The Chaos in Darfur


Nairobi/Brussels: Violence in the Darfur region of Sudan’s far west continues unabated. Some 450,000 persons were displaced in 2014 and another 100,000 in January 2015 alone, adding to some two million long-term internally displaced persons (IDPs) since fighting erupted in 2003. The government remains wedded to a military approach and reluctant to pursue a negotiated national solution that would address all Sudan’s conflicts at once and put the country on the path of a democratic transition. Khartoum’s reliance on a militia-centred counter-insurgency strategy is increasingly counter-productive – not least because it stokes and spreads communal violence. Ending Darfur’s violence will require – beyond countrywide negotiations between Khartoum, the rebel Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) coalition and unarmed players – addressing its local dimensions, within both national talks and parallel local processes.

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Sudan is spiralling ever deeper into a multi-front war. Internal fragmentation along tribal lines and agendas has deepened. Nearly a million Darfurians have been newly displaced since early 2013, largely because of fighting between paramilitaries escaping government control. The Sudanese government’s counter-insurgency strategy based on militias and paramilitaries is increasingly backfiring.
Jérôme Tubiana, Consulting Analyst

Jérôme Tubiana
EJ Hogendoorn

To stop the chaos, Khartoum must allow for parallel peace processes locally, nationally and regionally. At the same time it should end its coercive strategy and gradually disarm militias and paramilitaries. Both government and opposition need to address the concerns of all communities from which the fighting forces are drawn, notably Darfur’s Arabs.
EJ Hogendoorn, Deputy Africa Program Director, @ejhogendoorn

Comfort Ero

African Union efforts to reach ceasefires in Sudan’s Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile provinces have stalled, largely because of Khartoum’s reluctance to negotiate on a basis other than the 2011 Doha Document for Peace in Darfur. But the Doha process is still largely unimplemented, and local fragmentation into armed communities now threatens to wreak havoc in neighbouring countries, including South Sudan. It is time for all to agree that the African Union, whose High Level Implementation Panel on Sudan and South Sudan has a mandate for those two countries, should coordinate with national processes and mitigate regional risks.
Comfort Ero, Africa Program Director, @EroComfort

Jean-Marie Guéhenno

There is no effective international Darfur peace strategy. The UN Security Council is increasingly divided over Sudan, and its hybrid mission with the African Union has too often proven too deferential to Khartoum. Aside from the humanitarian catastrophe, the international cost of the Darfur conflict alone likely is $20-25 billion since 2003. It is vital that the African Union and UN Security Council agree and firmly implement a new Sudan strategy that allows for parallel peace processes on three levels: local inter-tribal conferences, national dialogue and regional security talks.
Jean-Marie Guéhenno, President & CEO, @JGuehenno






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