Sudan and Central Darfur: State of Emergency

Sudan and Central Darfur: State of Emergency

Chika Mori and Noriko Watanabe 

Modern Tokyo Times

Sudan continues to face major internal problems. Hence, the political situation is tense alongside the weak infrastructure where poverty blights the country. Therefore, mounting ethnic clashes in the Blue Nile State and Central Darfur are putting enormous strains on the fragile state of affairs.

The situation is tense in Central Darfur after 24 people died in the latest clashes. Indeed, even mediators came under gunfire while seeking to defuse the latest ethnic crisis.

Voice of America reports, “After an emergency meeting of the state security committee on Sunday night, Central Darfur Governor Saad Adam Babiker issued an order declaring a state of emergency in all parts of Central Darfur for a period of one month.”

In April, officials from the United Nations stated hundreds of mainly non-Arab Massalit (Masalit) people were killed by Arab militia fighters in Darfur. By June, another major massacre occurred.

In the massacre in June, African News reports, Abkar al-Toum, a tribal leader in the town, said the dead included at least 62 bodies found burned after militias set more than 20 villages on fire...”

The Arab militia, the Janjaweed, was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of non-Arabs in Darfur – in the early 21st century. UN News reports, “The Darfur conflict began in 2003, between Sudanese Government forces, backed by militia groups known as the Janjaweed, pitted against mainly non-Arab Darfur rebel movements, angry over discrimination and neglect on the part of the central government. Hundreds of thousands were killed, and several million displaced by the brutal fighting.”

Lee Jay Walker says, “The fragility of Darfur looks set to continue for the foreseeable future in Sudan along with ethnic convulsions in other parts of the country. Hence, with the political situation being polarized in Khartoum – and enormous distrust remaining in Darfur – the cycle of ethnic massacres, internal refugees, poverty, and other ills, will continue for the foreseeable future.”

The fear is that former Islamists under President Omar al-Bashir will seek to gain from ethnic violence and the ongoing polarization of the political system.

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