“Like these horsemen of the Apocalypse, who descend at dawn on rebel villages and leave nothing in their wake but burning ruins, everything about this conflict is shadowy. How many deaths in the past 4 years? Ten thousand, according to the Sudanese authorities; four hundred thousand, according to the NGOs. What should we call the Darfur tragedy? Counter-insurgency war, ways Khartoum; war crime, says the UN; crime against humanity, says the European Union.; first genocide of the 21st century, add the western intellectuals, recent authors of an appeal to their respective governments. What is the solution to it? Disarm the rebel forces, argues president-general Omar el-Bechir; arm the rebel forces reply the intellectuals and the lobbies; negotiate and impose sanctions on the Sudanese regime, opines the UN…In this maelstrom of passions, of manipulations and sometimes of irresponsibility, some certainties are nevertheless emerging” (Jeune Afrique, 1-14 April 2007).
In fact we can be certain about the responsibility for these crimes: it lies with the great imperialist powers and their local muscle, the Khartoum government and the rebels. It is these capitalist brigands (in particular the Chinese, the Americans and the French) and their local pawns who are behind these hateful massacres, which are indeed crimes against humanity.
What is the bourgeoisie reallyoing about the ‘genocide’?
“Faced with this chronicle of disaster, the UN and the African Union have adopted essentially symbolic measures. For two years, an inter-African force of 7,500 men, the African Union Mission in Sudan, (AMIS) has been deployed in Darfur. This force has shown itself to be completely ineffectual. Its forces are too weak: you would need at least 30,000 men to cover the five hundred thousand square kilometres of Darfur. Furthermore the AMIS is under-equipped and has a ridiculously restrictive mandate: the soldiers don’t have the right to carry out offensive patrols; they have to limit themselves to ‘negotiating’ and in fact are reduced to keeping count of the killings…The African soldiers are desolate and have themselves declared in private that ‘we are of no use at all’”(Le Monde Diplomatique, March 2007).
This is yet another example of the shameless hypocrisy of the imperialist powers who rule the world. They are once again showing their true face in Darfur. The leaders vote for ‘peace resolutions’ and, under UN colours, send soldiers to Darfur whose mission consists of counting the killings, not preventing them as has been claimed with much fanfare. But what else should we expect from the UN, this nest of vultures picking over the carcass of Africa?
Media parades and macabre ballets
But the height of cynicism is reached when the bourgeoisies of the great powers try to camouflage their real responsibilities in the Darfur tragedy through highly publicised ‘mercy missions’ to the agonised victims.
To stifle any reflection and any development of consciousness about their real aims in Darfur, the ‘great democracies’ have regularly organised ‘humanitarian safaris’ in Darfur and meetings and rallies in the capital cities ‘in support of the victims of Sudanese genocide’. For example on 20 March, with the help of Hollywood stars like George Clooney, there was a big meeting in Paris organised by a coalition of groups baptised ‘Urgence Darfur’, and composed essentially of media celebrities (Bernard Kouchner, Bernard-Henri Levy, Romain Goupil and other representatives of the national ‘humanitarian’ lobbies). The aim was “to put Darfur on the agenda of the presidential elections”. And indeed the candidates (especially Segolene Royale and Francois Bayrou) responded to the appeal by signing a text which, alongside other measures, calls for the intervention of French troops (in action in Chad and Central Africa) in order to set up ‘humanitarian corridors’ in Darfur. And like all good demagogues, the presidential candidates wanted to go even further with this cynicism: “with a firmness unprecedented in France, the document hasn’t prevented certain candidates from going further, like Segolene Royale (Socialist Party) and Francois Bayrou (UDF) who are proposing a boycott of the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 in order to put pressure on China, presented as the main supporter of Khartoum in the UN Security Council” (Jeune Afrique).
What unscrupulous hypocrites and mystifiers the French and American bourgeoisies are! They are no more than masked defenders of their own imperialist interests. As if France was not already involved in the conflict though its support for the Chad regime, the adversary of the ‘genocidal’ Sudanese regime. And this makes it easier to grasp the real aims of the ‘humanitarian’ lobbies who are calling openly for an intervention by the French army in order to create a ‘humanitarian corridor’ in the combat zones. And it’s no accident that China in particular is being denounced as the main supporter of Khartoum. “States such as China, the US and France are working in the shadows to aid their local and regional clients. For a long time Paris has protected Khartoum from ‘Anglo-Saxon’ hostility but this has not earned it any gratitude from the Islamic regime. The oil franchise for Total in the south of Sudan has been blocked for a long time by legal squabbles, and the regime’s militias are being used from their base in Darfur to destabilise the allies of France: Chad’s president Idris Deby and his Central African equivalent, Francois Bozize” (Le Monde Diplomatique, March 2007)
And to conclude, certain sectors of the French bourgeoisie are asking openly whether, by equipping the Khartoum-backed militias, who have got as far as the outskirts of N’Djamena, Beijing is trying to overthrow the pro-French regimes in the region of central Africa. And there’s no doubt that Beijing is today Sudan’s top arms supplier and the main customer for its oil. We can see why China didn’t want to vote for UN resolutions, claiming that it didn’t “respect Sudanese national sovereignty”.
This is a real worry for French imperialism and it explains the real goal of the well-publicised ‘protests’, which are essentially aimed at France’s imperialist rivals, China and the US. It’s true that the latter is no slouch when it comes to outrageous hypocrisy. Thus, on 18 April, Bush gave the Sudanese government ‘a last warning to put an end to the genocide in Darfur’. And on 27 April Blair has joined in the hypocritical chorus by calling for a new UN resolution.
In fact, we know that Washington has turned a blind eye to the atrocities committed by cliques acting on behalf of Khartoum, which has long been a devoted ally in its ‘war on terror’. Behind the threats, there is actually an attempt to strengthen the alliance with Khartoum.
While the body count increases day by day, these imperialist crooks will continue to pursue their sordid interests behind a mask of peace and humanitarianism. Amina (updated 5/5/07)