David Kenner of Foreign Policy magazine is reporting that Sudanese Gen. Mohammad Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi is heading the Arab League's humanitarian mission to expose Syria's President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on protesters. Dabi's position in the mission has come under scrutiny because he stands accused of presiding over the creation of the feared Arab militias known as the janjaweed in the restive Sudanese region. He is also a staunch loyalist of Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide and crimes against humanity for his government's policies in Darfur.
Dabi's involvement in Darfur began in 1999, four years before the region would explode in the violence that Secretary of State Colin Powell labeled as "genocide." Darfur was descending into war between the Arab and Masalit communities — the same fault line that would widen into a bloodier interethnic war in a few years' time. As the situation escalated out of control, Bashir sent Dabi to Darfur to restore order.
It is Dabi's motives during this time that are being questioned. His arrival in Darfur coincided with the creation and rise of the janjaweed (Janjawiid), who occupied Darfur. Dabi does not refute this analysis of the scenario, saying that he provided the necessary resources to quell violence in the region.
Dabi's participation in the humanitarian effort is highly problematic considering the charges levied against the janjaweed, which include looting, torture and murder. The fact that he is a "staunch" al-Bashir supporter makes his involvement suspect at best and a travesty at worst.
Read more at Foreign Policy.