Guerra no Sudão

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Guerra no Sudão
« em: Maio 19, 2004, 05:31:41 pm »
Aqui está uma notícia boa para os defensores da causa Árabe

Fleeing the horsemen who kill for Khartoum
From The Economist print edition

Africa's biggest country is in flames

HER children's bodies were rotting in the village wells, where Arab militiamen had thrown them to poison the water supply. But Kaltuma Hasala Adan did not flee her home. Leaving her crops and livestock would condemn the rest of the family to death, she reasoned. So she stayed put for four months, despite her government's strenuous efforts to terrorise her into flight.

Her story is typical of western Sudan's black Africans. Her village was first attacked in January. An air raid caught her unawares: as the bombs fell, she ran around in confusion. When the bombers had completed their return pass, the horizon filled with dust, the ground shuddered, and a host of mounted militiamen charged through the village, killing all the young men they could find. During that first attack, Kaltuma's 18-month baby, Ali, was killed by shrapnel. Two weeks later, her oldest son, Issa, 15, was made to kneel in line with other young men before being shot in the back of the head. Her husband disappeared the same day.

For four wretched months, Kaltuma lived with both ears strained for the faint drone of bombers, poised to dash with her three surviving children to a hiding place in a dry river bed. Then the janjaweed—an Arab militia that kills for the Sudanese government—rode up to finish the job. They razed her village entirely. She fled from the embers of her hut and trekked for four days through the desert. Across the border in Chad, she found sanctuary in the town of Tiné. Thousands of her neighbours were already there when she arrived.

The UN's humanitarian co-ordinator for Sudan, Mukesh Kapila, described what is going on in Darfur, an arid region of western Sudan, as “the worst humanitarian crisis in the world”. Human Rights Watch, a lobby group, has accused Sudan's Arab-dominated government of crimes against humanity. The government is seeking to purge Darfur of black Africans, using methods as cruel as they are effective. Perhaps a million people have fled their homes. Officials deny ethnic cleansing, of course, but the refugees say they lie.

As Kaltuma tells her story, a crowd gathers to corroborate it. Osman Nurrudin Sadr says his whole family was killed. Khadija Yacob Abdallah, a pretty 17-year-old, watched her parents die and was then gang-raped. All the refugees offer the same explanation. “They want to kill us because we are black,” says one.

It is a little more complicated than that. Sudan, Africa's largest country, is the scene of two separate but related civil wars. One, between north and south, pits the Arab, Islamist government against rebels who are mostly black African and non-Muslim. This war has been raging intermittently for half a century, but has come tantalisingly close to resolution in the past year: partly because of foreign pressure, especially from America, and partly because both sides, exhausted, wish to stop fighting and share Sudan's new-found oil wealth.

The other war, between the government and two rebel groups in Darfur, pits Muslim against Muslim. The divide in Darfur is ethnic, between Arabs and black Africans. This war flared up only last year. It was seen at first as a mere sideshow, but is now too vast and vile to be ignored.

Centuries of suffering

The south has been marginalised for centuries. Arab slavers used it as a hunting-ground for human booty, despite Anglo-Egyptian attempts to crush the trade in the 19th century. When independence came in 1956, southerners demanded autonomy. They were ignored, so they rebelled.

The war paused between 1972 and 1983, but then resumed. The government used scorched-earth tactics against the main rebel group, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), bombing villages suspected of rebel sympathies, and arming and encouraging militias to kill and pillage in rebel-held areas. Slave raids continued, checked only by the absence of tarmac roads in the south.

Largely because it involved Muslims enslaving Christians, the war gripped the imagination of America's influential Christian lobby. In fact, only a minority of southern Sudanese are Christians; the rest are cheerfully polytheistic or animist. Nonetheless, America took an interest, which increased when the radical Islamist regime in Khartoum hosted Osama bin Laden in the early 1990s. In retaliation for al-Qaeda's attacks on American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, President Bill Clinton bombed a Sudanese factory he said was producing nerve gas, but which may have been making aspirin. The regime was already distancing itself from its international terrorist associates, a process swiftly accelerated by the American invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Sudan's rulers rounded up terrorist suspects, shared intelligence and froze Mr bin Laden's assets in Sudan, including a cannabis farm worked by child slaves who had apparently been bought from a Ugandan rebel group for one Kalashnikov each.

At the same time, the Sudanese government started to yield to American pressure to seek peace with the south. Negotiations have been tortuous, but Vice-President Ali Osman Taha keeps talking to John Garang, the SPLA leader. If the government shows bad faith, America threatens to choke it with sanctions and to bankroll the SPLA.

Since 2001 the two sides have hammered out a series of agreements that are supposed to culminate in a comprehensive peace. Last September they signed a security accord, mapping out how Khartoum will withdraw most of its troops from the south. This year has seen a written agreement on how to split the revenues from the oil that lies under Sudanese sand, and verbal agreements on power-sharing and the future of three contested areas. Some of these are on the northern side of the line (see map), but their inhabitants consider themselves southern.

For an interim period of six years, Sudan is to remain one country, with Omar al-Bashir, the current president, remaining in office, and with Mr Garang, the rebel leader, as his deputy. Then there is to be a referendum in which southerners will be offered the choice of staying or seceding.

The west burns

The trouble with this plan for a new Sudan is that it involves only the two main belligerents. Peaceful opposition groups have been left out. Since neither the government nor the SPLA is remotely democratic, many Sudanese seethe at the prospect of them divvying up the petrodollars. In Darfur, that rage has sparked mayhem.

Darfur has seen sporadic fighting for generations. As the desert has expanded, camel- and cattle-herding Arab nomads have bickered with black African farmers over dwindling supplies of water and pasture. Darfur's black tribes complain that, since the 1980s, they have been pushed out of government jobs in favour of Arabs. And the region has been flooded with weapons. Khartoum first armed the janjaweed so they could ride south and pillage SPLA territory. Arms from a long-running conflict between Chad and Libya seeped across the border into Darfur.

Last year, a new rebel group, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) appeared in Darfur and won a string of victories. Soon after, a second group sprang up, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). The government in Khartoum felt vulnerable. It was terrified that rebel successes in Darfur might inspire other marginalised groups in the north and east, especially since the SLA has links with a rebel group in the east.

The government struck back, not only against the rebels, but also against their ethnic kin. It unleashed the janjaweed. To swell the militia's ranks, Arab criminals were released from jail and given horses, $100 each and carte blanche to loot. (These ex-prisoners are labelled ta'ibeen,“those who have repented”.)

The janjaweed have clattered into village after African village, torching the straw roofs of conical huts, killing young men who might join the rebels, raping women who might feed them, and stealing everything they can carry off. Sometimes they brand the hands of women they rape, to make the stigma permanent. They have also torched dozens of mosques and torn up and defecated on copies of the Koran. Whatever inspires them, it is not Islam.

Their victims have no doubt that the janjaweed enjoy the state's blessing. When asked what gives them the right to stop blacks at road blocks, the militiamen reply: “We are the government.” When pillaging, they are often supported by the air force and by the regular army. “First the planes come, then the janjaweed and finally government soldiers,” says a refugee. “They are brothers united on a mission to kill.”

It was a long time before the outside world took notice. At first, both America and the UN hesitated to make a fuss about Darfur for fear of derailing the north-south peace process. But in March, the UN's man on the spot started making comparisons with the Rwandan genocide of 1994. That was an exaggeration, but it prompted Washington to lean on Khartoum to end the ethnic cleansing. A ceasefire followed on April 8th, supposedly to help aid workers do their job, but was quickly broken.

Fighting and pillage continue, making it hard to feed the displaced. The UN does not want to get too close to the border—the janjaweed do not respect international boundaries—so it has moved 35,000 refugees deep into Chad. Tens of thousands remain stranded near the border. Those unfortunate enough to wind up in camps in Darfur have been deliberately starved by the janjaweed, according to the UN.

Brave charities such as Médecins Sans Frontières have ignored the occasional air raid to dole out medical supplies, feed the hungriest and vaccinate against a meningitis outbreak. Most refugees in Chad have depended on food and water from the locals who, though poor, are startlingly generous. Supplies are running out, however, and the UN mission is short of cash.

The rainy season is almost here, when the valleys will fill with water and it will be impossible to get the refugees into the half-empty camps that await them. UN lorries lie stranded because there is no money for fuel and the drivers, unpaid for six weeks, have gone on strike.

Over 10,000 newly arrived refugees around Bahai, north of Tiné, have been dismissed as “combatants”—though most are women, children or old men. For the UN, admitting that they are refugees would mean being obliged to look after them. “I'm trying to think of something the UN has done right here, but I'm struggling,” says one aid worker with a sigh.

Spears and ploughshares

There is more to cheer about in southern Sudan. After years of enduring the same abuses now being lavished on Darfur, the south is relatively calm. In Rumbek, the largest town under SPLA control, where abandoned armoured cars rust outside buildings gutted by shelling, hardly any shrapnel has flown for two years.

Half-forgotten tribal traditions are being rediscovered. On a dusty football pitch known as Freedom Square, thousands of young Dinka men, coated with ash and clad in glamorous calfskin skirts, gather to elect a sub-chief. Not long ago such affairs were subdued, forced indoors by the fear of aerial bombardment. Now they are gleefully raucous.

War has left the south shattered. Most of the young warriors queuing behind their chosen candidates have known nothing else. There is no electricity or running water in the south, an area the size of France and Germany combined, and precious few schools, either. Southern children used to join either the rebels or government-backed militias. They grew up knowing how to march long distances on empty stomachs, but not how to read.

Peace, if it lasts, will offer southerners a chance to grow less poor. In one village, your correspondent saw a group of SPLA soldiers melting bullets to fashion spearheads for hunting gazelles. The same men were baffled, however, by a consignment of ploughshares, kindly donated by a western aid agency. Unsure what these strange objects were for, they beat them down to make stools.

Elsewhere, workers can be seen hacking through thorny scrub. They are clearing a path for a road, heading for a large rock in the wilderness known as Ramciel, or “the place where the rhinos meet”. More accurately, it should be “where rhinos used to meet”, as they were poached out of existence some time ago. It is here that the SPLA is thinking of building the south's principal city. Charles Deng, the assistant foreman, has big dreams for the place. “First we will finish the road,” he says. “Then we will build skyscrapers and ponds, better than London or maybe even as good as Nairobi.”

Not everyone welcomes progress. An SPLA commander in nearby Yirol murmured into his beer that he hoped the capital would be built elsewhere. “If they build it here then they will also build schools and our girls will be sent to those schools,” he said. “You know what that means? Their bride price will fall. My daughters will be worthless to me.”

The end of the war, or of Sudan?

A formal deal ending the war is expected in the next few weeks, possibly sooner. Since President George Bush is widely seen as the architect of peace, he is perhaps more popular in southern Sudan than anywhere else on earth. At the Rumbek sub-chief's election one young warrior called Thuapon leaps frenetically in the air, proudly waving a white Barbie-doll in a pink dress. “This is a new wife for President Bush. May God grant him many fertile women with firm bodies and an election victory without problems in Florida.”

A new means of ethnic cleansing

The main outstanding issue concerns the religious status of Khartoum. The government wants it to remain under sharia (Islamic law); the SPLA does not. Some fudge is surely possible. Observers are confident that a deal will be signed. “If Khartoum were to renege at this point, it would signal that this whole process was a charade from the beginning,” says John Prendergast of the International Crisis Group, a campaigning think-tank.

The difficulty will lie in how the deal is implemented. Unsurprisingly, southerners do not trust the government. “They just want time to re-arm,” says James Thucdong, an aspiring teacher in Rumbek. “We know this is just a peace of one or two years. They will never let us become independent.” Mr Thucdong could well be right. There is no provision yet for what will happen to revenues from Sudan's oilfields, which lie mostly in the south, should voters choose secession.

The two sides are unwilling to discuss this issue, but Khartoum would presumably never let the south go if that meant losing the petrodollars, too. “When preparations begin for the independence referendum, we are going to see major meddling by elements in Khartoum, aimed at creating chaos in the south and delaying [the] plebiscite,” predicts Mr Prendergast.

Another worry is that southerners are squabblesome. During the war, they spent as much time fighting each other as the government. Mr Garang may still be the south's key leader, but his support for a united Sudan will irk secessionists, who are probably a majority in the south. Other ethnic groups resent the politically dominant Dinka people, and even the Dinka are divided.

Once a peace deal is signed, many of the 4m southerners living in squatter camps around the main cities of the north will probably decide to pick their way through minefields and make the long journey home. Tension over scarce natural resources seems likely. As if to confound the optimists, there has been a serious outbreak of fighting in the ancient Shilluk kingdom since March. At least 70,000 people have been driven from their homes after battles between militias loyal to Khartoum and the SPLA. As usual in Sudan, most of the casualties were civilians.

Many voices, many fears

In Khartoum, the mood is apprehensive. The political elite is genuinely alarmed at what capitulation to southern demands might encourage. Says Ghazi Attabani, a former presidential adviser: “If the south were to secede, it would be catastrophic both for Sudan and for Africa. Secession would not be peaceful. Internal differences in the south would cause rifts which would make Rwanda seem like a picnic.”

Because of stringent censorship and the physical difficulty of visiting Sudan's more troubled areas, ordinary northerners have only a rough idea of what is going on in their own country. Some are optimistic. “Of course the people can live together,” says Ahmed Omar Othman, a shopkeeper. “Just look around Khartoum, we do already. Here, you will find a church next to a mosque—surely that [proves it]? The real problem is whether the politicians can work together.”

The record of Sudanese politicians in this area is not good. Their preferred technique for holding this huge and multifarious country together—barbaric force—has been shown not to work. In Darfur, as Mr Attabani admits, “There is no military solution.” Arming gangsters such as the janjaweed is easy; reining them in again may prove much harder. Says Sharif Harir, chief negotiator for the SLA rebels: “Even if Khartoum had the will to stop them, it probably doesn't have the power.”

Copyright © 2004 The Economist Newspaper and The Economist Group. All rights reserved.
« Última modificação: Maio 19, 2004, 06:04:00 pm por dremanu »
"Esta é a ditosa pátria minha amada."



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« Responder #1 em: Maio 19, 2004, 05:55:34 pm »
Causa árabe em que sentido?



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« Responder #2 em: Maio 19, 2004, 06:13:52 pm »
Citação de: "Guilherme"
Causa árabe em que sentido?

Os defensores do heroísmo árabe na face do invasor ocidental, ou da Jihad contra os Cruzados ocidentaís, estam sempre a gritar que os E.U. querem fazer uma limpeza étnica contra a cultura árabe, e querem destruir o Islão, e querem matar o povo árebe, e bla bla bla.

Ao ler uma notícia como esta, não é para se perguntar, onde está a indignação árabe contra a situação do Sudão? Onde estam os países árabes a falarem de crimes contra humanidade, e indignidade humana, e sei lá que mais é que eles estam sempre a falar contra o mundo ocidental.
"Esta é a ditosa pátria minha amada."



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« Responder #3 em: Julho 04, 2004, 03:57:36 pm »
Mais matança no Sudão


Nowhere To Hide

How the ethnic cleansing of western Sudan has created a humanitarian crisis that threatens 500,000 lives

The rains have started to fall across the sandy plains of western Sudan. Soon the dry riverbeds will swell with water and the wadis will become impassable. The change in season may bring some respite from the killing campaign that has convulsed the region of Darfur over the past 16 months — but it will bring fresh horrors as well. More than a million people seeking refuge and huddled in makeshift camps outside the largest towns are unable to get back to their farms to plant their crops. The rains will make it harder to distribute food rations. Delivery by road will become impossible, and airstrips may wash away. The camps are becoming open sewers, fueling the spread of diseases like cholera and dysentery. As many as half a million people could starve to death or succumb to illness.

There is no good season in Sudan. Since February 2003 the farming region of Darfur has been riven by conflict. It was sparked by an uprising by black Africans against perceived government discrimination. Since then, government-sponsored militiamen known as Janjaweed have conducted a campaign to cleanse the area of Darfur's black African civilians. The Janjaweed are Arabs; the Darfurians are non-Arab blacks. Both are Muslim. The U.S., international observers and Darfurians who have fled their villages say the horse-mounted Janjaweed are backed by military forces from Sudan's Arab-dominated government. Survivors report that government helicopter gunships and planes have strafed and bombed Darfurian towns before and after the Janjaweed carried out their massacres. The U.N. and U.S. do not call the pogroms genocide — in part because doing so could oblige the international community to intervene to save the Darfurians. But two weeks ago, Roger Winter, assistant administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), told a Senate hearing that the Janjaweed's murders and rapes "raise questions about the [Darfurian] community's long-term ability to survive and re-establish itself."

Some 10,000 people have been killed, and more than a million have been forced to leave their homes in the region. At least 160,000 have fled across the border into Chad. In the town of Kailek, according to survivors, the Janjaweed militiamen rounded up men who had fled into nearby hills, then executed two or three every day for a month. Dozens of women were raped. "When the Janjaweed were not raping me, they tied my arms and legs together so I could not run away," says a 15-year-old girl who was raped by five men for more than a week. She won't give her name for fear they will track her down and kill her. "After 10 days, they just left me, and my mother had to come and carry me home because I couldn't walk or sit." A woman says she became pregnant after she was raped. "One of the four who raped me must be the father," she says. "It was torture, not only for my body but also for my head. They would not do this to their women, sisters and daughters." When the men had finished with the woman, they left her bloodied and naked. Her sister found her half dead and gave her a simple cotton dress to wear. It is the only thing she owns.

Despite Sudanese government promises to disarm the militia, the attacks continue. Last week militiamen looted and burned six villages in southern Darfur and attacked a camp in the center of the region. The U.N. says government soldiers and police officers often fail to intervene to prevent the slaughter. In some places Janjaweed fighters are incorporated into the security forces meant to protect civilians. The Janjaweed's latest tactic is to encircle camps of displaced Darfurians and attack any who venture out to collect water or firewood. Women are often sent to do those chores because they will be raped rather than killed. The government, which is encouraging people in the camps to return home, dismisses the violence as nothing more than banditry. "It's armed robbery like elsewhere in Africa," says Eltigani Salih Fediel, Sudan's Deputy Foreign Minister.

After months of internal debate, the Bush Administration is beginning to pressure the Sudanese government to halt the slaughter in Darfur. Secretary of State Colin Powell is scheduled to join U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on a visit to Khartoum and Darfur this week to demand that Sudan's government allow humanitarian access and rein in the Janjaweed. The U.S. is quietly working up an initial U.N. resolution that would pave the way for a peacekeeping force, probably drawn from African states.

But many wonder why it took so long for aid agencies to provide assistance and for Western governments to lean on Khartoum to stop the thugs. Aid workers say privately that they were focused on countries like Iraq and did not realize the extent of the catastrophe taking place in Sudan until a few months ago. Once they did, it took months to get money from donors to underwrite an emergency effort. Another stumbling block has been the U.S. effort to secure a peace agreement between Khartoum and rebels in the south, where a separate conflict has killed at least 2 million people since 1983.

The tragedy is that for thousands of Sudanese it may be too late. "That men, women and children uprooted by the war and ethnic cleansing will die in enormous numbers is no longer in doubt due to advanced stages of malnutrition and disease that cannot be reversed," says USAID's Winter. The final death toll will depend largely on "whether the Sudanese government will finally make saving lives in Darfur the priority rather than a chit for negotiation." In such a high-stakes game, few expect that to happen.

Reported by Massimo Calabresi/Washington and Ilona Eveleens/Kailek
"Esta é a ditosa pátria minha amada."