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The language of “a democratically elected” government: Is it realistic?

By: Bol Khan Rom

August 10, 2014 (SSNA) -- One of the South Sudanese independent writers recently wrote an article titled “Kiir is a constitutional President not elected President of the Republic of South Sudan”. I cannot exactly remember the date on which this article was published. Though, the article was very interesting. The independent writer we are talking of is none other than Kuir e Garang, who writes from Canada. I always attentively read the articles he authors. And I do agree with him. Specifically, on the point that Kiir is not an elected President of Republic of South Sudan. He (Kiir) was a democratically elected and legitimate President of Southern Sudan. But he is now a “constitutional” or consensus President of the Republic of South Sudan. Interestingly, Mr Garang ended his article by stated that “Kiir would have become a democratically elected Republic of South Sudan’s President unless elections were held in our new Republic, after independence”.  But, did that happen? Of course, the answer to this question is a BIG NO.

I, personally, incorporated this point in one or two of my articles published before Kuir e Garang’s article. As a matter of fact, there was no Presidential election held in the Republic of South Sudan since 2011 right after the Independence. My friend Abendego Akok, Republic of South Sudan National Election Commission’s Chairperson would have invited and told me a Presidential candidate of his choice both of us could have vote for. I had been in the Republic of South Sudan until recently, that is to say up to Dec, 2013. No election process in the Republic of South Sudan was even initiated! What I know was that, Southern Sudan Political Parties by the time, on 13-17 Oct, 2010 held South-South Dialogue conference in Juba. And in that conference the same Political Parties’ Leaders agreed in a deliberate consensus that Salva Kiir would lead a Transitional national Government in the Republic of South Sudan. Should the Southern Sudan Referendum (SSR) results favor separation? So, as we speak, Bol Khan Rom, the author, is in full agreement with Kuir Garang. To be specific, on the point that Salva Kiir is not “a democratically elected/legitimate” President of the Republic of South Sudan but “a constitutional or consensus” President of the Republic of South Sudan. Take and own this truth from here.

However, let me today temporary agree to disagree with Mr. Garang, if he can also think that Gen. Pual Malong was/is not a democratically elected Governor of Northern Bahr el Gazhal State (NBGS). I am not contradicting myself. I said it is my decision to say it in the way they do! I decided or agree to change my argument today so to favor or make thing right in the hearts of the status quo and its supporters. And to see together publicly with them whether or not a language of “a democratically elected or legitimate” Government, there widely spoken uses to be logical (realistic).  Let’s go straight to the point! Gen. Pual Malong Awan is a democratically elected Governor of Northern Bahr el Gahazal State (NBGS). We know this fact. Right? He was democratically elected in general elections by the people of Northern Bahr el Gahazal state (NBGS). Whether in Southern Sudan general elections or Republic of South Sudan’s general elections (take what can please you) is none of my business. Hence, the most important point we are running after, here; if we can all agree, is that Gen. Malong Awan was/is a democratically elected or legitimate Governor of NBGS. However, is he still a Northern Bahr el Gahzal State’s Governor, now?  Why? What happened?

Yes I know, in our stained Transitional one man Constitution of South Sudan we can read it in Article 101 (r) that a state’s Governor shall be removed by the President in an event of a crisis in the state which threatens state or national security and territorial integrity. But was there anything that happened in a Northern Bahr el Gahzal state, for which he (Malong) could be removed? I think there wasn’t. Which is which now? I am confused here. Anyway, I think we have all now agreed that Gen. Pual Malong was democratically elected in the same election the President or other Governors were elected; which becomes the central point that we based our argument of “a democratically elected/legitimate” language. Then, why and who removed Pual Malong from the Governorship? The President? Who is also a democratically elected and legitimate President of Southern Sudan, sorry; Republic of South Sudan? The chief implementer of the law and South Sudan’s Transitional Constitution? Is it now a convincing notion, for a democratically elected person to remove another democratically elected one? Is this how democracy works in a circle or in an island of their own? Did the people of South Sudan in general and NBGS’s in particular fight and agree to this? I doubt. Aren’t we in an animals’ farm?  I think we are unknowingly in an animal’s farm; where it was stated that animals with two legs are better than those with four legs or vice-versa.

Therefore, I think we must logically choose from the following: Either we all agree that a language of “a democratically elected/legitimate” Government is declared invalid, especially after these messes. Or we come to our sense that a proven constitutional blunders which we created and remove “a democratically elected Governor” need correction (radical reforms) with new bloods. The technocrats, in the proposed Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU). In addition, I also think it is squarely absurd, for us to support a removal of “a democratically elected/legitimate” persons (like Governor Malong) and at the same time we consider Mr. Simon Kun Puoch, Upper Nile state’s Governor or President Kiir is “a democratically elected/legitimate” persons who shouldn't be touch. Take categorically incurable and deadly messes created which also kill immensely South Sudanese people! Certainly, we may be seen legally as an isolated megalomaniac clique which contradicts itself. Because, Gen. Paul Malong, Simon Kun, President Kiir, Gen. Matur Chut and so forth were all elected in the same elections by the same people of the Republic of South Sudan if not Southern Sudan. Even in a traditional way of doing things, such reasoning cannot be, or accepted. The heavenly father (Almighty God) either cannot agree. This case of (Northern BGS) alone plus the other national fatal blunders combined could earth quaked the nation we’re pretending to build. Who can tell me that the people of Northen Bahr el Gahzal state shouldn’t win the case in the court of law against the status quo? If the South Sudan Judiciary or Legal system under Justice Chan Reec Madut were to granted a chance for NBGS’s people to open such an obvious case. I think none of you will tell me. This is another version of majority South Sudanese and I which we think may bring down an irrational argument of a so-called democratically elected Government.

In conclusion, as far as my take to the status quo is concern, I would like to say that the language of “a democratically elected/legitimate” Government is just becomes a bogus defend mechanism. Which glued-like in the lips of those who have already corrupted, pocketed and messed up the nation unconstitutionally but want to cheat the nation and continue receiving their remunerations (salaries) at the expense of the people’s deaths. The language is not realistic or valid at all. Otherwise, Gen. Pual Malong Awan who was “a democratically elected/legitimate” Governor of NBGS would have not lost his position to Mr. Kuel Aguer Kuel.

Bol Khan Rom is a concerned South Sudanese. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Fall of a Nation, Salva Kiir Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

By: Dong Samuel Luak

“The right to rebel and to change or overthrow a dictatorship are both constitutional and legal”. Will Mutunga, Chief Justice of Kenya

August 10, 2014 (SSNA) -- Today 10 August 2014 is a turning point in my life, marking a complete one year since I fled my Country South Sudan for security reasons after being threatened by the security for petitioning the President of the Republic of South Sudan, General Salva Kiir Mayar-dit before the Supreme Court for violation of the Transitional Constitution 2011, and his blatant infringement on the civil liberties of Mr. Pagan Amum the Secretary of the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM).

By then I was trying to sound an alarm and issue a wake-up calls about the future of South Sudan. But the South Sudan Ambassador in Washington DC in an interview with Voice of America (V.o.A), downplayed the threats on my life and said the lawyer is on a visit to his family in Nairobi, Kenya. My visit continued up to date. I believe he might be visiting his family now in Juba or recalled for not promoting President Salva Kiir’s home made coup.

In 15 December 2013 the war broke out in the capitol of South Sudan, Juba, under overall command of President Salva Kiir involving his private army and Presidential Guard unit (Tiger). The reports of human rights violations, targeting killings and ethnics cleansing by human rights groups or organizations continued to stream in even today, saying no where is safe in South Sudan, with horrible accounts of atrocities committed against the civil population, by the warring parties those horrific crimes brought down the country to its knees. Including ‘declining moral values and political civility all over the country, with over-extended foreign military presence and fiscal irresponsibility by central government. ‘Who would think again that the future of this young country and its people will be at the mercy of Both President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar. This means, no accountability only impunity will prevail.

History reveals that all dictators and governments of men, no matter how grand, no matter how powerful, ultimately they fall. It happened to Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Husseni Mubarak of Egypt, Mummer Gadhafi of Libya and the list goes on, Even South Sudan will never be exempted it will ultimately fall if legitimacy of people who voted overwhelmingly for independence South Sudan is substituted with Salva Kiir legitimacy.

There is an old and popular saying: “Rome was not built in a day.” Likewise, the Roman Empire did not fall in one night; its decline was gradual. Not long after the birth of the new Republic of South Sudan it raised to the world’s top list of failed States, several factors were already at work contributing to the nation’s ultimate demise.

The families of our rulers living abroad while their parents are busy looting the country, fathers never took serious their roles in training, educating and properly instructing their children about how importance is the nation. The family is weakened and fractured. Also, parents came to spoil their children, who then grew up to become lazy adults. They live in a fantasy world in which they “must” have a car, cellphones, they wanted their privacy, and they needed their rights. The result? A generation of children who oppress and rule over their parents and show no respect for their elders.

The foundation of knowledge doesn’t exist; the people of South Sudan are destroyed for lack of knowledge by their parents who are the rulers today President Salva Kiir and his group are blind men groping around in spiritual darkness.

If you see Our President Salva Kiir yesterday, today and tomorrow with his siren and motorcade on Sunday going to Church to worship, which he turn to be the Temple of prostitution, drunkenness and other vices that appealed to his flesh. These were common across South Sudan government officials, deceiving, stealing, getting drunk and committing fornication, adultery, even rape! Do Salva Kiir and his colleague in government truly worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? I doubt.

The President of South Sudan and his comrades are masters of extreme pleasure seeking. They entertained themselves with Nyama-choma and gambled on who would live or die. Ministers were proud of their lavish villas, imported V8s, cuisine and fine attire. They thrilled themselves with plays, bathhouses, indoor pools and drunken parties held in the honor of liberation and martyrs.

Originally, agriculture was the starting point for making wealth in South Sudan, but importing foods from Uganda was disastrous to the economy and created a massive consumer economy that focused on services rather than production and growth. With government huge public service, the presence of foreign troops and overstretched military. Having a huge army on papers not real boots on the ground makes it difficult to maintain and introduce reform into a professional army. The revolving door of army generals in all aspect of life is taking its toll on every institution.

Family, education, religion, pleasure seeking, economy, government and the military. The failure of these and other factors have contributed to the death of Salva Kiir’s government. Whether Yesterday, Today or Tomorrow South Sudan has no future under President Salva Kiir. Kerry or IGAD are only there for entrenching impunity in South Sudan.

However, the good news is, there is a future government that will be established by a perfect Leader, as foretold in Isaiah 9: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end” (vs. 6-7).

An incorruptible King, Jesus Christ, will direct His government—the kingdom of God—to teach true family values; place educational institutions upon the right foundation; empower true religion to provide guidance and purpose to empty lives; maintain a global economy that will never see a depression—or even a recession; ensure that government on all levels will be free of bureaucracy; and convert all weapons to a greater purpose (Isa. 2:4).

The author could be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

El Salam Camp for displaced persons, site of recent Khartoum military assault, is a prism for all Darfur (accompanied by three appendices), 9 August 2014

By Eric Reeves

August 9, 2014 (SSNA) -- One would never gather from the most recent report on Darfur and UNAMID by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (July 22, 2014) that the realities of El Salam camp over the past half year are painfully representative of camp conditions throughout Darfur (notably, as of August 9, 2014 this report does not appears on the UN's UNAMID website).  In fact, Ban far too often settles for vague and unsupported generalizations in many areas, relying chiefly on a UNAMID force whose reporting integrity lies in shambles, given what we have learned from recent investigative journalism and past reporting (see also "Refusing to See Darfur," Sudan Tribune18 May 2014).  The picture of Darfur that emerges in the Secretary-General's report has little to do with the realities reported from the ground, including by Radio Dabanga, Sudan Tribune, and confidential sources.

There are modest reporting improvements in this quarterly report: it has a brief section on sexual violence (the subject was omitted entirely from two reports from 2013), but the figures used are those provided by UNAMID and vastly understate the scale of this critical issue.  Ban reports, for example, that "there were 58 cases of sexual and gender-based violence, involving 103 victims." This is a preposterously low figure; Kalma camp alone suffered 39 rapes in the months of April and May of this year.

Most notably, however, the report acknowledges that the figure for displaced persons in Darfur is "2.5 million," a remarkable revision of the figure promulgated by the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs just a year ago: "1.4 IDPs registered in Darfur camps (excluding IDPs outside camps)" (Sudan Humanitarian Bulletin, Issue 33 | August 12 – 18, 2014).  In other words, the figure OCHA had used for many months understated—if we use the current figure—by 1.1 million IDPs.  The UN push to reduce the number of Darfuri IDPs has been a scandal going back several years, one I have repeatedly detailed.  The figure corresponds well with a recent Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) survey that determined that about 2.3 million remained displaced.  The pre-war population of Darfur was likely between 6 million and 6.5 million; hundreds of thousands have died as a result of the war; 2.5 million people is a staggering percentage of the entire population, and it is overwhelmingly people of non-Arab/African ethnicity.  The DRA is hardly a reliable source, but the coincidence of its findings with the UN figure in notable.

Ban Ki-moon declares more fully in his report that:

Humanitarian needs generated by this new displacement come on top of the needs of some 2.5 million internally displaced persons, 1.7 million of who live in the camps. (§21)

But his report does remarkably little to explain how the humanitarian needs of the 800,000 displaced who are not in camps are surviving, and what kind of humanitarian access they have.  And in fact he can't: he relies on UNAMID for the vast majority of his information and UNAMID simply does not have a presence outside its bases that would allow for meaningful assessment of this critical issue.  Moreover, Khartoum continues to deny access to both UNAMID and humanitarian organizations, allowing some movements but denying others.  Ban Ki-moon notes, as if this were of consequence, that the UN is now issuing monthly "notes verbales" to the Khartoum regime concerning its obstruction of UNAMID, which are no doubt read as simply comical exercises in diplomatic futility.

Perhaps most disgracefully, Ban indulges in painfully disingenuous accounts of improvement: "humanitarian access [in Darfur] improved in April and May"—but only comparison with an even more repressive period, "the first quarter of 2014" (§19).  And again, Ban is relying on thoroughly discredited UNAMID reporting. At times the disingenuousness is utterly shameless and meant to mollify Khartoum: he speaks, for example, of "the withdrawal in May of an international non-governmental organization from West, South, and East Darfur [that] left gaps in health and nutrition assistance."  But the organization in question, Merlin (UK), was expelled from Darfur by the Khartoum regime; their "withdrawal" was compulsory.

Appendix One (http://wp.me/p45rOG-1nQ/) offers a brief overview of key claims, data, and generalizations in the Secretary-General's report.  It is all too clear that UN deference to Khartoum overrides any commitment to tell the truth about human suffering and destruction in Darfur.

El Salam as our prism for seeing Darfur

I recently posted with brief comments a Radio Dabanga dispatch on the attack by Khartoum's military and security forces on El Salam camp, just to the southeast of Nyala—the largest town in Darfur and where a very substantial contingent of UNAMID forces is based.  The original dispatch from Radio Dabanga was shocking in implication:

"Military raid on South Darfur’s El Salam camp," Radio Dabanga, 5 August 2014 (El Salam Camp, Bielel Locality, South Darfur)

A large military force stormed El Salam camp for the displaced in Bielel locality, South Darfur, on Tuesday morning [5 August 2014]. The army troops searched the camp and detained 26 displaced. “At 6.30am on Tuesday, army forces in about 100 armoured vehicles raided El Salam camp,” Hussein Abu Sharati, the spokesman for the Darfur Displaced and Refugees Association reported to Radio Dabanga on Tuesday afternoon. “The soldiers searched the camp, treating the displaced in a degrading and humiliating way. They assaulted the people, treating them as suspects, and detained 26 camp residents. The market was pillaged, and the personal belongings of many displaced disappeared.”

According to Abu Sharati, the search for criminals, motorcycles, vehicles without number plates, and weapons in the camp, was done “under the pretext of the new emergency measures issued by the Governor of South Darfur State.”  “But in fact the main objectives of this attack is terrorising the camp population, and the dismantling of the camp.” “Searches in this way constitute a violation of international humanitarian laws. They attacked the camp, beat and robbed the displaced, and pillaged the market. We do not know how many people were wounded yet. We are still are checking them, and inventorying the items missing.” 

On August 8, 2014, Radio Dabanga published a follow-up report on the attack on El Salam:

The displaced of Darfur hold the UN Security Council and UNAMID responsible for the military raid on El Salam camp for the displaced in South Darfur, at the beginning of this week. In a statement to Radio Dabanga, the coordinator of the South Darfur camps said the attack on the El Salam in Nyala is contrary to the rules of displacement and the United Nations. “It is the UN and UNAMID’s responsibility to protect the displaced. The camps are not havens for criminality; people enter these camps because of the ravages of war.”

The leader of El Salam camp, Sheikh Mahjoub Adam Tabaldiya, confirmed to Radio Dabanga that a combined force consisting of security services, the army, and the police stormed the camp with more than 150 military vehicles, led by Abdulrahman Gardud, Commissioner of Nyala locality. Sheikh Tabaldiya termed the raid a farce. “When they entered the camp, they told the elders that they were searching for alcohol and drugs, but they were really looking for vehicles belonging to the armed movements, and families of rebels.

“The military force did not find anything, but arrested more than 75 people and took them to the military court in Nyala. As there was no proof against them, all but four were released.” Aaron Saleh, Jacob Abdul Rahman Abdullah, Mahmoud, and Saleh Abdullah are reportedly still in detention in Nyala. Tabaldiya said that during the raid, 23 displaced people received various injuries as a result of beating and whipping.

To date there has been no public response from either UNAMID or the UN Secretariat, and even if such a response is forthcoming, it will certainly be no occasion for Khartoum to reconsider its actions.  A similar assault could take place tomorrow on any of the camps around Nyala—or el-Fasher, or el-Geneina, or indeed any of the roughly 100 camps, formal and informal, to which displaced persons have fled.  And UNAMID would be just as helpless to respond as it was when "a combined force consisting of security services, the army, and the police stormed the camp with more than 150 military vehicles."  Here we should note that there have been a number of very recent militia assaults on IDP camps, reported in detail by Radio Dabanga.

There are a number of serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in such attacks, and at the very least we should hear these enumerated by international actors of consequence.  This is unlikely, and in the case of the African Union Peace and Security Council virtually inconceivable.

This was not always so.  Attacks on the camps began almost a decade ago, and I have regularly chronicled them.  The first major attack occurred in Aro Sharow in September 2005, and at the time the AU Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission on Darfur (October 1, 2005) spoke forcefully and directly (see analysis of 9 October 2005):

On 18 September 2005, simultaneous attacks at Khartoum Djadeed, Sandego, Khasantongur, Tary, Martal and Djabain resulted in the death of 12 civilians, 5 seriously wounded, and the displacement of about 4,000 civilians. Heavy and small weapons mounted on vehicles were reportedly used by the Government of Sudan, in close coordination with about 300 Janjaweed Arab militia. Most of the displaced people moved to ZamZam and Tawilla Internally Displaced Persons camps. (Transcript of Kingibe press conference, Khartoum, October 1, 2005)

On 28 September 2005, just four days ago, some reportedly 400 Janjaweed Arab militia on camels and horseback went on the rampage in Arusharo, Acho and Gozmena villages in West Darfur. Our reports also indicate that the day previous, and indeed on the actual day of the attack, Government of Sudan helicopter gunships were observed overhead. This apparent coordinated land and air assault gives credence to the repeated claim by the rebel movements of collusion between the Government of Sudan forces and the Janjaweed/Arab militia. This incident, which was confirmed not only by our investigators but also by workers of humanitarian agencies and NGOs in the area, took a heavy toll resulting in 32 people killed, 4 injured and 7 missing, and about 80 houses/shelters looted and set ablaze.

The following day, a clearly premeditated and well rehearsed combined operation was carried out by the Government of Sudan military and police at approximately 11am in the town of Tawilla and its IDP camp in North Darfur. The Government of Sudan forces used approximately 41 trucks and 7 land cruisers in the operation which resulted in a number of deaths, massive displacement of civilians and the destruction of several houses in the surrounding areas as well as some tents in the IDP camps. Indeed, the remains of discharged explosive devices were found in the IDP camp. During the attack, thousands from the township and the IDP camp and many humanitarian workers were forced to seek refuge near the AU camp for personal safety and security.”

For his part, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon doesn't even mention the very recent attacks on IPD camps, the most conspicuous evidence of the failure of the UNAMID mission.  Appendix Two (http://wp.me/p45rOG-1nP/) offers examples of such violence by Khartoum-allied militias from just the past few weeks.  Again, none of this is discussed by Ban Ki-moon.

The displaced persons of El Salam include some of the most typical of Darfuris affected by relentless violence.  The arrival in early March 2014 of some 6,400 newly (and violently) displaced persons overwhelmed the ability of relief efforts in the camp and the area generally, with the result that Radio Dabanga reported shortly before the attack on the camp:

The 6,387 newly displaced people in El Salam camp in Bielel locality, South Darfur, who arrived at the camp for more than five months ago, have not been provided relief until now. Camp sheikh Mahjoub Adam Tabaldiya told Radio Dabanga that though the newly displaced have been registered, they have not received any aid. “They have nothing to eat, and are still living in the open and sleeping on the ground, since they arrived at the camp early March. The rains have worsened their suffering.”

The newly displaced fled their villages in the area southeast of South Darfur’s capital of Nyala when paramilitary Rapid Support Forces launched widespread attacks on more than 100 villages in the area on 27 and 28 February. Tabaldiya said that the Sudanese Humanitarian Aid Commissioner of South Darfur State, Jamal Yousif, visited the camp on Saturday. “After the leaders of the newly displaced explained their problems to him, he promised to solve their problems within 48 hours. Nothing happened so far.”  The camp sheikh appealed to relief organisations to provide tents or tarpaulins, and food to the newly displaced “as soon as possible." (Radio Dabanga, 5 August 2014)

Instead of humanitarian relief, the people of El Salam suffered a brutal assault by a large military operation utterly unconstrained by international norms and laws.  But the problem of those who arrived at Al Salam in March is repeated again and again throughout Darfur: 800,000 newly displaced persons over the past two years have overwhelmed humanitarian capacity, given the needs of those already displaced.  Again and again, Radio Dabanga reports on camps that have not received food for months, or where water rations are far below SPHERE standards, or where medical resources are non-existent.  I will be returning in subsequent briefs to particular problems in relief capacity and access in various sectors (water, food, primary medical care, sanitation, education), but for the moment Appendix Three (http://wp.me/p45rOG-1nO/) offers various very recent examples of the kinds of acute deprivation that 6,400 people in El Salam camp have experienced for almost half a year.  Again, none of this figures in Ban Ki-moon's report except in the most general and abstractly statistical form.

Conclusion: El Salam and the Future of Darfur

The future of Darfur may be seen under three aspects.

[1]  UNAMID: So long as the African Union supports this failing operation, the UN will not have the nerve to end it.  Ban Ki-moon's rambling comments on making UNAMID more efficient, removing the civilian bloat from the mission, mandate review, and increasing the vigor of responses speak to no fundamental change, without which Darfur's current catastrophe will only increase.  If the African Union Peace and Security Council continues to speak of UNAMID as a force worth "emulating" in future missions, they may think that they are rescuing themselves from immediate association with failure; but in the long run, such an assessment ensures that no one, including the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, will take them seriously.

Adequate human security and humanitarian access simply cannot be achieved by the present force.

[2]  The Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD):  The African Union has few partners who continue to support the DDPD as a means to secure peace in Darfur.  Darfuris—both the consequential rebel groups and Darfuri civil society—have overwhelmingly rejected the DDPD, and for good reasons.  Khartoum, on the other hand, firmly and exclusively supports the DDPD precisely because it is unworkable and it has been rejected by Darfuris.  This provides an excuse not to engage in meaningful peace negotiations under auspices other than those provided by the Qataris; the "failure" of the DDPD is also, perversely, a means of justifying their continuing military efforts in the region, most significantly by way of the reconstituted Janjaweed, the "Rapid Support Forces" (RSF).

Ban Ki-moon, however, speaks as though the DDPD were a viable means of achieving peace in Darfur, ignoring all evidence to the contrary.  His extensive commentary on the DDPD is largely blather and takes no cognizance of the quiet recognition by non-UN and non-AU actors that the DDPD is a diplomatic dead letter, flogged to no purpose by the UN Secretariat because it does not wish to anger Khartoum and because it has no alternative to offer.

The Obama administration privately acknowledges the failure of the DDPD, and indeed the Sudan Tribune reported on April 10, 2014 the views of the U.S. ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power:

Last month, the US ambassador at the UN, Samantha Power, reportedly called on African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) members to find an alternative forum to resolve the Darfur crisis, saying the DDPD has become outdated and cannot be relied on. Power’s remarks drew strong condemnation from Khartoum which said that US actions encourage the non-signatory groups to impose their own agendas on Darfur people and Sudanese people in general. (http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article50610 )

Bur ironically the incoherence of Obama administration policy toward Darfur was made clear in the same report by the Sudan Tribune, which began by noting:

The United States deputy charge d’affaires in Sudan Christopher Rowan affirmed that the solution to the Darfur conflict could only come through dialogue and negotiations and not through arms, stressing his country’s support for the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).

Khartoum thrives on such ambiguity and confusion, and the Obama administration sent deeply mixed messages to its European and other potential allies about beginning a serious peace forum for Darfur.

[3]  Regime change: The signing in Paris (August 9, 2014) of an agreement between Sadiq al-Mahdi's National Umma Party (NUP) and Malik Agar's Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) has as its clear subtext regime change.  Indeed, the goals agreed to—and much remains to negotiate between the various elements of the SRF and the NUP—all presume removal of the present regime.  None of the announced shared goals can be achieved so long as the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party regime retains power.  The commitment of the SRF to regime change by force if necessary presents a problem that has been finessed for the present, but there can be little doubt that Khartoum will now resist even more vehemently any truly national dialogue.

For Darfur—and several of the main Darfur rebel groups are part of the SRF—regime change cannot come too soon.  A dismantling of the militia forces; bringing the military under democratic civilian control; and ending the obstruction of humanitarian relief efforts: all these would have an immediately beneficial effect.

But chaos has been sown so deeply by the current Khartoum regime that critical problems will endure for years if not decades.  Land tenure issues and the ability of non-Arab/African farmers to return to their lands in safety will be at the top of the list, but the scars of war are deep, and ethnic hatred of a sort unprecedented in Darfur's history will be extremely difficult to overcome.  The collapse of the educational system in many parts of Darfur and in the displaced persons camps (the subject of a future analysis) leaves an unnerving prospect for the future.  It is all too well articulated by UNICEF's Representative in Sudan, Geert Cappelaere:

The UN children’s rights and relief organisation, UNICEF, has warned that an entire generation in Darfur may be lost as a result of more than ten years of violence in the region. “Life in the camps might produce a new generation without ambition,” the UNICEF Representative in Sudan, Geert Cappelaere, said in a press statement issued on Saturday. “In particular as about 60 percent of the displaced in Darfur are minors.” ("'Entire generation may be lost in Darfur': UNICEF Representative in Sudan," Radio Dabanga [Khartoum] 12 May 2014)

We find no such honesty in the accounts of Darfur offered by Ban Ki-moon or the African Union, and this will do much to contribute to future "El Salams."

************

Appendix One (http://wp.me/p45rOG-1nQ/) offers a brief overview of key claims, data, and generalizations in the Secretary-General's report.
Appendix Two (http://wp.me/p45rOG-1nP/) offers very recent examples of violence by Khartoum-allied militias
Appendix Three (http://wp.me/p45rOG-1nO/) on acute humanitarian distress in Darfur

Eric Reeves' new book-length study of greater Sudan (Compromising With Evil: An archival history of greater Sudan, 2007 - 2012; www.CompromisingWithEvil.org; review commentary at: http://wp.me/p45rOG-15S)

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