Posted by: bklunk | December 4, 2006

Questions 67 and 68 or Something Like That

A question from s-berg:

What’s really going on with the Sudanese government?

The Sudanese
government in Khartoum has for years stressed that they want no intervention in
the Darfur region.  In fact, they will not
allow UN troops into Darfur, despite their willingness to invest troops and
money into the region to stop the suspected genocide and to aid the refugees
and IDPs in the region.  The government
has been accused of supporting the Janjaweed, the arab forces that have been
raiding villages in Darfur and killing many black Sudanese.  The government continues to deny this
association (though it is pretty well accepted that they at one point provided
arms to the militia), and they claim that UN intervention would be similar to
neo-imperialism.  They allow African
Union troops into Darfur, but not UN troops. 
However, they allow UN peacekeeping mission in the rest of the country.  Why is this?  Most international media sources are unable to explain Sudan’s
motives for denying this aid.  Is
Sudan’s fear of imperialism and foreign intervention justified? 

The president Omar
Bashir has related UN intervention to an invasion.  He has also suggested that Darfur could become a new battlefield
for Jihadists if there were Western intervention.  He is even quoted as saying “Those who made the publicity, those
who mobilised the people, invariably are Jewish organizatoins.”  This is refering to the international
criticism of the regime, coming from the US, the UN, and numerous states and

Now, hold on, is
he suggesting that much of the divide is still on ideological grounds?  Is it an Islam-West divide?  The recent release of the document “Alliance
of Civilizations” was put together by heads of state in both the Muslim world
and the West, arguing that there must be a bridging of the gap between these
two societies.  The document argues that
one of the major obstacles that is keeping these societies from cooperating is
the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.  Until
the oppression of the Palestinian people is stopped, and until there is peace
in Israel, the ideological divide is passionately carried on in both the Muslim
world and the West.  While this anecdote
may seem irrelevant to the situatin in Darfur, it might actually explain the
Sudanese government’s rationality for choosing not to allow the UN into
Darfur.  The UN is backed by the US, who
also backs Israel.  It is possible that
Sudan has an ideological basis for not allowing the conflict to be resolved by
the UN. 

I cannot judge whether or not this motive is
strong enough to deny the most capable humanitarian aid to the displaced,
war-ravaged people in Sudan. 
What do
you think?

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  1. The question of humanitarian intervention is an extremely complex one. It seems that Sudan should want the United States to help them, but this isn’t the case according to the article above. Why is this?
    I think the issue comes down to a few questions. First, what is the regime like in Sudan? If they are anything like what I have read or heard about, or if they are anything like the regime that was in control of Rwanda during their genocide, of course they aren’t going to want the United States to intervene. Why would they want a stronger power to meddle in their affairs? They don’t want the United States to step in an jeopardize their power in the region. But, are there other people in the country demanding intervention? Who should the United States listen to and go along with?
    This brings me to my second question which is… does the United States have a moral responsibility to intervene in another country, if there is evidence that gross violations of human rights are taking place. Is it our duty to step in, or is it a violation of sovereignty and an imposition of our Western ideals on another cultural and ethical system? There is a very thin line between imposition and doing what is “right”. Obviously, most people in the United States would say that we should not let another genocide occur, or that we do have a moral responsibility to stop violations of human rights from occuring, but is that simply a Western ideal? Would everyone in the world agree with that policy? I can’t even begin to answer these questions, but I am curious to hear what others think.

  2. Is it possible that the Sudanese government does not want the U.N. or the United States to intervene because they look at Iraq and see the potential for that situation to take place in their country? Maybe the Sudanese government is fearful of becoming another governmental puppet for the United States and if that were the case then the Western-Islamic conflict would more than likely explode.
    Addressing the question of whether or not the U.S. has a moral responsibility to intervene in another country when human rights are being violated, I would have to say yes if it were truly based on a moral view. Unfortunately, we tend not to help out a lot of countries based on morals unless it somehow manages to benefit us in at least one way or another.

  3. Our wiki group assignment was on Darfur and I am also assigned to do failed states blogging, which is ironic because Sudan is currently number one on the “failed-states list.” I guess that would be obvious since there is a genocide going on, but with all my research on Darfur I have never came upon a connection with the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict and the genocide in Darfur. Yet, I believe that in some ways this can be a valid comparison and perhaps give another perspective as to why President Omar Al-Bashir keeps on refusing UN intervention. My number one reason as to why he is refusing is because he and his government are systematically planning the genocide. This seems clear because of the continuous actions of the Janjaweed, their immersion into the Sudanese army, and Bashir’s lack of action. But getting back to the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, once again, it may be a possibility that Sudan’s resistance is due to hostility and animosity towards the U.S. or the “west,” but then again one can say that just about anyone in the world, except for those of us who live here. It sounds blunt and arguable, but in most cases it is true. Therefore, I believe that the situation in Sudan and the Sudanese government are not concerned with religious fundamentalism or the conflict between the middle east or the U.S. Just like any other nation, the Sudanese government or President Bashir to be specific is simply on a power hunt, only concerned with keeping his political, social, and economic control- sadly, even if it means the death of his people.

  4. I agree with Suhaila Aziz, that Sudan may refuse UN assistence because they could potentially recognize them as a failed state. If this were to happen it could potentially give the UN more jurisdiction in the country. It was interesting to read the article above because I’ve never heard of this conflict being one of ideology, and even though Omar Bashir has clear feelings against Jewish and Western organizations I do not believe that is the reason he is not letting in the UN.

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