Ten Years of the Darfur Crisis – The Need for a New Approach
In the last two weeks, Sudan is experiencing the worst human rights violations by the government. The opposition leaders who signed the New Dawn Charter remain in custody. Massive security harassment and arrests of Christians and the closure of Christian churches and centers has taken place. The last one was the closing down of the Anglican center and the confiscation of the Anglican bookstore in Khartoum-Bahri three days ago. They arrested some of the protesting medical doctors who are against the policy of continuing privatization of the health sectors in the interest of the National Congress business sector at the time the health sector is increasingly becoming non-functional and full of corruption. Discontent and protests were also in Gezira State and Darfur during the visit of National Congress leaders. Mariam Awad, a SPLM-N activist, was arrested when she joined the protest of the Sudanese medical doctors. Continuous bombardment of the IDPs in Blue Nile, Nuba Mountains and Darfur which resulted in killing and wounding civilians in Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile last week. This came on the occasion of a decade since the genocide started in Darfur, and the Peace Talk Forum is being disregarded by Khartoum and is used for public relations. Khartoum is looking for a fundraising conference in Doha to continue the genocide and war in Darfur. For the Addis Ababa talks between the SPLM-N and Khartoum, the focus has shifted by Khartoum. Instead of focusing on how to address the humanitarian crisis and the other real issues, the focus is now whether the Khartoum delegation will come or not as if their coming is an achievement by itself! It is the usual practice of Khartoum to buy time. Yet the SPLM-N is ever ready for a humanitarian cessation of hostilities and for a solution that will bring democracy, respect of human rights and national consensus. On the 10th year of the Darfur crisis, it has become apparently clear that the solution for the Darfur crisis can only be achieved when we have a paradigm shift from the old policies of Khartoum to the new policies that are based on respect of human rights, just peace and national reconciliation.
After ten years, we can surely say that the policies adopted to resolve the Darfur crisis and for that matter the Sudan crisis have not yielded tangible results and apparently there is a clear need for a new approach and new policies to resolve the Darfur crisis and the Sudan question.
Secretary General, SPLM-N
February 27, 2013