Sudan News: President Omar al-Bashir in Darfur to achieve unlikely peace


Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir (R), Sudan's Janjaweed militia leader Mussa Hilal (2nd-L) and Abdullah Nagi (2nd-R), representative of Chadian President Idriss Deby, dance during an official ceremony celebrating the marriage of Hilal's daughter Amani to Deby in Khartoum on Jan. 20, 2012.


Ashraf Shazly

NAIROBI, Kenya — Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir is in Darfur today, the restive western region where he is accused of ordering militias to commit genocide, where certainly tens and possibly hundreds of thousands of people have died and many more have been forced from their homes by a conflict that has lasted nearly a decade and shows few signs of ending.

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Not that Bashir would agree.

He is in El-Fasher to inaugurate the Darfur Regional Authority, a governing agency headed by the leader of one of the few rebel groups to have signed a peace deal with Khartoum. Darfur's various rebel groups are notorious splitters and it was only the Liberty and Justice Movement (LFM) that signed a treaty brokered in Doha last year. The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), for example, is one of three rebel groups that have refused to sign and continue to fight.

Bashir was on familiar form as he celebrated a peace that few believe in and which will mean little to the millions who make their homes in squalid camps: He danced, smiled and waved his swagger stick in the air while telling them all to "go home" because the war is over.

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