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Vol 45 No 16

Published 6th August 2004


Sudan

Fighting the foreign front

The Darfur massacres have finally put the NIF government back on the international watchlist - but it believes it can evade more serious sanctions

The Darfur war is intensifying on two fronts - on the scorched scrublands of western Sudan, where more than 50,000 civilians have been killed already, and on the milder terrain of media diplomacy. Oppositionists and regime-loyalists agree on one point: that the Darfur war has critically changed the balance of forces in Sudan's power struggles. The National Islamic Front (National Congress) government in Khartoum faces growing armed opposition in the West, the East and again, say many, the South, and is said by both critics and supporters to be weaker than at any time since it seized power in 1989. At the same time, its opponents insist that claims of a dangerous power vacuum developing in Khartoum are empty rhetoric from NIF politicians manoeuvring for yet another tactical twist: 'The change is that events are now shaping the regime's tactics and not vice-versa as before,' said one dissident.

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