This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Sudan Rehabilitated?

"There is no direct money exchanging hands."
"But the European Union basically legitimizes an abusive force."
Suliman Baldo, author, research paper, Europe's migration partnership with Sudan

"We are not encouraging Sudan to curb migration, but to manage migration in a safe and dignified way."
Catherine Ray, spokeswoman, European Union
EU migration deal emboldens war criminals in Sudan
AFP   EU Migration deal emboldens war criminals in Sudan

The International Criminal Court named Omar al-Bashir, the President of Sudan, and his military chiefs guilty of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in 2005. An investigation by the ICC was initiated when the United Nations Security Council referred the matter for that singular purpose in light of the horrific slaughter, rape and displacement undertaken by the government of Sudan against Black Darfurian farming communities. Government military helicopter gunships targeted the helpless Darfurians, as did the mounted Arab Jajaweed, in a widespread slaughter.
Sudanese rebels from the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) survey the still smouldering ruins a day after the abandoned village of Chero Kasi was set ablaze by Janjaweed militiamen in the violence that plagued the Darfur region in 2004 [Getty]
A dozen years later there has been no accounting nor semblance of justice for that terrible atrocity. Instead, the European Union now depends on the government of Darfur to help it stem the living tide of Eritrean refugees flooding Europe. Thousands of East Africans trudge 3,000 kilometers on a route that takes them through Sudan's eastern border as the migrants attempt to reach the Mediterranean and go on toward Europe.

Sudan's secret police have been tasked to prevent the migrants' progress. The very leaders of the Sudanese military who stand accused of war crimes (also accused of torturing migrants, like the Libyans with whom similar arrangements have been made), now work for the interests of the European Union. It is a different Europe now from what it was three years earlier when the first tide of migrants began to reach Europe's shores and were greeted with open arms.

Europeans have reacted with anger at the unending migrant flood, informing their governments that they no longer wish to see their culture, traditions and values diluted any further. The politics of haven offering has undergone a great shift; the welcome has been replaced by stringent efforts of avoidance. And in attempting to staunch the human flow the EU has seen fit to outsource border management. And it is working, with the migrants' numbers greatly diminished since 2016.

Eritrean migrants Kassala
Eritrean refugees in Shagarab   Ahmad Mahmoud, IRIN
The EU pays billions of euros to Islamist Turkey to stop the efforts of Syrian refugees fleeing regime massacres, looking for haven in Europe, while in Libya Italy is known to bribe the militias who themselves profit from the smuggling trade, many of them also accused of committing war crimes. The link to Sudan is that of Europe requiring borders to be closed so migrants cannot reach Libya. In exchange Sudan sees its helpfulness to Europe working to end the aura of disgrace in human rights violations, to make it more acceptable to the West.

And though many Sudanese leaders remain international pariahs dating to Darfur, Europe enforces the arms embargo against Sudan, yet the Khartoum Process is a recognized platform for 20 international migration conferences between EU officials and counterparts from African countries, including Sudan. The EU has avoided bribing Sudan directly with funding, and instead funnels millions of euros through aid agencies and independent charities, whitewashing their bribery.

One of several Sudanese officials known to have orchestrated attacks on civilians in Darfur, from the Sudanese security forces, is Salah Abdallah Gosh. A division of the Sudanese military called the Rapid Support Forces was formed from the Janjaweed militias that attacked civilians during the conflict in Darfur. In Khartoum the countertrafficking coordination center is staffed jointly by Sudanese police officers and European countries such as Britain, France and Italy, relying on data sourced by Sudanese security forces.

The head of the immigration police department, General Awad Elneil Dhia, denies claims by deportees that they were tortured on being returned to Sudan. One of these men was a Darfuri political dissident detained in late 2017 in Khartoum and tortured. Accused of profiting from the smuggling trade, General Dhia places the blame on isolated instances in the security services. "We are not very far from your (Western) standards", he stated, speaking of Sudan as an effective partner in the battle against irregular migration to Europe.

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