From Voice of America
Sudan Won’t Allow Darfur Peacekeepers to Use All Means Necessary
Sudan’s government is warning that it will not accept a joint United Nations and African Union force that has the mandate to use all means necessary – including force – to keep the peace in Darfur. As Nick Wadhams reports from Nairobi, a foreign ministry spokesman says he believes a compromise can be found even though the demand may be a deal-breaker for the U.N. Security Council.
Meanwhile according to the L.A.Times
Sudan’s president is taking a new tact by unveiling several projects meant to bolster the development of the war torn region.
Sudan’s president takes a new tack on Darfur
Meanwhile there is some question as to whether the underground lakes found in Darfur will be a blessing or a curse which will instigate more exploitation of the people as historically has been the case.
A godsend for Darfur, or a curse?
Successive Sudanese governments and their colonial precursors have adopted agricultural policies that have almost inevitably led to conflict. They have favored large mechanized farms and complex irrigation schemes, controlled by the government and its allies, over the small, rain-fed farms that are the backbone of the rural economy in much of Sudan.
In eastern Sudan, where a rebellion has been brewing for years, the Beja people have nursed grievances since Britain and Egypt ruled Sudan jointly during the first half of the 20th century. Under their rule, irrigation programs for commercial farming deprived the Beja of their prime grazing land.
Post-colonial governments, which in the early years had the blessing of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, took vast tracts of land in the name of agricultural development, turning farmers who worked their own land into wage laborers for the state and its allies.
Some Sudanese have even been pushed off their land entirely. In the early 1990s the Nuba people were forced into “peace villages,” where they provided a steady supply of cheap, captive labor to mechanized farms. In other areas, including parts of Darfur, intensive mechanized farming by the government and investors who were heedless to the need to protect the fertility of the land left large tracts barren.
A vast new agricultural scheme in a largely uninhabited swath of northern Darfur is more likely to fit into this destructive pattern than not, said John Prendergast, a founder of the Enough Project, an initiative of the Center for American Progress and the International Crisis Group to abolish genocide and mass atrocities.