01/05/13: Article called “Has Obama Forgotten Darfur?” that went with the 1st search result from the 1st page of Yahoo search results for “Obama Darfur” that I published on the previous blog page. The date for this article, June 11, 2010, was prior to Leonardo DiCaprio being given the code number “11.” The article was also written at about the same time that President Obama had joined the group of celebrities, media, and others who were harassing me and that coalesced into the conglomerate and turned deadly with his help. Ever since, President Obama has waged war on human rights all around the world. (Copyright notice as for other pages like this one.). Copyright, with noted exceptions, L. Kochman, January 5, 2013 @ 1:37 p.m.
Darfur seems to have been forgotten, but the killings continue. After a lull, the pace of killings has increased lately, with some 600 people killed violently last month alone. As Newsweek notes, that’s more than in any month since U.N. peacekeepers arrived.
The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, addressed the Security Council today, giving a blunt report about Darfur:
The entire Darfur region is still a crime scene. The attacks against civilians not participating in the conflict continue. Thousands of civilians were attacked immediately after the signing of a peace agreement and public commitments to peace earlier this year. Rapes continue. The process of extermination against millions displaced in the camps continues. And why not, since the criminals enjoy impunity?
But the Security Council seems mum, frozen, passive, paralyzed. Instead of insisting that Sudan take further action, it shrugs and looks the other way. It used to be that the problem countries on the U.N. Security Council, in terms of getting action on the slaughter in Darfur, were China and Russia. But now the U.S. and Britain seem equally complicit. President Obama, who was one of the leaders on the Darfur issue when he was in the Senate, seems to have forgotten about it as president.
In fact, I think the U.S. and Britain and other countries have bought into the argument that they need to focus on avoiding war in southern Sudan, and that means putting Darfur aside. I agree on the focus on the south, and I’ve been saying for years now that we need to move from trying to “Save Darfur” to “Save Sudan.” There is a huge risk of a new civil war in the south that would cost many hundreds of thousands of lives, and the administration is right to try to prevent it. But the problem is that Darfur and southern Sudan are related problems, and ignoring Darfur doesn’t diminish the risks in southern Sudan. On the contrary, it increases them.
For example, one of the people wanted for crimes against humanity in Darfur is Ahmad Haroun, who helped organize the slaughter in Darfur. Now Sudan has appointed him to be governor of South Kordofan, on the border with southern Sudan. If war does breakout again, then the betting is that his job will be to organize a new Janjaweed militia to prey on the south. The odds of that increase if Haroun isn’t made to pay a price for presiding over a similar policy in Darfur.
The basic problem is that southern Sudan is going to vote on independence in January and is overwhelmingly likely to vote for separation. But it has about four-fifths of Sudan’s oil, and it’s hard to see the north allowing the country’s oil to walk away (even if the oil will need to be pumped out via the north for years to come, generating pipeline revenue for the north). So there’s a very significant chance that the north will foment insecurity and tribal wars in the south so that it can continue to hold on to key oil wells and keep that revenue. The result may well be another major war — and the last one claimed 2 million lives.
If war does come again to Sudan, that will be a spectacular failure for the Obama administration. The Bush administration, for all of its innumerable foreign policy failings, managed to bring about the 2005 peace that ended the last war. That was an incredibly difficult and important achievement, and Obama had a reasonable chance of sustaining that peace. But by appeasing the Sudanese government, the Obama administration has in my view increased the risk of another catastrophic war. Obama is right about the need to engage the Sudanese government — isolation almost never works — but appeasement is a lousy idea.
The Security Council on Monday will hear from a range of leaders about South Sudan. But I hope the Council remembers that while the focus must be on preventing war in the south, turning a blind eye to Darfur is not a way to achieve that. Let’s hope I’m wrong, but I fear that myopic policies by the Obama administration and its allies may lay the groundwork for a catastrophe in Sudan.
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