Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Darfur and the UN

Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A Reuters report says that John Bolton is calling for action against Sudan, not just talk:
U.S. Ambassador John Bolton blocked a U.N. envoy on Monday from briefing the Security Council on grave human rights violations in Sudan's Darfur region, saying the council had to act against atrocities and not just talk about them.
My first reaction to the lead was, "now wait, don't you have to know what's going on to know how to act?"

Reading further into the article answered that question. Bolton asked:
"How many officials from the secretariat does it take to give a briefing?" he said, noting the council had just concluded a briefing on Darfur from Hedi Annabi, the assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations.
Or said more succinctly: "less talk, more action".

Of course the UN has been talking, and dithering, about Darfur for years. Lately they've been trying to pass off the fact that the African Union is monitoring the situation as being an effective solution to the problem. Let me ask you, does this give you the feeling that the AU has the situation in hand?
The Security Council met for a briefing on the latest developments in Darfur after rebels in the western Sudanese region abducted a number of African Union peacekeeping troops and killed some of them.
Kofi Annan's threatened response to the event?
The incident prompted Annan to warn in Geneva on Monday that a surge of violence in the region may force the world body to suspend some aid to Darfur.
There you go. Keep it up and the UN will punish the victims.

Meanwhile the whining in the UN continues:
Council diplomats who wanted to hear from Mendez said it was a council tradition to give the envoy a platform when Annan called for a briefing from his adviser on genocide.
France was highly incensed:
France's U.N. ambassador, Jean-Marc de La Sabliere, said he "strongly regrets" that Mendez was "not authorized" to speak to the council despite a personal appeal on Friday from Annan: "The majority of delegations wished to hear what Mendez had to say, but four delegations were opposed."
But Bolton, who stuck to his guns, said:
U.S. Ambassador John R. Bolton said the Security Council, which received a briefing about Darfur from a senior U.N. peacekeeping official Monday, has sufficient evidence of abuse to take action. He said another briefing on the matter would distract the 15-nation council from making decisions needed to halt the violence.

"We should talk about next steps, not about how to arrange the furniture in the Security Council," Bolton said.
Well I have to agree with Bolton, how many briefings do you need to know a situation needs remedying? And I'd also point out that the UN determined some time ago that what was happening in Darfur wasn't "genocide". That saved them from having to act. So I'm not sure what the "advisor on genocide" would add to the body of information already available.

No comments: