Arabs -nomads-for Integrated and Peaceful Darfur (ARPID)
ARPID: Constitutes a group of prominent scholars who for sometime were concerned with the radicalization that characterizes the positions of Arab groups in Darfur, who are either passive or negatively active. Peace talks are likely to resume without these groups, because they so far have not defined a strategy nor identified themselves as partners in peace. ARPID have opted to pragmatically and philosophically face the challenging question: what needs to be done to ensure that the Arabs are not a liability but an important asset to reaching a peaceful in Darfur and Sudan as a whole?
Objective: Assert the position of the Arabs as an integralpart of the consultative process aimed at bringing comprehensive peace to Darfur Over the long run, ARPID aims at forming a strong lobby group that can grant pastoralists their economic, political, and cultural rights without having to resort to rhetoric, war, or any unnecessary gimmicks but adhering simply to just and democratic proceedings.
Introduction: Though a minority among the Arab tribes of Darfur has taken part in the campaign of hatred administered by the state against its own citizens, it was enough to overshadow the noble stand made by the leadership of the Arabs of southern Darfur who abstained from taking part (mainly the Reizighat). The mood of the (inter)national public was too frustrated to see the great history that once made Darfur a model of coexistence across the whole Sudanic Belt. Not to forget that it had a vested interest in portraying the Arabs as terrorists, part of its strategy of “war against terror.” It is fair to say that the tribal leadership of the Arabs was too weak to go against the will of the government, and the Arab intellectuals lacked coordination needed to combat the efforts of communal elites who personally benefitted from the war. If not checked, these war lords will continue to hijack the platform and promote themselves as representatives of the Arabs in Darfur.
Background: A group of scholars/activists have met at the Governance Bureau office on October 9th of 2008 to discuss issues of peaceful coexistence among Darfur’s different tribes. They have noted that the ideologization that the nation experiences at large has contributed to polarization the political and social landscape in Darfur. It has provided some ethnic entrepreneurs an opportunity to seek an alliance with the NCP as the pro-Arab partner in the government (while continuously portraying SPLM as pro-Africans). This rhetoric greatly defies important lessons of history, geography and shared destiny. Gradually both the Arabs of Darfur and Kordofan are coming to their senses and slowly realizing that under such scenarios of fragmentation and identity agitation, they are strategically better off collaborating with the southerners who are their neighbors, i.e., members in proximity, and the zurga who are their brothers in religion and partners in life. By so doing they provide the necessary bondage needed to preserve the unity of the nation, albeit in a natural non-artificial manner.
Political alliances should help the country overcome not highlight ethnic cleavages. However, given the moral and intellectual impoverishment of the ruling junta; it is bound to rely on emotional affiliations and primordial boundaries. This group would never allow Darfurians to come together. They are driven both by illusion and statistical realities. The illusion being the battle of Matama at which the army of the Caliphate Abdullahi Attaishi (1916), killed civilians, burned their cities and took their belonging as booties. Though Darfur was as badly destroyed or even worse by Osman Janu, the battle of the Matama was seen as an ethnic cleansing campaign
— a genocide committed by the Garaba against the Gala’een, or so they choose to believe. The Nazis of Sudan have not left a myth that they didn’t exploit, they are likely to avenge the killing of their “relatives” by killing the zurga of Darfur or causing fitna among its Arabs. The bottom line is that both groups must die without remorse. The NCP would not allow Darfurians to unite before the elections because statistically Darfurians resemble 7/12 of the northern Sudan. Before they even coalesce with the southerners, Darfurians can democratically rule Sudan (if they come together, and that is a big “if”). Hence the regime cherishes them as a muscle, but definitely doesn’t celebrate them as a brain