displaced from Darfur Return Voluntarily”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 10 November 2004.
440 Darfur 120-Day Plan Report September to December 2004, Office of the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Co-ordinator for the Sudan, Khartoum, January 2005.



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