Darfur: Bush announces sanctions —against the resistance movement!

President Bush has announced an expanded regime of sanctions against Sudan, implementing what he called “Plan B” in his April speech at the Holocaust Museum, as an alternative to UN troops. Thirty companies owned or controlled by the Sudanese government and one private Sudanese air company accused of transporting arms to Darfur are targeted by the sanctions. Individuals connected to the violence in Darfur will also be sanctioned, including Ahmad Muhammed Harun, Sudan’s minister for humanitarian affairs, and Khalil Ibrahim, leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebel group. Harun is accused of war crimes in Darfur by the International Criminal Court, and Ibrahim has refused to sign the Darfur Peace Agreement. (Council on Foreign Relations, CNN, May 29)

This superficially sounds a lot better than it really is. In addition to being too little and way too late (to save 200,000 lives), it punishes the principled resistance along with the perpetrators. As we have pointed out, the JEM was arguably correct not to take the “Darfur Peace Agreement” bait, given that the rebel factions which signed on were only co-opted into instruments of the Sudan regime’s ethnic cleansing.

See our last posts on Darfur and the Sahel.