World View: Darfur Genocide Overshadows Women’s Empowerment Summit in South Africa


This morning’s key headlines from

  • Darfur genocide overshadows women’s empowerment summit in South Africa
  • History of Darfur genocide
  • Rwanda versus Darfur versus Central African Republic civil wars
  • Everyone prepares for the worst, as Greece bailout talks collapse again

Darfur genocide overshadows women’s empowerment summit in South Africa

One of the many huge refugee camps that house millions of displaced Darfurians
One of the many huge refugee camps that house millions of displaced Darfurians

This year’s African Union leaders summit took place on Sunday in Johannesburg, South Africa, with the nice politically correct theme “A Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063.”

However, all the wonderful speeches about empowering women were overshadowed by demands that South Africa arrest one of the attending heads of state, Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the Darfur conflict in western Sudan.

The ICC arrest warrant was issued in 2009, but al-Bashir has never been arrested because Sudan is not a signatory to the ICC charter. Furthermore, al-Bashir has been going to great lengths over the years to make sure that he never travels to a country that IS a signatory to the ICC, since that country would be obligated under international law to arrest him and turn him over to the ICC.

So it is a very big surprise to a lot of people that al-Bashir decided to travel to the African Union on Saturday, since it is in South Africa, which IS a signatory to the ICC. Somehow, some way, al-Bashir must have received a guarantee from South African president Jacob Zuma that he would not be arrested.

However, the plan has been at least temporarily thwarted because an activist group got a South African court to detain al-Bashir and prevent him from leaving the country until the court can decide whether South Africa is obliged to honor the ICC warrant.

There are sharp differences of opinion:

  • Many African Union officials say that no ICC warrant should be honored, since the ICC is prejudiced, and only indicts Africans.
  • Some people consider the genocidal al-Bashir to be a hero who should not be turned over to the ICC.
  • Others, whose families have been victimized by the rape, torture and slaughter of the Sudan government forces, would like al-Bashir to be arrested and sent to hell.

The court should read a decision on Monday or Tuesday. CNN and Mail & Guardian (South Africa) and Independent (South Africa)

History of Darfur genocide

The Darfur genocide has been in the news for over ten years. Seven or eight years ago, it was sometimes called “everybody’s favorite African war” since George Clooney and other movie stars, and politicians like Susan Rice, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden have all made “Stop the genocide” and “Save Darfur” and “Enough is enough” part of a very stylish and progressive do-good campaign. During the 2007 Iraq surge, Joe Biden even wanted to withdraw all the forces from Iraq and pour them into the Darfur war. The Darfur war was VERY chic and trendy, unlike the Iraq war.

Low level violence began in the 1970s between two ethnic groups, one of farmers (the “Africans”) and the other of camel herders (the “Arabs”), in the usual disputes over land and water. The violence increased from year to year, and in the 1990s, Sudan’s government in Khartoum delegated the responsibility of policing the region to the Arab Janjaweed militia, formed from certain groups of herders.

Violence continued to increase, and by 2003, it had turned into a full-scale generational crisis war. (A detailed history can be found in my 2007 article, “Ban Ki Moon blames Darfur genocide on global warming”) At that point, the Janjaweed militias (herders) became extremely violent, with a program of massacres, mass murders, rapes, genocide and scorched earth.

As the slaughters and rapes continued, the glamorous politicians and movie stars paid visits and expressed outrage. However, the fun finally wore off, and in 2009 the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir. According to the warrant:

[T]here are reasonable grounds to believe that, insofar as it was a core component of the GoS [Government of Sudan] counter-insurgency campaign, there was a GoS policy to unlawfully attack that part of the civilian population of Darfur — belonging largely to the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups — perceived by the GoS as … opposing the GoS in the ongoing armed conflict in Darfur. […]

[T]here are also reasonable grounds to believe that, as part of the GoS’s unlawful attack on the above-mentioned part of the civilian population of Darfur and with knowledge of such attack, GoS forces subjected, throughout the Darfur region, (i) hundreds of thousands of civilians, belonging primarily to the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups, to acts of forcible transfer; (ii) thousands of civilian women, belonging primarily to these groups, to acts of rape; and (iii) civilians, belonging primarily to the same groups, to acts of torture…

The United Nations has mounted a massive peacekeeping force to try to end the Darfur war, but in fact it is nowhere near over. In fact, a UN report in January indicates that the war considerably worsened in 2014, with more than 3,000 villages targeted by forces aligned with the Government of Sudan, destroying the villages and forcing 400,000 people to flee for their lives. ICC arrest warrant (PDF) and AP and DabangaSudan

Rwanda versus Darfur versus Central African Republic civil wars

The Darfur civil war and the Central African Republic (CAR) civil war are ongoing wars today, while the 1994 Rwanda civil war ended long ago. Let’s compare the three.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, every generational crisis war must end in what I call an “explosive climax,” a genocidal event that is so horrible that the survivors on both the winning and losing sides vow to never let it happen again. In the Rwanda civil war, the explosive climax was the slaughter of some 800,000 Tutsis by the Hutus. Since then, Rwanda has gone through a Recovery Era in an attempt to prevent any recurrence, and it has been possible without any UN peacekeeping forces.

But in Darfur and CAR, there are ambitious United Nations / African Union peacekeeping forces. The UN is spending huge amounts of money trying to create peace — get the same results as in Rwanda, but without the explosive climax. That is impossible. It’s the explosive climax, the horrific event that ends the war, that brings about the desired peace.

There are millions of Darfurians in refugee camps, under the protection of the UN peacekeeping forces. The UN forces are preventing the explosive climax, but they can’t do so forever. Those millions of people are sitting ducks. At some point, the peacekeeping forces will withdraw, and the Arab militias will go through those refugee camps like a hot knife through butter, raping, torturing and slaughtering anyone they can. That will be the explosive climax, and after that, peace can come to Darfur once again.

Everyone prepares for the worst, as Greece bailout talks collapse again

With a big 1.5 billion euro debt payment due on June 30, EU-Greece weekend talks to negotiate a new deal have, once again, collapsed. Increasingly, markets are expecting that Greece will default, and be forced to leave the euro currency. The Europeans and the Greeks are all thought to have prepared some plan in case the worst happens, and that seems increasingly likely. Dow Jones

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, African Union, South Africa, Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, International Criminal Court, ICC, Jacob Zuma, George Clooney, Susan Rice, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Darfur, Janjaweed Militias, Rwanda, Central African Republic, eurozone, Greece
Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.