Monday, June 1, 2009

Darfur/Chad. Genocide?

In Chad as in Sudan, those in power have problems of legitimacy. To maintain the conflict is for them the surest way to avoid shouldering their responsibilities.

-- Conclusion to "Guerre sans fin," a superb editorial in Le Monde. The essay begins by noting that anticipation of the arrival of annual rains, which largely preclude fighting, has once again stepped up combat on either side of the border between eastern Chad and the western Sudan region of Darfur. Even as some rebels prepare to attack the government of Chadian President Idriss Déby (left) from camps just across the border in Sudan, other rebels prepared to attack that of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (right) from camps in Chad. Anti-Déby rebels receive support from the government of Bashir, while anti-Bashir rebels receive support from that of Déby, Le Monde alleges, adding that neither Khartoum nor N'Djamena wishes to make war openly. Meanwhile, destitution reigns throughout the border region. The edito:
► Reminds of the complexity of naming the crisis "genocide" (a complexity creating a somewhat different set of problems in Cambodia, as today's post above details), as the United States but not many others have done. A recent Los Angeles Times article detailed the debate and posed the unanswered question of what international inertia means in the face of claims that Darfur is this century's 1st genocide.
► Underscores the need, about which we've posted in the past, for a regional solution to problems at this embattled frontier.

(credit for 2008 photo of Déby by Agence France-Presse/Karim Sahib; credit for 2009 photo of Bashir)

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