Preoccupation with Iraq Slowed US, UK Response to Darfur Crisis
The Foreign Policy Centre in the UK is issuing a report that blames the Iraq War for the inability of the US and the UK to respond in a timely way to the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. Although the US has applied diplomatic pressure and threatened sanctions against Khartoum, the report maintains that the situation in Darfur developed at a time when London and Washington were preoccupied with Iraq and either disinclined or unable to intervene.
The UK and US are looking into whether the killing of 30,000 persons and the displacement of a million can be categorized in international law as genocide. Arabic-speaking nomads called Janjawid have targeted members of the farming Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa tribes. Most of the principals on both sides of the conflict are Arabic speaking Muslims, demonstrating that such ethnic markers do not explain everything, or sometimes very much, in the Middle East. In this case a traditon of provincial autonomy and conflicts between herders and settled farmers are more important.