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The Sudan represents a special area of geopolitical interest for the Gulf States and protecting

the Arab-centric government of General El Bashier is one of the main factors, which brings

together all members of the League of Arab States in their support of Khartoum.

 

 

South Africa and Darfur Fact Sheet

By Abdelbagi Jibril

Executive Director, Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre

 

The government of South Africa is playing an increasingly important role in the political and economic affairs of the continent of Africa. South Africa’s increasing political role is directly linked to its economic might as its economy accounts for about 45% of Africa’s GDP. In other words South Africa’s economy is the equivalent of three times the size of the second biggest economy in Africa, which is Egypt. It seems that the economic interest in, and importance of, South Africa are the driving forces behind its political stands on some crucial situations facing Africa today including Darfur. Within the African Union (AU), South Africa is member of the influential Peace and Security Council where some vital measures that affect issues of peace and security in Africa are discussed and action taken. At the international level South Africa is currently member of the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council.

South Africa and Sudan, South Sudan

South Africa has developed a special relationship with Sudan especially after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in January 2005. The two countries collaborate in various economic and commercial fields. They also have a growing cooperation in the energy sector as well as the security and military fields. Immediately following the signing of the CPA, South Africa decided to establish a diplomatic mission in Sudan, which was opened soon after. President Thabo Mbeki was the only African Head of State outside the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to attend all the concluding sessions of the important phases of the political negotiations between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Army (SPLM/A) and Khartoum that ended in Nairobi with the signing of the CPA on 9th January 2005. He was also among the few African heads of state to attend the coronation of the late Dr. John Garang as the First Vice-President of Sudan in July 2005.

After the defeat of apartheid and the establishment of a democratic nation in 1994, the ANC government in South Africa made a strategic decision to support the people of South Sudan and their representative organisation the SPLM/A. A good number of SPLM/A cadres had received training and education in South Africa. Cooperation in this field continues through the Pretoria-based Centre for African Renaissance Studies at the University of South Africa. A considerable contingent of scholars and students from South Sudan are now attending South African universities. Following the increase in the production of commercially viable quantities of Sudanese crude oil and the establishment of the autonomous Government of South Sudan the relationship between the two countries has been further strengthened and consolidated. The struggle of the people of South Sudan for justice and equality was the corner stone of South Africa’s interest. This is why the government of South Sudan has strong influence on South Africa’s stands as far as the situation in Sudan is concerned.

It has been observed that some SPLM/A supporters, especially those who participated in the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks on Darfur (part of the delegation of the government of Sudan), hold unusual enmity against the insurgent movements and people of Darfur. These cadres have aggressively rejected the demands of the people of Darfur for a proportionate share in the economic and political life of the country on the ground that such demands will affect the CPA. Some of them even made the incredible claim that the people of Darfur instigated the destruction of their region in order to sabotage the CPA. Since then some SPLM/A elements launched a sinister campaign against the demands of the people of Darfur for justice and equality which has reached many parts of eastern, western and southern Africa.

South Africa and China

South Africa has strong trade and economic ties with China as well as some political and ideological affinities inherited from the era of black South Africa’s revolution against the oppressive apartheid regime. This relationship has created a complicated dynamic especially at international decision-making foras on the issue of Darfur. Both China and South Africa are currently members of the UN Security Council and of the Human Rights Council. At the international level we have observed that South Africa and China assume similar positions on some issues in the area of international peace and security and human rights in particular the situation in Darfur.

South Africa and the Arab Gulf States

South Africa has strong trade and economic relationships with countries in the Arabian Gulf region. In fact the Gulf region is becoming an important trade zone for South Africa. It holds great potential for South Africa not only as an export market and a source of energy but also as a strategic source of foreign direct investment. During the past few years the oil-rich Arab Gulf States have invested billions of US dollars on surplus oil revenue in real estate, and private equity investment, infrastructure development, tourism and other related business affairs in South Africa.

The Sudan represents a special area of geopolitical interest for the Gulf States and protecting the Arab-centric government of General El Bashier is one of the main factors, which brings together all members of the League of Arab States in their support of Khartoum. On the other hand it is clear that most states in sub-Saharan Africa have yet to understand the full ramifications of the crisis in Darfur – a crisis which is largely driven by the quest for encroachment on land owned by the indigenous African tribes.

South Africa and Darfur

The position of the government of South Africa vis à vis the situation in Darfur is characterised by indifference to the suffering of the victims of this human tragedy. Although South Africa participated in the AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and has sent some military and police forces to Darfur, the effectiveness of this contribution remains disproportionate to the political leadership role that it actively pursues in relation to the situation in Darfur. Out of AMIS’ total authorised troops of 6,171 military and 1,560 police personnel, South Africa contributed some 600 individuals.

As of recently we observed that the government of South Africa increasingly supports the government of Sudan in its handling of the situation in Darfur. South Africa continues to use its membership of the AU Peace and Security Council to back and advocate the position assumed by Sudan and its north and east African allies within the AU institutions.

At the international level they follow a similar policy. On no less than a dozen occasions they used their membership of the UN Security Council and the Human Rights Council to oppose, and finally water down, projects of resolutions which could have helped provide the victims of the armed conflict in Darfur with the necessary protection and relief. Below are some examples of South Africa’s callous position on Darfur.

On 12 July 2007 three members of the UN Security Council (Britain, France and Ghana) have submitted a draft resolution for consideration and action by other members of the Council. Because of the gravity of the situation on the ground in Darfur the resolution was tabled under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. The draft text approved the "hybrid" African Union-United Nations force. Although the text was reasonably prepared it ran into strong opposition from some council members in particular China and South Africa who took the lead. South Africa's Ambassador to the UN in New York

Mr. Dumisani Kumalo labelled the draft resolution as "totally unacceptable," and further accused the sponsors including Ghana of "throwing everything of the kitchen into the sink". He strongly supported the position of Sudan that the resolution should be "more Sudan friendly" and it should drop "irrelevant" and "alien" issues like the threat of "other measures," which usually meant sanctions.

It should be noted that Ambassador Kumalo has been consistent on this position. In March 2007 when he was President of the Security Council said that: " … the UN can't send troops into Darfur without the permission of the Sudanese Government … UN can't just order the marines into a country." This assertion is totally irrelevant as it purposely mislead its possible audience into believing that UN peacekeepers would be drawn from the US marines.

The irony of it is that the government of South Africa seems to be supporting Sudan blindly despite evidence that Khartoum – on most previous occasions - reneged from agreements in a few weeks. On 17 June 2007 at a press conference by UN Security Council delegation following a meeting in Khartoum with Sudan’s President, Ambassador Kumalo was quoted saying that: "I can tell you that the Foreign Minister told us in no uncertain terms that the Government of Sudan accepted the hybrid operation without any conditionality. The President himself just confirmed the same thing to us."

Indeed Sudan’s President did not miss the occasion to declare that: "…no Western European soldier will touch Sudan’s soil" thus belied Mr. Kumalo’s statement. On 21st September 2007 and at the High Level Meeting held in New York, Sudan supported by some AU members formally objected to the deployment in Darfur of infantry contingents from Uruguay and Thailand. They also objected to the deployment of a military engineering unit from Norway. These objections are clear violations of the AU agreement with the UN on the UN/AU hybrid military presence in Darfur. It totally disregards the letter and spirit of UN Security Council Resolution 1769 (2007) which authorised the UN/AU Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

At the fifth session of the UN Human Rights Council held in Geneva (12th – 30th March 2007), many human rights activists were shocked when the delegation of South Africa stood fast in support of GoS. Together with Algeria they endorsed a weak text of resolution that praised Sudan’s for its criminal handling of the situation in Darfur. This occurred despite the almost unanimity of opinion among delegates from sub-Saharan Africa, including SADC countries, that they would no longer extend unconditional backing to the government of Sudan in its crimes in Darfur. When their efforts failed the delegation of South Africa used all kinds of tactics to water down the resolution introduced by the EU on the situation in Sudan.

The position of the ANC government in South Africa vis à vis the situation in Darfur is utterly disappointing. Providing unconditional political and diplomatic support to the government of Sudan in its attempts to cover up the crimes it has willfully committed in Darfur amounts to certain complicity. More so, efforts of the government of South Africa to abort robust regional and international plans to protect the defenceless civilian population in Darfur betray the ideals of justice, human dignity, equality, liberty and peaceful coexistence for which the South African masses fought a heroic rebellion against the racist apartheid regime.

Because of such glorious history of that nation, the position of the ANC government in South Africa in support of GoS in the crimes it continues to commit in Darfur disturbs the victims of this tragedy more than the position of China, Egypt, Algeria, Russia or other friends of Sudan. External observers too could easily say that even if Africans don’t give a hang about African victims of the Darfur tragedy why should the rest of the world care?

In 2010 South Africa is expected to host the FIFA Football World Cup. This important global manifestation will focus the world’s attention on South Africa as a preferred destination for tourism, trade and investment. Hosting this prestigious global tournament should place a certain moral responsibility on the host nation regarding the values of solidarity, friendship, peace, justice, and human dignity.

What we see in South Africa’s policy towards Darfur is the antithesis of all these high moral values and should be rejected by all peace-loving people. The world should know that by protecting the government of Sudan in its mishandling of the situation in Darfur, South Africa has tainted its hands. It supports a killer regime that actively pursues a policy of imposing conditions of life that will eventually lead to the destruction in whole or in part of a specific group of people because of their ethnic or tribal background. It is tantamount to genocide of Africans in Darfur.

posted 3 October 2007

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The Haitian Revolution, 1791 to 1804: Or, Side Lights On the French Revolution

By Theophilus Gould Steward

This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.—Amazon.com

The Haitian Revolution, 1791 to 1804. By T. G. Steward. Thomas Y. Crowell Company, New York, 1915. 292 pages. $1.25.

Reviewed by J.R. Fauset. The Journal of Negro History. Vol. I., No. 1, January. 1916.

In the days when the internal dissensions of Haiti are again thrusting her into the limelight such a book as this of Mr. Steward assumes a peculiar importance. It combines the unusual advantage of being both very readable and at the same time historically dependable. At the outset the author gives a brief sketch of the early settlement of Haiti, followed by a short account of her development along commercial and racial lines up to the Revolution of 1791. The story of this upheaval, of course, forms the basis of the book and is indissolubly connected with the story of Toussaint L'Overture. To most Americans this hero is known only as the subject of Wendell Phillips's stirring eulogy. As delineated by Mr. Steward, he becomes a more human creature, who performs exploits, that are nothing short of marvelous. Other men who have seemed to many of us merely namesRigaud, Le Clerc, Desalines, and the like--are also fully discussed.

Although most of the book is naturally concerned with the revolutionary period, the author brings his account up to date by giving a very brief resumé of the history of Haiti from 1804 to the present time. This history is marked by the frequent occurrence of assassinations and revolutions, but the reader will not allow himself to be affected by disgust or prejudice at these facts particularly when he is reminded, as Mr. Steward says, "that the political history of Haiti does not differ greatly from that of the majority of South American Republics, nor does it differ widely even from that of France."

The book lacks a topical index, somewhat to its own disadvantage, but it contains a map of Haiti, a rather confusing appendix, a list of the Presidents of Haiti from 1804 to 1906 and a list of the names and works of the more noted Haitian authors. The author does not give a complete bibliography. He simply mentions in the beginning the names of a few authorities consulted.—J. R. Fauset.

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The Price of Civilization

Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity

By Jeffrey D. Sachs

The Price of Civilization is a book that is essential reading for every American. In a forceful, impassioned, and personal voice, he offers not only a searing and incisive diagnosis of our country’s economic ills but also an urgent call for Americans to restore the virtues of fairness, honesty, and foresight as the foundations of national prosperity. Sachs finds that both political parties—and many leading economists—have missed the big picture, offering shortsighted solutions such as stimulus spending or tax cuts to address complex economic problems that require deeper solutions. Sachs argues that we have profoundly underestimated globalization’s long-term effects on our country, which create deep and largely unmet challenges with regard to jobs, incomes, poverty, and the environment. America’s single biggest economic failure, Sachs argues, is its inability to come to grips with the new global economic realities. Sachs describes a political system that has lost its ethical moorings, in which ever-rising campaign contributions and lobbying outlays overpower the voice of the citizenry. . . . Sachs offers a plan to turn the crisis around. He argues persuasively that the problem is not America’s abiding values, which remain generous and pragmatic, but the ease with which political spin and consumerism run circles around those values. He bids the reader to reclaim the virtues of good citizenship and mindfulness toward the economy and one another.

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Ratification

The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788

By Pauline Maier

A notable historian of the early republic, Maier devoted a decade to studying the immense documentation of the ratification of the Constitution. Scholars might approach her book’s footnotes first, but history fans who delve into her narrative will meet delegates to the state conventions whom most history books, absorbed with the Founders, have relegated to obscurity. Yet, prominent in their local counties and towns, they influenced a convention’s decision to accept or reject the Constitution. Their biographies and democratic credentials emerge in Maier’s accounts of their elections to a convention, the political attitudes they carried to the conclave, and their declamations from the floor. The latter expressed opponents’ objections to provisions of the Constitution, some of which seem anachronistic (election regulation raised hackles) and some of which are thoroughly contemporary (the power to tax individuals directly). Ripostes from proponents, the Federalists, animate the great detail Maier provides, as does her recounting how one state convention’s verdict affected another’s. Displaying the grudging grassroots blessing the Constitution originally received, Maier eruditely yet accessibly revives a neglected but critical passage in American history.—Booklist

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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