Sudan: Rebels Winning Battles

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October 22, 2006: Uganda reported that it had "temporarily" closed its border with Sudan. At least 38 people were killed in the last week in ambushes around the south Sudan town of Juba. At first Uganda said the LRA was responsible. Now the attackers are being described as "unknown assailants."

October 21, 2006: Great Britain warned Sudan that unless Sudan acted to protect civilians in Darfur, it will face severe political consequences - code language for a UN-sponsored peacekeeping force in Darfur. Britain called on the European Union to act together to bring pressure on Sudan to control the Janjaweed militias in the Darfur region.

October 20, 2006: Russia said that Sudan is seeking a $1 billion loan to buy Russian military equipment. Sudan wants to acquire new aircraft and most of the loan would buy new jets and helicopters. These talks illustrate the political difficulties in forming a "united front" to sanction Sudan for the Darfur genocide. Russia sees Sudan as a market for its weapons and military supplies.

October 18, 2006: Darfur rebel groups appealed to the Sudan Liberation Army (Minnawi faction) to "rejoin the battle" against Sudan. The SLA (Minnawi) signed the May 5 peace agreement. The National Redemption Front (NRF, the revived rebel coalition) has said that rebel leader Minni Minnawi has been "betrayed" by Sudan. The NRF has argued the May 5 peace agreement is fatally flawed and the August 2006 Sudan offensive in North Darfur proved it. At the minimum, the NRF appeal to Minnawi is good politics and potentially sows discord in Khartoum.. Minnawi has complained about the delays in implementing the peace deal. Minnawi now has a position in the Sudan government.

It appears that the NRF defeated the Sudanese forces in North Darfur in at least two battles. The NRF defeated the Sudanese in a battle at Umm Sidr in September and in a second battle at Kari Yari in early October. Mention of this was made by UN representative Jan Pronk at his personal website, http://www.janpronk.nl/index264.html.

The NRF had claimed Sudanese forces and its allied Janjaweed militias had suffered significant defeats. There are also reports that more Janjaweed militiamen are being mobilized. The BBC interviewed a former member of the Janjaweed who said that he helped raid villages (in Darfur) after the villages were bombed by Sudan Air Force planes. There have been many interviews like this, too many to have been part of a deception campaign.

Sudan denied that it is supporting the Janjaweed. Sudan says it is trying to disarm the militias operate in Sudan.

October 16, 2006: Sudan and the Eastern Front rebel organization formally signed a peace agreement. Eritrea served as mediator in the negotiations. The peace deal was agreed to in late September. The agreement includes a power-sharing arrangement in three of Sudan's eastern states (Kassala, Red Sea, and Gaderaf). The Eastern Front is an "umbrella" group. It has two main factions, the Beja Congress and the Rashaida Free Lions.

October 13, 2006: The United States has enacted the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act of 2006. The act authorizes sanctions against "persons responsible for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity…" The act allows for broad sanctions against Sudan, including Sudan's oil and petro-chemical industries. Oil money fuels Sudan's war machine.

 

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