Friday, June 09, 2006



The fighting in the Sudan has been virtually ignored in the West, and yet it claims thousands of lives a month. What is going on there? What are they fighting over? What's happened since the peace treaty that was signed in 2005?

Der Speigel has one of the most comprehensive reports online at this time :

"Developments in Sudan are beginning to take on a form that's characteristic of many earlier wars elsewhere on the continent.

"Fighting initially revolves around recognizable political goals, such as access to land or resources, but then the conflict becomes increasingly splintered. Rebel groups split up and local warlords begin fighting for their own account and in their own interest.

"The war turns into a purpose unto itself, with peaceful resolution becoming an ever more distant goal.

"Sudan's south presents a textbook example. Although the rebels of the southern Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) signed a peace treaty with the government in Khartoum in January 2005, the fighting continues among various militia groups.

"Meanwhile, corruption and mismanagement are on the rise in the region. Secession and the rise of a new African dictatorship seems to be in the cards for this region of southern Sudan.

"The South, whose representatives currently form part of the government in Khartoum, is just as unlikely to help resolve the Darfur crisis as are the countries of the African Union.

"Because of the African Union's ineffectiveness, US President George W. Bush has been demanding for weeks now that its mandate be transferred to the United Nations, so that UN peacekeepers can finally put an end to the massacres and ensure that international aid is able to reach the population.

"The man in charge at the White House has recognized that this is an impossible task, and that it would require "NATO administration" and "probably twice the number of peacekeepers."

"But even that wouldn't put a stop to the suffering."

The whole story is worth a read. Go here.