By Eric Reeves
May 8, 2017 (SSNA) — The militia attacks near Nierteti (western Central Darfur) reported today by Radio Dabanga are identical to those that were occurring fourteen years ago, down to such grim details as the cutting down of mature fruit trees to ensure there is nothing to come back to in the destroyed villages. Genocidal violence has at times ebbed over the past fourteen years but has never ceased.
The UN/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) is completely powerless to protect non-Arab/African civilians under assault, even if it were inclined to, which it clearly is not. The Rapid Support Forces (RSF), responsible for the reported attacks, have been formally incorporated into the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and thus acknowledged and supported in ways Khartoum never dared with the “Janjaweed,” even when these less well-organized militia groups were working hand-in-glove with the SAF. Denial was essential, as UN Security Council Resolution 1556, under Chapter 7 authority, “demanded” that Khartoum disarm the “Janjaweed” and brings its leaders to justice:
Resolution 1556 (2004) Adopted by the Security Council at its 5015th meeting, on 30 July 2004 | http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/1556%20(2004)
Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, [the UN Security Council]…
- 7 Demands that the Government of Sudan fulfill its commitments to disarm the Janjaweed militias and apprehend and bring to justice Janjaweed leaders and their associates who have incited and carried out human rights and international humanitarian law violations and other atrocities, and further requests the Secretary General to report in 30 days, and monthly thereafter, to the Council on the progress or lack thereof by the Government of Sudan on this matter and expresses its intention to consider further actions, including measures as provided for in Article 41 of the Charter of the United Nations.
Now confident of victory in its genocidal counter-insurgency in Darfur, the regime feels bold enough to praise and embrace the RSF. There could be no better example of UN and African Union hypocrisy, weakness, and fecklessness. The refusal by these international bodies now even to acknowledge the continuing ethnically-targeted violence directed against the non-Arab/African tribal populations of Darfur is the very face of the UN and African Union politically.
The international community as a whole—including the EU, the U.S., Japan, India, the countries of South America, and others—is content to allow the lack of a human rights reporting presence and the total absence of independent journalists in Darfur to justify indifference and willful blindness to catastrophic human suffering and destruction.
The same regime that now formally employs the Rapid Support Forces in Darfur is described by former U.S. Special Envoy for Sudans Princeton Lyman as capable of “carrying out reform via constitutional democratic measures”:
“We [the Obama administration] do not want to see the ouster of the [Khartoum] regime, nor regime change. We want to see the regime carrying out reform via constitutional democratic measures.” (Interview with Asharq al-Awsat, December 3, 2011 | http://english.aawsat.com/2011/12/article55244147/asharq-al-awsat-talks-to-us-special-envoy-to-sudan-princeton-lyman )
Such gross and preposterous mendacity defines U.S. Sudan policy to this day, and increasingly that of the “international community” as a whole.
“Nine dead in RSF militia attacks on 12 Darfur villages” | Radio Dabanga, May 8, 2017 | Zalingei
At least nine people were reportedly killed, 22 others were injured, and four were raped in attacks by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces on western Jebel Marra on Sunday. A Central Darfur official has denied the incidents.
“At about 7am on Sunday, elements of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) driving 41 Land Cruisers loaded with weapons, and others on camels and horses began to attack 12 villages north of Nierteti on Sunday at [av | sic],” El Shafee Abdallah, the coordinator of the camps for the displaced in Central Darfur, told Radio Dabanga. “Nine villagers were shot dead, four young women were gang-raped, and at least 22 people were injured,” he reported. “Before torching the houses, they stole all the property. They cut and burned even the lemon trees.”
The camp coordinator said that the entire population of the villages fled into the mountains, “as the roads leading to Nierteti are blocked by the militiamen.”
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Eric Reeves is a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights.