Bismillahir Rahmanir RahimAll praises are due to Allah, peace and blessing upon the Prophet Muhammad.What is the conflict in Sudan? For how long has their been strife, war, suffering in Sudan? Who are the perpetrators and why do they do it?Today, the vast majority of suffering, destruction, and conflict continues in the Darfur region of Sudan. But why has it occurred?GEOGRAPHY:Sudan has a population of 34 million, consists of 2 million squ miles, is the largest nation in Africa, and borders 9 other nations. 70% of the population is Muslim while the rest consist of Christian and animists. The two major ethnic groups are the Arabs and Africans.Darfur is the western most state of Sudan. It borders mostly Chad, with its northern most tip bordering Libya and its southern tip bordering the Central African Republic. It is a largely flat arid to semi arid desolate region of Sudan outside of the large Nile river valley, which renders it lacking in water sources. The main mountain range is in the west: Jabal Marrah, and some in the south. In the southern region of Darfur are major oil contracts awarded by the Khartoum govt to Swedish and Chinese oil firms. More exploration is expected given Sudan is said to have some 600 million barrels in resevoirs. The Darfur people consist of several tribes who live be either substantive farming and agriculture or nomadic shepherding. The primary tribe of African ethnicity (language, race), the Zaghawi tribe, consist of members who live in both Sudan and Chad, and who dominate the Chadian govt; they are largely an agricultural people. Other agricultural tribes include: Agua, Fur, Massalit, Fulata. They are located most in the central and western regions of Darfur. The largely nomadic and Arab tribes include: Banu Hilba, Zuraiqat, Habania. They live in both the northern region and in the southern region of Darfur. Both ethncities in the Darfur region are largely Muslim despite the widespread presence of western missionaries. CONVENTATIONAL ANALYSISThe conventional observation claims the conflict to have been from a culmination of events, including the drought of 2001 which caused the nomadic people of the north to move southward into the central and western agricultural regions. The central and western regions of Darfur are said to be in the greatest strife. Observers note the conflict to be between the two lifestyles and to have escalated into ethnic divisions regardless of their common nationality and religion. Apparently, when the nomadic people began to venture into the agricultural regions, conflict ensued. The agricultural, African tribes formed militias to defend their lands and people. They formed the JEM: Justice and Equality Movement and the SLA/M: Sudanese Liberation Army/Movement which began their efforts largely in Feb 2003. Some of the Arab and nomadic tribes historically already composed militias called the Janjaweed. The conventional observations assert that in 2/03, the SLA and JEM initiated their rebellion/insurgency and declared they wanted to defend their property and people and to advance the development of their region which has been neglected by the Khartoum govt. The Janjaweed did not form into any particular political movement and did not offer any motivations. Conventional observations have asserted the Khartoum govt has basically allied with the Janjaweed and used them as irregular forces to drive out the tribes proportedly tied to the SLA and JEM. Sudanese military aircraft are said to provide air support to Janjaweed forces on civilian populations. Vast numbers of civilians have sought refuge in Chad, near the western most border of Darfur near Chad, and around urban areas.
What was presented earlier consists of the information and observations void of the geo-political motivations of all the various players in that particular region. The earlier observations usually ignore the strategic interests such world powers as America have in taking one side or the other and ignores any clandestine or subversive motivations of foreign powers. Insha Allah, I will present a brief history and an analysis of the conflict in Sudan and the likely motivations of the region's players.STRATEGIC HISTORYThe Sudanese region has been a part of the Muslim world for centuries. Islam spread to the various regions of Sudan's Darfur apparently in the 18th century CE. The Fur tribe formed a sultanate (independent rule) consisting of several tribes and located in central Darfur. While Islam was not carried through out the southern regions of Sudan due to various regions, and the southern region of Sudan had a tenous and dark period during the slave trade of the 18th and 19th centuries, the people of Sudan, Muslim and nonMuslim, have been a part of the Muslim Ummah. During the colonial era (1890s-1950s), the British ruled the northern portions of Sudan, aided in its development, and favored the Arab people over the southern African people. While The British began their imperial rule in the 1890s, they did not gain complete control over the Darfur region until the 1910s.In contrast, the nonMuslim south was left largely undeveloped, all Arab and Egyptian ties were forcibly cut, Islamic religion, culture, and Muslim economic ties were forcibly ended by the British. Instead, Christian missionaries were permitted widespread influence and aid.While still part of the British empire, in 1930, the British were preparing the southern Sudanese to be seperate from the northern people (who consisted of Arabs AND Africans, both Muslim and nonMuslim tribes). They apparently planned to make southern Sudan part of Kenya. (This in turn would enable the British several strategic advantages, such as access to central Africa from Kenya). Aiding the British, American missionaries in Uganda (bordering Sudan's southern region) and southern Sudan played a role in development of and the spread of Christianity.
STRATEGIC HISTORYWhile there was some effort to reunite Sudan with Egypt, this was ended when Egypt did not reciprocate the plan. Moreover, when the Sudanese parliement under the British rule of Sudan finally ratified independence from Britain in early 1956, all efforts were made NOT to reunite Sudan with Egypt. Just prior to independence, southern Sudanese military forces (under northern officers) mutinied in Aug 1955. Their mutiny was suppressed by the Khartoum govt but several southern mutineers continued their rebellion from desolate regions of the south. The southern rebels formed the Anya Nyu, a rebel group wiht 5000-10000 forces. Several nations aided the southern rebels, including Israel, Uganda, Kenya. Israel trained Anya recruits and equipped them. In 1971, Joseph Lagu helped unite the southern rebels by forming the SSLM- Southern Sudanese Liberation Movement. Anya Nyu joined the SSLM but formed the bulk of their military. At the Addis Ababa 1971 conference, Sudanese president Numeiri awarded the SSLM much of what they wanted: autonomy granted the southern regions, ruled by a president (governor) selected by the national president on the recommendation of a southern assembly, and a Sudanese southern military manned 50% by southerners of the Israeli trained Anya Nyu and 50% from the north.Some years later, after Numeiri disbanded the southern regional assembly and redistricted the southern region, and Numeiri began implementing shari`ah law throughout Sudan, the SPLA/M (Sudanese People's Liberation Army/Movment) emerged from the remnants of the Anya Nyu and SSLM and continued their rebellion. After a set of coups, the general Bashir coup succeeded and has ruled hte north since 1989. Since then, Bashir first waged war against the SPLA then has negotiated peace with it. This April 2004, Khartoum signed a new peace accord with the SPLA that provided the same autonomy, a southern military with 50/50 forces, but also a split of oil revenues AND the right for the south to secede if they so choose to. Bashir originally allied with the NIF then led by Hasan Al Turabi, a proponent of an Islamic state in Sudan. However, of the past 6 years, Bashir has pushed al Turabi out of office, placed him under house arrest for 2 years, and recently filed charges of insurrection likely to bring a 10 years sentence for the 72 yr old leader. His Popular Congress party was recently banned. After 1955, America had an ever increasing role in Sudan through both supporting the southern rebels as well as gaining closer ties with the Khartoum govt. In the 1950s and 60s, Israel and Britain were regiona; adversaries of America that regularly supported coups and rebellions against American puppet regimes and vis versa America. America aided the Free Officers Movement (FOM) to come to power in a coup in Egypt in the mid1950s. Soon after, Israel allied with Britain and France against the FOM-run Egypt to take over the Suez canal. America joined with the USSR to force the triumvirate to withdrawl. To no surprise, The new Sudan- itself born of BRitish empire- turned away from unification from Egypt (which was Britain's original aim) but kept its southern region. The Numeiri govt turned the direction of Sudan away from its British ties and linked it with the USSR. Until the Bashir regime, the southern rebels were supported by Britain and Israel. During the Bashir regime, the rebels were supported by America directly as well as through clandestine aid through Uganda.
STRATEGIC ANALYSISSudan has been the target of American pressure since at least 1989. During the Numeiri govt, America wanted the Khartoum to cave into greater autonomy for hte south and greater secularization throughout.America has pushed the Bashir regime in the same direction. Bashir has capitulated by removing the influence of the Islamic parties in Khartoum, imprisoning and weakening al Turabi, PC, and the NIF.Reports indicate that in 2000, Bashir allowed for the FBI and CIA to scower Sudan for any so called terrorists connected to Al Qaeda. Bashir also pushed through several secularizing amendments, effectly ending the role of shari`ah in Sudan. In order to end American pressure, Bashir has complied with American aims so far by allowing the south a 50/50 oil revenue sharing with the southern region eventhough they compose less than 50% of the population and consist of less than 33% of the nation, and secularization of Sudan throughout. . But America aims for more than that. 9/11, the NEO CONS, and DarfurSoon after 9/11, former democratic pres. candidate Wesley Clark got in contact with Pentagon contacts who told him the Bush administration wanted to wage war on a list of countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Somalia, Libya. Clark said publicly that America planned to wage a war that appeared like imperialism. In 1/04 and 2/04, the Emirate paper al Khareej reported US asst secy Armitage requested of the US Senate appropriations for a 75,000 military for $100 million and over 5 years $660 million to serve in Sudan. Former US pres Carter admonished America's role in Sudan as wanting to continue conflict by aiding rebellion. Just this June 204, sec state Powell said there will be no peace for Sudan until the Darfur is settled. Similarly to the Indonesian conflict in East Timor where Indonesia's military fomented strife of questionable objectives which justified UN, American, and Australian intervention and the secussion of East Timor from Indonesia, Bashir appears to be walking the same path, perhaps even intentionally. The strife in Darfur- driving out millions of Muslims and killing 1000s provides a justification for western forces to engage in further intervention. The SLM and JEM appear to have seperatist intentions and the Bashir govt has offered nothing but an extreme response incapable of solving the long standing problems. Instead, Bashir further pushes the likely intervention and/or separatist agenda for the Darfur rebels. Moreover, the Bush neo-con agenda apparently seeks to reshape the Muslim world and further weaken any Muslim nations with the potential for liberation from American influence.
As the events in the Darfur region continue to unfold, America's role there should be closely examined. As mentioned previously, one of the primary tribes in Darfur, the Zaghawa, also have members in Chad, including the Chadian president Idris Deby. In fact the Zaghawi dominate the Chadian govt eventhough they constitute around 1% of the population. Deby has allied himself with America in the War against Terror and is financed in part by the Pan Sahel Initiative, a US-EU Command program for equipping and empowering Sahel nations. Chad also enjoys new oil wealth from its recent completion of the Chad-Cameroon pipeline. Former Chadian ambassador to America, Ahmat Soubiane, recently made a major indictment of the Chadian president Deby (for which Deby fired him- Soubiane remains in America under political asylum from Deby) as equipping the Darfur rebel groups and having his elite guards advise, train, and engage with the Darfur rebels against the Khartoum govt. Deby is able to do this with Sahel financing. In addition, Khartoum has claimed Eritrea is assisting the Darfur rebels as well. Deby has also consolidated his control of Chad by appointing his family members to finance minister of the Chad central bank and his nephew to prime minister. America appears to intend to continually break apart Muslim nations and weaken their central govts by aiding groups that are distinct or differ from the Muslim majority ( the Darfur rebels against the Arab Khartoum govt), including the SPLA (manned mostly by Christian and animist Dinka tribe and others). America did this by supporting the mainly Christian East Timor independence from Indonesia, and for over 100 years supported the Lebanese Christians in Lebanon. However, America supports the integrity of nations that repress Muslim minorities, like the Indian govt in Kashmir, the Uighurs in western China, and the Chechen people in Russia. Most likely (and may Allah forbid this), the Darfur will become a semiautonomous region in Sudan similar to the Kurdish region in Iraq and the southern Sudan. America's military is too preoccupied in Iraq and central Asia to mount a major mission in Sudan. However, it will likely use the African Union's (AU) (formerly the OAU) new military initiative , financed by America and the EU, to intervene in Sudan and enforce the Darfur autonomy. Recently, the UN reported 3000 Darfur civilians have been killed in the fighting and 600,000- 1 million have been displaced. And the matters continues to unfold...
Ahmat Soubiane of Chad Makes Remarks as Council for Foreign Relations meetings in Apr 2004http://www.cfr.org/projects.php?id=391US military considered but downplays its direct role in Sudanhttp://www.sudan.net/news/posted/8860.htmlDarfur Rebel groupshttp://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/para/darfur.htmAU military into Sudanhttp://splmtoday.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1210
Pan Sahel Initiativehttp://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/other/14987.htm
State Dept's Pan Sahel Initiative (PSI) has sent 10th Special Forces troops into Pan Sahel nations, Mali, Chad, Niger, Mauritania. This places American forces working directly with the Chadian govt supporting the Darfur rebel forces, if not training the Darfur rebels themselves. http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=Pan-Sahel_InitiativeThis url has several AP and other legit. news sources reporting on the presence of US spec forces training and working in Chad among other nations. While the PSI budget is around 7 million and is reported to grow to $120+ million in 5 years, the likely classified State dept and Pentagon funds could bulge this budget to over 10-20 million or more annually. Thus, America is very likely fomenting the Darfur rebellion which spurned what on the surface appeared to be an inordinantly violent Khartoum response. And Allah knows best. Insha Allah, continuing examination of the matter.