Saturday, 27 June 2009

What is it with foreign intervention? (3)

In an angry response to Scott Gration's new diagnosis of the current situation in Darfur as non-genocide/consequence of genocide SLM/A Paris-based leaded Abdel Wahid fired back with the claim that the Darfur conflict constitutes an on-going genocide expressing his disppaointment at such high profile back tracking from the US Administration on a question it had raced to name with the G word.
Irrespective of the accuracy of the diagnostic dilemma it is interesting to see how these claims play out in the internal politics of the region. Talking to the AU Panel an IDP chief in Zalingei, Adam Boush, insisted on the case that the conflict is one between Darfur and Khartoum, with an interpretation of history that set the onset in 1874, the overthrow of the Fur Sultanate by the aspiring Zubeir Pasha Rahama. In the same line the IDP representative denied the existence of inter-communal conflict in Darfur and pulled the argument through to demand self-determiantion for Darfur. The IDP representative went further to voice diasappointment and anger at AU and UNAMID, and followed on with the statement: "We are the victims, and we do not object to American soldiers coming to protect us". An account of the encounter is posted by Alex de Waal
Another spokesperson of the IDPs, Hussein Abu Sharati, expressed similar anger at Gration's remarks homing on the genocide claim in relation to land. For him the essence of the Darfur conflict is land: "The militias are engaged in this genocide because the government had promised them our fertile land that they are now occupying illegally after changing its features." …"So what we want is our land not any other land because what Gration is saying is exactly what the government is trying to implement: settle the IDPs in other places while their lands are given to the pro-government militias and we will never accept this issue."
As such the two intersecting planes of the Darfur conflict are demonstrably in play: the insurgency-counterinsurgency and the civil war, and in both land is the essential contention for the communities involved.
Mbeki's response to the call for American soldiers was the following “You can make this demand for American or European forces to replace UNAMID. It will not happen. We should not operate on the basis of a dream that is not going to be realized.” I think it is a bad dream. Actually, how did we get here at all?


  1. I'm also watching the save Darfur movement's response (which, interestingly enough, sounds a lot like Abdel Wahid's response) to Gration. It's interesting because they're essentially a very liberal movement, so they're having trouble finding their footing in terms of how to criticize Obama. Some of them called for Gration's removal as a roundabout way of criticizing the administration, which is stupid. They just look really chaotic right now and not very unified.

  2. This seems to be the dilemma when a war in a battered country like Sudan becomes a domestic political issue in the US. The SDC in this regards is exemplary with dire consequences.


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This work by Magdi El Gizouli is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.