Most recent in GPANet.org

  • Internally Displaced Persons in Darfur: The invisible catastrophe, international complicity

     

    Eric Reeves  |  March 19, 2017  |  http://wp.me/p45rOG-21N

     

     

    Map of Internally Displaced Persons in Darfur (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, February 2015) http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Darfur_IDPs_Locations_A3_A1_Feb_2015.pdf

    Darfur Basics

    There are many elements to the current critically dangerous situation on the ground in Darfur:

    [1] Rampant insecurityincreasingly created by irregular and unchecked Arab militia forces;

    [2] Denial of humanitarian access (to perhaps 30 percent of the population in need according to some humanitarian estimates); the needy population is estimated to be 3 million human beings according to the most recent OCHA figures and denial of access may thus be affecting some 900,000 people;

  • Khartoum regime elected as Vice Chair of Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons: What it signifies

     

    Eric Reeves| March 18, 2017 | http://wp.me/p45rOG-21L

    From The Huffington Post | http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/58cd4226e4b0537abd957111

    The signs are everywhere: international cynicism and expediency is now growing by leaps and bounds in the wake of Obama administration decision (January 13, 2017) to lift sanctions on the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party regime in Khartoum, a decision that expediently and misleadingly asserts "positive actions" by the regime. Perhaps most striking in recent days: with the help of the Africa bloc at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article61915/), Khartoum has been elected as Vice Chair of Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The Executive Council is responsible for the most important decisions by the Organization.

    The extraordinary cynicism, finally cruelty by the Africa bloc at the Organization (Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa, and Sudan) comes just six months after Amnesty International released its extraordinarily authoritative report on Khartoum's massive assault on the Jebel Marra region of Central Darfur-an assault that included the substantial use of chemical weapons:

    "Scorched Earth, Poisoned Air: Sudanese Government Forces Ravage Jebel Marra, Darfur," Amnesty International | 109 pages; released September 29, 2016 | http://www.amnestyusa.org/research/reports/scorched-earth-poisoned-air-sudanese-government-forces-ravage-jebel-marra-darfur

     

    Photograph from Amnesty International report: a highly vulnerable infant suffering following a chemical weapons attack

    The photographic evidence and innumerable interviews conducted by Amnesty leave no room for doubt that the Chemical Weapons Convention was seriously violated by Khartoum, resulting in deaths and injuries to hundreds of civilians; many if not most of the victims were nowhere near rebel forces. The campaign in Jebel Marra had all the earmarks of a scorched-earth campaign of the sort that has frequently defined the regime's genocidal counter-insurgency in Darfur over the past fourteen years.

     

     

     

    Photographs from the Amnesty International report: these civilian injuries cannot be explained except as the result of a chemical weapons attack

     

    The bizarre decision by the Africa bloc at the OPCW is sadly all too consistent with a number of recent reports on Khartoum's progress in rehabilitating itself within the international community, reports that began to accelerate with the lifting of sanctions on Khartoum by the Obama administration in its last week in office. Notably, the decision to lift sanctions and ultimately make the suspension permanent did not include human rights improvements, an ending of extreme press censorship and intimidation, the release of political prisonerscontrolling violence Arab militia forces in Darfur, a restoration of violently expropriated farmland in Darfur, an end to the epidemic of rape that has seen many tens of thousands of girls and women raped over the past 14 yearseconomic reform, or humanitarian access to eastern Sudan.

    In the "race to the bottom" by candidates for the title of most cynical, most expedient, there are all too many contestants. I will offer very shortly a comprehensive assessment of international behavior towards Khartoum and Sudan in the two months subsequent to Obama's lifting of economic sanctions-rightly described by Human Rights Watch as "inexplicable," but nonetheless enormously consequential. These consequences can be measured most revealingly by looking at the Sudanese economy, the "budget" of the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party regime, and the grotesquely skewed spending priorities of that regime.

    In short, this comprehensive economic assessment will be a continuation (Part 2) of my analysis of March 4, 2017, "Khartoum and the Peripheries: Where the Money Goes-and Where it Doesn't Go."

    -- 

    Eric Reeves, Senior Fellow at Harvard University's François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights

     

    ereeves@smith.edu

    www.sudanreeves.org

    Twitter@SudanReeves

    About Eric Reeves: http://sudanreeves.org/about-eric-reeves

    Philanthropy: http://ericreeves-woodturner.com/woodturnings-available-for-purchase-dire

     

     

  • International Women's Day in Sudan: Continuing Mass Rape of Girls in Darfur: The most heinous crime generates no international outrage

     

    Eric Reeves, author | Maya Baca, research and editing | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1QG (January 2016)

    [Arabic translation of this report | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Rr ]

    [Arabic names for key locations on maps | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Si ]

    [See also "Rape in Darfur: A History of Predation," November 2015 | Waging Peace | http://sudanhr.org/blog/2015/11/19/rape-in-darfur-a-history-of-predation-by-wagingpeace-2/ ]

    Amidst the ongoing genocidal destruction of Darfur, atrocity crimes of all sorts continue to be committed by the regular forces of the Khartoum regime (the Sudan Armed Forces) as well as its militia allies (now primarily the Rapid Support Forces). These crimes are committed with complete impunity. The genocidal character of violence in recent years is beyond reasonable dispute (see "Changing the Demography": Violent Expropriation and Destruction of Farmlands in Darfur, November 2014 - November 2015" | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1P4). The non-Arab or African tribal populations of Darfur-the majority of people in the region-continue to be the intentional targets of army and militia killings, village destruction, land expropriation, and violent displacement.

    The annihilation of Darfur High Resolution

     

    They are also the targets of a campaign of rape that has marked the genocide since the beginning of conflict in 2003. This report provides a statistical and analytic overview of the years 2014 and 2015.  A mapping of all data for this period appears at | http://wp.me/p45rOG-1Qy

  • Khartoum (Sudan) and the Peripheries: Where the Money Goes—and Where it Doesn’t Go

     

    Eric Reeves |   March 4, 2017 |   http://wp.me/p45rOG-21D

    A series of recent dispatches from Sudan Tribune and Radio Dabanga make painfully clear the consequences of gross mismanagement of the Sudanese economy by the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party regime, which retains its monopolistic hold on national wealth and power despite the absurdly factitious "new government" announced by President (and indicted génocidaire) Omar al-Bashir. The grotesque misdirection and illegal appropriation of national wealth increasingly takes a large toll on the people of Sudan, with widespread suffering in the form of acute shortages, medical crises, and the continuing deterioration of meaningful existence for the people of Darfur, especially those facing the prospect of displaced persons camp closings. The regime consistently refuses to accept the economic reality of losing large oil revenues with the secession of South Sudan, and has failed to invest in critical sectors of the economy or to commit to equally critical elements of the decaying national infrastructure. Health and medical care are deteriorating in conspicuous ways throughout Sudan. This was true even during the years 1999 - 2011 when the regime was flush with petro-dollars.

  • U.S. Congressman accuses Sudan of obstructing humanitarian access

     

    Sudan Tribune | March 3, 2017 (KHARTOUM) | http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article61791

    http://wp.me/p45rOG-21z

    United States Congressman Jim McGovern has expressed strong disagreement with the easing of sanctions against Khartoum holding Sudanese parliament responsible for authorising repressive actions carried out by the government.

     

    Congressman Jim McGovern (center), the voice of conscience on Sudan in the U.S. Congress

    Last January, former President Barack Obama eased the 19-year economic and trade sanctions on Sudan. The decision came as a response to the collaboration of the Sudanese government in the fight against terrorism, denying safe haven to the South Sudanese rebels and, improving humanitarian access to people in need.

    This week, Jim McGovern, a senior House Democrat and leading voice in Congress on human rights, met with the Speaker of the Sudanese Parliament Ibrahim Ahmed Omer.

    In a press release on Tuesday, the Democratic Co-Chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission said during the meeting that Sudan's National Assembly and Omer in particular, "have been responsible for authorising many of the most repressive actions carried out by the regime of President Bashir."

    "And therefore are accountable for the murder of millions of their fellow citizens and for the humanitarian crisis in Sudan," he added. According to the press release, the Congressman "plans to reintroduce bipartisan legislation this year to impose targeted sanctions on the Sudanese government for its genocidal acts and crimes against humanity." McGovern insisted "on the continuing need for unfettered humanitarian access, the release of all political prisoners and the cessation of all hostilities" in order to further improving bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Sudan.

    He accused the Sudanese government of renewing attacks against the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) positions in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile. "Rather than ensure humanitarian access to South Kordofan, Darfur and Blue Nile, Khartoum has renewed offensive operations in South Kordofan, in violation of the agreements reached with the Obama Administration that resulted in the easing of sanctions," he pointed out.

    South Kordofan and neighbouring Blue Nile states have been the scene of violent conflict between the SPLM-N and Sudanese army since 2011.

    *******

    Congressman McGovern Meets with Sudanese Leaders to Discuss Humanitarian Crisis and U.S. Sanctions,

    Press Release by Congressman Jim McGovern | Feb 28, 2017

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - This week U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), a senior House Democrat and leading voice in Congress on human rights, met with Ibrahim Ahmed Omer, Speaker of the Sudanese Parliament.

    In the meeting, Congressman McGovern reiterated his strong disagreement with the easing of U.S. sanctions against the Government of Sudan, an action taken at the end of the Obama Administration. Congressman McGovern expressed that the Sudanese Congress, and the Speaker in particular, have been responsible for authorizing many of the most repressive actions carried out by the regime of President Bashir, and therefore are accountable for the murder of millions of their fellow citizens and for the humanitarian crisis in Sudan.

    In response to the Speaker's interest in further improving Sudan's bilateral relationship with the U.S., the Congressman insisted on the continuing need for unfettered humanitarian access, the release of all political prisoners and the cessation of all hostilities.

    Rather than ensure humanitarian access to South Kordofan, Darfur and Blue Nile, Khartoum has renewed offensive operations in South Kordofan, in violation of the agreements reached with the Obama Administration that resulted in the easing of sanctions.

    The Congressman plans to reintroduce bipartisan legislation this year to impose targeted sanctions on the Sudanese government for its genocidal acts and crimes against humanity.

    Congressman McGovern has long been an outspoken critic of the repressive regime in Sudan. In May 2016, Congressman McGovern led a bipartisan letter with 120 lawmakers calling on President Obama to keep the Sudan humanitarian crisis a priority.

    -- 

    Eric Reeves, Senior Fellow at Harvard University's François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights

     

    ereeves@smith.edu

    www.sudanreeves.org

    Twitter@SudanReeves

    About Eric Reeves: http://sudanreeves.org/about-eric-reeves

    Philanthropy: http://ericreeves-woodturner.com/woodturnings-available-for-purchase-dire

     

     

  • Khartoum Begins New Military Offensive in South Kordofan: A clear violation of terms laid down by Obama Administration for lifting of U.S. sanctions on Khartoum

     

    Khartoum Begins New Military Offensive in South Kordofan: A clear violation of terms laid down by Obama Administration for lifting of U.S. sanctions on Khartoum

    Eric Reeves | February 21, 2017   | http://wp.me/p45rOG-21w

    The Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army-North (SPLA/M-N) today reports that Khartoum has begun a new military offensive in South Kordofan:

    "Today morning, 21st February 2017, the Sudanese army and its allied militia started their dry season offensive around 6 am at Krongo Abdalla in Kadougli county, breaching the declared joint cease-fire," reads a s statement issued this morning. (Sudan Tribune, February 21, 2017; full dispatch below)

    There has been no comment to this point from Khartoum, but it should be noted both that the SPLA/M-N has a record of highly credible accounts of major military events, while the military spokesmen for the Khartoum regime have a fantastic record of lies, sometimes denying events that have been fully confirmed by third parties, including the UN. Moreover, the Kadugli area is the most likely place for a renewed offensive.

    Implications

  • Quantifying Human Destruction and Suffering in Sudan: The grim calculus of international policies and politics

     

    Eric Reeves | February 12, 2017 |  http://wp.me/p45rOG-21m

    Towards the end of her long chapter on the Rwanda genocide in "A Problem From Hell" (2002), Samantha Power renders a moment from this terrible international failure that has long haunted me. It is both unforgettable in its implications and points to far too much that is unforgivable. The moment occurred in late July 1994 as the U.S. under then-President Bill Clinton finally managed to step away from its absurd sophistries and the moral cowardice that had defined American policy during the horrific months of carnage, which were at this point essentially over. Prior to the deployment of 200 U.S. troops to protect the Kigali airport, the UN force commander of UNAMIR, Lt.-General Rómeo Dallaire, received a phone call:

    A U.S. officer was wondering about precisely how many Rwandans had died. Dallaire was puzzled and asked why he wanted to know. "We are doing our calculations back here," the U.S. officer said, "and one American casualty is worth about 85,000 Rwandan dead." (page 381, "A Problem from Hell": America and the Age of Genocide)

  • The Increasingly Ominous Fate of U.S. Sudan Policy Under President Trump

     

    Eric Reeves  |  February 3, 2017  |  http://wp.me/p45rOG-21b

    Among the myriad Executive Orders that President Trump has inherited from the Obama administration is one essentially lifting sanctions on the regime in Khartoum, Sudan.  During his last week in office Obama declared there had been sufficient "positive action over the past six months" by the very regime the former president had repeatedly accused of genocide-both before and after taking office.  Obama used his UN ambassador, Samantha Power, to make the case in detail: during her last press conference, Power declared, falsely, that a "sea change" in improved humanitarian access throughout Sudan justified the administration's decision. She cited one unrepresentative example, even as every humanitarian and human rights organization that has spoken about Power's claim denies its validity.  Human Rights Watch declared Obama's decision simply "inexplicable."

    Samantha Power, former UN Ambassador under the Obama administration

    So it falls to the conspicuously dysfunctional Trump administration to decide whether during the upcoming six-month "testing period" Khartoum deserves to see a finalizing of this lifting of sanctions.

    It can choose to ignore realities on the ground, as the Obama administration did in its assessment of the past six months; or it can take a hard look at what is widely reported from those on the ground and in the Sudanese diaspora. Humanitarian embargoes, imposed by Khartoum, continue to affect many hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in the long-marginalized regions of Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile.  The "sea change" Ambassador Power spoke of is certainly not visible in South Kordofan, where an experienced and highly informed humanitarian wrote to me, declaring:

    "there's been absolutely no change in humanitarian access.  Not a single grain of sorghum nor one tablet of medicine has entered Nuba Mountains from any of the usual humanitarian agencies." (email received from the Nuba Mountains, January 14, 2017)

  • The Sudan Insider, from NUBA REPORTS | January 31, 2017

    Authoritative news reporting from the Nuba Mountains, Southern Blue Nile, and Darfur
    [see also video URL below]
    This is our Sudan Insider, a debrief from Nuba Reports that highlights important developments in Sudan and what they mean. Here's the latest. If you have questions or want more information,please to write us at info@nubareports.org  
    Thank You,The Nuba Reports Team
    Ceasefires declared from above in Sudan routinely fail to halt violence on the ground entirely.Civilians in central and western Darfur experienced this first-hand at the beginning of 2017, just days after President Bashir extended a ceasefire. In two separate incidents, a total of 16 people were reportedly killed and more than 75 wounded. While the government disputes it, eyewitnesses told Nuba Reports soldiers indiscriminately attacked residents of Nertiti town, in the restive Jebel Mara region of central Darfur, after a soldier was killed. To the south, government and rebel forces clashed in Blue Nile in December and again in January. See | https://nubareports.org/sudan-insider-more-violence-in-darfur-more-ceasefires-breachednocache1/ 

    One of the victims of the Nertiti Massacre, January 1, 2017

    President Bashir this fall predicted it would be easier for Sudan to work with than President-Elect Trump.But it was the Obama administration that sweetened U.S. dealings with Sudan in its final days, easing 20 years of economic sanctions on the country - first for 180 days, then permanently provided certain "positive actions" are sustained. The development prompted heated debate. It's the Trump administration's move now. Will they re-enact sanctions or permanently remove them? And with the government's tight grip on independent media and civil society, how can Sudan's commitments be tracked? See | https://nubareports.org/sudan-insider-us-sanctions-against-sudan-lifted-after-20-years/
    Civilians in Sudan's rebel-controlled Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile may experience their first dry season without bombings in six years of war, thanks to a ceasefire condition tied to U.S. sanctions relief.Yet an estimated 600,000 remain in need of humanitarian aid, and food security is a major concern this year. Efforts to secure aid delivery in the last days of Obama's presidency fell short, to the frustration of outgoing U.S. Special Envoy Donald Booth. The government and rebels continue to clash on whether 20 percent of the aid will come cross-border, a sticking point in the last talks as well. See | https://nubareports.org/sudan-insider-all-talk-no-humanitarian-action/
    Blue Nile refugees living in South Sudan's Maban County remain at odds with the local host community, as both groups struggle to get by. Three days of deadly violence over Christmas prompted a large number of refugees to return to Blue Nile state, several sources said, despite limited or no access to farmland in a region where one-quarter of the population is displaced. With the promise of a six-month ceasefire, more Sudanese refugees from Blue Nile as well as the Nuba Mountains may play the odds and leave South Sudan for the conflict zones they fled. See | https://nubareports.org/sudan-insider-tensions-continue-in-maban-refugee-camp/
    Click to enlarge -- 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Eric Reeves, Senior Fellow at Harvard University's François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights

     

    ereeves@smith.edu

    www.sudanreeves.org

    Twitter@SudanReeves

     

     

  • “Trump bans Sudanese from entering to U.S territory"--the act of an ignorant, vicious, and pathologically narcissistic man

     

     http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article61507

    [Here is a revealing glimpse into the kinds of indiscriminate, ignorant, ham-fisted policies that will follow from the incomprehensible election of an ignorant, vicious, and pathologically narcissistic man-surrounding himself with advisers who know how to echo him, and often know no more than this crudely uninformed but extremely powerful man.

    Trump does not distinguish between Sudanese desperately and justifiably seeking political asylum and, say, members of the Rapid Support Forces, whose war crimes should indeed bar their entry to any country except those willing to send such men to The Hague. By prioritizing Christians and other "minority religions" (Trump couldn't name three if his life depended on it), Trump reveals a despicable attitude toward the Muslim faith and fails to distinguish between radical political Islamists and faithful followers of one of the world's great religions.

    This is a policy appalling in all ways: in its ignorance, its failure to make any meaningful discriminations except on the basis of religion, and its cruelty in denying refuge to many who are desperate to escape the tyranny of the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party regime---many of whom are known to me personally.

    Americans should be ashamed of what we have brought upon the world stage; this one certainly is-Eric Reeves]

    January 27, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - President Donald Trump Friday has signed an executive order banning from entering the U.S. for at least the next 90 days Sudanese nationals and citizens of other six countries. The measure is seen as first step towards establishing a broader ban, and comes in line with an electoral pledge "to keep America safe" by the Republican president.

    The executive order of 27 January bars all people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the United States. Also, the presidential decision orders to grant priority to Christian and other minority religions over Muslims. Speaking at the signing ceremony at the Pentagon, Trump said "We don't want them here," "We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas. We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country, and love deeply our people," he stressed.

    The band does not include diplomats and members of international organizations from the seven designed countries. A week before the end of his second term, President Obama signed an executive order easing economic embargo on Sudan.

    However, Obama maintained the east African country in the list of state sponsors of terrorism with Libya, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Stria and Yemen. The new American administration didn't yet determine its policy towards Sudan. Washington has to review the economic sanctions within six months and to decide to re-establish it fully or to lift it definitely.

    -- 

    Eric Reeves, Senior Fellow at Harvard University's François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights

     

    ereeves@smith.edu

    www.sudanreeves.org

    Twitter@SudanReeves

    About Eric Reeves: http://sudanreeves.org/about-eric-reeves

    Philanthropy: http://ericreeves-woodturner.com/woodturnings-available-for-purchase-dire