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|January 12, 2010|
January 11, 2010
To the Editor:
Re “After Years of Mass Killings, Fragile Calm Holds in Darfur <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/02/world/africa/02darfur.html> ” (front page, Jan. 2):
Contrary to the impression given in your article, it is not the rebels but Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Sudan’s president, who is the real catalyst for seven years of government-sponsored terror in Darfur, resulting in 300,000 deaths and the displacement of about three million more.
This same man, who has been indicted on war crime charges, and his National Congress Party were responsible for the deaths of two million in southern Sudan during two decades of civil war as they sought to protect their hold on oil resources.
The “fragile calm” your article depicts in Darfur exists only because Mr. Bashir has largely finished his work there. He is now focused on other priorities, most important of which is rigging the coming elections to maintain his grip on power. Before an election farce legitimizes his reign, the Obama administration should impose strict consequences on his brutal regime. Otherwise, southern Sudan may descend into another war, and three million Darfuris suffering in camps may never be able to go home.
The writer is co-founder of Investors Against Genocide and executive director of Pax Communications.