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.

Advertisement

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

Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

View From Chicago

You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney

Or at least trade it for something.

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Terrorism, Immigration, and Ebola Are Combining Into a Supercluster of Anxiety

The Legal Loophole That Allows Microsoft to Seize Assets and Shut Down Companies

  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Oct. 19 2014 1:05 PM Dawn Patrol Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s critically important 5 a.m. wake-up call on voting rights.
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 19 2014 11:40 AM Pot-Infused Halloween Candy Is a Worry in Colorado
  Life
Outward
Oct. 17 2014 5:26 PM Judge Begrudgingly Strikes Down Wyoming’s Gay Marriage Ban
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 17 2014 4:23 PM A Former FBI Agent On Why It’s So Hard to Prosecute Gamergate Trolls
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 8:32 AM Marvel’s Civil War Is a Far-Right Paranoid Fantasy—and a Mess. Can the Movies Fix It?
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 17 2014 6:05 PM There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 20 2014 7:00 AM Gallery: The Red Planet and the Comet
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 16 2014 2:03 PM Oh What a Relief It Is How the rise of the bullpen has changed baseball.