The EU's Doorkeeper

BERLIN/KHARTUM |

BERLIN/KHARTUM (Own report) - Serious allegations are being raised in Sudan concerning one of Berlin and the EU's partners in warding off refugees. According to doctors in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, more than 100 people have been killed and at least 70, raped during the brutal suppression of last week's mass protests, carried out mainly by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The RSF militia, which had already been accused of atrocities during the civil war in Darfur, has been looting and murdering in Khartoum for more than a week. Its leader is considered to be the real strongman in Sudan, since the longtime President Omar al-Bashir and his regime were ousted by the population after a month-long struggle on April 11. Berlin and the EU had not only been operating closely with al-Bashir to halt the flow of refugees. Fully aware of its blood-thirsty violence against refugees, they had also relied on the, now rampaging in Khartoum, RSF, to seal off the Sudanese borders. Berlin and the EU are also cooperating with murderous militias in Libya.

The Khartoum Process

From the outset, the Sudanese protest movement would have had a better opportunity not only to oust the country's military regime, but to prevent the RSF from gaining more influence, as well, had Berlin and the EU not been systematically supporting Khartoum's repressive activities, for years, to thwart refugees from reaching Europe within the framework of the so-called Khartoum Process. This Process was launched in November 2014 by the EU member countries, plus Norway and Switzerland, along with eleven African countries, from Tunisia to Kenya to block African escape routes to the EU. Sudan plays a key role: The route taken by refugees from major countries of origin such as Eritrea and Somalia to reach the Mediterranean, passes through that country. Already in early 2018, the Sudanese government under Omar al-Bashir received nearly €200 million as part of the Khartoum Process. The funds were also transferred to Sudan's repressive forces indirectly, partially even to the NISS intelligence service. EU aid included training and arming the Sudanese border police. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[1])

"Integrated Border Management"

Germany, in particular, had been closely cooperating with the now overthrown President Omar al-Bashir. For example, within the framework of the Khartoum Process, the state-owned development agency German Association for International Cooperation (GIZ) had been active in Sudan since 2016. The GIZ is running a program called "Better Migration Management," together with other authorities from within the EU, such as the British Council and the Italian interior ministry. The EU provides €40 million for this project and the German ministry for development €6 million. The GIZ claims that its work focuses on the "protection of victims of trafficking." As can be seen from its presentation of the "Better Migration Management" program, the agency is assisting Sudan's repressive authorities, organizing "training" such as "in integrated border management, document security, fraud detection" at borders and "investigation as well as prosecution of human trafficking cases."[2] The GIZ affirms that it can rule out that "the usage of equipment will be for security or military applications."

"The Greatest Supporter"

Berlin's close collaboration with the al-Bashir government had lasted, at least, until the end of 2018. Following a meeting between the Sudanese Foreign Minister Dirdeiry Mohamed Ahmed and his German counterpart Heiko Maas, Sudanese media reported in November, that the German foreign minister "has expressed his country's desire" to not only strengthen the bilateral relations with Sudan, but also to support Khartoum "in various international forums" - particularly in the EU. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[3]) An opponent of the Sudanese government affirmed, when the mass protests began in December, that even though Khartoum is supported by several western countries, Berlin is Sudan's "greatest supporter of the EU countries" in terms of "technical cooperation and also financially."[4] The German government never objected to Khartoum's having largely delegated the practical implementation of halting the flow of refugees to the RSF - for example measures to seal off the borders. This is partially funded by the EU, in spite of the fact that the RSF not only is known for its extreme brutality in Darfur in the past, where - at the time known as Janjawid - it had been waging a vicious war against insurgents, but also for its current brutality. It has been proven that the RSF is abusing and torturing refugees.[5]

The Decisive Force

Serious allegations are currently again being raised against the RSF. The militia, with more than 10.000 heavily armed members, has been able to take advantage of the turmoil surrounding the April 11 ouster of President Omar al-Bashir, who the Sudanese military command considered no longer sustainable. In the weeks that followed, RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo succeeded in not only becoming the official second in command of the ruling military council, but also, de facto, its commander. The RSF is currently considered the decisive force in Khartoum, particularly for brutally crushing last week's protests. Following al-Bashir's ouster, the large protest movement had continued its demonstrations and barricades, to induce the military council to gradually introduce democracy into the country. On June 3, this attempt was brutally terminated by the RSF - at least for the time being.

"Mass Murderers in Power"

According to doctors in Khartoum, on June 3 alone, at least 100 people were killed, over 700 injured, some seriously, and more than 70 raped, during the murderous tearing down of blockades and raids on opponents.[6] The exact numbers cannot be determined, also because the Sudanese military council has interrupted communication links throughout the country. Since June 3, the orgy of violence, blamed primarily on the RSF, continues. While opponents of the regime have called for a strike, there are reports of arbitrary shootings by the RSF, arbitrary imprisonment of opponents, of looting, and rapes. In reference to Berlin and the EU's accomplice in fending off refugees, the RSF, a leading German daily carried the headline "Mass Murderers in Power."[7]

EU's Accomplices in Warding off Refugees

The EU's cooperation with African gangs of murderers to ward off refugees is nothing new. In Libya, it works with militias operating as the "Coast Guard," who detain refugees in camps, known for torture and murder.[8] Two internationally renowned human rights lawyers have recently filed a complaint against the EU with the International Criminal Court (ICC). (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[9])

 

[1] See also Nützliche Milizen.

[2] Better Migration Management (BMM) in Sudan. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit. Brussels 2018.

[3] See also Proteste im Sudan.

[4] Sudan steht an einem Wendepunkt. Neues Deutschland 28.12.2018.

[5] See also Der Militärrat und sein Vizechef.

[6] Zeinab Mohammed Salih, Jason Burke: Sudanese doctors say dozens of people raped during sit-in attack. theguardian.com 11.06.2019.

[7] Thilo Thielke: Massenmörder an der Macht. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 11.06.2019.

[8] See also Lager für Europa (II) and Libysche Lager.

[9] See also Die tödlichste Migrationsroute der Welt.