Darfur and a Failure to Protect

Darfurnowlrg Eric Reeves in The Harvard International Review:

Darfur’s staggering figures make the question of international response all the more exigent: hundreds of thousands already dead; 2.5 million displaced, most losing everything; and 4.2 million human beings dependent on the world’s largest and most endangered humanitarian operation.

Answers are at once numerous and complex—and bluntly obvious. There has simply never been any stomach to confront, in effective and concerted fashion, the ruthless tyranny of the NIF. The regime came to power by military coup in 1989, deposing the elected government of Sadiq el-Mahdi and deliberately aborting Sudan’s most promising chance for peace since independence. Yet there have never been coordinated economic sanctions targeting the NIF leadership. There have never even been effective diplomatic sanctions, although the UN nominally imposed them in 1995 following the NIF’s role in the conspiracy to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa. On the contrary, commercial and capital investment in the Khartoum-dominated economy has been massive, coming from Europe, Canada, and Asian countries, primarily China.

Moreover, Khartoum has never faced a serious threat of non-consensual military action to halt genocide, even in Darfur, where the realities of large-scale, ethnically-targeted human destruction have been consistently and unambiguously reported since 2003.