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Dr. Albaqir A. Mukhtar. Director o f Al- Khatim Adlan Centre for Enlightenment and Human Development (KACE ) – Khartoum, Sudan. What’s Going on in Darfur?. How The Conflict is Perceived: a. In the West b. The Arab/Islamic World. Nuba Mountains. North-South. From Darfur “African”.

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dr albaqir a mukhtar
Dr. Albaqir A. Mukhtar

Director of Al-KhatimAdlan Centre for Enlightenment and Human Development (KACE) – Khartoum, Sudan

what s going on in darfur

What’s Going on in Darfur?

How The Conflict is Perceived:

a. In the West

b. The Arab/Islamic World

the current situation 1
The Current Situation 1

Security is deteriorating by the day

The conflict reached Darfurian cities: Crimes in the Cities: Recently the Janjaweed attacked Fashir and Kabkabiyya

JEM’s recent attack on Khartoum.

Abductions & assassinations inside the cities

Crimes in the Camps:

Highway robbery

the current situation 2
The Current Situation 2
  • Killing, rape & displacement continues:
    • The latest Bombing on 3-4 May of the school in ShegegKaro by Antonov planes
    • 2 million displaced people living in about 100 camps in Darfur
    • 250,000 refugees in Chad
    • 10,000 in Central Africa
    • Thousands went into the Northern Cities
    • Hundreds of villages burnt
historical background 1
Historical Background 1
  • An independent Sultanate for 700 years
  • Joined the rest of Sudan in 1916
  • Then started a History of :
    • Neglect
    • Marginalization: political, economic and cultural
    • Exploitation
    • Racism
historical background 2
Historical Background 2

Tribal conflict over resources

Regional instability and spread of small arms


Armed Robbery

historical background 3
Historical Background 3

The Government became part of the conflict

  • Recruited the Janjaweed from amongst the “Arab” tribes.
  • 300,000 deaths according to the UN Secretary General t the UN Security Council.
  • The attacks had compounded the extent of displacement, insecurity and untold human suffering.
western media
Western Media
  • Revealed the atrocities in Darfur through Satellite images
  • Gave it a human face
  • Outrage of the public
  • NGOs Campaigned
  • Governments Responded
coverage in western media
Coverage in Western Media

Example of Western Media Coverage:

BBC Panorama: The New Killing fields

Date of transmission 14:11:04,

Presenter Hilary Anderson visited a devastated village

Interviewed Survivors; among them

Khadija, a woman from Darfur who lost all her 3 children plus her husband and brother.

khadija s words
Khadija’s Words
  • “I found the body of my 4 year old son by the hospital. I picked him up and went looking for my other two children. I found them dead inside the school. They'd been hiding in the corner of the classroom. There were lots of dead children lying in front of the school. There is so much sadness. God forgive me, it would be better to be dead”.
  • Example Amnesty International:
  • [PDF]Template_Page 5.eps... W hen Amnesty International delegates tried to discuss the extent of the problemof rape in Darfur with the Sudanese government in 2004, every member of the ...www.amnesty.org/resources/pdf/sudan_crisis_2006/svaw_casesheet-eng.pdf - 2007-05-04 - Text VersionSudan: Surviving Rape in
  • Darfur - Amnesty International... SUDAN Surviving Rape in Darfur. ... On 19 July 2004, Amnesty International launched areport on Sudan: Darfur, Rape as a Weapon of War, (AI Index: AFR 54/076/2004). ...web.amnesty.org/library/index/engAFR540972004?open&of=eng-sdn - 32k - 2004-08-09 - CachedDay for Darfur 2 - 10 December 06 -
testimonies of 250 rape victims
Testimonies of 250 Rape Victims
  • We heard the Janjawid decide to open fire on the Mosque, and so we decided to run out… they captured the women… The men were holding their throats and sitting on their bodies, so they could not move, and they took off their clothes and then used them as women. More than one man would use one woman. I could hear the women crying for help, but there was no one to help them.
human face
Human Face
  • I was sleeping when the attack on Disa started. I was taken away by the attackers, they were all in uniforms. They took dozens of other girls and made us walk for three hours. During the day we were beaten and they were telling us: "You, the black women, we will exterminate you, you have no god." At night we were raped several times. The Arabs(1) guarded us with arms and we were not given food for three days."
  • A female refugee from Disa [Masalit village, West Darfur], interviewed by Amnesty International delegates in Goz Amer camp for Sudanese refugees in Chad, May 2004
  • The testimony of the Sudanese woman given above echoes hundreds of others, collected by Amnesty International, other human rights organisations, UN fact-finding missions and independent journalists.
  • They all describe a pattern of systematic and unlawful attacks on civilians in North, West and South Darfur states, by a government-sponsored militia mostly referred to as "Janjawid"(armed men on horses) or "Arab militia" and by the government army, including through bombardments of civilian villages by the Sudanese Air Force.
  • These armed groups, mainly of Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnicity were founded in 2003.
western governments
Western Governments
  • Tough talk: No Action
  • Bogged in Controversial Terminologies
  • Spent a lot of time debating what to call it
  • Instead of how to change the situation
  • China & Russia coming to rescue GOS
responses in the arab muslim world
Responses in the Arab/Muslim World
  • The government of Sudan,
  • The Arabic media,
  • High profile Islamists leaders,
  • Pro-Government northern Sudanese educated and intellectuals
  • Denial, tolerance, indifference,
  • Casting doubts, shadowing the reality
frequently asked questions
Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sudanese and Arabic media, as well as Islamic websites:
  • “why is this focus on Darfur by the international media and western governments?
  • “in whose name and for whose agenda?”
  • “whether there are huge mineral resources in Darfur that the west knows about”
  • These media outlets cast doubts on the “west’s sudden interest in Sudan”
  • They suggest that strategic and economic interests, and not humanitarian reasons, are the main motivating factors for action
arab media
Arab Media
  • In the Arab Media the main concern is
  • the international “intervention” in Sudan.
  • A big conspiracy against the Muslim and Arab worlds; it started with Afghanistan, then Iraq and now Sudan while Syria and Iran in the queue.
al jazeera tv
Al-Jazeera TV

To give just the titles of the programs devoted by one satellite channel, al-Jazeera TV, for the Darfur crisis,

  • Darfur and International Pressure on Khartoum aired 26/7/2004,[i]
  • Among the sub-headings of this program are: “international and American focus on Darfur and the reasons behind it”;
  • “accusations against Sudan Government”;
  • “fears that Sudan may be occupied”,
  • “the importance of a political solution and the risks of imposing sanctions”.
  • Another program was titled Darfur Opened the Door Wide for International Intervention in Sudan.
  • A third program was titled Darfur between Humanitarian Motivation and Interests of Great Powers aired 6/8/2004.
  • The fourth program, which was a sheer propaganda on behalf of the government, is titled the Causes of the Crisis in Darfur, which was a prolonged interview with Al’Awwa aired on September 15, 2004
muslim organizations
Muslim Organizations
  • Example: International Union of the Muslim Ulama (IUMU) headed by Sheikh Qaradawi
  • The Sheikh accused:
  • Western governments of conspiring against Islam, and
  • Western NGOs working in Darfur of using humanitarian assistance as a disguise for missionary work, aiming to convert the people of Darfur to Christianity, as part of their religious war against Islam.
  • He also stressed the need “to strengthen the religious knowledge of the people of Darfur”, and to meet their material needs.
  • He urged the fighting parties to stop this war, which gave the enemies of the Umma the opportunity to intervene in Muslims’ affairs
quote from qaradawi
Quote from Qaradawi
  • “the Zionists are behind what is happening in Darfur in order to cause turmoil in Sudan and to distract the Umma from its focus on Iraq and Palestine”
mohammed salim al awwa
Mohammed Salim al-Awwa
  • Quote 1
  • “we investigated the matter when we were in Khartoum with members of Parliament from Darfur. When we went to Darfur we interviewed many women who told us there was no any rape”.
al awwa
  • Qoute 2
  • The fact of the matter is that the accusations of rape were made to defame the government and the people of Sudan, to make the case for foreign intervention in the country. The Sudan Government did not do any wrong. All these accusations are false. There is a plan to subjugate Sudan to the west. Darfur is rich with pure iron ore, uranium, and oil. Darfur is the Gate of Islam to Africa. The unified Muslims of Darfur are a threat to the west. That is why Darfur is a target. Now we must talk about the conspiracy. What is going on in Palestine and Darfur is a part of the conspiracy. The Zionist enemies are working in Darfur
common denominator
Common Denominator
  • The common denominator among all the elements of this trend is as follows:
  • There is no genocide or ethnic cleansing in Darfur
  • There is no mass rape of women.
  • The Janjawidare not synonymous with Arab tribes,
  • There are no “Arabs” per se in Darfur, for they all look alike.
  • There is no relationship or coordination between the government’s forces and the Janjawid.
  • The crisis is a local problem; a tribal conflict over scarce resources.
the three ds
The Three Ds

Why then a limited problem blown out of proportion by the USA and western powers?

It is a plot to:

  • Defame Islam,
  • Divide Sudan,
  • Distract the world’s attention from Iraq and Palestine
arab muslim countries and organisations
Arab & Muslim countries and organisations
  • Once Arab & Muslims rested on this understanding of the crisis, they turned away from Darfur;
  • Despite the fact that the victims and the aggressors are all Muslims, they did nothing to bring the crisis to a halt?
  • Muslim institutions in the West appear disinterested in the whole affair.
  • Some are merely paying lip service to fend off accusations.
  • “At least this is how I felt when I caught up with Dr Daud Abdullah, the Deputy Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the largest umbrella Muslim group representing over 400 Muslim organisations in the country”. Ramzy Baroud: @
  • http://www.bruneitimes.com.bn/details.php?shape_ID=29441
  • An uncountable number of people are unnecessarily dying,
  • Starvation and disease,
  • Murdered with impunity,
  • Two million live in refugee camps,
  • Still targeted mostly by Janjawid militias
  • Even those who cross into Chad _ 200,000 refugees are not safe.
what is to be done
What is to be done?

Easing the humanitarian Crisis

  • Muslim and Arab governments must do more to help ease the humanitarian crisis both by increasing financial assistance and by raising the profile of the crisis. It is Muslims who are being killed yet many Muslim governments have failed to speak out about it. This is not good enough.
  • Aid agencies on the ground in Darfur are there to help the most vulnerable, and targeted attacks on aid workers and their assets must stop now.
  • Government restrictions on access to Darfur for aid workers must end.
immediate measure
Immediate Measure
  • Promoting a ceasefire and International Humanitarian Law in Darfur
  • All sides - the rebels and government - must immediately respect and comply with the ceasefire agreements already signed since May 2004.
  • The ceasefire should be monitored closely, and the international community must ensure those who violate it are held to account.
immediate measures
Immediate Measures
  • Ensuring effective protection for the civilians of Darfur
  • As agreed at Abuja (with the African Union and Arab League in attendance), an effective AU-UN hybrid peacekeeping force should be deployed to protect Darfuri civilians (this should include female peacekeepers).
  • This should be done as quickly as possible and with the consent of all sides.
  • If any party tries to prevent the deployment of such a force the international community, and the Muslim World in particular, must convince and pressure them to change their minds. Civilian protection must come first.
more involvement of arabs
More Involvement of Arabs
  • To ensure that the force is accepted and is effective Muslim and Arab governments should provide troops for it with a strict mandate to protect civilian lives.
  • Arab states must commit funds to support AMIS in the shorter term as agreed in the Arab League summit March 2006 – so far only $15m of the pledged $150m has been given to the AU.
long term
Long Term
  • Supporting reconciliation and a longer term peace process
  • Muslim and Arab Governments should play a more active role in developing and supporting a comprehensive and inclusive peace process for all parties. They should engage neutral parties such as South Africa to facilitate the process.