6318Darfur: Solution Must Come From Africans
- Oct 7, 2006Darfur - Solution Must Come From Africans
By Mohammed Eisa Ismail
October 1, 2006
The recent gathering of world leaders in New York which coincided with
the annual meeting of the U.N General Assembly has witnessed a
historic moment where African leaders have showed their readiness to
consolidate their position in face of the foreign pressures and
interference. Despite the urgency usually accorded to traditional
international hot issues like the situation in Palestine, Iraq and
Afghanistan, those issues have eventually subsided to give room to the
African most important issue, the Darfur crisis, which took the lead
in the international debate, especially in the summit meeting of the
African Peace and Security Council which convened in New York this month.
Amidst all the provocative and antagonist propaganda and the
well-orchestrated mischievous fallacies against Sudan, the wise vision
of our African leaders in New York triumphed when they undertook a
resolute decision of retaining the African troops (AMIS) in Darfur.
The historic moment re-affirmed the guiding principle of our African
forefathers: the necessity of solving the African problems by Africans
themselves. This was a culmination of a well-coordinated effort by the
government of Sudan, with the aid of brotherly countries in the
African and Arab World, to seek a durable and comprehensive solution
to the crisis in Darfur.
It is important to note that the President of Burkina Faso who
presided over the meeting of the Peace and Security Council announced
that the United Nations had pledged to support AMIS technically and
logistically, while the financial resources are to be provided by the
Even before that, Sudan, despite its meagre resources had pledged to
avail a considerable amount of financial resources for the sake of its
people in Darfur and to help finance and revitalise the African troops
in the region. That was part of a comprehensive plan forwarded by the
Sudan government to the UN Secretary General prior to the adoption of
the Security Council Resolution No. 1706.
Khartoum's rejection of the infamous Resolution No. 1706, which called
for the replacement of the African troops by foreign troops, was not a
result of any hidden intentions or disregard of the suffering of the
Sudanese citizens in Darfur, as some biased people are saying. Sudan's
position was that it was indeed hypocrisy to call for deployment of
17,000 UN troops on grounds that the African troops lacked financial
resources and logistics. Yet the African troops need just a small
fraction of the funds to be spent on the UN troops. Then why not use
part of the money that would be spent on UN troops to support the
African troops' sacred mission of monitoring the security and
humanitarian aspects in Darfur.
Sudan prefers the African soldier whose culture and tradition and are
compatible with those of the indigenous people of Darfur. The
affinities and intermarriage among the different racial groups,
whether from an African or Arabic descent, have through the years
shaped the unique identity of the Darfurian people. The root causes of
the conflict are mainly the pervasive underdevelopment and the
consequent rivalries between different tribes over the meagre
resources in the mostly arid region.
The infamous Resolution No. 1706 was obviously cooked in Western circles
that are aimed at balkanising Sudan and seeking to gain hegemony over
Darfur in pursuit of oil, uranium and other mineral and natural
resources in that region.
Sudan's vehement rejection of the conspiracies was basically because
the dignity and pride of the government and the whole nation was at
stake. The resolution was intended to undermine the sovereignty of the
state and to bring about neo-colonialism in the Sudan and the whole
region. The replacement of the African troops by U.N troops, to
paraphrase the Gambian President, is an insult to Africa. It is
Sudan's conviction that the Darfur crisis is about to reverse, now
that the African leaders have triumphantly intervened by reaffirming
the role of Africa in Darfur.
The ensuing optimism is further enhanced by the well-concentrated
efforts and practical plans that were agreed upon to effectively and
comprehensively end the crisis in Darfur. In the heart of these plans
are the contacts which are underway to convince the other rebel
factions to agree to and join the Darfur Peace Accord which was signed
in Abuja, May 2006, under the auspices of President Olusegun Obasanjo,
and endorsed by the African Union and the international community.
With the gradual and continued improvement in the security situation,
save for sporadic and minor attacks mainly by the Salvation Front
which is yet to join the peace process, more displaced persons are
heading back to their villages. In such a situation, the government's
strategical plan with the help of SLA leader Manny Arkoy Mennawi who
had been appointed Chief Advisor to the President, and with the
assistance of brotherly African and Arab countries, would eventually
help to resettle the displaced persons and rehabilitate the whole area.
It is only with the African countries' pivotal role and active and
positive involvement of the Arab League and the international
community, that a durable settlement of the Darfur problem will be
The writer is the Deputy Head of Mission/Minister Plenipotentiary
Embassy of Sudan in Kampala.
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