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Qaeda urges attacks on Darfur force, talks questioned

This is a discussion on Qaeda urges attacks on Darfur force, talks questioned within the Global Affairs forums, part of the Main Topics category; Qaeda urges attacks on Darfur force, talks questioned By Andrew Heavens KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Al Qaeda urged Sudanese Muslims on ...

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    Default Qaeda urges attacks on Darfur force, talks questioned

    Qaeda urges attacks on Darfur force, talks questioned

    By Andrew Heavens


    KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Al Qaeda urged Sudanese Muslims on Thursday to fight African Union and United Nations peacekeeping troops in Darfur as rebels cast doubt on whether peace talks to pave the way for the force could succeed.

    Al Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri called for a holy war on the troops that he said were invading Darfur, and criticized Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for accepting the 26,000-strong joint A.U.-U.N. operation.

    "Bashir announced before that he would oppose the deployment of international troops to Darfur ... but this was a lie ... and he backtracked step by step until he had agreed to everything they imposed on him," Zawahri said in an 80-minute video.

    Zawahri accused Bashir of abandoning his Muslim brothers to appease the United States and said he did not deserve the protection of Muslims.

    "The free mujahideen sons of Sudan must organise jihad against the forces invading Darfur," he said.

    A Sudanese Armed Forces spokesman denied any Al Qaeda presence in Sudan, while a diplomatic source in Khartoum said the joint U.N.-A.U. mission was watching developments closely after Zawahri's statement.

    "The borders in Sudan are porous and it would not be hard for people to move around," the source said.

    Opposition and rebel groups said Al Qaeda would not be welcomed in Sudan.

    "These forces are coming to protect Darfuris and the Darfuris need peace," said Bashir Adam Rahma, a leading member of the Islamist-oriented opposition Popular Congress Party. "I believe the people of Darfur will fight anybody who tries to fight these forces."

    International experts estimate 200,000 people have died and 2.5 million have been displaced in more than four years of conflict in Darfur, figures that Khartoum dismisses.

    Ahmed Hussein Adam, spokesman for the Darfur rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said: "We want them to stay away, out of Darfur. Darfur is not their land. The Muslims of Darfur have nothing to do with al-Qaeda."

    Delay Urged

    A Darfur rebel leader said October peace talks with Sudan's government to establish stability in Sudan's remote west ahead of the full roll out of peacekeepers should be postponed.

    Ahmed Abdel Shafie, head of a breakaway faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement, was the third senior rebel leader to question the U.N. and A.U.-brokered talks planned for Libya on October 27, saying violence was impeding preparations.

    "The parties to the conflict in Darfur are not yet prepared to enter into genuine political negotiations," the faction said in a statement.

    The comments came a week after the head of Darfur's Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Khalil Ibrahim said that continued clashes with government troops might make it impossible for him to leave his fighters to attend the talks.

    Abdel Wahed Mohamed el-Nur, another SLM faction leader who lives in Paris, has said he would refuse to attend any peace talks before the arrival the peacekeepers.

    Five rebel groups, including JEM and SLM factions, held a second day of negotiations in the Chadian capital N'Djamena on Thursday to hammer out a common position on the peace talks.

    A conference on Darfur between the United Nations and the African Union is due to take place in New York on Friday.

    Abdel Shafie said he was not yet threatening to pull out of the Libya talks, saying: "We are demanding a few months of calm, but the precise period of time is up for negotiation. If our demands are not met, it will be very hard for these peace talks to succeed."

    Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070920/...udan_darfur_dc

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    Sudan: UN Mission Reports More Attacks On Aid Workers in South Darfur

    UN News Service (New York)


    The United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) reports that aid workers continue to be victims of attacks, including several carjackings, in the south of the violence-wracked Darfur region.

    In one incident, the driver of a vehicle belonging to an international non-governmental organization (NGO) was tied up and beaten. He is now being treated at a UN clinic in Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state. A UN convoy was also attacked the same day.

    The latest incidents follow last week's attack in South Darfur in which a convoy of aid workers was ambushed and shot at by unknown gunmen.

    Two of eight staff members of the NGO World Vision International travelling in the convoy were shot in the head, while a third staff member was struck in the arm. The other five were hit by glass fragments and shrapnel. All eight survived the attack.

    According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), attacks against the relief community have increased by 150 per cent in the past year, threatening the lifeline to an ever-increasing number of displaced and conflict-affected people.

    There are some 13,000 relief workers in Darfur trying to reach a total of four million people affected by the fighting which began four years ago between the Sudanese Government forces, allied Janjaweed militias and rebel groups.

    Meanwhile, in West Darfur, as part of continuing efforts to reduce the risk of water-borne diseases following recent floods, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has taken part in hygiene promotion campaigns in several camps, and has also provided anti-malaria medicines and mosquito nets.

    Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/200709271236.html

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    Default There is good reason remain suspicious US presence

    " .....

    Nevertheless, Sudanese government officials have expressed relief that the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), one of the main armed opposition groups in Darfur, did take part in the Arusha peace talks. Khalil Ibrahim, head of JEM, is sanctioned by the Americans. Ibrahim is known to have close political affiliations to his ideological mentor the leader of the opposition Popular Congress Party Sheikh Hassan Al-Turabi, Sudan's chief Islamist ideologue and influential former parliament speaker. Members of a splinter JEM faction headed by one Mohamed Saleh, however, declined to take part."

    from al-Ahram / english / Aug 2007 issue 857

    http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2007/857/re5.htm


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    I have always liked Turabi and if Turabi keeps good relations with the main grouping of the JEM Justice and Equality Movement of Dar al-Fur, then I'm sure that the JEM would have to be the best of representatives of the Muslim Fur.

    I'm sure that they could handle their own affaris in Dar al-Fur far better than could the "Permanent Security Council five plus Germany" now courently dictating UN policy. The Un presence in Dar al-Fur would only be to the aim of lessening Islam.

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    Default more on US displeasure with JEM - Dar al-Fur

    This is not a Islam friendly site, but the article IS informative on the matters in Dar al-Fur:

    http://darfurinformation.com/publica...est/book17.asp




    Any study of the conflict in Darfur can now no longer ignore the clear involvement of Islamist extremists in fermenting rebellion in western Sudan, namely the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). The Justice and Equality Movement, at the heart of the Darfur conflict, is led by Dr Khalil Ibrahim, a protégé of Islamist hardliner Dr Hasan al-Turabi. Formed in November 2002, JEM is increasingly recognised as being part and parcel of Dr Turabi’s 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”. [2] 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.” [3]

    There is additionally evidence of some level of 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 counter-terrorism 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. [4] Dozens of al-Qaeda terrorists were killed in Chad in 2004. [5] 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.” [6] 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. [7] There are many all-too-familiar ingredients. Darfur’s physical inaccessibility, its Islamist heritage, its proximity to several failed or semifailed 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.” [8] 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.” [9] 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”. [10] 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 the 1880s. 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.” [11]

    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”. [12] 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”. [13] Bin Laden is also married to Turabi’s niece. [14] 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.” [15] It is also worth noting that amongst the rebels there is a self-styled “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. [16]

    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.” [17] 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. [18]

    It is worth noting that the pattern of terrorism in Darfur has echoed al-Qaeda and extemist tactics in Iraq, especially with regard to attacks on policemen and police stations. [19] Over 400 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.” [20] The Secretary-General’s November report noted the “SLA reportedly attacked police posts nine times in October, killing at least nine policemen.” [21] European Union military observers mission have confirmed rebel attacks on policemen in Darfur: “The SLA has been attacking continuously police stations.” [22] 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. [23] Knight Ridder has also confirmed rebel attacks on police stations. [24] Human Rights Watch has reported: “Rebels have attacked many police stations and posts in Darfur.” [25] 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. [26] 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. [27]

    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.



    FOOTNOTES

    1 Ali Ali-Dinar, “Why Khartoum Wants a War in Darfur”, Sudan Tribune, 30 July 2004.
    (2) “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.
    (3) Darfur Rising: Sudan’s New Crisis, International Crisis Group, Africa Report No 76, Brussels, 25 March 2004.
    (4) See, also, for example, “US Says Militants Lurk in Horn of Africa”, News Article by Reuters, 28 December 2004.
    (5) 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 by Reuters, 13 March 2004.
    (6) Richard Miniter, Shadow War: The Untold Story of How Bush is Winning the War on Terror, Regnery Publishing, Washington-DC, 2004, pp. 98-99.

    (7) 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.

    (8) “Situation in Sudan’s Dafour Region ‘Very Serious’, Says UN Envoy”, News Article by Africa Online, 16 January 2004.
    (9) Ali Ali-Dinar, “Why Khartoum Wants a War in Darfur”, Sudan Tribune, 30 July 2004.
    (10) “Plot Thickens Around Darfur”, Al-Ahram (Cairo), Issue No 684, 1-7 April 2004.
    (11) Eric S. Margolis, “No Time for a Crusade in Sudan”, 12 August 2004, available at .
    (12) Sudarsan Raghavan, “Sudan Violence is Part of Power War”, News Article by Knight Ridder Newspapers, 20 August 2004.
    (13) Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror, Free Press, New York, 2004, p.136.
    (14) “US Targets Three More Countries”, The Sunday Times (London), 25 November 2001.
    (15) Gamal Nkrumah, “Plot Thickens Around Darfur”, Al-Ahram (Cairo), Issue No 684, 1-7 April 2004.
    (16) See, for example, “Tora Bora Army Strikes Back at the Janjaweed”, The Independent (London), 16 August 2004.
    (17) “Sudanese Authorities Fear al-Qaeda Attacks on Western Aid Agencies”, Sunday Tribune (Dublin).
    (18) “Two Darfur Refugees Killed in Chad Amid Tensions With Aid Groups: UN”, News Article by Agence France Presse, 25 July 2004.
    (19) 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.

    (20) 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.
    (21) 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.
    (22) “War Weary Darfur on the Brink of Deadly Famine”, Sunday Tribune (Dublin), 5 December 2004.
    (23) Report of the Ceasefire Commission on the Situation in Darfur, African Union, Addis Ababa, 4 October 2004.
    (24) “Independence of Darfur Rebel Commanders Threatens Peace Efforts”, News Article by Knight Ridder Newspapers, 4 December 2004.
    (25) “If We Return, We Will be Killed”, Human Rights Watch, New York, November 2004.
    (26) 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.
    (27) 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.

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    There are no 'Islamic extremists' or so-called al-Qaeda in Sudan. It's the usual ploy used by USrael to destroy another Muslim-majority country for oil and in the neighborhood of Zionist Israel. Sudan is a great reservoir of oil and freshwater - both needed by Israel.

    USrael used the same excuse and destroyed Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq - while some Muslim jerks were so excited to claim credit for the local resistance.
    It is immoral, irrational, it is obscene for an oppressor to tell the oppressed how they should respond to oppression.

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    Hasan Turabi is not an ally of al-Qaeda, nor is he behind the insurgency in Darfur. Dr. Turabi is now a hardcore modernist zindiq and is not involved in any project to re-Islamize the Sudan.

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    10 African Union soldiers have been killed in Darfur and 50 are missing. Blame is placed on a splinter faction of the Justice and Equality Movement.

    Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070930/...udan_darfur_dc

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    Default It is hard to get information on DarFur

    Thank you for the update on Hasan Turabi, Brother Mujahid. It has been a long time since he had been Speaker of the Parliament prior to Bashir's dissolution of the country's parliament.

    It is hard to keep abreast with matters inside Dar al-Fur and inside Moghadishu.

    I'll copy over a kind of a DarFur fact-sheet I have found on the internet, for reference sake:


    http://www.queensu.ca/cir/files/Poli...n%20Darfur.pdf

    'Politico-Military Forces in Darfur and their Ethnic Origins'
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Introduction
    While it is legitimate to focus on the ethnic aspect of the conflict, in Sudan one should not neglect government elites who have contributed to fuel the ethnic strife in Darfur to further their own agenda: – introducing mechanized agriculture at the expenses of local people, – favoring the so-called “Arab” tribes in land management policies as a compensation for their use in proxy wars against “Black” Fur and southern Christians and recently opposing the region’s “Black” Islamists. Moreover, it is also a reality that since the early 1990s, the conflict feeds from the ethnic strife in neighboring Chad, where tribes of Zaghawa origins, who, since 1990, govern Chad and use the diplomatic and financial resources of that country to help their brethren in Darfur.

    Before the introduction of mechanized agriculture in the region, the economy was based primarily on sedentary subsistence agriculture and nomadic pastoral activities. The production of cereals, fruit and tobacco as well as livestock in the drier north and the herding of cattle, sheep, and goats in the southern farming zones are the dominant economic activities. Beside Kordofan, DarFur is a major gum-producing state in Sudan. The “Gum Belt” covers Western, Northern and Southern Darfur. The central Jebel Marra massif, unlike the surrounding semi-desert plains, has rich volcanic soils laced with lush, forested river valleys dotted with waterfalls. It has been occupied for centuries by “Black” traditional cultivators composed mainly of Fur and Masalit tribes.

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    Farmers'/Nomads' Relation

    “Arab” tribes in DarFur traditionally lived as nomadic camel and cattle herders on the plains. For decades, nomadic “Arab” and Zaghawa pastoralists from the North migrate to the South in search of the well- watered lands and grazing fields around Jebel Marra, especially, during the dry season (typically from November through April). The regular intrusions and, sometimes, prolonged presence in Darfur’s agriculturally rich central belt of the Arab and Zaghawa nomads and their herds have caused several sporadic, and at times, tedious clashes with “Black” farmers.

    For centuries, Darfur’s local communities have managed to adapt their pasture and cultivation activities to varying conditions of soil fertility and rainfall. The relationships between various ethnic groups, tribes and clans are cooperative in rainy seasons and competitive in dryer periods. Cooperation and competition are determined by environmental variability and managed by customary systems of dispute settlement, which have prevented the emergence of high-intensity conflicts as witnessed these days. Historically, the customary dispute settlement arrangements are among other things: the payment Diya (Blood-money) to tribes which lost people, monetary or livestock compensation for crops destroyed by herds and agreement on animal migration time and route.


    “Blacks” vs.”Arabs”: A Reality or Political Fiction?

    The words “Blacks” and “Arabs” draw their political nature from their significance in:
    – (i) the abolition of customary rights to land, brought about, in 1970, through the introduction of the Unregistered Land Act;
    – (ii) ) the abolition of the Native Administration system;
    – (iii) the reorientation of the economy towards heavily capitalized export agriculture and,
    – (iv) the distorted and confused devolution of powers between the central government and the regions under the 1994 Federal decentralization system.

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    The Chad Dimension

    The dramatic effect of these policies went beyond Sudan to reach some tribes in Chad, particularly the Zaghawa people who, because of their control over the government of Chad, are using the resources of the latter to strengthen politically the position of their brethren in Darfur. Even though the Zaghawa are categorized as “Blacks”, they are using their newly found military strength not only against the “Arabs”, but also against other “Black” tribes. While the conflict is politically originated in Sudan, the Chadian influence reinforces its tribal aspects, and thereby, prevents the emergence of a political solution.


    The Difficulties of a Political Settlement

    Political solutions are often engineered by local urbanized elites and foreign powers, without the involvement of the traditional representatives of ethnic groups (Zaghawa, Masalit, Fur and “Arabs” and their different clans), who are heavily armed and do not often abide by the wishes of their self-appointed urbanized leaders. Some of the armed clans are not even aware that they are represented by a formal political organization, while the conflict is on the verge of being internationalized, with Libya supporting some “Arabs”, while Sudan supports others and Chad is supporting the Zaghawa and some other “Arabs”.

    The Internationalization of the Conflict

    The internationalization of the conflict is now being furthered with the arrival of the Saudis, Egyptians and Chinese on the scene. While the Saudis are using the Sudan-supported Chadian rebels to strengthen the Sunni belt in Sub-Saharan Africa against the appeal of the Shiia religion, the Egyptians want to maintain the Sudanese status quo to preserve the sources of the Nile, while China is interested by the Sudanese oil, which requires it to help militarily the government of Sudan and Chadian rebels, who operates from Sudan. . According to Roberta Cohen, Senior Fellow, and Co-Director, The Brookings - SAIS Project on Internal Displacement: “China is Sudan's largest trading partner and the main foreign investor in Sudan's oil industry. China National Petroleum Corp. has a 40 percent share in the international consortium extracting oil in Sudan, and it is building refineries and pipelines, enabling Sudan to benefit from oil export revenue since 1999”, (jewish)Roberta Cohen, “Calling on China: The China - Darfur Connection” The Washington Post, Letter to the Editor, August 5, 2004.

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    SLM (Sudan Liberation Movement) and the Wogi Clan
    Adam Bakhit : Zaghawa of the Wogi clan.
    Opposed to Minni Arkou Minnawi for the leadership of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) during the Conference of Haskanita in 2005. He is back to the battlefield since June 2006. His friends believe he still commands the forces of the Group of 19 commanders or G-19. His critics believe he only commands two of the 11 rebel sectors.
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    SLA (Sudan Liberation Army) - and the FurTribe
    Ahmed Shafie Yagoub Baasi : (Fur)
    Earlier he was one of the leaders of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) with Abdel Wahed Mohamed Ahmed el Nur. Led a group of 30 commanders (all Furs) who abandoned Ahmed el Nur in July 2006. Ahmed Shafie Yagoub Baasi maintains good relations with the National Redemption Front (NRF).
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    Sudan Federal Democratic Alliance - Wogi Clan
    Sharif Harir: Zaghawa and sibling of Minnawi. Anthropologist, member of Modern Forces (secular in Northern Sudan), which is still member of the Sudan Federal Democratic Alliance. After the peace agreement he reappeared with the NRF.
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    SLA - Wogi Clan (Shogar)
    Adam Ali Shogar: Wogi Zaghawa, he participated in the military coup that brought to power the current Chadian president Idriss Deby in 1991. President Deby acted as a mediator to allow him to return to Sudan. During the 1998 Sudanese elections he presented himself against Omer Hassan Ahmed El Béchir, the current president of Sudan. Adam Shogar joined the Sudan Liberation Army (then Darfur Liberation Army) early 2003.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    SLA - and the Massalit Tribe
    Khamis Abdullah Abakar: Massalit, the current leader of the G-19. At the beginning of the civil war he was lacking influence within the SLA. He is now deputy to Ahmed el Nur to ensure ethnic balance between Massalit and Fur within the SLA.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    JEM (the Justice and Equality Movement) - and the Kobe Clan
    Dr. Ibrahim Khalil: Zaghawa Kobe leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). The JEM is not yet as powerful as the SLA on the ground but it has benefited from support from the government of Chad. DarFur inhabitants do not trust the JEM because of its links with Chad and some fundamentalist groups in Khartoum The JEM is also active in eastern Sudan while the SLA is only in Darfur.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    NMRD (the National Movement for the restoration of Democracy) - and the Kabka Clan
    Hassan Abdullah Bargo and Mahamat Ismail Chaibo two Zaghawa from Kabka clan they created the National Movement for the Restoration of Democracy with elements that quit the JEM between March and April 2004. Mr Bargo works for the National Congress- National Islamic Front. Mr. Chaibo works for the Chadian security. The NMRD is said to be pragmatic and most of its elements are from the Zaghawa tribe.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    NMRD - "Tek" (Jibril Abdel Karim Bari), and the Kobe Clan
    Jibril Abdel Karim Bari (Tek):
    A Chadian Zaghawa from the Kabka clan personal adversary of the Chadian President Idriss Deby Combated against the JEM Was a military commander in the JEM forces until February 2004 and then he became among the founders of NMRD. Signed several agreements with the governments of Khartoum in December 2004 and July 2005. After the signing of these agreements, he fought against the SLA in the Jebel Moon. His deputy Nourene Minawi Bartcham with many other element of NMRD left him to join the JEM. Tek became colonel in Chadian Republican Guard and once attacked a convoy of the African Union forces in Darfur. Tek (Jibril Abdel Karim Bari) is now listed among those who are accused by the United Nations of war crimes.

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