Sudan: Alt.View

Jim Moore takes a risk and posts on an alternative view to the situation in Sudan. I commend Jim for posting this, but I also think that it does his cause a great service by acknowledging an alternate view, and making it known. It shows trust and respect for readers and activists that they will be able to make up their own mind.

I have to admit I find the idea of using force, particularly from non-African Union (AU) countries, as a concern. I, personally, do not necessarily think outside intervention is always the right approach, and this, largely it seems, is Ali B. Ali-Dinar’s point.

However, the situation in Sudan is a very tough one, simply because the internal dynamics of the country, namely the janjiweed (militias) and government (who seem to be responsible for the creation of the janjiweed, but no longer in control), seem to rule out any realistic resolution to the humanitarian crisis that is currently underway. With this in mind, is it fair to bring in outside support, which by necessity would involve military personnel, to stem the human crisis, at the risk of creating a political one?

The reason I support the work of Passion of the Present and give weight to Jim’s point of view (as opposed to the idea of allowing the Sudanese government to sort it out – something they are seemingly incapable of doing, certainly in the short-term) is because I value the lives of those likely to die if action isn’t taken immediately over the political concerns of allowing outsiders to intervene.

Obviously every effort should be made to ensure the political fall-out is minimised – an AU force being a large part of that, although not a guarantee – but not allowing this process to delay the work of apolitical aid organisations and UN and AU observers. I think if the Sudanese government was serious in its claims of having the interests of its people at heart, they would not have an issue of allowing outside aid organisations and observers into the country. This has not happened, which impacts the credibility of the government and should be a caution to those advocating the government’s ability to resolve this situation.