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ICC NOTE: Despite the Darfur peace agreement, Khartoum is continuing to attack civilians in the West. Coupled with limited humanitarian aid, the situation in Darfur worsens. The regime in Sudan is clearly not going to keep it’s promises to the people of Darfur .

Darfur Security in Freefall: Humanitarian Collapse May Occur Any Moment

For the full article go to ereeves on Jul 11, 2006

VIOLENCE IN NORTH DARFUR

A series of recent news reports, none yet sufficiently full, as well as UN reports and confidential intelligence paint a terrifying picture of the security situation in North Darfur . Most significantly, there are many, mutually confirming reports that the Minni Minawi faction of the SLA has been supported by regular military forces of the Khartoum regime in attacks on his SLA rivals and on civilians perceived as supporting these rivals. Minawi’s SLA is becoming the “new Janjaweed” in the eyes of many Darfuris. This vicious collaboration is being justified, in utterly specious fashion, as “DPA implementation,” directed against “outlaws” (those who have not signed or do not support the fatally flawed DPA). Nothing will destroy the last vestiges of credibility in the DPA more rapidly than such continued assaults.

It is also reported, by several highly reliable sources, that Khartoum has deployed in this fighting at least one military helicopter that bears the AU logo and is painted in the white color defining AU vehicles and aircraft. This has already produced a very recently shooting attack on an actual AU patrol helicopter. Khartoum ’s use of this disguised helicopter(s) is a clear violation of international law, and constitutes a war crime. Disgracefully, the AU has not spoken publicly about this exceedingly dangerous action, even as there are many scores of witnesses, including UN personnel, who can confirm the facts. This contributes to an already seething anger among people in the camps, who neither trust the AU nor believe the AU mission is committed to serious protection efforts.

Moreover, as one particularly well-placed source remarks, the perception that the AU has sided with the Minawi faction of the SLA is further encouraged by the AU practice of offering “direct support to Minni Minawi, [including providing] housing and driving him and his commanders around” (nominally in the interests of DPA implementation). For these and other reasons, festering resentment of AU impotence has now grown into a full-blown rage that makes various elements of the AU mission impossible, especially in camps with large concentration of Fur displaced persons. In a growing number of camps, the AU patrols simply dare not enter. The camps are also scenes of increasing separation along ethnic lines, with Fur and Zaghawa “ghettoes” appearing in locations where they are both present. The potential for growing ethnic violence throughout Darfur, deliberately and consistently encouraged by Khartoum , is enormous.

If for no other reason, the growing perception of the AU as having taken sides with Minni Minawi—and thus against those oppose Minawi’s faction–fatally compromises the AU mission. In the absence of robust international intervention—with or without Khartoum’s assent, as Aegis Trust rightly argues under present circumstances—millions of civilians will experience the effects of rapidly declining security and the consequences of growing numbers of humanitarian suspensions and evacuations.