According to the new UN Secretary, it’s all about global warming [excerpts out of sequence]:Two decades ago, the rains in southern Sudan began to fail. According to U.N. statistics, average precipitation has declined some 40 percent since the early 1980s. Scientists at first considered this to be an unfortunate quirk of nature. But subsequent investigation found that it coincided with a rise in temperatures of the Indian Ocean, disrupting seasonal monsoons. This suggests that the drying of sub-Saharan Africa derives, to some degree, from man-made global warming.
It is no accident that the violence in Darfur erupted during the drought. Until then, Arab nomadic herders had lived amicably with settled farmers. A recent Atlantic Monthly article by Stephan Faris describes how black farmers would welcome herders as they crisscrossed the land, grazing their camels and sharing wells. But once the rains stopped, farmers fenced their land for fear it would be ruined by the passing herds. For the first time in memory, there was no longer enough food and water for all. Fighting broke out. By 2003, it evolved into the full-fledged tragedy we witness today…
At this point, nothing surprises me about this man at all. But Darfur conflict is mainly an ethnic and religious conflict in which the Government, arming and unleashing the Janjaweed militias, has caused an ethnic and religious cleasing of, firstly, the non-Muslims (Christians and Animists) and of the Black Muslims, afterwards, when the first ones were virtually exterminated. Of course, the huge sea of oil under Darfurian soil has also have something to do with it, specially for China, who is aggresively exploiting it. Hmm, no more blood for petrol!! Eeh, no, it’s China, all for the people…
But of course, for Ban Ki-Moon, the most important reason of all, is the climate change induced, to some extent, by man. Of course, the extent of this man’s influence is not even measured…
Alex de Waal is one of the most important experts on the Horn of Africa: Chasing Ghosts: Alex de Waal on the rise and fall of militant Islam in the Horn of Africa (2005):
Khartoum had been saved from certain military defeat when its adversaries fell out among themselves. In May 1998, Eritrea and Ethiopia went to war over their disputed border, and a couple of months later Ugandan and Rwandan troops fought each other in the occupied Congolese city of Kisangani. As the attempt to found an Islamic state was running into the sand, so was the rival left-wing project of revolutionary militarism. The guerrillas-turned-governments in the four ‘frontline states’ were, like the Sudanese leaders, concerned only with staying in power.
This parallel is more than a neat coincidence. The radical Islamists and their regional enemies shared ideological fervour and organisational discipline. Both believed that enduring problems of state and society could be overcome by revolutionary change; and, as this failed, both reverted to simple power politics. Like other political creeds, jihadist Islamism is shaped by the contours of local politics – and sometimes it vanishes into the landscape.
The demise of grand ideology in the Horn did not mean the end of violence or militancy. Various ideologies have emerged from the ruins of the Islamic state project. Most are regional or tribal. In Darfur and Chad, Arab supremacism took over. Leaders of the infamous Janjawiid militia adhere to the philosophy of Qoreish, according to which the lineal descendants of the Prophet Muhammad and his Qoreish tribe are entitled to rule Muslim lands. This supposedly gives the Arabic-speaking Saharan Bedouin of the Juhayna confederation the right to dominate all the land between the Nile and Lake Chad. While US Special Forces chase a handful of jihadists in the mountains of the central Sahara, they have overlooked this vicious and archaic ideology, which has spread far more havoc just a few miles to the south.
For a decade Khartoum has waged what the regime itself calls a jihad against Christians and tribalists in the South. A 1992 fatwa issued by a group of pro-Khartoum Sudanese imams declared: “An insurgent who was previously a Muslim is now an apostate and a non-Muslim is a non-believer standing as a bulwark against the spread of Islam, and Islam has granted the freedom of killing both of them.” This allowed for the murder of Christians and animists in the south; now it has been turned against the Muslims of Darfur, whose Islam doesn’t measure up to Khartoum’s hardline standards. Yet Annan has never acknowledged that what is going on in Sudan is a jihad. And this is just one manifestation of the by-now inescapable fact that the United Nations is damaged beyond repair. The Islamic states maintain an unbreakable solidarity. The only exception to their unwillingness to condemn other Muslim states came when Saddam Hussein’s Iraq attacked Kuwait.Meanwhile, the Europeans and Chinese have oil interests in Sudan that dovetail nicely at the UN with the Islamic bloc’s determination to repel any criticism. France, the most energetic opponent of UN sanctions against the Khartoum regime, is heavily invested in Sudan through its oil giant ElfTotal.
The emperor has no clothes, but Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Physicians for Human Rights and
Oxfam are still paying enthusiastic obeisance. A perusal of each of their websites demonstrates that they criticize the UN only with extreme reluctance and in the most muted tones. In a startling recrudescence of the old “white man’s burden” mentality, they tend to focus more anger at the United States and Western Europe for failing to stop killings than at the murderers themselves. And above all, they won’t describe the conflict as what it really is: a jihad, another example of the crying need for large-scale reform within Islam.
Well, Sarkozy has apparently changed the French ideas in this respect, firstly, calling for a Chinese intervention in the crisis, something very dificult to achieve considering the Chinese practices in Sudan. And secondly, by making Darfur, one of his priorities.
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