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									                                          The Darfur Endgame:
        Notes for a Comprehensive Plan to End the Genocide in Darfur

                                            By John Weiss and Elvir Camdzic

                                                      September 5, 2005

I. The Argument in Brief

       Any effective plan for ending the genocide should include:

       1. The establishment of an atmosphere of security through quickly and efficiently
       implemented measures to protect civilians, both genocide victims and aid workers. When
       this atmosphere of security has been established, the principal objective of all interventions
       in Darfur, all international actions, can be reached: the return of the uprooted to the sites of
       their villages.

       2. The institution of an overall process for achieving a political settlement, parallel to, and
       in support of, the protection measures. The experience of Bosnia and the history of Darfur
       conflict both suggest, however, that no political settlement can be rendered operational until
       the protective measures mentioned in (1) have been successful and have clearly launched a
       process of creating the permanent security needed to end the physical and cultural
       destruction begun by the Government of Sudan (GoS) and its allied militias.

       3. The establishment of procedures for delivering justice and enforcing accountability
       which are essential to the stability of the societies undergoing the recovery and

       Effective action has been made difficult, however, by

       1. A mandate to the intervening force which formally precludes protection of civilians or aid
       workers. The African Union's mandate describes them as observers and verifiers only, with
       obligation only to protect the small AU observer contingent.

       2. The alignment of factions within the American administration 1 and the Canadian
       administration with the plan to let the African Union "have the lead" in interventions. This
       grant of "the lead" to the African Union, first enshrined in Security Council resolutions of
       July 2004, was reinforced by the plan, announced in April 2005, to have NATO act as the
    Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Charles Snyder, and certain others.
   transporting agency for sending about 5000 additional AU personnel to Darfur between 1
   July 2005 and 30 September 2005. By the end of September it is anticipated that a total of
   7731 uniformed personnel, from Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Ghana, Senegal, and
   Gambia, will be in Darfur. Already, however, complaints have appeared that the project is
   behind schedule and, more importantly, seriously short of funds.

   The disastrous effects of the crime committed on Darfuri peoples can only be limited, and
recovery begun, by the dispatch to that region of an intervening multinational force. This force,
supported by references to Chapter 7 of the UN charter in its authorizing document, must have
an international composition of such a nature as to give it the capability of effective protective
and pro-active measures. It must also have a structure and composition such as to inspire trust
on the part of the victim populations.

   The core of this force, which must be ready for a possible shift from a “semi-permissive
environment” to a “non-permissive environment,” must be a combat-ready, much larger
contingent than would be deployed assuming only an observation mandate and a low-risk
environment. In other words, the core must come from NATO countries, as is recommended in
the International Crisis Group’s Africa Briefing #28.

   It should be further noted, however, that none of the planning for this “bridging force,” as
the International Crisis Group (ICG) refers to it, envisions the use of American ground troops.
But US Air Force assets, such as surveillance, communication, and special ops transport
platforms, could be an important part of the intervention.

II. Why Stopping Genocide Merits Highest Priority

    In order to resolve policy arguments about the composition and leadership structure of the
intervening force, or about whose “capacity” is being built and what it is being built for, it is
useful to keep in mind the reason that we are especially concerned with Darfur: the situation is
one of continuing genocide. Reversing that genocide, not “stabilization” or even short-term
protection, is, arguably, the only objective that can justify such expensive and risk-entailing
intervention efforts.

   Realistic, neo-Wilsonian, and humanitarian perspectives converge to establish the
importance of stopping the multiple genocides occurring in Darfur.

    At first glance, a point of view informed by the traditions of diplomatic realism would not
seem to incline one to want to act against a genocide. Certainly such action would not seem to
have any claim to priority over actions to stabilize countries experiencing subgenocidal violence
such as Sierra Leone or Liberia. A realist would seem to have difficulty arguing for an American
vital national interest in preventing Fur, Zaghawa, and Masalit peoples and cultures, or the
cultural configuration formed by the complex of relationships between African and Arab tribes

(i.e., Darfur culture as a whole), from being radically diminished. Darfur is not in a
geostrategically important place. In fact, it is in one of the most isolated locations on the planet.
It commands no important natural resources or industries although the potential for oil
discovery there is rated by many as significant.

   Realists, moreover, usually appeal to Westphalian traditions recognizing the absolute
sovereignty o f national governments: "You can do what you want with your own people. It is
no concern of ours." Even the Nuremberg Trials recognized this principle: no Nazi official was
prosecuted for crimes committed against Germans within Germany before the war began. The
United Nations Convention on Genocide, however, was one of the early group of documents
that challenged the Westphalian world, a challenge whose latest manifestation is the
"Responsibility to Protect" essay, sponsored by the Canadian government and written by an
Australian and an Algerian2. America, however, did not ratify the genocide convention until
1988, and even then it did not pass any enforcement or implementation laws.

    Realist arguments for stopping genocide can nevertheless be educed:

     1. Failing to take effective action against a genocidal government would thus amount to
foregoing the opportunity to deter future regimes from undertaking such policies. Systematic,
state-sponsored killings and cultural attacks elsewhere at some later date might indeed
negatively affect vital national interests as defined by realists. Such a failure also might not deter
Khartoum itself from undertaking another such venture. In 1995 this same regime launched a
massive attack on the peoples of the Nuba mountains. The UN voted sanctions against them for
it, but in fact they stopped mainly because some of their generals found out that some of their
targets were Muslims. They therefore refused to continue the killing. When the Darfur crisis
arose, the Sudanese Government used an Arabist ideology to trump their previous Islamist line
and employed tribal Arab janjaweed militias along with government aircraft piloted by
mercenaries and Khartoum-based troops mostly recruited quickly from the slums. They thus
eliminated this problem of reluctance among certain generals even though all the Darfuris
targeted by Khartoum were Muslims. In any case, recent study by the leading French authority
on Darfur, Gerard Prunier, concludes that “the whole of GoS Policy and political philosophy since it
came to power in 1989 has kept verging on genocide in its general treatment of the national question in

    2. The existence of a refugee population of 300,000 in Chad could destabilize that country,
which captures realists' attention because of its oil. Refugee populations tend to support (or give
birth to) populations of "refugee warriors" which can have a further destabilizing effect 4. In the
case of Chad, hostilities between the Chadian government and the Zaghawa people had already

  The Responsibility to Protect, by Gareth Evans and Mohamed Sahnoun, was published in December 2001 and is available
online at
  Gerard Punier, Darfur: The Ambiguous Genocide (2005), p.105. Emphasis in original.
  See Fiona Terry, Condemned to Repeat? The Paradox of Humanitarian Action (2002).

produced casualties even before the Sudanese Government's attacks on Darfuris began in the
spring of 2003.

   3. Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times has made the argument that the existence of a
substantial victimized - and therefore vengeful population - and Khartoum’s perfected
reputation as a genocidal regime, could themselves destabilize Sudan as a whole, which would
threaten American interests in the entire Horn of Africa. On the other hand, Khartoum has long
and deep experience in controlling and manipulating populations it has abused. There is
evidence, moreover, that the Bashir-Taha Government's constantly enhanced reputation for
ruthlessness in fact deters many potential opponents from taking action.

    4. The success of China's opposition to oil-sales sanctions against Sudan, especially if such
opposition were tested in a public and sincere UN attempt to impose such sanctions, would
solidify China's position as the most important protector of Khartoum. This could affect
America's interests, as defined by realists, not only in Sudan but in almost all African
countries. As is well known, China has been conducting an aggressive campaign to incorporate
northern and eastern Africa, if not all of the continent, into its economic sphere of influence for
at least the last decade. In any case, if Khartoum were effectively blocked in its attempted
genocide in Darfur, regardless of the role played by oil sanctions, the value of Chinese
protection would have to be revised downward.

    The neo-Wilsonian argument for stopping the genocide has at least one important
supporting element: failure to impose their will on Darfur would render the National Congress
Party-dominated military regime measurably more vulnerable to democratic reform or even
collapse. Certainly the SPLM officials recently introduced into the Government as part of the
North-South Peace Accord would not lose status because international troops had intervened
successfully to clean up the Darfur mess. Substantially powerless at this point in time and for
many, many months in the future, these officials (such as Salva Kiir, John Garang's successor in
the Unity government and a figure far less authoritarian and abusive of human rights than
Garang himself) could only gain from a successful counter-genocide campaign in Western

    It has always seemed puzzling that neo-Wilsonians' trumpetings of the democratization of
the Arab world, and their earnest speculations about what will happen after the pluralistic
elections in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia (at the municipal level, anyway) and maybe
even elsewhere! never include Sudan in the scope of their analyses. It would almost seem as if
such scholars and government officials prefer a military, dependably criminal government to
some kind of opaque Mahdist or otherwise poorly understood regime that emerged from
democratic elections. (The current Bashir-Taha regime overthrew such a government in 1989).
 Which could be expected to have a positive effect on the war in the East, where Khartoum has been bombing and gunning
down civilians with a relatively free hand, and minimal publicity, since at least late 2004. For Garang's human rights abuses,
see Marc Lavergne and Fabrice Weissman, ed., In the Shadow of 'Just Wars': Violence, Politics, and Humanitarian Action
(2004), 137-161.
   Or is it that such analysts do not consider the Sudanese now holding power to be Arabs?
This would certainly be a disappointment to the ruling clique in Khartoum, who base much of
their policy and their legitimation upon a racist-Arabist claim to blood affiliation with ur-Arab
countries like Saudi Arabia and Yemen6.

    Finally, there is the humanitarian argument that genocide, which Raphael Lemkin originally
called "race murder" until he had fully developed his analysis and his conception of genocide, is
an absolute evil, an indefensible, unmitigatable crime against the human condition that must be
opposed and deterred, at whatever cost and risk to those opposed to it. For millions throughout
the world, the slogan "Never Again" still has the power to move, even if those millions do not
seem to have many representatives in the seats of power when the decisions actually to move
troops and supplies have to be made.

    Like virtually every other political word, the term genocide has been subject to abusive and
tendentious application. That it nevertheless retains significance as a mot d'ordre is
demonstrated by the intensive reflection and heated debate that accompanies the designation of
a state's crime as a genocide. The American Congress (in a unanimous vote), and the American
State Department, both declared in late summer 2004 that genocide was occurring in Darfur, the
first time such a declaration had been made. Certain important international organizations, such
as Amnesty International, have not yet officially agreed with this assessment.

    What moved Darfur-watching groups to emergency action in the late spring of 2005,
however, was the beginning of a trend among certain officials in the UN, the American
government, and the Canadian government, to claim that the genocide in Darfur was ending, or
that it had reached a new phase, "Phase II," that would require less intensive and expensive
action to counteract. This shift in language and emphasis became all the more alarming when it
became evident that it paralleled decisions by these parties to adopt the plan for NATO to
transport five thousand more weakly mandated African Union troops to Darfur. It took no
special measure of clairvoyance to see that sometime in late September the transport effort
would thus be declared a success, the ongoing genocide would be downgraded to a "major
humanitarian crisis," raising enough aid money would be seen as the central problem, and pro-
Darfur coalitions would be told to move on to other causes: their State Department now had the
problem well in hand. No more carefully calibrated protests (or desperate pleas) would be
needed. And what was even more satisfying: the State Department had solved this problem all
by itself, without having to ask for help from DOD or CIA.

    Underlying such changes in the way the matter is represented, changes that serve to justify
resistance to any really effective actions such as are recommended in this briefing, is a rather
distorted understanding of genocide and its role in human history. Lemkin meant his term to
apply to a range of situations in which a gens (the Latin word for a "people"), made a distinctive

    See Robert O. Collins, "Disaster in Darfur". Collins is the acknowledged dean of American scholars of the Sudan.
people by their sharing of a distinctive common culture, were radically diminished by the
actions of a state. Not all Armenians in the purview of the Young Turk regime were killed or
driven out in 1915; those in Istanbul were unharmed. But the Armenian culture of Anatolia was
uprooted and driven to exile, never to be the same. It was the case of the Armenians that first
roused Lemkin, as a law student in Poland, to search to define this crime that was new, without
a name, as mysterious as it was, as he perceived, threatening to the very nature of the human

    Lemkin's foundational insight was that the human condition is one of diversity, with a rich
variety of groups, languages, cultures. Actions that diminish these groups, weaken their ability
to survive and to flourish, actions that remove the conditions of their survival, are actions that
contribute to genocide, that indicate that the crime of genocide has been committed. As we
lament the reduction of biodiversity in the world of plants and animals, so we also condemn the
reduction of human diversity when state actions intentionally diminish the capacity for culture
of entire groups7. A drive to total physical extermination of a people, as in the case of the
Nazis' drive to kill every last Jew, is not necessary for that diversity to be reduced. As the
Convention's legal definition of genocide states, "acts committed with an intent to destroy, in
whole or in part, a national, ethnic, or religious group, as such" are acts which radically
diminish the variety of the human fabric8.

   Canadians are especially responsive to another gloss on the notion of genocide. The human
race can be envisioned as a mosaic of tiles, of different shapes and colors, shining together in an
exciting, dynamic, sparkling pattern. When genocide begins to occur, one or more of those tiles
shines less brightly, begins to lose its color and shape, sometimes crumbling altogether9.

    So how can that radical diminishing of peoples be reversed? It is here that the American,
Canadian, and international political figures who opted for the softer and weaker of the
measures that were available in April transformed their willful misunderstanding of genocide
into policies guaranteed to continue the crime.

   The Darfur genocide will only be stopped when the victimized peoples of Darfur can
reverse their uprooting and return to the sites of their destroyed villages or perhaps to some
adequate substitute site that they have some role in choosing. This can happen only when an
atmosphere of security can be established in all of Darfur, an atmosphere established by
convincing acts of protection on the part of intervening military forces. And all the evidence
that we have collected, and all the testimony from Darfuri refugees and Darfur expatriates
(never consulted, one might add, by any of the officials who planned the NATO-AU taxi
scheme or who declined to push for mandate change), indicate that this protection can NEVER
be established by actions limited to observation, monitoring, and the [universally disregarded]

  Especially eloquent and informed lament for the loss of biodiversity can be found in Edward O. Wilson., The Future of Life
  This wording is quoted from Article 4, Genocide, of the Statute of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
  See Peter Dudley in Embassy Magazine, 10 August 2005.
authorization to intervene in cases where a crime is taking place right in front of the
international soldier. Recent AU claims that they have “reprioritized civilian protection” within
the current mandate regime remain unsubstantiated and have generally been dismissed by
informed observers.

   Anyone with any military experience at all - the senior author of this Briefing served eight
years in the United States Army - can appreciate the fact that pro-active, "offensive" actions such
as roundups of suspected criminals or disarmament of units (on all sides, as was done in
Bosnia) are an absolute necessity. Yet neither the African Union, nor the American or Canadian
leadership, nor the United Nations, has called for such a change in the mandate or an upgrading
of troop quality and numbers that would obviously be required to carry out such robust
protection measures.

   The voices that have indeed called for such measures, such as the International Crisis Group,
former NATO commander Wesley Clark (in the views of many the only man who ever stopped
a genocide in the making - Kosovo, 1999), or the American and Canadian organizations that
have rallied around M.P. David Kilgour, still find no sympathetic ear in the highest halls of

    What happens when no atmosphere of security has been established has been chronicled
by a number of observers, most notably America’s leading analyst of Darfur, Eric Reeves,10 who
has described and tabulated many aspects of the Sudanese Government’s “genocidal
stranglehold” on Sudan:11

     (1) Starvation.
     (2) Disease, with residence in crowded camps producing a higher vulnerability.
     (3) Boredom and despair.
     (4) Collapse of spiritual resources (Imams, Muslim worship leaders, were a special target for
         janjaweed raiders).
     (5) A wide variety of distortions of social structures as a consequence of the uprooting and
         the disproportionate killing or driving into hiding of adult males.
     (6) Increased vulnerability to excessive losses from natural disasters. The recent floods in the
         El Fashir region hit refugee camps hard, causing far more destruction than would have
         occurred if the camp inhabitants had been home in their villages. The same may be said
         for the locust swarms that have just arrived in North Darfur.
     (7) Pathologies from overcrowding.

  See Reeves’ authoritative website, <>.
  See Reeves’ bulletins for August 2005, his use of the term "genocide by attrition" in his 20 May 2005 bulletin discussing the
proliferation of expedient misrepresentations, and his bulletin of 7 May 2005 reacting to the announcement of the NATO-Taxi-
AU plan: "Proposed Increases in African Union Monitoring Presence in Darfur: Still no serious response to insecurity facing
civilians, humanitarian workers."
       (8) Resented dependencies on aid workers and ad hoc power hierarchies within tribal
           groups. These include riots and other collective violence, already reported in many
       (9) Other manifestations of the loss of cultural values and the capacity to maintain pre-
           genocide patterns or to create adaptive ones.

    It should be noted that all the above are compatible with the characterization of the situation
in Darfur as “stabilized” and “improved”. In other words, the genocide goes on but the
advocates of no-risk (or very low risk) policies such as the enhancement of weak-mandated,
understaffed observation-and-display AU forces can deter robust actions with claims that –
anticipated, incidentally, by all anti-genocide experts and activists – that September has brought
us close to solving the problem.

   Depicting the damaging consequences of this stranglehold in such a way as to command
prime time television news space, however, has proved difficult. No Christiane Amanpour has
appeared on a major network every other night in front of a scene equivalent to the shelling of
Sarajevo. The segment of CBS SIXTY MINUTES program screened on 28 August 2005 (almost
entirely a repeat of a segment produced one year earlier) suggested no remedial actions; raised
none of the crucial issues about the African Union, the nature of genocide, or the 'Phase II"
debate; and will probably be the only treatment of the matter on CBS for the rest of the century.

   As suggested above, therefore, the field has been left to those who argue that the situation
has “improved” because the rate at which villages are burned and their inhabitants massacred
or driven out has dropped off. After all, there are not many villages left to destroy.

   So Phase II has supposedly arrived. And thus the establishment of an atmosphere of security
should be an easier matter since direct combat against the janjaweed militias and the Sudanese
Government’s attacking vehicles, Antonov bombers, and attack helicopters is no longer

       The genocide, as described above, will continue, however.

III. Why Leaving the AU "In the Lead" Will Guarantee the Continuation of the Genocide

    It should be kept in mind that the genocidal stranglehold of the GoS on the African peoples
of Darfur continues in part because the Bashir-Taha regime has always had a controlling
presence in the bodies making the decisions about supposed remedies. The African Union, with
its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was founded in July 2002, the successor to the
widely ineffective and discredited Organization of African Unity. All African countries but
Morocco are members12.

     Morocco refused to join because the Polisario movement that claims Western Sahara was made a member.
    Most importantly, Sudan is a member. The Security Council's grant to the African Union of
the mission to carry out the 30 July 2004 UN resolution calling for the reining in of the
janjaweed can be fairly likened to a situation in which the League of Nations had asked some
kind of Central European Union to round up the killers and imprisoners of Jews and Poles, but
that Germany sat on the executive committee of this union along with, say, Bulgaria, Hungary,
Finland, Greece, and Yugoslavia.

   The conflicts of interest evident in the AU decision-making process became even more
evident last week when South Africa signed a contract with Sudan for the delivery of important
quantities of oil. South Africa has been one of the strongest opponents of intervention by a non-
African strongly mandated protection force.

    In mid-summer 2004, when the AU was attempting, with great difficulty, to cobble together
the first troop contingents of the AMIS (African Union Mission in Sudan) force, NATO
reportedly offered to send its Rapid Reaction Force to Darfur. (Apparently, it did not at that
time dispute the observation-only mandate. It is not clear whether the mandate had received
final wording at the time). The African Union leadership responded with a claim that such an
offer showed a lack of respect for their organization and its member countries.13 They thus spent
the next eight months slowly sending in small contingents of troops from Nigeria, Rwanda, and
South Africa. By the end of that time they still had not reached their authorized level of 3000.

       The AU deployment did not go well:

    1. Attacks on villages continued. In some cases AU observers were able to identify the
janjaweed or GoS commander, and in a smaller number of cases those names became public. In
general, however, information gathered by unarmed AU observers and AU troops is filed with
the field headquarters in El-Fashir or with AU main headquarters in Addis Ababa and remains
inaccessible to investigators.

   2. Rapes and murders of women leaving the refugee camps to gather firewood continued.
This pattern of attacking women on the peripheries of camps was described by the American
journalist Samantha Power in a much-cited New Yorker article and also during her television
appearance in the fall of 2004. It also became widely reported that the GoS itself responded to
such incidents by arresting not the rapist but the rape victim, accusing such women of falsely
defaming the Government. Not a single case in which AU troops prevented such attacks has
come to the attention of Darfur observers in America.

   3. At a Nairobi meeting of the UN Security Council in November 2004 the mandate of the
AU was expanded to include the authorization to intervene if a crime were taking place within
the soldier's personal field of vision. This was a rather problematic modification, however, since
no power of arrest was specified and, in any case, such an arrest of a group of armed militiamen

     Xinhua News Agency, “Long Way to Go for NATO to Play Greater Role in Africa,” 29 July 2005.
would require a larger, better-trained, and better-equipped force than can usually be found at
specific locations in Darfur, a region the size of France.

    The African Union commanders have ignored the Nairobi "expansion" of their mandate.
This fact became public in February 2005 when a film produced by Cassandra Herrman aired on
the PBS FRONTLINE/World show. She had interviewed the commander of the AU troops
several weeks after the Nairobi meeting. In the interview he made it clear that he saw his orders
as confining him to observing and note-taking in all cases. Since that time, moreover, no case of
an AU intervention when witnessing a flagrante delicto situation has been reported.

    A fundamental principle: Without the power to arrest (which, in such
situations necessarily involves the risk of combat) and to disarm, no soldier can offer any
civilian effective, credible, or lasting protection, nor carry out any genocide-reversing return
of the displaced. The speciousness of the argument that "no mandate change is needed" will
be evident to anyone with the slightest knowledge of the history of peacekeeping or, for that
matter, warmaking.

    Arrests of janjaweed and Government troops are something that the GoS wants to avoid at
all costs. In order to pre-empt such events, it even staged its own arrests of supposed janjaweed
in August 2004. Some of its constant deceptions fail, however. In the same New Yorker
article cited above Samantha Power (supported by a separate article in the New York Times by
Marc Lacey) established that the arrestees had never been militiamen but were in fact a group of
known petty criminals, "usual suspects" waiting to be rounded up.

    The ineffectiveness of the African Union against the militias, many of whom have been
integrated into the very police that control the refugee camps, is well known to all Darfuris. The
exceptional cases where certain AU field commanders, by the use of various ruses and displays,
have been able to temporarily deter militia/GoS attacks, have not changed the general attitude 14.

    This general attitude, moreover, is one of complete and pervasive mistrust. All our sources,
within the Darfur refugee community, within the expatriate Darfur communities in Canada
and the US, within the SLA, and within the Sudanese population as a whole, join with the
observation of almost all the non-Darfuri observers, journalists, aid workers, and officials to
confirm that the African Union is considered "a disaster": Corrupt, controlled by Khartoum,
inclined to send to Darfur only poorly trained and poorly equipped troops who are likely to act
professionally only when non-African observers are present, and ignorant about Darfur and
about the history and current realities of the genocide 15.

   Such cases were described, but as exceptional, by Marine Capt. Brian Steidle in his appearance on the ABC NIGHTLINE
show aired on 2 May 2005. The rest of Steidle's presentation gave many examples of AU ineffectiveness, as had Herrman and
Costello's FRONTLINE/World film.
   Most recently, Jerry Fowler and John Heffernan wrote in the Washington Post (29 Aug 2005) after their return from Chad:
"The refugees we interviewed were unanimous in saying that the African Union alone cannot provide the type of security they
need to go back. A more robust and sustained international presence is crucial to complement it."
   Not all of these accusations are accurate. Generalizations about armies can be as
counterproductive as generalizations about countries. Certainly there are exceptions. Rwandan
troops, for instance, get better marks from sources such as the American personnel charged with
transporting them to Darfur.

   The point is that if the Darfuri population believes that African Union troops are
untrustworthy, that is the operational fact. No atmosphere of security can be established until
the situation is reversed. And in the killing meantime, five thousand more of the same kind of
AU contingents, constrained by the same mandate, will have little effect on the continuing
genocide described above, except to make it worse by increasing the despair when the victims
conclude that this is the only action their would-be rescuers intend to take.

IV. The rise of the NATO Taxi plan and the triumph of "capacity building"

    One of the slogans that appeared in the discourse of several AU leaders - including Sudan
officials - and their supporters in the UN and the American State Department was "African
Solutions for African Problems." The phrase has a long history, stretching back at least to 1972,
when the State Department hoped that the Organization for African Unity would act in such a
way as to allow the US to avoid intervening in the slaughter of thousands of Hutu by the Tutsi-
dominated government of Burundi16. It plays well, not only with AU leaders thirsty for
unearned "respect" and with Khartoum leaders always alert to avoid interveners they may not
be able to manipulate, but also with Western diplomats and UN officials always ready to pass
the buck to the locals and to circumscribe the commitments and responsibilities of their own

   It does not play well, however, with observers of the Bosnian genocide who remember
American acquiescence in European (especially British) demands that they be allowed to "keep
the lead" in efforts to stop the Bosnian genocide. This campaign to impose "European solutions
on European problems", successful until the summer of 1995, has been listed as one of the
principal causes of the persistence of the killing, uprooting, and destruction in Bosnia 17.

   As an abstract statement of a long-term goal, "African Solutions to African Problems" may
have some validity. If one objects that it subverts notions of general human solidarity, assuming
that problems of poverty and disease can be conquered without international assistance, the

   Samantha Power writes in A Problem from Hell, p. 83: "US policymakers placed their hope in the Organization for African
Unity (OAU) and the UN. 'Our general prescription is that Africans should settle African problems," [US Ambassador to
Burundi] Melady wrote. But the OAU pledged 'total solidarity; with the genocidal Burundian government; the UN mustered
only an ineffectual fact-finding mission; and the killings continued unimpeded."
   The matter is treated in greatest detail in Brendan Simms, Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia (2001), with
additional material to be found in David Halberstam, War in a Time of Peace: Bush, Clinton, and the Generals (2002). The
authors of this Briefing were both witnesses to the Bosnian genocide of 1992-1995.
reply would be that unlike problems of political security in particular countries, AIDS, for
example, is not an African problem, but a worldwide one. And genocide?

   In any case, it should be noted that in the case of proposals for a middle-term
solution to a specific problem, bringing security, peace, and reconstruction to Darfur, the
eventual installation of a capable, effective peacekeeping force in Darfur staffed mostly by
Africans remains on the agenda of almost all parties, even those, like the International Crisis
Group, who are most aware of the deficiencies of AMIS.

    By the early months of 2005 it was clear to many observers that AMIS was failing.
Exactly where the idea for an AU troop buildup supported by NATO transport (and limited
training) assets originated is as yet unclear to the authors of this brief. Published documents
establish only that the chair of the AU Commission, Alpha Oumar Konare, requested NATO
logistical support in a letter sent in April 2005 to the latter's Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop
Scheffer. In the coming weeks details of the NATO Taxi plan were announced. The Military
Staff Committee of the African Union concluded that the size of the AU Mission should be
increased to 7731, of which 6171 would be for the military component and 1561 for the Civilian
Police Component. The Military Component was to be divided into a headquarters component
(557 men), sectors staffed by two infantry battalions and one platoon (4912), and military
observers (702), of which 96 were "Party Representatives" from the GoS, the SLA (the main rebel
group), and the JEM (whose current official status as an opponent of the GoS is highly
questionable)18. At this meeting, as at all other meetings of AU officials, no mention was made
of a need for a change in the AMIS mandate.

   NATO support for this buildup, as requested by the AU commission, was secured,
according to his own account, by Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick in a meeting with
NATO Commander General James Jones. Implementation began on 1 July 2005 and is
scheduled to be complete by 30 September 2005.

    In diplomatic circles in North America and the UN, and probably also in Europe, this highly
expensive transport exercise, (coupled with limited logistics training for about 80 AU officers to
take place in Kenya, and training for some Senegalese troops by Canadian soldiers in Senegal)
became the principal means for "building AU capacity," an achievement whose value seems to
be, for these officials, close to infinite. It is certainly more valuable to them than the
preservation of the lives and cultures of the Darfur victims, whose decline under Khartoum's
genocidal stranglehold will continue unless military units with a capacity for something more
than note-taking and monitoring arrive in Darfur in the very near future. The ETA of the
African Union's capacity for effective protective action, through military and police measures,
is probably about the same as the ETA of the return of America's legacy airlines to profitability.

     Conclusions of the Third Meeting of the Military Staff Committee held on 25 April 2005 at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
    Once the NATO/AU fifty-troops-a-day transport plan began to be implemented, however,
proposals for mandate change and the supply of sufficient troops to carry out effective
protective action were pushed farther back in the in-boxes of American, Canadian, and UN
officials, all the way, in fact, to oblivion. "Building African Union capacity" became the partner
to encapsulating the suffering occurring in Darfur in the semantic and bureaucratic frame
labeled "humanitarian crisis." Just send money.

   Taking seriously the stopping of the genocide has almost entirely become the province of
outsiders. A former "insider," Canadian M.P. David Kilgour, always the advocate of strong
rescue action, had been a critic of AMIS from the moment it was conceived. At one point in
April 2005, when it appeared that his vote was necessary to maintain Paul Martin's Liberal
government in power, it looked as if Kilgour's proposals for sending troops with effective
mandates and the power to enforce protective measures might be implemented. A last-minute
exercise of the Government's power to cash chips with newly appointed life Senators, and to
bestow other political rewards, enabled the Martin Government to escape its dependence on
Kilgour, by one vote. Kilgour, with partners and supporters on both sides of the 49th parallel,
remains the leading elected political figure active on the matter of Darfur.

    At the international level the most important rescue effort then became ICG Africa Briefing
#28, "The AU's Mission in Darfur: Bridging the Gaps."19 Appearing on 6 July 2005, during the
week when NATO aircraft began their taxi operation, the plan's publication followed up an
article in the Wall Street Journal by ICG chief executive Gareth Evans, "Bridging the Gap in
Darfur," published on 6 June.

   The ICG document outlines the most effective, perhaps the only effective plan for stopping
the genocide in Darfur. It is the single most important piece of required reading for anyone
concerned with the problem.

       V. Blowing the whistle on the AU

   Central to making any proposal for robust protective measures is an assessment of the
performance and potential of the African Union forces in Darfur. ICG Briefing #28 makes clear
that it has not so far been capable of approaching a solution. It labels the AU-NATO plan to
bring Darfur force levels to 7731 by the end of September, under the existing mandate, as "an
inadequate response to the crisis." Like most commentators, the authors note the AU has "had a
positive impact on security in some areas by going beyond the strict terms of its mandate," but
that "its ability to protect civilians and humanitarian operations is hamstrung by limited
capacity, insufficient resources, and political constraints."

   The key to the ICG plan is a stronger mandate. The ICG Briefing recommends that "The
African Union must strengthen AMIS's mandate to enable and encourage it to undertake all

     Available online at
necessary measures, including offensive action, against any attacks or threats to civilians and
humanitarian operations."

   There is no better indication of the African Union's current unwillingness to undertake a
general policy of protection, or to admit that it will remain for an extended period incapable to
providing such protection, or for that matter incapable of doing much beyond filling the Addis
Ababa filing cabinets with reports of its observers, than its failure to request a change in the

   Nor has the AU ever produced a reasoned, detailed explanation for why it chose to consider
that 5000 additional personnel would be adequate for the accomplishment of even its limited

    The inadequacies of the African Union's Darfur operation have begun to draw attention. In a
searing guest editorial published in the Washington Post on 7 August, Susan Rice, assistant
secretary of state for African affairs between 1997 and 2001, blew the whistle on the "conspiracy
of absolution" whereby the African Union had "absolved reluctant Western countries of any
responsibility to consider sending their own troops." She described the intervention at a press
conference in Dakar, Senegal, by the Foreign Minister of that country, Cheikh Tidiane Gadio,
which "exploded the myth...that the AU troops alone can stop the killing in Darfur." To the
evident irritation of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who had insisted that Western efforts
had been able to "avert some of the humanitarian disaster that was forecast," Gadio called the
situation totally unacceptable. He called upon the Secretary of State to "deal with the facts on
the ground....Those militias, they're still very active...killing people, burning villages, raping

    Less than three weeks later in the same newspaper Jerry Fowler, staff director of the
Holocaust Memorial's Committee on Conscience and John Heffernan, senior investigator for
Physicians for Human Rights, reported on their just-concluded visit to Chad. The rate of
violence in Chad had mounted since their last visit, but refugees there were "still safer than the
approximately 2 million people who remain displaced inside Darfur." The overall security
situation remained dire. At the same time, Fowler and Heffernan offered an explanation for the
victories of the perpetrators:

    “The great tactical advantage that the perpetrators of this genocide have had throughout the
crisis is that their focus has been intense and relentless, while the high-level attention from the
international community has been only episodic --a photo-op visit here and there for the most

   Susan Rice, “Why Darfur Can’t Be Left to Africa,” Washington Post (7 Aug 2005), p. B04. Gadio made the comment in
response to the question from Andrea Mitchell, the NBC reporter who was shoved out of the conference room by Sudanese
guards at the press conference with Rice and Bashir in Khartoum after asking Bashir a tough question about his government's
involvement in the Darfur genocide. For Mitchell’s questions, Gadio’s full comment and Secretary Rice’s response, see the
transcript of the July 20 press conference in Dakar at

part. [Secretary of State Rice's visit to Darfur in July lasted 90 minutes]. The risk is now that
what look like positive developments - fewer attacks on villages, creation of the
new government [the "unity government" in Khartoum], an expanded African Union
monitoring force - will cause international attention to become even less consistent.”

    Fowler and Heffernan indicated that their understanding of genocide parallels that used in
this Briefing when they concluded that "the demise of the targeted victim groups will proceed
through attrition, a steady grinding down of their lives and identities." Finally, they concluded
with the observation that "the refugees we interviewed were unanimous in saying that the
African Union alone cannot provide the type of security they need to go back. A more robust
and sustained international presence is crucial to complement it."21

VI. Implementing the First Part of the Comprehensive Plan: Robust Protection-and-Return

     What kind of mandate?

    The ICG Briefing advocates, as do most others who want to move beyond the current
observe-and-verify instructions, a mandate that would authorize the protection of victims,
other Darfur civilians, and international aid workers. Such protection would necessarily
include "offensive actions," a fact that promoters of the African Union-only solution usually
refuse to recognize.

    An atmosphere of security is no more convincingly established by sentry duty at camps and
villages alone, or by escort duty alone, than it is by taking notes and photographing after the
attack has been made (actions permitted under the current mandate). Aside from the fact that
widespread and pervasive sentry and escort duty calls for a far larger number of troops, even
when such troops are equipped with advanced transport modalities such as armored personnel
carriers (not especially effective during the rainy season in mostly unpaved and usually
impassible Darfur) and helicopters, than is likely to be available in the near term, the presence
in Darfur of 10-20,000 janjaweed militia members in intact formations, as well as an equal
number of GoS regular Army troops, acts to forestall any atmosphere of security. The same can
be said for the Darfur Sudanese police, many of whom are former janjaweed war criminals in
different uniforms.

   Effective protection operations would most likely include arrests of suspected criminal
militia units, actions that would often require - certainly in the first set of operations - large
combat-ready units provided with close air support. It should be pointed out, however, that
hunting down particular individual janjaweed leaders or criminal Sudanese army officers, as
was attempted in Somalia, is not the modal type of exercise envisaged here. Janjaweed
formations usually attacked villages in units of several hundred men, and their bases, such as

     Jerry Fowler and John Heffernan, "No Respite in Africa," Washington Post (25 August 2005), p. A19. Emphasis added.
"Border Intelligence Division" barracks, house populations of at least company size. Thus
roundups, well photographed and publicized, may be a better way to describe such initial
protective measures.

   Needless to say, it is precisely such arrests of the agents of their genocidal operations that
the GoS regime most wishes to forestall. At the same time, our conversations with Darfuris
indicate that it is only such arrests that will convince them that Darfur can become inhabitable
again, that the genocide can be halted, and that their thirst for justice can begin to be assuaged.

     On the other hand, it is possible to imagine pro-active protection measures other than
roundups or forced disarmament. For example, commanders in the field, especially if chosen
from armies with political cultures stressing initiative-taking by officers, might be able to
negotiate quickly a permanent withdrawal of all janjaweed militias from Darfur and a
“reassignment” to other regions of GoS police and other security forces suspected of criminal
activity or prior militia membership. The history, politics, and anthropology of the janjaweed
indicate that such a withdrawal to Kordofan or Bahr-el-Ghazal, if it could be accomplished at
all, would not last more than a month or two, however.

    Another source of options for commanders with a broad protection mandate may arise from
closer attention to the problem of the low trust accorded currently to AU troops. What measures
by intervening troops would in fact restore the trust in international intervention? When we
asked Darfur victims and survivors that question, they replied, not surprisingly, that they
would feel most secure if all janjaweed militias were rounded up or made casualties, all GoS
personnel disappeared from Darfur, and the level of both international troop presence and
international aid inflow remained high. Their further comments to us, however, indicated that
some victims might feel at least a degree more secure even if not all these conditions were
completely fulfilled. They offered other criteria, moreover, such as the effectiveness of a no-fly
zone extended to the Eastern region of Sudan, where many Darfuris live and where bombing of
villages continues at this moment. The arrest of janjaweed units made “exemplary” by
videotaping was another suggested trust-builder that would not entail immediate
neutralization of the entire militia component of GoS forces in Darfur.

VII. Implementing the Overall Political Process of Settlement

    Such protective military measure in Darfur can only contribute to a long-term solution,
however, if they are part of a wider political strategy. Our consultations with the authors of the
ICG briefing paper made it clear that such a strategy is considered indispensable. At the start,
one of the goals of this strategy would be the isolation of Darfur from Khartoum, the cutting off
of the most destructive effects of its influence in this region. No one, not even rebel groups, talks
of an independent Darfur, but the connection to the regime in Khartoum, in matters of
administration, public information, and security, should be rendered minimal during this early
phase of the intervention.

    A second part of this wider political strategy, implemented simultaneously with the
security-building measures, would be the integration of all the local stakeholders into the
planning structure for the region. The majority of the Arab tribes in Darfur, for example, have
stayed on the sidelines, resisting recruitment into either militias or rebel formations. They must
nevertheless be made part of any settlement, as must be the legitimate rebel groups who now
claim to control 90 per cent of Darfur territory.

    A third part of this political plan might be the locating of a “commanding broker.” Such a
participant in the peace process, with a role similar to that played by Slobodan Milosevic at the
Dayton peace talks, would be able to play a decisive role only after important military actions
had taken place that established the preponderance of the intervening “bridging” forces. Such
was the case, after all, in Bosnia in the late summer of 1995, when NATO bombings combined
with major advances by Bosnian forces (supported by Croatian artillery) to render the military
situation of the Bosnian Serbs distinctly unfavorable.

    Who would play that role? Since the suggestion that the Sudan might find someone to play a
Dayton Milosevic is intended only as an example of the tactics that might be part of a settlement
ending the genocide, not too much weight should be given to our choice of a possible example.
It is nevertheless clear that both Ali Osman Taha, the Sudanese First Vice President, and his
security chief, Salah Abdallah Gosh, call the shots in Darfur (as did Milosevic in Bosnia),
operating principally through messages to Musa Hilal, the janjaweed leader. It is not
inconceivable that methods might be found to induce Gosh and Taha to permit the enactment of
a settlement that would leave Hilal vulnerable to intervention force sanctions.

   Whose mandate?

   At least two paths to the shaping of the mandate and two authorizing bodies can be

    Path A. A member of the UN Security Council introduces a resolution asking for action
along the lines of the ICG recommendation. This is the policy currently advocated as a first
option by the ICG and by Gen. Wesley Clark, in conversations with the authors, and by leaders
of several other organizations. It has been stated since mid-2004 that an effective mandate
would be blocked by permanent members such as China or Russia and opposed by other
Security Council members such as Algeria. We submit that such opposition is likely but not

    1. The usual discussion refers to a motion for UN sanctions imposing an embargo on the sale
of oil, for which China is a primary customer of the Sudanese. When the matter concerns only
Darfur security operations, things may be different and Chinese opposition may be less blocked.

    2. Russian opposition is claimed to rest upon its status as a supplier of weapons, especially
aircraft, to the Sudanese government. It is not immediately clear, however, that operations in
Darfur, whatever their outcome, would jeopardize future sales. And as for the Russian pilots
who fly some of the Sudanese planes: it is also not clear that protecting one's mercenaries
trumps other considerations. In any case, more Ukrainians serve in Sudan as pilots (for all
sides) than do Russians.

    3. China has in certain crucial international security cases abstained rather than exercised its
veto. It is not out of the question that it might use such a tactic in the case of a Darfur
authorization, whether it is based on Chapter VII or on some robust interpretation of Chapter

    The United States may be the most likely introducer of such a motion to authorize a more
effective operation. We think that it is just possible that the realist, neo-Wilsonian, or
humanitarian considerations discussed at the beginning of this briefing may carry more weight
with Ambassador Bolton (or even Secretary of State Rice, once she becomes better briefed) than
some fear of injuring the sensibilities of UN members more willing to accommodate the
Sudanese Government. France, which has shown a preference for developing a European Union
Rapid Reaction Force that could be charged with such missions (and which would exclude
the US), can nevertheless be expected to allow the use of its bases in Chad. It might even
introduce the resolution in tandem with the United States.

   The United Nations route has public support both in the United States and in Africa. A
GlobeScan/PIPA poll of 10,809 Africans and 812 Americans reported on 29 June 2005 that 61 per
cent of Americans favor the UN intervening in Darfur to "stop human rights abuses such as
genocide" and 65 per cent of Africans believe that the UN Security Council should have the
same right, with only 19 per cent of Africans opposed.22

   The ICG recommends a force that puts the African Union troops already in Darfur under
the command of a "bridging force" that had NATO at its core. At the same time, American
ground troops do not enter into most projections: the consensus is that such troops are already
heavily committed to Iraq and Afghanistan. On the other hand, US Air Force assets could be
expected to play a central role.

   Path B. Should the UN Security Council refuse to authorize a sufficiently sized and
appropriately mandated intervention force, the NATO-AU "Kosovo" option could be
considered. (NATO's Kosovo intervention, probably the only military operation that ever

  See GlobeScan/PIPA, “The Darfur Crisis: African and American Public Opinion,” 29 June 2005, available at Note that this is a different poll from the one Zogby International did in May 2005 for the
International Crisis Group and which found that over 80% of Americans support a tougher response to the current situation in

stopped a nascent genocide, was never authorized by the United Nations). The ICG Briefing
may be quoted here:

    “The UN Security Council should authorize the mission with a civilian protection mandate
but if it does not, the AU and NATO would need to assume the responsibility and agree on an
appropriate mandate. If the Sudanese government does not accept such a mission, NATO and
the AU would need to provide a much larger one to operate in a non-permissive environment.
[This larger mission would include] enforcing the Security Council ban on offensive military
flights. The AU and NATO should agree on enforcement measures to be applied if Khartoum
violates *this+ prohibition.”

   Path C. Finally, in the [likely] case of continued high mortality rates and declines in Darfuris’
"capacity for culture", consideration should be given to a third, quicker option: a coalition of the
willing organized by DOD in cooperation with the Rapid Response forces of other powers,
which would move in on its own, in advance of any Security Council authorization and in
anticipation of a non-permissive environment.

VII. Implementing the Requirements for Justice and Accountability

    Once the international intervening forces are in control of the Darfur situation, bringing
justice to the perpetrators and instituting a restitution apparatus for those who have suffered
property and personal losses can begin. Certainly such implementation will not be a simple
matter, as the cases of Bosnia and Iraq illustrate. The list of perpetrators handed to the
International Criminal Court by the UN investigation commission headed by Antonio Cassese
is thought to contain the names of many high GoS officials who will mostly likely remain in
Khartoum, safe from arrest.

    Expertise on the matter of administering justice can be solicited from groups such as the
Coalition for International Justice or the UN High Representative for Bosnia-Herzegovina. At
this point, we will note simply that the leading student of the question of the administration of
post-atrocity justice and its political impacts on the victim society argues that the maintenance
of open, fair, and procedurally impeccable court trials for those defendants who are in custody
can have a positive effect that works to offset the fact that many of the perpetrators remain
beyond the reach of the law or that particular verdicts are unpopular with particular groups in
the country that is the site of the conflict.23

     Mark Osiel, Mass Atrocity, Collective Memory, and the Law (1997).
VIII. Why the Genocide Continues: The Elements of Khartoum's Power

   Skillful Political Management of the Dictatorship

    Since its overthrow of the constitutional government in 1989, the National Islamic Front -
now National Congress - regime has demonstrated its shrewdness, toughness, strategic
flexibility, and survival skills. When under pressure, it knows how to concede the precise
amount needed to counter the threat and to render it temporary.

    It has proved a master of the art of pretending to negotiate --in Abuja, in Cairo, in Naivasha,
or elsewhere --while employing tactics that leave its negotiating partners divided and confused.

    It has managed to co-opt, or neutralize through arrests, threats, and shootings, almost all
internal opposition groups. Recent estimates of the number of protesters killed in the riots that
followed John Garang's death have reached as high as 430.

   It has successfully resisted all the cross-national bodies that have tried to make it do what it
did not want to do, from the UN to international NGOs to the Arab League to IGAD to the
African Union. Through its control of Operation Lifeline Sudan it has made the flow of aid to
war victims a source of patronage jobs, military intelligence, and immense sums of cash. The
same can be said for all the aid operations aimed at helping Darfur.

    It has exploited the calculated naîveté of UN officials like Kofi Annan and Jan Pronk,
frightened visiting Canadian Senators into advocacy of patently ineffective policies, and
manipulated visiting American Congressmen into recommendations that say nothing of
mandate change, force levels needed to carry out a changed mandate, implementing refugee
returns as the main objective, or the crucial bridging role of non-AU troops. It has persuaded
American diplomats such as Robert Zoellick and Charles Snyder (Assistant Secretary of State
for African Affairs) that existing sanctions against Sudan, still listed (accurately enough) as a
state sponsor of terrorism, are sufficient and that when combined with incentive payments
pledged to Sudanese who carry out the North-South Peace Accord, they will change its
behavior, making it "do more" in Darfur.

   Control of Information

    The regime's near-total control of information about Darfur, and access to the region, is an
important element in its power. The most intensive phase of its genocide had been going on for
ten months before any journalist reported about it. And these journalists - the first was the
British videographer Philip Cox, the second the Lebanon-based British journalist Julie Flint -
had to enter by illegally crossing the Chad border. It controls the domestic press through direct
control of press personnel, the arbitrary closing, reopening, and closing of opposition
newspapers, and other forms of intimidation. Any reading of this domestic press, or perusal of

longer works such as former American Ambassador Donald Petterson's Inside Sudan or the
highly detailed accounts of Robert O. Collins (Revolutionary Sudan; Requiem for the Sudan)
establishes quickly that Sudanese spokesmen can adhere to a lie when truth stares them in the
face with an enthusiasm and determination that, in comparison, would make Baghdad Bob - the
Iraqi Information Minister at the time of the American attack - look like Abraham Lincoln.

   Especially sensitive to foreign Arab media coverage, which has gone so far has to expose the
corruption and subservience of its judiciary, the GoS has been remarkably successful in
ensuring that Arab TV screens remain empty of accounts of the massacres in Darfur. When the
pro-Arab TV station al-Jazeera dared to film a documentary about Darfur in early 2004, its
Khartoum office was immediately closed, its equipment seized, and it local staff prosecuted.24


   The GoS has given top priority to control of Sudan's oil assets. Its military tactics in the long
war with the South were dictated by considerations of security in the oil fields. It has shrewdly
marketed this petroleum. Although the share of Sudanese oil in total Chinese oil imports
declined from 6.9 per cent in 2003 to 4.7 per cent in 2004, China remains acutely sensitive to any
direct threat to this access.25

   Meanwhile, Sudan obtained large and lucrative contracts to deliver oil to India in the fall of
2004. Sudan has also created an important domestic market for its oil. The German firm Siemens
has built south of Khartoum the world's largest diesel oil-fueled power station.

       Threats of Massive Resistance to Intervening Forces

       General threats

   One of the GoS’ most frequently employed weapons has been the use of overheated and
hyperbolic rhetoric in its response to various perceived threats to its interests. In the summer of
2004, fearing a forceful and effective intervention by Western forces, especially Americans who
had just labeled its atrocities a genocide, the GoS Ministers promised “rivers of blood” that
would make Vietnam seem a minor matter in comparison. In response to UN Resolution 1564,
that contained the possibility of oil sanctions, the speaker of the Sudanese rubber-stamped
Parliament, Ibrahim Ahmed Al-Taher, warned Western nations that any foreign intervention
would open “gates of hell.”

     Gerard Prunier, Darfur: The Ambiguous Genocide, (2005), p.187.
     David Zweig and Bi Jianhai, “China’s Global Hunt for Energy,” Foreign Affairs (Sept-Oct 2005), p.28.
     Threats of a pan-Muslim, international Jihad against intervening forces

    Western sensibilities about the use of the term Jihad to describe the response to an
intervention by NATO have been successfully exploited in a few cases. Persuaded by such
posturing and claims of a massive resistance on Jihadist grounds, some of those who had
heretofore made the most persuasive arguments for mandate change and effective protective
action entailing robust intervention by NATO (or other “white troops”) now argued that such
moves would be seen as “Northern crusade” by adventurous cowboys.26 Such arguments that
intervening “Northern troops” would face a “bloodbath” from latter-day Saladins are less than
convincing to most students of the subject.27

   In the first place, the argument that the Muslim world as a whole would see an intervention
by “Northern troops” (including Muslim Turks), acting in cooperation with units from partly
Muslim Nigeria, Senegal and Gambia in order to help a group of Darfuris who are themselves
almost all Muslims, is something of an insult to the intelligence of educated Arabs and other
non-Sudanese Muslims. In the second place, those less-educated, more manipulatable Muslims
who might conceivably answer such a call are already engaged in what they see as a jihad in
Iraq and Afghanistan. Finally, the principal proponent of an internationalist, universalist (i.e.
non-Arabist) extreme Muslim fundamentalism, Hassan al-Turabi, is the ideological father of the
Justice and Equality Movement, a rebel group, not of the janjaweed.

     Threats of resistance to intervening forces by the regular Sudanese army

    It is unlikely that regular Sudanese military formations would mount a conventional
resistance to intervening forces. They have not been especially effective event against SPLA.
Their Air Force, described in the ICG Africa Briefing #28, is small, inexperienced (except for its
helicopter gunships and Antonov bombers, which have proven effective in bombing villages
and slaughtering unarmed civilians), and highly vulnerable to countermeasures by advanced
militaries since, according to ICG experts, it does not have any military radar useable for
surveillance, target acquisition, or target illumination.

     Threats of resistance using jihad-inspiring irregular formations

     The GoS has used this tactic in its war with the South. Whenever its own regular army was
in need of reinforcement or was becoming unreliable Khartoum has used appeals for a jihad in
recruiting Popular Defense Forces (PDFs) from the slums of Khartoum and Omdurman. Given
little training and minimal ammunition for their Kalashnikovs, such armed mobs were sent
against Southern positions in many cases. The results were rather worse than mixed. It is hard
to find any major victories attributable to the PDFs, even when their opponents were

  See Romeo Dallaire, “The Solution for Darfur,” Ottawa Citizen, 30 June 2005.
  A general rejection of such possibilities can be found in Jilles Kepel, The War for Muslim Minds: Islam in the West, 2004,
and on somewhat different ground Alex de Waal, ed., Islamism and Its Enemies in the Horn of Africa, 2004.
significantly less powerful and less well equipped than would be any multinational intervention

   Finally, GoS invocation of the memory of the Mahdi, who defeated the British general
Gordon in 1885, would seem vitiated by the fact that the best-organized opposition to the GoS is
now headed by Sadiq al-Mahdi, grandson of that same national hero. It was Sadiq that Bashir
and Company overthrew in 1989.

     Threats of resistance by the creation of an “Iraq-style” insurgency

   To begin with, the most important current insurgent group, the Sudan Liberation Army
(SLA), is the GoS’ strongest opponent. Our sources within that organization have assured us
that they would not oppose an international intervening force, even though they realize that
their own disarmament could be a consequence of such an intervention.

    The transformation of janjaweed militias into insurgents is not likely to increase the number
of those who would resist an intervening force since one must presume that they would do so,
anyway. Whether the fact of the invasion would increase the attractive potential of the janjaweed
to other Arabs in Darfur is not a question that can be answered with certainty, but it is worth
noting that the janjaweed already have based their recruitment upon both jihadist and racist-
Arabist appeals. Alex de Waal and Julie Flint have described the janjaweed “Qoreishi” ideology
as “a convergence of Arab supremacy and Islamic extremism.”28 The janjaweed may have
saturated the market for such calls to arms, especially since, as noted above, the majority of the
Arab population in Darfur, especially the tribes in the Center and South, have remained neutral
in the conflict.

    It is possible, however, that the GoS may try to create an insurgency using the remaining
Darfuri elements in the Sudanese regular forces (mostly now stationed in the South), in the
same way that some of the Iraqi insurgency leaders use Suni Baathist former soldiers. This
would reduce the strength of the GoS forces now holding Southern towns and protecting oil
sites, a fact that the SPLA forces would be expected to notice and, quite possibly, attempt to
exploit. If the price of creating an insurgency in Darfur were the loss of the South and its oil, and
all the benefits expected from the formation of the new “Unity” government of North and
South, would the Khartoum leaders be willing to pay it?

    The loss of life in Darfur still runs far higher than the loss of life in Iraq. The threat of
genocide in Iraq, as was attempted by Saddam Hussein against the Kurds and Marsh Arabs, has
ended, but the genocide in Darfur continues. The cost of countering a possible GoS-led
resistance to an intervening force must be weighed against the human cost of not intervening,
not protecting, not insuring the return of refugees to their home sites. The reader must ask: if

  Alex de Waal and Julie Flint, “Ideology in Arms: the Emergence of Darfur’s Janjaweed,” Beirut Daily Star (30 August
the displaced population in the camps were not black Africans but Americans, or Canadians,
would the present policies limited to AU capacity-building seem adequate? Would the risk of
facing an insurgency seem worth the price if it were paid to stop a genocide? Speaking for
ourselves and for the vast majority of those we met in our travels in America and Canada in
recent months, we answer in the affirmative.

   The Gosh Factor

    With regard to the possibility of deterring any effective action against its Darfur policies,
Sudan's most powerful asset may be Salah Abdallah Gosh. As the man who controls the GoS
security and intelligence apparatus as the executive officer for Vice President Taha, Gosh can
plausibly claim to be, operationally, Sudan’s top génocidaire. His value to Washington stems,
however, not from his activities in Darfur but his role as chief of intelligence, a job that began
during the early years of the regime when Osama bin Laden lived, and recruited, in Sudan, an
honored, well supported guest. Despite Bin Laden's departure at the end of the 90s, Gosh's
information still seems to be valuable to the CIA, who invited him to Washington in April 2004,
more than a year after the slaughter in Darfur began. Sudan, after all, ranks among the top four
countries supplying the place of origin for foreign terrorists in Iraq.

    It is unclear at this time what quid pro quo Gosh extracted from CIA director Porter Goss
during his April visit. What does seem clear, however, is that any plan for an effective
intervention in Darfur will need to include measures to insure that Gosh is protected when the
loss of Sudanese capability for continuing the Darfur genocide becomes evident to Khartoum.

John H. Weiss
Founder, Darfur Action Group
Associate Professor of History, Cornell University
Tel: 607.277.6744

Elvir Camdzic
Co-Founder, San Francisco Bay Area Darfur Coalition
Executive Director, Bosnian-Herzegovinian Center of San Francisco
Tel: 415.731.5850


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