A response by the Government of Sudan (GoS) to the recent joint statement by the presidential candidates on Darfur is typical of the GoS’ attempts to deflect attention from its culpability in Darfur. Reacting to the statement "We Stand United on Sudan" from presidential candidates Clinton, McCain, and Obama regarding Darfur and the CPA, the response makes unsubstantiated, narrow-minded attacks on Save Darfur, the presidential candidates, and rebel groups in Darfur.
In its press release, the GoS attempts to rebut the candidates’ statement that, "There can be no doubt that the Sudanese government is chiefly responsible for the violence and is able to end it." Their response alleges that impartial observers have identified rebel groups as the main source of violence responsible for the genocide in Darfur, coined less strongly by the GoS as "the Humanitarian crisis." Despite repeatedly mentioning these unbiased observers, whose observations contradict most accounts of the situation in Darfur, the GoS fails to cite even one of these sources.
Additionally, the rebuttal cites the implementation of the census and progress towards a nationwide election in 2009 as evidence of the GoS’ good faith efforts to secure a fair and lasting peace in Sudan. While vastly overstating progress towards elections, the response also ignores the inability of the census to account for the approximately 2.5 million displaced Darfurians who will almost certainly be disfranchised if elections do occur in 2009. With this in mind, it is hardly surprising that the GoS’ "over 30 attempts to negotiate with the rebels" have been unsuccessful.
If the government of Sudan wants to find someone guilty of misrepresenting information, it should look no further than the city limits of Khartoum.
-Teddy Schlanger, Genocide Intervention Network, Membership Assistant