The EU is prepared to do business with murderers.
In February 2004, the Janjaweed (literally “devils on horseback”) militia attacked a boarding school in Darfur, forcing 110 girls to strip at gunpoint before raping many of them and burning down their school.
In 2009 the international criminal court issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir on seven counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes.
In 2010 it issued a further warrant on three counts of genocide against his own people.
Last month, Amnesty International released a report with evidence that, earlier this year, Bashir’s air force had been dropping chemical weapons on some of the remoter villages.
Last November, at a meeting in Malta, the EU came up with the Khartoum process. Desperate to respond to the migration “crisis”, it signed an agreement for “enhanced cooperation on migration and mobility”, giving Sudan €100m over three years, with another €46m specifically allocated for border control, training border police and establishing holding centres.
This week, Sudanese government officials were in London for more “strategic dialogue” on migration cooperation.
The Janjaweed will have the job of policing borders.
Because European electorates are getting increasingly anxious about immigration, we are now prepared to make a deal with the devil, funding to the tune of many millions a man who would be arrested for genocide were he to step foot on our shores. And why? Because Bashir has promised to help the EU stop people fleeing to Europe at source. The fact that they are fleeing his death squads and chemical weapons attacks isn’t being mentioned. We play down the genocide against his own people because he is now a valued “partner” on immigration and at the centre of one of the established migration routes from the Horn of Africa.
The shoddy Khartoum deal was an EU deal. Der Spiegel reported that the 28 EU states had agreed to secrecy about the deal. “Under no circumstances” should the public find out what was going on, the EU commission warned. Maybe that’s why we are not hearing so much about Bashir dropping chemical weapons on his own people.