Rebel Spell

NAIROBI: Good for the BBC. Aunty has stuck her neck out with a story that is going to displease a lot of the liberals who thought they knew what was going on in Darfur:

One of a group of veteran statesmen visiting Sudan, Lakhdar Brahimi, has accused the West of pandering to unrepresentative Darfur rebel groups.

I have long banged on about how the conflict in Darfur is not a matter of black and white. Yet the rebels have managed to cast a romantic spell over campaigners. Mia Farrow, the Save Darfur Coalition and any number of naive aid workers in Darfur seem to think that anyone who takes on Khartoum must be a hero. But it’s not as simple as that. Now, after the tragic events at Haskanita at the weekend, people are starting to cotton on to the idea that the rebels may not be quite the good guys that we want them to be.  If we continue to turn rebel leaders like Abdulwahid Mohamed el Nur into folk heroes, then they will continue to think that they can hold the moral high ground in their Parisienne mansions and refuse to attend peace talks.

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