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Resistance - Page 10

  • Radio alluta

    Virunga Mountains

    A model of the Virunga Mountains, Gorillas in the Mist' nature preserve, straddling the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.The elevation data is from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), which was designed to produce the first detailed near-global elevation model. The SRTM data was acquired in February 2000 during a flight of the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

    We thought the Marathon project would be a very interesting experiment: No one knows how this Clandestine radio project might become. Recycling green technology, Kisoro anarchists came-up with this idea that new-media could be recycled into a clandestine radio stream and we could broadcast a people's radio from Muhavura(Virunga) mountains.

    Project proposal: Alluta
    24hr Live radio

    Project Duration: 1 month

    Content:Global community magazine, political sound-bites & Music

    Participants: Open to all freedom fighters Mail:

    Cost: energy & dedication

    After Week 1
    Free itunes download:
    After Week 2

    Week three: An experiment with a tabloid newspaper

    Free Uganda
  • State sponsored Banditry on the rise in Uganda

    Virunga Mountains

    By Cyprian Musoke
    MAJOR Roland Kakooza Mutale’s Kalangala Action Plan (KAP) and other soldiers have been warned not to get involved in land evictions that have rocked Kiboga district, leaving a number of people dead.
    State minister for lands Baguma Isoke said it is the duty of the Police, LCs and the district security committee to oversee eviction of any unlawful occupants.
    Addressing Kiboga district leaders at the council hall over the land matters yesterday, Baguma said land disputes were a civil not a military matter.
    “Kakooza Mutale comes here yet you (pointing at Police officers) are here? What is your role? Have you failed to protect the citizens and their property? This nonsense and abuse of office must stop. They (Mutale’s group) have caused disorder and breach of peace. My heart is bleeding!” said Baguma passionately.
    The meeting had earlier been informed by the Kiboga district chairman, Siraje Nkugwa, that Mutale and ‘men in military uniform’ were to blame for the vicious land upheavals in the district.
    “Kakooza Mutale came here, purporting to solve land disputes. Men from his office have come twice to my office, asking to intervene in land disputes and I told them to proceed only if the law covers them,” Nkugwa said.
    He said he later heard that the ‘army men’ were causing havoc and that when the civil
    ians realised that the Police was not protecting them, they picked their machetes (pangas) to wage war.
    He said there was a group of notorious rich land dealers in Kampala who forge court orders, buy military and private security groups in town and pay area LCs to allow them evict people.
    He pointed out a man only identified as Ssanyu, now in Luzira prison, who was arrested with a fake court order while enforcing an eviction.
    Speaking in a mixture of Runyoro and English, a visibly vexed Baguma, who called the leaders by their first names, repeatedly banged the table to express disgust at the anarchy in his mother district.
    “In Uganda, Kiboga is number one in being disorderly. You don’t know the rule of law and you don’t follow hierarchy. Nowhere in Uganda is such anarchy as is in your district, my mother district,” he said, looking at the chairman Nkugwa (right) and the RDC behind him.
    He said while Kibaale district had more land cases, there was no anarchy as was the case in Kiboga.
    “Your district does not have a good name in government. The President yesterday showed me files and files. When I told him that this meeting would try to solve some cases, he reluctantly said ‘may be’,” Baguma said.
    He criticised the district leaders for not making the land a priority, by obtaining land titles that they could use to acquire credit to develop themselves.
    He said they were sleeping on their riches while the people in western Uganda, who acquired titles to every piece of land, have left them behind.
    The minister said he was shocked to learn that the district lacks a valuer, a physical planner and a land committee.
    “Why are you sleeping here? I want you to become rich. Does any one of you here have a full suit?” he asked, looking around the room in which no one wore a suit or looked exquisitely dressed

    Free Uganda
  • Uganda: Government Must Prosecute Torture

    Virunga Mountains

    Human Rights Watch

    Detainees Must Not Be Held in Clandestine 'Safe Houses'

    The Ugandan government must prosecute perpetrators of torture, said Human Rights Watch and the Ugandan-based Foundation for Human Rights Initiative today.

    Last week during its session in Geneva, the United Nations Committee Against Torture reviewed Uganda's initial report. In its report, the Ugandan government explained measures it has taken against torture to comply with its obligations under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. On Friday this week, the U.N. committee is scheduled to publish its conclusions and recommendations to Uganda.

    In a 14 dossier
    submitted to the U.N. committee, Human Rights Watch and the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative documented recent cases of torture by Ugandan security forces against political opponents, alleged rebels and criminal suspects.

    "Torture persists in Uganda because no one is investigated or punished for it," said Livingstone Sewanyana, director of the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, based in the capital Kampala. "If the government were serious about stopping torture, it would end this state of impunity."

    The briefing paper shows that torture frequently occurs when suspects are held by agencies other than the regular police. These bodies notably include the Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force (JAT), the army, Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), and the Violent Crime Crack Unit (VCCU).

    "Suspects are sometimes held in 'safe houses' by military and intelligence agents," said Juliane Kippenberg, researcher in the Africa division of Human Rights Watch. "The use of such shadowy, unofficial places of detention makes torture much more likely."

    Human Rights Watch said that the Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force uses a large house in Kampala's upscale Kololo neighborhood for interrogating and torturing detainees. This clandestine "safe house" is located next to an ambassador's residence.

    Last week, in the presentation of its report to the Committee Against Torture, the Ugandan government described current legislation and administrative measures on arrest and detention. However, the report made little reference to how Ugandan security forces apply these laws in practice.

    "Practices of torture erode government credibility, traumatize society and cause fear," said Sewanyana. "The United Nations should urge the Ugandan government to tackle the roots of torture head-on."

    In a written response to Human Rights Watch and the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, the Ugandan government denied allegations that its security agents practice torture and stated:

    "Allegations concerning mistreatment of opposition politicians, e.g. FDC and Reform Agenda are unfounded."

    "The alleged JAT detention centre in Kololo is actually an office block used by the JAT and is neither used for torture nor detention of suspects."

    "Access to prison and military facilities has often been granted to the Uganda Human Rights Commission, the ICRC and Parliamentary Committees whenever they have expressed interest in visiting. However, there are regulations world-wide on visits to security installations due to the nature of activities in such places."

    "There is no confusing array of security organs in Uganda as alleged by the report. Different security organs have different roles and responsibilities as defined under their statutes Under Ugandan laws it is not only the police that have powers to arrest and even private citizens may arrest and hand over culprits to the police."

    "We believe that dialogue with the Ugandan government about torture is critical to ending it," said Juliane Kippenberg. "However, we take issue with the government's denial of the fact that torture is widely practiced by Ugandan security forces."

    Human Rights Watch and the Foundation for Human Rights Initiative called on the Ugandan government to enact legislation to punish perpetrators of torture and those who maintain and use "safe houses" and to change legal provisions that mandate detention of treason and terrorism suspects for 360 days after preliminary charges are filed, without bail.

    "The Ugandan authorities need to close down unofficial places of detention and make criminal prosecution of torture a priority," Kippenberg said.

    Uganda should also ratify the U.N. Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, which allows national and international monitors to conduct regular visits to all places of detention.

    Free Uganda
  • Radio Tajdeed Reportedly Raided by British Authorities

    Virunga Mountains

    By Nick Grace

    Radio Tajdeed, a satellite program targeting Saudi Arabia and run by a man with extensive al Qaeda ties, is claiming that British authorities have raided its studios. In an exclusive report for Global Crisis Watch (GCW), Egyptian signals monitor Marwan Soliman said on Sunday that the station disappeared from the airwaves on May 6 but returned on May 11 with a repeated announcement of the raid. He also reported hearing audio of the raid broadcast repeatedly on the station.

    "The transmission... was offline for almost a couple of days. But suddenly they are back with a station announcement saying that the British police and the MI6 (British intelligence) dashed into their studio while they were having a live program interviewing Dr Mohammad al-Massari, who is the man behind the station. As a matter of fact, you can hear the British police go into the studio, talking in English, and they were trying to tell them 'We are live on the air so can you talk about that later' and stuff like that. Then they say the British police took all the PCs and asked them to stop transmitting so they can get a copy of each and every thing (that was broadcast). That's why they were offline for a couple of days."

    Radio Tajdeed, he said, also announced that it would return to its normal broadcast schedule on Sunday at 9 pm Mecca time. According to Soliman, the station did return to the air as promised and broadcast a program called "Tajdeed Forum." Al-Massari said during the program that they would no longer discuss the raid but that British police suspect his group's involvement with the kidnapping of Douglas Wood, an Australian enigneer who was taken hostage in Iraq in late April. A video of Wood, clearly beaten and bruised, was exclusively posted on the Tajdeed Web site message board on May 1. Al-Massari denied involvement with the kidnapping during Tajdeed Forum and instead said that it was a "joke" being pushed by the Saudi government to get the U.K. to silence his voice.

    The Sunday Times reported over the weekend that al-Massari's home and office had been raided by police. The report incorrectly stated that Radio Tajdeed had been closed. It had, in fact, been broadcasting a 10-to-15 minute loop recording that aired audio of the raid and extremist Islamist music.

    When asked by GCW about the nature of Radio Tajdeed's programming, Soliman said that the content is militant, sympathetic with al Qaeda and "Sheik" Usama bin Laden and that its music clearly promotes violence against kaffir (non-Muslims) and is clearly hate speech.

    Freelance Jordanian journalist Tamara Aqrabawe, who also listened to the broadcast, told Clandestine Radio Watch that one song in particular calls for a global Jihad against the West and kaffir (non-Muslims). She said that its lyrics call on Muslim youth to raise weapons and the Koran in this violent struggle.

    Radio Tajdeed broadcasts on Eutelsat's Hotbird satellite. Eutelsat, a French company, also broadcast Radio Islah, whose sponsor, Saad al-Faqih was designated by the U.S. and E.U. as a sponsor of terrorism last year, and al-Manar TV, the Hezbollah mouthpiece that was pulled off the air after global condemnation of its hate speech against Jews.

    Free Uganda
  • People Power

    Virunga Mountains

    People's Media:

    Over 3000 people in Durban (SA) marched on their councillor, Yacoob Baig, demanding his resignation

    People's demands

    1.For too long have our communities survived in substandard and informal housing, and for too long have we been promised land, only to be betrayed. Therefore, we demand adequate land and housing to live in dignity.
    2.Our communities are ravaged by poverty, and we demand that the government create the jobs that we so desperately need. Therefore, we demand the creation of well-paying and dignified jobs.
    3. In addition to providing substandard housing, the council charges rents way in excess of our communities' ability to pay. Therefore, we demand the writing-off of all rental arrears.
    4.The government treats us with contempt, believing that because we are not rich, we have not earned their respect. Therefore, we demand participation in genuinely democratic processes of consultation and citizenship.
    Our communities are affected by crime, police racism and environmental hazards. Therefore, we demand safe and secure environments in which we can work, play and live without intimidation from the authorities.
    5.Many in our communities suffer from illness, and the scourge of HIV/AIDS affects us all. Therefore, we demand well-resourced and staffed health facilities.
    6.Our young people are the future of our community, yet they have very few choices. Therefore, we demand attention to the needs of our communities' youth.
    7.The council charges unaffordable rates in our flats. Therefore, we demand lower rates in flat buildings.
    We are entitled to decent social services in our communities. Therefore we demand these services, including proper sanitation, a community garden for our poor, and free education to our communities' orphans.

    Finally, for his failure to deliver these needs to his constituents, and for putting local business interests ahead of those of the poor, we therefore demand that Councillor Yacoob Baig, a career-politician since apartheid, submit his resignation.

    Durban's Ward 25 ris...

    The Long March

    The Long March...

    Baig Must Go

    Baig Must Go...
    Give Us Our Land Bac...
    Domestic Worker Soli...
    Junior Comrades Look...
    Old School Back Up...
    Proudly South Africa...
    Land, Housing, Mbeki...
    Chez Baig...
    Yacoob Baig and Frie...
    Nonhlanhla Mzombe...
    Ashwin Desai...
    Sydenham Heights Joi...
    Des D'Sa...

    S'bu Zikode...

    Free Uganda
  • The displaced people of the world

    Virunga Mountains

    Joram Jojo:

    This radio Program was produced last year in UK on radio Resonance

    Displaced People

    Free Uganda
  • Uganda anarchist looks inside Political Wankers

    Virunga Mountains

    By joram jojo:
    The problem of the instrument of government entails questions of the following kind. What form should the exercise of authority assume? How ought ugandans to organise themselves politically in the modern world? Do politicians care about the suffering especially in northern Uganda?

    The conflict in northern Uganda is the result of the failure to resolve this problem of authority. It has clearly become more serious with the transtion to "multparty democray that power has been put before the plight of our brothers and sisters in northern uganda.

    The populace today face this persistent question in new and pressing ways. Ugandans are exposed to the risks of uncertainty, and suffer the grave consequences of wrong answers. Yet none has succeeded in answering it conclusively and democratically. THE All political systems in the Uganda today is a product of the struggle for power between alternative instruments of government. This struggle is pathetic, as is evidenced among NRM-O, FDC, UPC, DP and individuals. The outcome will be the victory of a particular governing structure - be it that of an individual, group, party or class - and the defeat of the people in northern uganda; the defeat of genuine democracy and Justice.

    Political struggle that will result in the victory of a candidate with, for example, 51 per cent of the votes will lead to a dictatorial governing body in the guise of a false democracy, since 49 per cent of the electorate are likely to be ruled by an instrument of government they did not vote for, but which has been imposed upon them. Such is dictatorship.Besides, this political conflict may produce a governing body that represents only a minority mainly from western Uganda. For when votes are distributed among several candidates, though one polls more than any other, the sum of the votes received by those who received fewer votes might well constitute an overwhelming majority. However, the candidate with fewer votes will win and his success will be regarded as legitimate and democratic! In actual fact, dictatorship is established under the cover of false democracy. This is the reality of the political systems prevailing in Uganda today. They are dictatorial systems and it is evident that they falsify genuine democracy.


    Parliament is the backbone of that conventional democracy prevailing in Uganda today-they preach to us. Parliament is a misrepresentation of the people, and parliamentary systems are a false solution to the problem of democracy. A parliament is originally founded to represent the people, but this in itself is undemocratic as democracy means the authority of the people and not an authority acting on their behalf. The mere existence of a parliament means the absence of the people. True democracy exists only through the direct participation of the people, and not through the activity of their representatives. Uganda Parliament has been a legal barrier between the people in north and the exercise of authority in the south, excluding the masses from meaningful politics and monopolising sovereignty in their place. People have been left with only a facade of a democracy, manifested in long queues to cast their election ballots and ques for handouts in concentration camps.

    To lay bare the character of parliamentarians, one has to examine their origin. They are either elected from constituencies, a party, or a coalition of parties(G-6), or are appointed(NRM). But all of these procedures are undemocratic, for dividing the population into tribal constituencies means that one member of parliament represents thousands, hundreds of thousands. It also means that a member keeps few popular organisational links with the electors since he, like other members, is considered a representative of the whole people. This is what the prevailing traditional democracy requires.

    The masses are completely isolated from the representative and they, in turn, are totally removed from them. Immediately after winning the electors' votes the representative takes over the people's sovereignty and acts on their behalf. The prevailing traditional democracy endows the member of parliament with a sacredness and immunity which are denied to the rest of the people. Uganda Parliament, therefore, has become a means of plundering and usurping the authority of the people. It is the right of Ugandans to struggle, through popular revolution, to destroy such instruments - the so-called parliamentary democracy which usurp democracy and sovereignty, and which stifle the will of the people. The masses have the right to proclaim reverberantly the new principle: no representation in lieu of the people.

    If parliament is formed from one party(NRM-O) as a result of its winning an election, it becomes a parliament of wankers and not of the people. It represents the party and not the people, and the executive power of the parliament becomes that of the best wankers and not of the people. The same is true of the parliament of proportional representation in which each party holds a number of seats proportional to their success in the popular vote.

    The members of the parliament represent their respective parties and not the people, and the power established by such a coalition is the power of the combined parties and not that of the people. Under such systems, Wanainchi are the victims whose votes are vied for by exploitative competing factions who dupe the people into political circuses that are outwardly noisy and frantic, but inwardly powerless and irrelevant. Alternatively, the people are seduced into standing in long, apathetic, silent queues to cast their ballots in the same way that they throw toilet paper in the toilet. This is the traditional democracy prevalent in Uganda, whether it is represented by a one-party(NRM), two-party(UPC-KY), multiparty(G-6) or non-party system. Thus it is clear that representation is a fraud.

    Moreover, since the system of elected parliaments is based on propaganda to win votes, it is a demagogic system in the real sense of the word. Votes can be bought and falsified. Poor people are unable to compete in the election campaigns, and the result is that only the rich get elected. Assemblies constituted by appointment or hereditary succession(Museveni's / Obote's son) do not fall under any form of democracy.

    Thinkers, and writers advocated the theory of representative parliaments at a time when people were unconsciously herded like goats by kabaka and colonialists. The ultimate aspiration of the people of those times was to have someone to represent them before such rulers. When even this aspiration was rejected, people waged bitter and protracted struggle to attain that goal.

    After the successful establishment of the age of the republics and the beginning of the era of the masses, it is unthinkable that democracy should mean the electing of only a few representatives to act on behalf of 2 million people living in Museveni's concentration camps. This is an obsolete structure. Authority must be in the hands of all of the people. The most tyrannical dictatorship Uganda has existed under the aegis of NRM parliament.


    The party is a contemporary form of dictatorship. It is the modern instrument of dictatorial government. The party is the rule of a part over the whole. As a party is not an individual, it creates a superficial democracy by establishing assemblies, committees, and propaganda through its members. The party is not a democratic instrument because it is composed only of those people who have common interests, a common perception or a shared culture; or those who belong to the same region or share the same belief. They form a party to achieve their ends, impose their will, or extend the dominion of their beliefs, values, and interests to the society as a whole. A party's aim is to achieve power under the pretext of carrying out its program. Democratically, none of these parties should govern a whole people who constitute a diversity of interests, ideas, temperaments,regions and beliefs. The party is a dictatorial instrument of government that enables those with common outlooks or interests to rule the people as a whole. Within the community, the party represents a minority.

    The purpose of forming a party is to create an instrument to rule the people, i.e., to rule over non-members of the party. The party is, fundamentally, based on an arbitrary authoritarian concept - the domination of the members of the party over the rest of the people. The party presupposes that its accession to power is the way to attain its ends, and assumes that its objectives are also those of the people. This is the theory justifying party dictatorship, and is the basis of any dictatorship. No matter how many parties exist, the theory remains valid.

    The existence of many parties intensifies the struggle for power, and this results in the neglect of any achievements for the people and of any socially beneficial plans. Such actions are presented as a justification to undermine the position of the ruling party so that an opposing party can replace it. The parties very seldom resort to arms in their struggle but, rather, denounce and denigrate the actions of each other. This is a battle which is inevitably waged at the expense of the higher, vital interests of the society. Some, if not all, of those higher interests will fall prey to the struggle for power between instruments of government, for the destruction of those interests supports the opposition in their argument against the ruling party or parties. In order to rule, the opposition party has to defeat the existing instrument of government.

    To do so, the opposition must minimize the government's achievements and cast doubt on its plans, even though those plans may be beneficial to the society. Consequently, the interests and programs of the society become the victims of the parties' struggle for power. Such struggle is, therefore, politically, socially, and economically destructive to the society, despite the fact that it creates political activity.

    Thus, the struggle results in the victory of another instrument of government; the fall of one party, and the rise of another. It is, in fact, a defeat for the people, i.e., a defeat for democracy. Furthermore, parties can be bribed and corrupted either from inside or outside.(Ask DP & UPC)

    Originally, the party is formed ostensibly to represent the people. Subsequently, the party leadership becomes representative of the membership, and the leader represents the party elite. It becomes clear that this partisan game is a deceitful farce based on a false form of democracy. It has a selfish authoritarian character based on maneuvres, intrigues and political games. This confirms the fact that the party system is a modern instrument of dictatorship. The party system is an outright, unconvincing dictatorship, (Obote & Semogerere have headed their parties 20+ years)one which the world has not yet surpassed. It is, in fact, the dictatorship of the modern age.

    The parliament of the winning party is indeed a parliament of the party, for the executive power formed by this parliament is the power of the party over the people. Party power, which is supposedly for the good of the whole people, is actually the arch-enemy of a fraction of the people, namely, the opposition party or parties and their supporters. The opposition is, therefore, not a popular check on the ruling party but, rather, is itself opportunistically seeking to replace the ruling party. According to modern democracy, the legitimate check on the ruling party is the parliament, the majority of whose members are from that ruling party. That is to say, control is in the hands of the ruling party, and power is in the hands of the controlling party. Thus the deception, falseness and invalidity of the political theories dominant in the world today become obvious. From these emerge contemporary conventional democracy."The party represents a segment of the people, but the sovereignty of
    the people is indivisible."

    "The party allegedly governs on behalf of the people, but in reality the true principle of democracy is based upon the notion that there can be no representation in lieu of the people."

    The party system is the modern equivalent of the tribal or sectarian system. A society governed by one party is similar to one which is governed by one tribe or one sect. The party, as shown, represents the perception of a certain group of people, or the interests of one group in society, or one belief, or one region. Such a party is a minority compared with the whole people, just as the tribe and the sect are. The minority has narrow, common sectarian interests and beliefs, from which a common outlook is formed. Only the blood-relationship distinguishes a tribe from a party, and, indeed, a tribe might also be the basis for the foundation of a party. There is no difference between party struggle and tribal or sectarian struggles for power. Just as tribal and sectarian rule is politically unacceptable and inappropriate, likewise the rule under a party system. Both follow the same path and lead to the same end.The negative and destructive effects of the tribal or sectarian struggle on society is identical to
    the negative and destructive effects of the party struggle.

    Uganda Political parties are built on a foundation of wankers!

    Free Uganda
  • 10,000 Ugandans to work as mercenaries for USA in Iraq

    Virunga Mountains

    By Gaaki Kigambo & Kabona Esiara

    KAMPALA - At least 200 Ugandan youths on Saturday signed up for security work in Iraq and at American installations worldwide.

    The Ugandans who go to Iraq will be deployed to guard public and private installations in the war-ravaged country where the United States forces continue to battle local insurgents.

    A local law firm, Hall & Partners, is working in collaboration with a local security firm, Aktar Security Services, on the recruitment exercise, which is targeting 10,000 people in three years.
    Mr Bob Kasango, a lawyer with Hall & Partners, said the firm was hired by the World Wide Special Operations (WWSO), who work for and closely with the US government and other international organisations like the World Bank, Coca Cola, and Microsoft Corporation to provide security.
    Kasango said not all the recruits will be employed in in Iraq.

    “They will work in any part of the world where America has installations. Iraq is just one of them,” he said.

    The recruitment exercise has got clearance from the US State Department, State House in Kampala, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, sources said.

    The Minister of Internal Affairs, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, said yesterday, “I’m aware that there is a programme of equipping Ugandans with capacity to do guard duties locally in Uganda and if necessary abroad, but it is strictly a private initiative.”
    He said the exercise was “strictly voluntary”.
    But Samia Bugwe MP Aggrey Awori condemned the exercise.

    “It is tragic for the Uganda government to allow its citizens to be recruited as mercenaries. It is not true that they are only going to provide guard services. How do you provide only guard services in a country like Iraq? These people will definitely shoot back when they are shot at,” Awori said.

    But Kasango denied the Ugandans would work as combat personnel.
    “No single Ugandans is going to manage roadblocks. They are going to be involved in non-combatant security. They may be at banks and at airports checking bags. Some are going to be trained in computing as they will be entering data.

    Others will be trained as motor vehicle mechanics and others will do secretarial work,” he said.
    Sources said Uganda had been targeted because of its close working relations with the US government and because it was one of the African countries that supported the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

    Kasango said other countries had also been targeted to provide people needed for various jobs at American installations across the world. In Uganda the local firms conducting the exercise are targeting able-bodied people with high education qualifications. Military experience is an added advantage, sources said.

    The State Department has reportedly cleared private firms in different countries of the world to source employees for mostly security work at US installations because Americans are shunning the lucrative, but risky jobs.

    Free Uganda
  • US rolls out red carpet for Darfur's executioner

    Virunga Mountains

    By Norm Dixon

    Revelations of a covert rendezvous in Washington between top CIA officials and the head of Sudan's secret police have starkly exposed just how hollow and hypocritical are the US administration's expressions of concern for the plight of millions of Darfuri peasants, who have been systematically targeted by Sudan's rulers in a vicious 26-month-long campaign of ethnic cleansing and mass murder.

    Ken Silverstein, writing in the April 29 Los Angeles Times, reported that US government officials revealed to him that, in the previous week, ``the CIA sent an executive jet ... to ferry the chief of Sudan's intelligence agency [General Salah Abdallah Gosh] to Washington for secret meetings sealing Khartoum's sensitive and previously veiled partnership with the administration''.

    Gosh is almost certainly among the scores of Khartoum officials named in a sealed United Nations file as being responsible for ``crimes against humanity'' in Darfur provinces, in western Sudan. The UN Security Council voted on March 31 to refer the file to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

    As Sudan expert and human rights advocate Eric Reeves () points out: ``Gosh is directly
    responsible for tens of thousands of extra-judicial executions, killings, ‘disappearances', as well as countless instances of torture,
    illegal imprisonment and other violations of international law.''

    According to the LA Times report, Washington has cooperated closely with the Islamist dictatorship's secret police, the Mukhabarat, since before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the US. Following 9/11 attacks, which Khartoum immediately condemned, the relationship has steadily deepened.

    The secret alliance has continued to strengthen despite the Mukhabarat's central role in directing and arming the Arab-chauvinist janjaweed bandit gangs, which are spearheading the persecution of Darfur's non-Arabic speaking farmers. This state-sponsored terror campaign, backed by Sudan's air force and military, was launched in February 2003 in an attempt to crush a rebellion by Darfuris.

    The April 29 LA Times noted: ``As recently as September, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell accused Sudan of committing genocide [in Darfur]... Behind the scenes, however, Sudan was emerging as a surprisingly valuable ally of the CIA.''

    To date, according to Eric Reeves, around 400,000 people in Darfur have lost their lives due to the direct and indirect results of the state-sponsored pogroms, with more than 2 million people having been forced to flee their homes. It is estimated that up to 10,000 Darfuris are dying every month.

    US and Sudanese officials told the LA Times that the Mukhabarat has detained al Qaeda suspects for interrogation by US agents and turned over to the FBI ``evidence'' seized in raids on ``suspected terrorists'' homes. The Khartoum regime has also expelled ``extremists, putting them into the hands of Arab intelligence agencies working closely with the CIA'', and detained ``foreign militants moving through Sudan on their way to join forces with Iraqi insurgents''. There has been an ``active station'' of the CIA in Khartoum since November 2001.

    Sudan's intelligence service has even spied in other countries on the CIA's behalf, the LA Times revealed. Sudanese foreign minister Mustafa Osman Ismail told the newspaper that the Mukhabarat has served as ``the eyes and ears of the CIA'' in Somalia. ``Late last year, a senior Mukhabarat official met in Washington with the CIA's counter-terrorism center to discuss Iraq, according to sources familiar with the talks'', the LA Times added.

    A senior State Department official told the LA Times that the Mukhabarat could become a ``top-tier'' partner of the CIA, stating: ``Their competence level as a service is very high. You can't survive in that part of the world without a good intelligence service, and they are in a position to provide significant help.''

    Major General Yahia Hussein Babiker, a former deputy director of Mukhabarat and another senior Sudan government official believed to be named in the UN dossier destined for the ICC, told the LA Times that ``American intelligence considers [Sudan] to be a friend'' and Khartoum has achieved ``a complete normalisation of our relations with the CIA''.

    Even before 9/11, Khartoum made it clear to Washington that it wanted to get Sudan removed from the US list of states that sponsor terrorism and the lifting of associated economic sanctions.

    For at least 18 months after the eruption of the Darfur rebellion in February 2003, and Khartoum's brutal reaction to it, the Bush
    administration was slowly but steadily moving in the direction of ``rehabilitating'' Khartoum, and lifting the sanctions. To facilitate this, Sudan has participated in the US ``war on terror'' and, perhaps more importantly, been willing to finally agree to a negotiated settlement to the decades-long civil war with the southern-based Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM).

    Washington's overriding goal is to see the return of US oil companies to Sudan. US corporations have been excluded from profiting from the massive expansion of oil exploration and production in southern Sudan, while Chinese, Malaysian, Indian and European companies have filled the gap.

    But the rehabilitation was rudely interrupted by events in Darfur. Washington ignored the government-directed atrocities being inflicted on the people of Darfur for as long as it could. But when Khartoum's brutal treatment of the Darfuris began to threaten the north-south peace deal, the US was forced to apply pressure on Khartoum through the UN Security Council to rein in the janjaweed.

    Since July 2004, a cynical and macabre pantomime has been performed in the Security Council, with a series of symbolic and increasingly toothless resolutions being passed ``demanding'' that Sudan end its attacks in Darfur and disarm the janjaweed. Despite threats of minor sanctions against individuals and the imposition of unverifiable and/or unenforceable restrictions, Khartoum has continued its attacks.

    For all their ``humanitarian'' rhetoric, US and European governments have refused to provide adequate funds, equipment and logistics to African Union (AU) soldiers deployed as cease-fire monitors in Darfur, the only force in a position to prevent or discourage attacks on civilians. Only 2300 of the 3500-4000 troops originally promised to be in place have been able to deploy, and even they have taken around six months to arrive.

    With the final signing of the north-south peace agreement on January 9, the Security Council members will be even less likely to take genuine action as they each prepare to grab their slice of the coming rush of the oil and reconstruction contracts.
    Norm Dixon:

    But Washington now finds itself in a bind. Khartoum's very public and brutal attempts to crush the Darfur rebellion through mass terror and ethnic cleansing have meant that Washington has not been able to justify lifting its sanctions in time to take advantage of north-south peace deal. At the same time, it cannot seriously threaten Khartoum with further real penalties without damaging the valuable covert security alliance it has developed.

    The April 29 LA Times referred to the conclusion of an October report by the US Congressional Research Service that summed up Washington's dilemma: ``It said Gosh and other Sudanese officials had played ‘key roles in directing ... attacks against civilians' and noted that the administration was ‘concerned that going after these individuals could disrupt cooperation on counter-terrorism'.''

    A ``senior US government official familiar with terrorist threats in the region'' agreed, telling the April 29 LA Times: ``These are not all nice guys, but they have gone way past a passing grade on counter-terrorism cooperation and don't technically belong on the list. The reason they arestill there is Darfur, which is not related to state-sponsored terrorism but makes lifting sanctions now politically impossible''.

    In response, the Bush administration has begun to try to downplay the seriousness of the Darfur crisis in the hope that it can ``delink'' Darfur from the existing sanctions regime in the public's mind and convince the world that action to end the attacks in Darfur is no longer urgent. Washington needs to revise Colin Powell's September characterisation of Khartoum's persecution of Darfur's non-Arabic speaking farmers as ``genocide''.

    Powell's charge was primarily a cynical pre-election ploy to win votes from a loose coalition of right-wing Christian groups, liberal
    supporters of ``humanitarian'' military intervention in Darfur and hardline anti-Islamic rightists keen for another Iraq-style invasion to advance US imperial interests. With Bush again safely ensconced in the White House, the administration is moving to quietly put the ``genocide'' stick back in the cupboard.

    Robert Zoellick, US deputy secretary of state, during a two-day trip to Sudan on April 14-15, grossly underestimated the death toll in Darfur since February 2003, claiming that it was only between ``60,000 and 160,000''. During the same trip, Zoellick also gave ground to Khartoum's claim that it is not responsible for the janjaweed, stating: ``There are tribal disputes and militias that may be out of anybody's control.''

    Zoellick pointedly refused to repeat Powell's ``genocide'' charge, telling the April 15 London Financial Times that he did not ``want to get into a debate over terminology''. The ``former secretary of state'', Zoellick said, was simply ``making a point''.

    To back Zoellick's downplaying of the carnage in Darfur, the State Department ``declassified'' a document that questioned previous estimates of the death toll. Eric Reeves condemned it as ``propaganda'': ``an obvious tissue of unsubstantiated assertion, intellectual and methodological confusion, factual error and deliberate misrepresentation... Most notably, no sources are given in the entire course of the document, only vague references to uncited ‘studies'. There is not a single bibliographic reference; there is not a single statistic that is more than simply bald assertion, appearing without derivation or explanation or context; there is not a single website or URL reference.''

    Right-wing New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof pointed out on May 4 that US President George Bush had not publicly uttered the word ``Darfur'' in the previous 113 days, even following meetings with Vladimir Putin, Jacques Chirac, Tony Blair and the entire NATO leadership. On the other hand, Kristof reported, ``the Bush administration is fighting to kill the Darfur Accountability Act, which would be the most forceful step the US has taken against the genocide''. The bill, already passed by the Republican-controlled Senate, calls for more sanctions on Sudan's rulers.

    The April 29 LA Times revealed that in March US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has sent a conciliatory letter to Sudan's president ``calling for steps to end the conflict in Darfur''. The letter congratulated Sudan for its cooperation with the AU mission in Darfur and stated that Washington hoped to establish a ``fruitful relationship'' with Sudan and looked forward to ongoing ``close cooperation'' in the ``war on terror''.

    From Green Left Weekly, May 11, 2005.

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