On July 24, I was invited to attend President George W. Bush speech on his Freedom Agenda, an event hosted by USAID. Prior to the speech, and alongside a number of colleagues from Belarus, Cuba, Burma, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Zimbabwe, we had a brief encounter with the President. One the most memorable aspect of the meeting was when the President whispered in my ear that he was sorry for not doing enough about Syria. Continue reading
A Tharwa Project Statement on Darfur
The unfolding humanitarian crisis in Darfur cannot be simply attributed to a conflict over scarce resources, although this is definitely an important factor in this regard.
Indeed, there is a history in the Sudan, and many other parts of Africa, of encroachment by nomadic tribes on lands owned by farmers whenever draught conditions prevailed. This seems to have been the initial catalyst for the current crisis in Darfur, but it is definitely not the reason why it has assumed such major humanitarian proportions. Continue reading
Although we cannot deny that the deeper causes for the conflict in Darfur seem to lie in the scarcity of resources in the region and the restricted access to them rather than ethnic tension, which seems to be a contributing factor only, current Arab reactions to developments in Darfur, official and popular, border on racism (to put it bluntly). The same can also be said with regard to reaction vis-à-vis Kurdish aspirations and concerns.