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NEWS & VIEWS
Tuesday, August 3, 2004
Hindustan Times, New Delhi


OFF TRACK   
|  A.A. Mohammad

Is Sudan next ?

SUDAN IS in the focus of world media attention as political adventurers on both sides of the Atlantic shed crocodile tears on the alleged genocide in Darfur: While they remain habituated to fabricating facts, their lies regarding so called 'ethnic cleaning' in Sudan have failed to cut any ice. The recent African Union Summit warned against the portrayal of the problem as a 'conflict between Arabs and Africans'.

All the people of Darfur are Muslims, Arab-speaking and Africans. The notion of 'Arabs' is a well-calculated design to settle West Asian scores on the Sudanese soil. The focus on Darfur is also aimed at switching the cameras from Iraq and Palestine to somewhere new.

The incidents in Darfur stem from the emergence of armed bandits who have bred in the years of drought and desertification in the area. Armed groups have found easy access to weapons as a result of the many inter and intra-State wars in this region since the Seventies. It is a conflict over scarce resources, dwindling water and agriculture and has never been racial in nature. The president issued a statement declaring a nationwide campaign to enhance stability, including disarming rebellious groups and militias, deployment of appropriate police forces to ensure protection of displaced persons, providing required agricultural inputs for the success of the farming season, along with various other measures aimed at ensuring access to humanitarian workers and organisations.

All these points have been embodied in an agreement between the Government of Sudan and the UN during the visit of Secretary-General Kofi Annan to Sudan in July 2004. While implementation of the package is proceeding in full swing, peace-loving nations were shocked to note the machinations by certain powers to introduce a punitive resolution against Sudan at the UN Security Council.

There were loud voices insisting on an armed intervention even before the ink dried on the agreement signed between Sudan and the UN in June. Serving no purpose, such a resolution is a clear indication of how in pursuit of their own narrow designs, such powers can put the people of Darfur, Sudan, and the whole region at serious risk.

The writer is Ambassador of Sudan



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