‘Crisis in Darfur was everyone’s fault’
ISLAMABAD: Sudanese scholar Sayeed Al Khateeb said on Thursday that Darfur’s was basically a tribal conflict, which was compounded by the international community’s concerns due to a large number of internally displaced people.
Speaking at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) on the “Latest Development in Sudan”, Al Khateeb said the crisis in Darfur was everyone’s fault, and none of the parties to the conflict could be absolved of the blame.
He said the problem started when bands of highway robbers started pillaging villages and the government armed people to defend themselves, but later things escalated into a large-scale violence. “The violence then took a political turn, which is not to say that the political motivations of rebel groups were not valid. However, political agendas were furthered through the conflict,” he said. He said that stories about the Arabs carrying out ethnic cleansing agenda were baseless. “The conflict has escalated as there are no less than 18 rebel factions, not to mention Chad and Central African Republic which are now embroiled in the issue,” he said.
Al Khateeb then mentioned recent developments in the area, focusing mainly on the UN-AU hybrid force that has been agreed on by the Sudanese government, the AU and UN. The Sudanese government has been insisting on a peacekeeping force dominated by the AU because of the Abuja peace agreement that it signed with rebel. He rejected the impression that the Sudanese government was unwilling to deploy peacekeeping forces and said that it was willing to do what it could to resolve the crisis.
Sayeed Alkahteeb who is also Director of Institute of Strategic Studies, Sudan, said that Islamic countries were passing through a difficult phase in their international relations as well in their international situations whether it is Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Somalia, Sudan and a number of other Islamic countries.
He said that awareness of the situation in Sudan was widespread among the international community. He recounted that problem between Northern and Southern Sudan had persisted since before independence, and could be traced to the time of the British, who had the first hand in mismanaging the situation.
“Subsequent independent Sudanese governments also mishandled the situation to some extent, and in this process time and lives were wasted. However, in 2005 the Sudanese government signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) with the SLA, which made provisions for the establishment of an autonomous government in Southern Sudan,” he said. staff report