Visit by the United Nations Panel of Experts on Sudan
On October 10, 2022, ECFA hosted the delegation of the United Nations Panel of Experts on Sudan, at its request, consisting of Ms. Laura Bernal (from Colombia), head of delegation; Mr. Nikolai Dobronravin (from Russia); and Mr. Patrick Loots (from South Africa), to discuss developments in the situation in Sudan, especially in the Darfur region, and to discuss possible ways to settle this file. The meeting was opened by Ambassador Dr. Mounir Zahran, ECFA Chairman, and attended by a number of members concerned with Sudanese and regional affairs.
The delegation indicated that it is keen to investigate the situation in Sudan, in order to try to find a solution to the existing problems there, by strengthening communication with all the actors in the neighboring countries of Sudan, including Egypt. However, the team did not succeed in visiting Libya, which is of particular importance, in connection with Sudan, and the Darfur region. The guests emphasized the extreme complexity of the situation in Sudan, especially in the chaotic Darfur region, with thorny issues such as the Darfurian rebel movements in Libya, and the illegal flows of weapons and migrants across the borders of the region’s neighboring countries. In this context, the delegation explained that it is not able to monitor illegal operations emanating from the region. Therefore, enhancing communication with the neighboring countries of Sudan, such as Egypt, Uganda, Kenya and Chad, is a priority for the Panel.
On their part, ECFA members pointed out the difficulty of distinguishing between Darfurians, Libyans and Chadians, and that southern Libya has become an area for all illegal actions, as it has become a safe haven for terrorists and outlaws, and there is a criminal alliance between these groups despite the big differences between them.
They added that there is a fierce conflict between the Tubu and Tuareg tribes, in addition to another conflict between these two groups and the tribes of Awlad Suleiman, the Magharha, the Qaddadefa, and the rest of the Arab tribes that see themselves as a minority in their homeland, including the Tubu and Tuareg. This is while the conflict between African and Arab tribes represents an ethnic conflict similar to what happened in Darfur, and despite the development of this hidden conflict, no efforts have been made to contain it, and it will continue to develop until it explodes. In a related context, the Juba Peace Agreement in Sudan, signed in August 2020, still lacks implementation, mainly due to funding reasons, which in turn helps perpetuate and fuel unrest in Sudan. There is also a need to seriously deal with the dilemma of some Arab countries’ financing of some rebel movements in Sudan and Chad, such as the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, in order to achieve tangible progress in settling the Darfur crisis.