Peace In Darfur?

Primary sources exposed and explained.
Dec. 28 2006 3:51 PM

Peace In Darfur?

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

Omer Hassan al-Bashir, Sudan's military dictator, who seized power in 1989, has overseen the war-related deaths of two and a half million of his fellow Sudanese. 

Although Sudan became a party to the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide  in October 2003,  ethnic cleansing in the Darfur section of the country steadily increased. Bashir's Arab government in Khartoum fired on the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army and unleashed militias to commit massacres against black-skinned civilians. A military and government-supported group, Janjaweed ("devils on horseback"), fought the insurgents and citizens of Darfur. When the alarmed international community tried to stop the slaughter, President Bashir threatened to wage a jihad if U.N. peacekeepers entered Darfur.

In June, when U.N. forces were set to replace exhausted and depleted African Union peacekeeping missions, the dictator claimed the U.N. was trying to colonize Africa and again refused entry. At a September 2006 meeting of the U.N. General Assembly, Bashir declared the reports of massacres to be fictions perpetrated by greedy humanitarian groups and Zionist Jews. 

Kofi Annan resisted action against similar atrocities in Rwanda a decade ago (when he ran the U.N.'s peacekeeping operations), and as secretary-general of the U.N. Annan was slow to speak out against genocide in Darfur. That began to change in 2004, and in a speech this past September, Annan stated forthrightly that the tragedy in Darfur makes "a mockery of our claim, as an international community, to shield people from the worst abuses." During November, in a last effort before leaving office at the end of 2006, Annan brokered agreements with African, Arab, and European leaders  to create a joint peacekeeping force for Darfur. The secretary general outlined the plan in a Dec. 18 letter to Bashir (below and on the following 3 pages). Bashir's reply to Annan (see pages 5, 6, and 7) agrees to conditional and gradual "cessation of hostilities." It is conceivable, though far from assured, that this represents the beginning of the end to what George Packer of the New Yorker recently called "the world's gravest humanitarian disaster."

Got a Hot Document? Send it to documents@slate.com. Please indicate whether you wish to remain anonymous.

1_123125_2137821_2137075_2154191_2156346_kofi1g

 

TODAY IN SLATE

History

The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

The GOP Senate Candidate in Iowa Doesn’t Want Voters to Know Just How Conservative She Really Is

Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

Naomi Klein Is Wrong

Multinational corporations are doing more than governments to halt climate change.

The Strange History of Wives Gazing at Their Husbands in Political Ads

Television

See Me

Transparent is the fall’s only great new show.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD

The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 12:04 PM John Hodgman on Why He Wore a Blue Dress to Impersonate Ayn Rand
  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 1:38 PM Mad About Modi
 Why the controversial Indian prime minister drew 19,000 cheering fans to Madison Square Garden.

  Business
Building a Better Workplace
Sept. 30 2014 1:16 PM You Deserve a Pre-cation The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.
  Life
Education
Sept. 30 2014 1:48 PM Thrashed Florida State’s new president is underqualified and mistrusted. But here’s how he can turn it around.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 30 2014 11:42 AM Listen to Our September Music Roundup Hot tracks from a cooler month, exclusively for Slate Plus members.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 12:42 PM How to Save Broken Mayonnaise
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 11:55 AM The Justice Department Is Cracking Down on Sales of Spyware Used in Stalking
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath the Methane Lakes of Titan?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.