UK lectures Darfur rebels —as Sudan attacks

The UK warned Darfur’s rebel groups Oct. 8 they could be excluded from the peace process if they boycott talks due to be held in Libya later this month. London’s Minister for Africa, Lord Malloch Brown, said those who opted out “should understand the consequences.” (BBC, Oct. 8) The comments came the same day Sudanese government troops and allied militias attacked and overran Muhajiriya, a town controlled by the Minni Minnawi faction of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)—the only faction to sign the 2006 peace deal. Khalid Abakar, a senior representative from the SLA, said: “Government planes have attacked Muhajiriya, which belongs to us, and government forces and Janjawid militia are fighting our forces.” A UN official said the assault may be retaliation for a rebel attack on an African Union peacekeeper base to the north in Haskanita last week. Some members of the rebel factions involved in the attack are believed to have moved into Muhajeria. (AlJazeera, AP, Oct. 8)

As we noted after the Haskanita attack: This is a rather inconvenient occurrence for those clamoring for more “boots on the ground” to defend Darfur’s civilians against the Janjaweed militia. It is not the Janjaweed but the guerillas fighting them which are attacking the intervention force… And on the other side of the political equation, how does this square with the leftist conspiracy theory that the guerillas and the AU force alike are pawns of the West in a sinister plot to divide Sudan?

On the contrary, is the AU force being drawn into at least a de facto alliance with Khartoum against the guerillas?

See our last post on Darfur.