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Author: Omer Ismail

Neglecting Darfur

Neglecting Darfur
Although Darfur only rarely makes the headlines lately, the reality on the ground continues to be defined by profound insecurity, limited humanitarian access, impunity for perpetrators of violence, and the absence of credible human rights reporting ...
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A Political Settlement for Darfur: A Practical Roadmap

A Political Settlement for Darfur: A Practical Roadmap
The Darfur peace process is at a crossroads. Until now, the mediation team has not produced a credible peace proposal and key external actors have not generated the necessary pressures and incentives to achieve an agreement ...
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Downplaying Darfur

Downplaying Darfur
Addressing the U.N. Security Council this week, the head of the joint U.N.-African Union (UNAMID) mission to Darfur, Rudolphe Adada, called the situation a “ low intensity conflict.” based on “purely numerical terms ” (i.e.: total violent deaths per month). News agencies jumped on this statement, portraying Adada’s comments as an overall assessment of the “situation in Sudan's western Darfur region, which Washington has described as genocide,” as Reuters put it. Adada's comments do not take into account crucial dynamics of the crisis in Darfur. It may be true that attacks by government-sponsored militia have decreased in the areas where ...
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Dispatches from Darfur: The Situation is Quickly Worsening

Dispatches from Darfur: The Situation is Quickly Worsening
Our sources on the ground in Darfur—in the regional capitals of Al Fasher and El Geneina and in a number of camps for internally displaced Darfuris—are telling us that the situation is getting worse each day for the people who the Sudanese government has denied lifesaving humanitarian assistance. Through recent phone conversations with people in ZamZam camp in North Darfur, we learned that the sewage system in the camp has been cut off, and people are now forced to relieve themselves wherever they can in the crowded camp or risk leaving relative safety. Clean water in camps like ZamZam is ...
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To President Obama, From Darfur

On Monday, I was among a group of activists visiting the White House to meet with President Obama and his Special Envoy to Sudan, Major General Scott Gration. The president spoke about how the situation in Sudan is among America’s top priorities and emphasized the strategic objective of ending the crisis through a negotiated settlement. His detailed knowledge of Sudan’s problems was very impressive, and his thoughts about what needs to be done were very clear. When I had my chance to speak, I told President Obama that it is good that my mother – who lives in my home ...
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Darfur: The Debate Continues…

Darfur: The Debate Continues…
All eyes are on Sudan this week. On March 4th, the International Criminal Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber will announce its decision concerning the July 2008 request of ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo for an arrest warrant for Sudanese president Omer al-Bashir. While there are many speculations and recommendations circulating regarding potential next steps for the international community following the likely issuance of an arrest warrant for President Bashir, some strategies are better reasoned than others. It is certainly true that the situation in Sudan is complex and constantly changing and the country’s myriad problems require critical thinking. However, governments, analysts, and ...
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Who’s Afraid of the ICC?

Who's Afraid of the ICC?
The Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court, or ICC, has set an official date for the announcement of its decision concerning the July 2008 request of ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo for an arrest warrant for Sudanese president Omer al-Bashir, who has been accused on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. This announcement puts an end to the recent speculations that followed various news reports alleging that the ICC’s three-member chamber had decided to issue an arrest warrant for President Bashir. Now that the world knows exactly when the decision will be announced, speculation has shifted ...
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“The Third Attempt:” The Impending Assault on Chad

“The Third Attempt:” The Impending Assault on Chad
In English, we often say, “The third time’s the charm.” In Sudan, just the opposite is true, with the local saying of “al-talta wagaa,” translating to, “The third attempt will fail.” It looks like the Government of Sudan is eager to find out which is true as it works with its proxy Chadian rebels in what will likely be the third attempt to take the Chadian capital of N’Djamena and oust Chad’s President Idriss Déby. Chad has experienced two coup attempts in the past three years. In Darfur, a Chadian rebel coalition led by Timane Erdimi, a relative of President ...
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Darfur Rebels 101

Darfur Rebels 101
The narrative of an irreparably fragmented rebellion in Darfur does not reflect the reality on the ground. This paper identifies key rebel groups, and explains what they represent, what divides them, and—most importantly—what could potentially unite them if a credible, sustained, and internationally backed peace effort was put in place ...
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Press Release: Creating a Peace to Keep in Darfur

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The piecemeal approach to ending violence in Darfur is in “shambles” and must be overhauled now if the peace process is to succeed, according to a report released by two leading Darfur activist groups ...
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