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The Latest Rebels’ Suicidal Military Escalation in Darfur; What matters was only the "Halo Effect"

Mon, 05.06.2017 23:26



Briefing the accredited ambassadors of the permanent members of the Security Council, the Troika and the European Union in Khartoum, Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour, warned that the holdouts rebel movements, crossing from Libya and Southern Sudan, were trying to undermine the stability and peace in the region, and to drag the government-against its will- into a military confrontation, in order to abort the unilateral ceasefire announced by the government more than one year ago.
 
There should be no mistake, the timing of this military escalation was by no means coincidental; anti-Sudan circles have been racing against time in order to preempt and abort the evolving chances of a possible rapprochement between the Sudan and the United States and to sabotage the increased propensity and prospects toward the complete lifting of sanctions by next July.
 
Preceded by a frenzied media campaign to demonize Khartoum’s human rights record, the unleash or to be more precise - as shall be reviewed later -  the reproduction of military adventure, no matter what, the entailed costs and the losses, should be understood as the last-ditch effort, to change the status quo in Darfur. In fact it has been anticipated, the closer the deadline for the complete lifting of the economic embargo, the more desperate and mad the anti-Sudan circles would be.
 
In other words, ostensibly the military façade of this stereotype suicidal military adventure hid a sinister political strategy of dragging the otherwise relatively stable Darfur, in yet another military escalation, at this very specific time frame. The apparent scheme is primarily premised on exploiting the ensuing media pang or the "halo effect", to turn tables on the Sudan government’s ongoing resilient and celebrated efforts to restore peace and order in Darfur in recent years.
 
Sadly enough, the said "halo effect", could be clearly pulsed in both the statements of UNAMID or the Troika issued immediately in the aftermath of the rebels military attack. Both statements are feared to have fallen to the trap set by those who orchestrated this suicide military escalation in the first place.
 
Both statements perhaps fell short of calling things by their real names. Ambiguity in such a situation not only equates between the aggressor and the aggressed upon, but more importantly, serves the overt and covert purposes of those who planned, financed and launched this military operation across the borders from Libya and South Sudan. The bottom line –for now- is that Sudan as a sovereign country has been a victim of direct terrorist aggression by some neighboring countries and in a flagrant violation of international law. At the end of the day Sudan has only exercised the right of self-defense and its responsibility to restore security and stability in its territories.
 
It was not coincidental that, the mauled military attempt comes at a time Darfur has been virtually recuperating of security threats, entering entered a new phase of security and stability. It comes at a time the people of Darfur have accepted the challenge of diverting their resources and energies for development and reconstruction, and for patching up their social fabric, unnecessarily torn apart, by years of abhorrent conflicts. This positive shift in Darfur has been clearly authenticated by both regional and international testimonies;
 
1.       The newly appointed head of Darfur hybrid mission (UNAMID) Jeremiah N. Mamabolo told the UN Security Council last April, that security situation in the western Sudan region has changed and the fighting has by far diminish. Adding that Darfur of today is a very different place from what this region was in 2003 when the armed conflict began, and from that of a year ago. Based on this conclusion, the joint envoy said discussions on UNAMID exit strategy from Darfur continue to take place.
2.       In 15th May 2017, The 15 members of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) have ended a five-day visit to Sudan, which took them to Darfur, where they hailed the significant improvement in the overall situation in Darfur as well as the cooperation between the government and the council.
3.       By the same token, and upon his return from Darfur on May 18th, the current President of the of the Security Council, the Ukrainian ambassador, Vladimir Yelchenko, made an important statement that the Sudan and Darfur in particular, is witnessing considerable progress and development in the overall situation, praising the cooperation of the Sudanese government. Sudan hopes that Yelchenko’s statement in Khartoum would be translated in the upcoming Security Council measures on Darfur.
4.       More importantly however, on May 22nd 2017, the tripartite mechanism of Sudan’s government, the United Nations and the African Union, approved a joint work plan stipulating gradual withdrawal of the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) from many areas in the region. In the joint communique the mechanism reiterated full improvement of the security and humanitarian conditions in all Darfur states, and approved the recommendations earlier agreed upon which stipulate gradual exit of UNAMID from many areas and restructuring of the mission.
In fact, in complete disregard for the expressed regional and international resentment, the holdout rebel movements, continued to manifest intransigence toward different and consecutive peace initiative whether in Darfur or the two areas. The latest of which has been the American initiative and proposal for the delivery of aid assistance to the civilians in the rebel held areas in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile.
That very intransigence has recently prompted even Donald Booth, the U.S. envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, to warn and ask the international community to be very wary; that these holdout rebels are more than willing to ignore the interests and the well-being of ordinary civilians, in favor of their own narrow political ambitions, no matter what are the costs.
 
In fact, in complete disregard for the expressed regional and international resentment, the holdout rebel movements, continued to manifest intransigence toward different and consecutive peace initiative whether in Darfur or the two areas. The latest of which has been the American initiative and proposal for the delivery of aid assistance to the civilians in the rebel held areas in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile.
 
That very intransigence has recently prompted even Donald Booth, the U.S. envoy to Sudan and South Sudan, to warn and ask the international community to be very wary; that these holdout rebels are more than willing to ignore the interests and the well-being of ordinary civilians, in favor of their own narrow political ambitions, no matter what are the costs.
 
Again that narrow political ambitions was quite evident in the fact that, albeit all sincere domestic, regional and international efforts calling for lifting of the American sanctions, due to their proven full negative impacts is on innocent citizens in Sudan, the holdout rebels opted to be in the wrong side of history, calling unequivocally instead, for instilling and furthering of the said sanctions.  Such isolated and disgraceful position was strongly condemned by almost all sectors of the Sudanese people, including those who do oppose the Sudanese government.
 
By the same token, despite all indications on the ground, do confirm that Sudanese forces were not only in their maximum alert and preparedness; being in full control of battle theatre all over Darfur, but also the intelligence about the movements of the rebel forces whether in South Sudan and Libya, were both anticipated and closely monitored, the self-proclaimed leaders of holdout rebels, from their luxurious hotels in big world capitals, opted to gamble again and again, leading their remnant combatants to death and destruction.
 
History shall harshly judge the unscrupulous and Machiavellian rebel leaders, who propelled by the very narrow political ambitions, continue to tool and scapegoat these misguided Sudanese youth, every now and then in a yoke of a losing battle. They were-in no time- mauled and inflicted stupendous losses in lives and equipment. In fact in the last showdown, prominent and historical rebel leaders were either killed or captured.
 
History repeats itself, the humiliating defeat of the rebels in northern and eastern Darfur, was in fact a copy past reminiscence of previous suicidal attempts with invariably many underlying commonalities;
 
1.       In April 2015, heavily- armed 1, 100 JEM rebels, with the intention to attack and sabotage Sudanese oil facilities in Higleej, after months of protracted and sophisticated training in South Sudan, infiltrated the Sudanese borders. They were utterly mauled and devastated in Goz Dango (South Darfur). Out of the invading force, only 37 of whom, managed to escape, gasping for breath, back into South Sudan. The Sudanese forces captured intact, around 200 vehicles of the invading rebel forces.
2.       Likewise, earlier in May 2008, JEM rebels in yet another suicidal act, attempted to assault the capital Khartoum- hundreds of kilometers from their bases in the west- suffered their first crushing defeat, with hundreds captured, wounded or killed. Besides, at least two-thirds of the 180 vehicles involved in the assault were destroyed.
Ironically enough, only in March this year, in a political gesture to reinforce regional peace initiatives and to reinforce the unilateral cessation of hostilities, Khartoum has pardoned and released 259 of the captives in both of the above military adventures, dozens of whom had been already sentenced to death. On its part, the international community and particularly chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Dr. Zuma issued statement welcoming Khartoum’s release and the respective commutation of sentences.

By Mubarak M.Musa Diplomat;

Embassy of Sudan in Ukraine, Kiev

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Opinions expressed below do not reflect the opinions of SP "Ukraine in Arabic," they only reflect the views of the author.



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