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Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW): 4 GW is war between societies, about culture, by irregular combatans, against nonmilitary as well as military targets, to influence the mind of the other side – rather than war between nations, about borders, by regular armed forces, against other armed forces, to destroy them. Targets: vulnerable infrastructure, institutions, populations, cultural icons, culture itself, armed forces
What has Caused the Unrest? - Darfwur
The gunmen in Darfur claim to be acting because of the region's alleged underdevelopment. These claims are not immediately borne out by the facts. Before the present government came to power in 1989, there were only 16 high schools in Darfur: there are presently some 250 schools. In 1989 there were 27,000 students in schools; there are now more than 440,000. In 1989 there was not a single university in Darfur; there are now three. Before 1989 here was not a single airport in Darfur; there are now three. There has been a three-fold increase in paved roads since 1989. And, politically, Darfur is very well represented at all levels of Sudanese society from the federal cabinet on downwards. The claims made by the rebels to represent all Darfur, and that they are acting because of Darfur-wide "underdevelopment", are undermined by the fact that the SLA is based on almost exclusively upon the Zaghawa tribe.
What has become obvious is that whatever legitimate issues may have arisen out of concerns about underdevelopment they have been hijacked by various opportunistic forces to serve different ends. Eritrea has militarily, logistically and politically assisted the Darfur gunmen in its continuing attempts to destabilise Sudan. Khartoum has lodged official complaints with the United Nations and African Union. (7) The Sudanese government has also pointed to the agreement signed in the Eritrean capital between Darfur gunmen and elements of the Beja Congress, an armed anti-government group based in Eritrea.(8)
Islamic extremists identified with the party of Islamic fundamentalist leader Dr Hasan al-Turabi are politically involved with the rebels. Dr Hasan al-Turabi, the leader of the Islamist Popular National Congress (PNC) party, has admitted that 30 members of his party have been arrested in connection with activities in Darfur. (9) Turabi has also admitted supporting the Darfur insurrection: "We support the cause, no doubt about it...we have relations with some of the leadership." (10) In November 2003, an unnamed PNC official admitted that some party members were involved in the Darfur conflict.(11)
In any instance, it is clear that the gunmen who have caused so much havoc in Darfur have had considerable outside assistance. The 'Sudan Liberation Army' were reported by Agence France Presse to have "weapons, vehicles and modern satellite communications". (12) UN media sources have also noted claims by tribal leaders that the rebels have better weapons than the Sudanese army. (13) The rebels have also been receiving military supplies by air. (14) And, in a disturbing resonance of the gunmen who have dominated parts of Somalia in four-wheel drive "technicals", the gunmen have also been operating in groups of up to 1,000 men in four-wheel drive vehicles.(15)
National and Regional Implications
UN media sources have noted that it has been said that attempts to link Darfur to the wider Sudanese peace process might retard the Kenya talks between the Government and SPLA, and would be viewed as a "reward" for armed insurrection. (16) It is a matter of record that the violence in Darfur was initiated just as the long-running Sudanese civil war is reaching a peaceful, negotiated conclusion through lengthy IGAD-brokered talks in Kenya. Mr Tom Vraalsen, the UN secretary-general's special envoy for humanitarian affairs for Sudan, has pointed out the regional implications of the Darfur conflict: "A continuation of the problems in Darfur could have serious political repercussions in the sense that it could destabilize the area along the Chad-Sudan border and it could have repercussions also regionally if it continues. It has to be brought to an end." (17) The danger of another Somalia is looming. Do we want to surrender Darfur to rootless Somalia-type gunmen motivated by opportunism and greed?
The Need for a Negotiated Settlement - The Government of Sudan has declared its commitment to a peaceful solution to the Darfur conflict.(18) The Sudanese interior minister restated this in January 2004: "Whenever (the rebels) are ready to talk, we are ready to talk to them. We have no conditions at all." (19) As early as February 2003, the government sought to defuse the conflict through negotiations. (20) In 2003, the Chadian government, parts of which are drawn from the Zaghawa tribe (Chadian President Idriss Deby is Zaghawa), offered to mediate between the government and rebels. The Sudanese government has welcomed continuing Chadian mediation in the conflict (21), and Sudanese Vice-President Ali Osman Taha has also had meetings with Darfurian opposition leader Ahmed Ibrahim Diraige with a view to an immediate ceasefire. (22) Vice-President Taha and Mr Diraige agreed that the proper way to settle the conflict is through "dialogue".
The government of Chad has been instrumental in negotiating ceasefires in western Sudan in September 2003 and earlier. Chadian Government mediators declared in December 2003 placed the blame for the stalling of peace talks on the rebels: "There has been a breakdown in negotiations because of unacceptable rebel demands. The talks have been suspended: it's a failure". (24) In what was seen as a deliberate attempt to derail the peace talks, the SLA demanded military control of the region during a transitional period, 13 percent of all Sudan's oil earnings and SLA autonomy in administering Darfur. (25) It was claimed that the Islamic fundamentalist opponents of the Sudanese government had been instrumental in sabotaging the negotiations. (26) The government named senior PNC members Hassan Ibrahim, Suleiman Jamous, Abubakr Hamid and Ahmed Keir Jebreel as having been responsible. (27) JEM has refused to join in mediated peace talks. (28)Humanitarian Issues "Al-Turabi Denounces US Role in Peace Process", News Article by Al- Hayat (London), 26 January 2004.
10 "Peace Still Some Way Off in Sudan", Middle East International (London), 8 January 2004.
11 "Sudanese Government Warns Opposition Party to Stop 'Sedition' in West", News Article by Associated Press, 23 November 2003.
12 "New Rebel Group Seizes West Sudan Town", News Article by Agence France Presse, 26 February 2003.
13 "The Escalating Crisis in Darfur", News Article by Integrated Regional Information Networks, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 31 December 2003.
14 See, for example, "Sudan Accuses Southern Separatists of Supplying Arms to Darfur Rebels", News Article by Agence France Presse, 28 April 2003, and "Sudanese Armed Forces Attack an Unidentified Plane for Helping Western Rebels", News Article by Associated Press, 28 August 2003.
15 "Dozens Reported Killed or Wounded in Attack in Western Sudan", News Article by Agence France Presse, 6 October 2003.
16 "The Escalating Crisis in Darfur", News Article by Integrated Regional Information Networks, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 31 December 2003.
17 "Situation in Sudan's Dafour Region 'Very Serious', Says UN Envoy", News Article by Africa Online, 16 January 2004.
18 "Government Prefers Political Solution to Darfur Problem, Sudan's FM Says", News Article by Agence France Presse, 20 January 2004.
19 "Sudan Says Ready to Talk Peace to Darfur Rebels", News Article by Reuters, 13 January 2004.
20 See, for example, "Sudan to Hold Conference in Bid to Quell Tribal Violence in Darfur", News Article by Associated Press, 22 February 2003.
21 "Sudan Hails New Chad Mediation in Rebellion-hit Western Darfur: Report", News Article by Agence France Press, 3 February 2004.
22 "West Sudan Rebels Agree to Face-to-Face Aid Talks", News Article by Reuters, 3 February 2004.
23 "Sudan Vice-President Holds Talks With Rebel Leader", News Article by Xinhua, 24 January 2004.
24 "Sudan Govt, SLA Rebels Peace Talks Break Down in Chad", News Article by Associated Press, 16 December 2003.
25 "Peace Talks Break Off Between Sudan Government and Darfur Rebels", News Article by Agence France Presse, 16 December 2003.
26 "Sudan Charges That Meddling Sabotaged Chad-Hosted Peace Talks", News Article by Agence France Presse, 17 December 2003.
27 "Sudan Accuses Eritrea, Popular Congress Party of Supporting Darfur Rebels", News Article by Agence France Press, 19 December 2003.
28 "W. Sudan Rebels Say Killed 1,000 Govt Troops, Militia", News Article by Reuters, 19 January 2004.
29 "Agreement Reached Allowing Humanitarian Access to Darfur Region of Sudan", Press Release by United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, New York, 17 September 2003.
30 "Feature - Death and Destruction in Darfur", News Article by Integrated Regional Information Networks, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 11 December 2003.
31 "Workers in Sudan Aid Convoy Killed", News Article by BBC News, 28 October 2003.
32 "USAID Seeks Security for Aid Convoys to War-Torn Area of Sudan", News Article by Agence France Presse, 26 October 2003.
33 "Sudanese Government Accuses Rebels of Murdering its Relief Workers", News Article by Agence France Presee, 17 November 2003.
34 "Rebel Faction Admits Abducting Relief Workers in Sudan", News Article by Agence France Presse, 20 November 2003.
35 "Authorities Forcibly Close IDP Camps in Southern Darfur", News Article by Integrated Regional Information Networks, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 16 January 2004.
36 "Aid Workers Unable to Reach Most War Zones in Darfur, Western Sudan", News Article by Deutsche Presse Agentur, 13 January 2004.
37 "Sudan Says Trying to Secure Access for Relief to Darfur Region", News Article by Agence France Presse, 7 January 2004.
38 "Sudan: Urgent Call for Commission of Inquiry in Darfur as Situation Deteriorates", Press Release by Amnesty International, 21 February 2003.
39 "Khartoum Stepping Up Arrests in Strife-Torn Darfur: Amnesty", News Article by Agence France Presse, 6 August 2003.
40 See, for example, "Sudan: Alarming Increase in Executions in Darfur Region", Press Release by Amnesty International, London, 28 June 2002.
41 "The Escalating Crisis in Darfur", News Article by Integrated Regional Information Networks, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 31 December 2003.
42 "The Escalating Crisis in Darfur", News Article by Integrated Regional Information Networks, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 31 December 2003.
43 "Pressure Seen as Key to Ending Sudan's Western War", News Article by Reuters, 28 January 2004.
44 "War in Western Sudan Overshadows Peace in the South", The New York Times, 17 January 2004.
45 "The Escalating Crisis in Darfur", News Article by Integrated Regional Information Networks, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 31 December 2003.
46 "Sudanese Gov't 'Largely Responsible' for Abuses in Darfur, Says Watchdog", News Article by Integrated Regional Information Networks, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 27 November 2003.
47 "War in Western Sudan Overshadows Peace in the Souht", The New York Times, 17 January 2004.
48 "Court Sentences 24 to Death for Killing 35 People in Tribal Raid", News Article by Associated Press, 27 April 2003.
49 "Sudan Sentences 14 to Death for Arson in Turbulent Western Province", News Article by Agence France Presse, 16 October 2003.
50 "State of Emergency After Southern Darfur Tribal Clashes", News Article by Integrated Regional Information Networks, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 22 May 2002.
51 "W. Sudan Rebels Say Killed 1,000 Govt Troops, Militia", News Article by Reuters, 19 January 2004.
>> THE POLITICAL SITUATION -
Annan urges political solution for Sudan's Darfur 'as soon as possible'
Sudan talks with Darfur rebels to start Friday
Chad welcomes political declaration issued by Sudanese president
Sudan President urges the held of national conference on Darfur
Darfur is part of a wider problem
Darfur deal a must for UN success in Sudan - Annan
Broken on the old battlelines drawn in the Saharan sands
Sudanese president committed to ending conflict in western Darfur region
Sudan's fact-finding committee on Darfur begins its work
Sudan swears in committee to investigate reports of human rights violations in Darfur
Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the situation in Darfur, western Sudan
Bashir sets up panel to probe human rights abuses in Darfur
Sudanese president forms fact-finding committee for Darfur
AU observers due in Sudan's Darfur region in next few days
Sudan to ease aid worker travel to troubled W. Sudan
Sudan says aid workers no longer need pass to visit Darfur
Special Report II: Chad And the Darfur Conflict
Sudan, Chad pledge security cooperation
Presidents of Chad and Sudan meet to discuss rebellion in western Sudan
Secretary-General encouraged by agreement for talks on Darfur region of Sudan
Sudan Violence 'Is Not State-Sponsored'
The Sudanese Parties Sign the Agreement on the Modalities for the Establishment of the Ceasefire Commission and the Deployment of Observers in the Darfur
The Darfur Crisis: Looking beyond the propaganda
UN to discuss crisis in Sudan
Darfur and the proliferation of armed conflict in Africa
Et Tu Brutus