Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"War of all against all"

Head of the Joint African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and Joint African Union-United Nations Special Representative Rodolphe Adada, told the Security Council this morning, "Darfur today is a conflict of all against all." This is surely an infelicitous phrasing. Without knowing Adada's background, and assuming you don't get to be where he is without being a good politician and sharp thinker, we have to assume the choice of words is deliberate. So then, in my humble opinion, the only conclusion to draw is that it is obfuscation. No follower of Sudanese politics should use phraseology like that unless he wants the general public to get a picture of "irresolvable" conflict because the actors are not clear. But the actors are quite clear in Darfur. GOS, JEM, various splinter rebel groups, SPLA, tribal authorities. There are a lot of actors, to be sure, and their motives are very complex. But it is not patternless.

I also found statements like this, "Political progress was frozen, at least until the implications of the International Criminal Court arrest warrant had become fully clear." to be disingenuous (if in fact that is what he said. The implications of the ICC arrest warrant are crystal clear. What is not clear is how GOS will deal with this. Note that this lack of clarity is not of a par with the inability of rebel commanders to come to agreement on a unified front. On one side is a formal government, whose head of state has been subject to an arrest warrant, through a legitimate international legal tribunal action stemming from a Security Council resolution. The lack of clarity stems from a deliberate flouting of international law. (Obligatory "Guantanamo too" parenthesis.)

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