Press Statement by Darfur Peoples' Solidarity, 24th October 2006

People of Darfur speak out against UN intervention In response to the growing international chorus calling for UN intervention in Darfur, the Darfur Peoples’ Solidarity [1] group will be holding a counter demonstration outside 10 Downing Street from 13:00 until 14:30 on Sunday, 29 October 2006.

Darfur is in turmoil, many people have lost their lives and many more have been displaced but the proposed UN intervention will only inflame the current situation. UN Resolution 1706 [2] creates suspicion and mistrust amongst the majority of the people of Darfur. It outlines a mandate for UN troops which takes sovereignty from the Sudanese government, and gives UN control of Darfur, training police forces, patrolling Darfur’s borders, reviewing the judiciary system and trying suspected criminals.

The intervention of UN troops in the current international political climate is likely to be perceived as the hostile occupation of a sovereign country, turning Darfur into a battleground against the assumed invaders in which innocent civilians would pay the price. The intervention of foreign troops could encourage a tribal war between the rival groups, deepening divisions rather than resolving the conflict. Indeed the term Janjaweed is misleading since there is no agreed definition of who the “Janjaweed” are, raising the fear that innocent civilians will be labelled as such by UN forces. Consequently many innocent civilians could be harassed or killed. There is also great concern that intervention in Darfur could encourage a similar situation as in Iraq and Afghanistan which could very easily be exploited and destabilised by external extremist forces.

UN, EU, USA and British officials have praised the African Union forces for doing a great job. The question then is why not support the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) to complete its mission? The cost would be a tiny fraction of deploying UN forces and the continuity and expertise of the existing forces would be maintained.

The main issues of Darfur’s blight are competition over scarce resources, poverty and lack of development, exacerbated by a total absence of political will. Darfur needs financial resources to overcome its problems, not invading forces. The cost of the intended force would be better used to solve the problems in Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan, helping bring about peace and save many lives.

Darfur is home to six million people, comprised of approximately 86 tribes and ethnic groups. The rebels belong to a tiny group of people from two of these tribes. It is unfair to allow this minority to impose their will over the majority by force, a dialogue is more appropriate. It is essential for the Abuja agreement to be extended to include all parties representing the people of Darfur. It is here that the role of the International community lies, in exerting pressure on the non-signatory rebel factions to join the peace process. The International community has to put its weight behind a political solution, promoting a democratic process that is fair for all people of Darfur.

The people of Darfur share a long history of peaceful coexistence and intermarriage. This heritage has been interrupted by the current conflict. A genuine dialogue between all the groups rather than the unrepresentative Abuja agreement is needed to rectify the damage caused by the current conflict. A comprehensive free and fair Darfurian dialogue is the only acceptable solution for true and lasting peace.

For further information or interviews, please contact: Yagoub Aldmuki: 07947 876839 or


[1] Darfur Peoples’ Solidarity UK and Ireland, a broad coalition representing all the tribes and geographical residences of Darfur, was formed on 31 July 2004 by Darfurians resident in the UK and Ireland concerned with the situation in Darfur and the misrepresentation of the situation in the media. As a case in point, on the same day as the launch of the organisation, it was reported that ‘Muslim Arab’ militia were killing ‘Black African Christians’, despite their being no Christians whatsoever in Darfur.

[2] UN Resolution 1706: