|Africa News Digest
U.S. Envoy Organizes Darfur Groups for Peace
Oct. 8 (EIRNS)Three militant opposition groups from Darfur met in Cairo Oct. 3-7 under U.S. special envoy to Sudan Gen. Scott Gration's (ret.) supervision and signed an agreement committing themselves to a peaceful solution in Darfur as the "best of all choices."
While the effort is important, there still are numerous groups that have not yet joined. The three groups which havethe Democratic Justice and Equality Movement (a splinter group from the main JEM group), the United Front of Revolutionary Forces, and the United Front of Resistanceagreed to convene a conference in Darfur on Oct. 22, under American auspices and protection, to unify the positions of the different militant factions concerning the Addis Abeba agreement signed earlier. They also called for expanding the circle of participation to include all the Darfur groups.
Any effort to unify the disparate anti-government groups in Darfur, is a positive step. A spokesman for one of the groups said, in answering a question from al-Jazeera TV, on what these groups' position would be if the well-funded and best-organized group, the JEM, maintains its refusal to attend the talks: "If all the different factions agreed upon negotiating with the government and Khalil Ibrahim's JEM insists on its exclusionary position to marginalize the other groups, then we will go on the peace path and we will not allow him to block the way to the peaceful solution." This would expose the JEM as a spoiler to the Darfur peace process.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the JEM itself, Sharif-eddin Mahmoud called on the government to come to "real negotiations and offer real concessions" to make the negotiations a success. However he maintained that his group would respect the outcome of the assembly of the different factions later this month under American sponsorship.
Al-Jazeera claims that the Darfur groups, now numbering 24, according to the government, are coming under pressure, because their base of operations in Chad is being threatened by efforts to bring the governments of Sudan and Chad closer together, after many years of rivalry. Chad is being used by British-NATO forces as a logistical base for the Darfur rebels. Al-Jazeera does not identify the U.S. as being the broker of this rapprochement.
The British operation against Sudan in Darfur is facing the potential for failure, as reported by Lawrence Freeman in the Oct. 2 EIR. If the United States reverts to its original American anti-imperialist principles, every other nation in the region, and on the planet, would benefit from that, by preserving their national sovereignty, and the demise of the British empire could be successfully completed.
Will the British Trigger New Ethnic Violence in Kenya?
Oct. 10 (EIRNS)The BBC and Kenyan press report that ethnic groups are rearming, and that more violence is on the horizon. While the governmentwith Prime Minister Raila Odinga, a British agent, in the leadis declaring its readiness to hand over high-level officials accused of involvement in the 2007-08 post-election violence, to the British-established International Criminal Court (ICC), there is talk of possible inter-ethnic violence if the government hands the suspects over to ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, according to an article today in The Nation, a Kenyan daily.
Odinga said today that he and President Mwai Kibaki, in recent meetings with mediator Kofi Annan, had agreed to cooperate fully with the ICC by ensuring the arrest of the suspects it names. The suspects could include a half dozen cabinet members. Annan, ever under the influence of Britain's Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, has kept up pressure on the Kenyan leadership to submit to the ICC and fulfill the "international" agenda for Kenyan government reforms; he finished his most recent, four-day visit on October 8.
Meanwhile, Kikuyu and Kalenjin ethnic groups in the Rift Valley are rearming, according to reports. Weapons are flowing in from the D.R. Congo and Uganda across Lake Victoria, and in the East from Somalia. And they are cheap, at US$400 for an AK-47.
The Nation Oct. 7 quoted a man from the Rift Valley who said the talk of ICC trials was poisoning ethnic relations: "I fear this may create violence." Annan acknowledged this fear, according to the same article, in saying Oct. 7 that, "There should be no bad attitude between communities living in the Rift Valley. A local tribunal or Hague will not in any way try communities but individuals."
BBC News first broke the story of rearming in Kenya on Oct. 6, claiming violence could result, in the run up to the 2012 elections.
Observers note that the British are well aware that the ICC intervention into the existing combustible conditions in the ethnically divided, hungry, and drought-parched population of Kenya today, could very likely set off violence, worse than what occurred in early 2008. Look at the region of the Greater Horn of Africa/East Africa, and contemplate the results of an explosion in Kenya on Somalia, Ethiopia, and the fragile CPA (North-South agreement) in Sudan. Who benefits? Will justice really be served, or will there be genocide throughout the region as a result of the ICC intervention? Is the British-ICC intervention intended to trigger the latter?