Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Darfur peace accord is expected to fail

SUDAN'S WORD, U.N. WILL TO ACT IN DOUBT
By Tina Susman

NYALA, Sudan - The tattered tents stretch as far as the eye can see on the edge of town. The narrow paths are filled with weary-looking people, bleating goats and whining donkeys hauling rickety wooden carts, a vision almost medieval in its wretchedness.

If a peace accord signed earlier this month is successful, this squalid city, actually a camp for people displaced by Darfur's civil war, will disappear and its 95,000-plus inhabitants will return to their abandoned farms. Read more >>>

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Why the UN Can't Save Darfur

It has been a good few weeks for those who believe that the United Nations can save Darfur--or so it may appear. Eleven days ago, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution demanding that the Sudanese government allow a mission to enter Darfur and assess the needs of an eventual deployment of U.N. troops.
That vote came in response to repeated obstruction by Khartoum, which has long balked at allowing a U.N. assessment team to enter Darfur--even after reaching a peace agreement with one faction of the largest Darfuri rebel group earlier this month.
But yesterday, three days past the deadline established by the Security Council, Khartoum finally agreed to allow the U.N. team to enter the country. The State Department trumpeted the development as "a positive step," and a headline in yesterday's Washington Post conveyed optimism that a deployment of U.N. troops to Darfur is on the way: "DEAL ON MISSION IN DARFUR MAY PRESAGE U.N. PRESENCE: MOVE CALLED PRECONDITION TO PEACEKEEPING." Good developments all. Right? Read more >>>

Saturday, May 27, 2006

POLITICS-DARFUR: Grim and Getting Grimmer

Analysis by Jim Lobe

WASHINGTON, May 26 (IPS) - Despite a recent peace accord, a new U.N. Security Council resolution, and agreement by Sudan to permit a U.N. assessment team to travel to Darfur to determine how to strengthen peacekeeping forces there, the situation in the region, as well as in eastern Chad, has continued to deteriorate, according to sources here.

Attacks on villages and refugee camps by Khartoum-backed Arab militias, or Janjaweed, have been reported throughout Darfur in the past week, while fighting between various rebel factions has reportedly intensified. More than 700,000 people scattered around the region are currently without access to humanitarian relief, according to U.N. agencies. Read more >>>

Friday, May 26, 2006

Darfur’s Peace Plan: The View from the Ground

By: Suliman Baldo

The test of the Darfur peace agreement lies in the implementation of its provisions for security and disarmament, says Suliman Baldo of the International Crisis Group.

The world greeted the signing of the Darfur peace agreement (DPA) by the government of Sudan and the largest of the three rebel movements on 5 May 2006 with a sigh of relief. But while the accord does offer a necessary first step towards ending the carnage, a lot more needs to be done if peace is to return to the beleaguered region of western Sudan. Read more >>>

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Complete, Inclusive and Comprehensive Peace for Darfur


http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/578741957

Sudan says no to UN force in Darfur

Sudan on Wednesday said it would not accept the deployment of UN peacekeepers in Darfur as a Security Council deadline for a UN team to be allowed into the strife-torn region expired.

"The government does not accept the deployment of foreign forces under (UN Security Council) Chapter Seven," presidential adviser Majzoub al-Khalifa Ahmed told reporters. Read more >>>

The Grim Threat of Peace

Jane Wells

"I feel like even if I screamed here, no one would hear a thing. Maybe because no one would be listening but mostly because no sound would be coming from my mouth. I would be muted." An Aid Worker in Darfur.



The Darfur Peace Agreement was signed on May 5th. This should be cause for rejoicing, but history has taught us that Peace Deals do not end genocide and alas this is shaping up to be no different. Read more >>>

Sunday, May 21, 2006

U.S. must be more forceful if genocide is going to come to an end in Darfur

Laura Brunelle, Hudson

The United States has been a nation that espouses human rights; many Americans tout the ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit if happiness for every person, even on a global level.

Why then are so many Americans ignorant about the atrocities occurring in Sudan? Why has the American media afforded so little time and energy to the genocide of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Sudanese by government-sponsored militants? Read more >>>

Khartoum Clamps Down Hard on News Access to Darfur

What do the regime’s genocidaires wish to obscure from international view?

Eric Reeves

The May 18, 2006 Reuters dispatch from Khartoum, by the superbly well-informed Opheera McDoom, offers a telling picture of newly imposed and severe restrictions on the ability of journalists to travel to and report from Darfur: Read more >>>

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Militias kill dozens despite Darfur peace-rebels

KHARTOUM, May 20 (Reuters) - Dozens were killed in a major attack by government-backed militias on Shearia town in Sudan's Darfur region, the latest in a wave of raids since a peace deal was signed earlier this month, rebels said on Saturday.

A spokesman for the main rebel faction group who signed the deal in the Nigerian capital Abuja on May 5 told Reuters from the field in Darfur that despite the agreement, heavy attacks have continued on the ground. Read more >>>>>

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Experts Discuss the Sudan Crisis

Journalist Nicholas Kristof and Sudan expert John Prendergast talk about the continuing crisis in the Sudanese region of Darfur in Africa. Listen to the entire discussion >>>>

Radio >>>

'AU needs to enforce Darfur peace deal'

Johannesburg -
A South African peacemaker who participated in the negotiations for last week's peace deal in Darfur has warned that the agreement is very fragile and could collapse unless the African Union finds the "political stomach" to enforce it robustly.

Most fighting forces did not sign the accord and those which did had repeatedly broken ceasefires before and the African Union lacked the strength to enforce it, warned Laurie Nathan, a research fellow at the University of Cape Town and the London School of Economics. Read more >>>

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Complete, Inclusive and Comprehensive Pease for Darfur


To African Union, Unite Nations, European Union, President Obasanjo and People of Nigeria, USA, Canada, Safe Darfur and All Civil Society and Human Rights organizations and Individuals concerned about Darfur, we undersigned are representatives of Darfur and other Sudanese civil society organizations and Sudanese experts...Read more >>>>>>>

Controversy surrounds peace deal for Sudan's Darfur

By Noel King

Controversy continues to swirl around Sudan's Darfur peace accord, which entered into effect this week despite the refusal of two factions to sign up to the deal.

The African Union has extended the deadline for the dissenting factions until 31 May, threatening sanctions if the groups continue to refuse to sign. Read more >>>

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

THE FUTURE OF DARFUR.

For Suad Abdalaziz, prospects are bleak. A Zaghawa from the Tawilla area of Northern Darfur, Suad was raped repeatedly by three Janjaweed militiamen in February 2004. The Janjaweed were ferociously active that month in the Tawilla region; in a single assault, led by the notorious Musa Hilal, they burned to the ground more than 30 villages, killing more than 200 people and raping more than 200 girls and women--some by up to 14 assailants and in front of their fathers, who were later killed. The men who raped Suad told her, "We want to change the color of your children." And they did: Nine months later, she bore a daughter. Now she is unlikely to get married, because, as she put it, "I have lost my honor." Read more >>>

Monday, May 15, 2006

Can Darfur's peace survive?

No-one was expecting Darfur's peace agreement to bring about an immediate transformation on the ground.

But the short time since the deal in Abuja have shown the size of the challenge ahead.

The Sudan Liberation Army, the region's biggest rebel movement is split in two.

One faction lead by the wiry Minni Minnawi has signed the deal while the other faction under Abdul Wahid Mohammed al-Nur demands further concessions from the Sudanese government.

In Gereida and Kalma - two of Darfur's biggest camps - the impact of the deal on the rebels and their supporters could be immediately seen. Read more >>>

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Complete, Inclusive and Comprehensive Pease for Darfur

UN, EU, AU, USA, UK, Civil Society, H Rights, International Community

The door for comprehensive and complete peace in Darfur should be left open.

We, the undersigned, are Darfurians, other Sudanese and concerned non-Sudanese who sincerely believe that the agreement that was signed on May 5, 2006 in Abuja, between one faction of SLM/A and the National Congress Party, does not address the root causes of Sudanese Conflict in Darfur and it is therefore unacceptable. We believe it will lead to more destruction of Darfurians and their region.
Join those who are for genuine and everlasting peace for Darfur.

QUANTIFYING GENOCIDE IN DARFUR: May 13, 2006 (Part 2)

Current data for total mortality from violence, malnutrition, and disease
Eric Reeves

Part 1 of this mortality assessment (April 28, 2006), surveying all relevant extant data, concludes that since the outbreak of major conflict in Darfur (February 2003), over 450,000 people have died from violence, disease, and malnutrition (see http://www.sudanreeves.org/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=102). Moreover, despite the “peace agreement” reached in Abuja (Nigeria) last week, there is little reason to believe that the current mortality rate for disease and malnutrition (based on UN data) will decline from a level of almost 7,000 deaths per month (see Part 1). Read more >>>

'Creative death' in Darfur, The cure may be as deadly as the crisis

In Darfur, things have fallen apart terribly, and putting them back together again won't be easy -- no matter what treaties are signed or peacekeeping forces sent in.

There are so many ruined lives in Darfur, especially of women raped and impregnated, of children without parents, of witnesses to the slaughter of loved ones. Eric Reeves, the inspired American activist who has done so much to call attention to the plight of refugees and victims of state-sponsored Janjaweed violence in Darfur, writes in the New Republic that "it will be a long time before life in Darfur returns to normal -- if it ever does." Read more >>>

Violence follows Darfur peace, Sudanese unhappy

By Opheera McDoom

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Violent demonstrations and angry proclamations against a Darfur peace deal have marred the agreement hailed by the international community as a first step to end the violence that has killed tens of thousands.

Anger in the miserable camps where more than 2 million have sought refuge over three years of rape, killing and looting, has boiled over into violent protests throughout all three Darfur states and Khartoum.

Many Darfuris say they reject the deal, signed by only one rebel group faction on May 5 in the Nigerian capital Abuja. Two other factions, including one led by a member of Darfur's largest tribe, have refused to sign.

"It is a big mess," said Bashir Adam Rahman, political officer in the opposition Popular Congress Party. Read more >>>

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Phony Peace

May 11, 2006: In the wake of the "partial" peace deal in Darfur, the US is once again urging the United Nations to provide troops for a Darfur peacekeeping operation. The UN wants to deploy a "robust" UN force, which some have interpreted to mean a force of at least 20,000 troops. The government has indicated that it would reconsider it position on a UN-sponsored peacekeeping force. What that means precisely ("reconsider") isn't clear. Read more >>>

UN rights chief urges ICC to act on Darfur

By Richard Waddington

GENEVA (Reuters) - The International Criminal Court must act more decisively to bring to trial those guilty of war crimes in Darfur because Sudanese officials have so far proved incapable of doing so, the top U.N. human rights official said.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, just back from a visit to Sudan, said on Thursday that despite government promises no official had been tried and punished for any of the serious human rights violations committed in the vast western region of Africa's largest state. Read more >>>

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Complete, Inclusive and Comprehensive Pease for Darfur

The door for comprehensive and complete peace in Darfur should be left open.

Peace in Darfur?

Our Sunday Visitor (www.osv.com)

The people of the Darfur region of Sudan in recent years have become the "poster children" for the horrors of starvation, famine and even genocide. They are the end result of an old, all-too-familiar story that has been revisited time and again over the past several decades in various parts of the African continent: civil war, rebel factions, atrocities against civilians, ethnic cleansing, displaced refugees, international apathy and humanitarian aid that arrives too little and too late for too many. Read more >>>

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Cracks appear in main rebel group over Darfur peace deal

Abuja, Nigeria

Divisions emerged on Tuesday in the Darfur rebel group that signed a peace deal with Khartoum last week, with the top adviser to the movement's chairperson urging the United Nations to freeze its implementation.

Ibrahim Ahmed Ibrahim, top adviser to Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) leader Minni Arko Minnawi, sent a letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan charging that his boss had been pressured into signing Friday's peace agreement. Read more >>>

Darfur: Back to Business as Usual

By: Anne Bartlett, Chicago, USA

Only hours after the ink has dried on the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), the Government of Sudan has revealed its contempt for the peace process and humanitarian norms.

In a show of what can only be described as “business as usual” Jamal Muhammad Ibrahim put paid to suggestions that a UN force would automatically be allowed into the region. Speaking to Reuters he argued that the idea of an immanent UN force was untrue: "This is not accurate. I don’t know who made this statement. ... It has to come after an assessment by the Sudan government. If the need arises then Sudan may decide to do so. Otherwise no one has the right to impose foreign forces on Sudan," Read more >>>

Darfur refugees fear peace deal leaves them vulnerable

CBC News
Riots erupted in Sudan on Monday during a senior UN humanitarian official's visit to a camp for displaced people in Darfur.

A Sudanese interpreter was killed by the angry demonstrators.

Tensions are increasing in the camps as refugees learn details of the peace deal signed on Friday between the Sudanese government and the main rebel groups in Darfur. They fear the deal doesn't do enough to protect them from government-backed militia, the Janjaweed. Read more >>>

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Darfur refugees wary of peace deal

By Claire Soares

GAGA, Chad, May 6 (Reuters) - Darfuri refugees sheltering in crowded camps in arid eastern Chad might have been expected to celebrate a long-awaited peace deal but they say they are in no rush to pack bags, load mules and begin the trek back home.

Many are wary of the agreement struck on Friday because it does not include all rebel factions, while others are highly sceptical the Sudanese government will keep its side of the bargain.

"I'm all for peace, but the deal has to be a realistic one or we'll end up back home facing the same violence that caused us to flee in the first place," said Adam Dingila, a community leader at the Gaga refugee camp, who has lost 15 members of his family to the conflict in Darfur. Read more >>>

Sudan denies reports that it will allow UN troops in Darfur

Khartoum -

Sudan's government has denied reports that it will allow United Nations peacekeepers to enter the war-torn Darfur region.

'Either I have been misquoted or someone else has made an erroneous statement,' Foreign Ministry Spokesman Jamal Ibrahim told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa on Sunday, as the UN's top humanitarian official Jan Egeland was due in the region. More >>>

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Video rouses students


By JANESE HEAVIN of the Tribune’s staff

Darfurians are dying daily, and some Rock Bridge High School students want to do something about it.

Sophomores in Matt Cone’s and Heather Hadley’s world studies classes have spent the past week talking about the situation in the region in western Sudan after having watched MTV’s "Translating Genocide." The documentary follows three college students to Sudan, where they talked to refugees. Read more >>>

Violence against Darfur women worsens - rights chief


By Kamilo Tafeng

KHARTOUM, May 4 (Reuters) - Sexual violence against women in Darfur is worsening amid a general deterioration in security and human rights in Sudan's vast west, the top U.N. human rights official said after touring the region.

"The situation (in Darfur) is poor, bad and very alarming and what is particularly sad is to see no progress and a deterioration of the situation," said Louise Arbour, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.

"I am absolutely persuaded that the sexual violence against women ... is worsening every day," Arbour told Reuters in an interview in Khartoum on Wednesday. Read more >>>

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Government offensive raises fears of attack on Gereida

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

Observers fear the town of Gereida, which provides refuge to an estimated 90,000 displaced persons, might come under siege following a series of attacks on rebel-controlled villages in South Darfur.

"We have received unconfirmed, unilateral reports that there might be an attack on Gereida town - meaning that the town could be under fire - if we do not take immediate steps," said Gemmo Lodesani, the United Nations deputy humanitarian coordinator in Sudan, said by telephone on Tuesday. Read more >>>

Janjaweed Attack in Chad Causes Panic Among Sudanese Refugees


By Lisa Schlein
Geneva

The U.N. refugee agency says fear among thousands of people who fled to Chad from Sudan's conflict-ridden province of Darfur is growing in the wake of fatal attacks by janjaweed militiamen on Monday. The agency says the attack occurred near the village of Dolola, in southeastern Chad ,just a few kilometers from a refugee camp at Goz Amir.

The refugees were not the victims of this attack but the U.N. refugee agency says it was too close for their comfort. The rest >>>

Darfur rebels right to reject agreement

Reporter: Mark Colvin

MARK COLVIN: There's been another deadline extension in talks aimed at ending the civil war in the Darfur region of Sudan. As Australia's Ambassador to the UN Robert Hill floated the possibility of Australian troops possibly being deployed to a possible peacekeeping mission there.

The Sudanese Government says it's ready to sign a draft agreement but Darfur rebel groups don't feel they've got enough out of the deal. Read more >>>

Why are we Muslims so silent on Darfur?

TAREK FATAH

The remark by a prominent Muslim refugee-rights activist troubled me greatly: "Zionists [are] abusing this issue," he announced curtly when he said he would not be joining me and hundreds of other people on Sunday at a "Scream for Darfur" rally at Queen's Park in Toronto.

This line of thinking, that Jews have somehow stolen the issue of Darfur's genocide by actively campaigning against it, has been making the rounds in cyberspace and needs a rebuttal.

The fact that more than 200,000 Darfurians, almost all of them Muslims, have been killed in an ongoing genocide; the fact that more than a million Muslim Darfurians are displaced refugees living in squalor and fear, appears not to have registered with the leadership of traditional Muslim organizations and mosques in this country. Read the full story >>>

Monday, May 01, 2006

QUANTIFYING GENOCIDE IN DARFUR: April 28, 2006 (Part 1)

Eric Reeves


Currently extant data, in aggregate, strongly suggest that total excess mortality in Darfur, over the course of more than three years of deadly conflict, now significantly exceeds 450,000. As Rwanda marks a grim twelfth anniversary, we must accept that while vast human destruction in Darfur has unfolded plainly before us, we have again done little more than watch, offering only unprotected humanitarian assistance while some 450,000 people have perished as a result of violence, as well as consequent malnutrition and disease. Human destruction to date, however, certainly does not mark the conclusion of the world’s moral failure in responding to genocide in Darfur---on the contrary, this massive previous destruction is our best measure of what is impending. Read more >>>

Ending the Darfur silence

THE MOST compelling humanitarian challenge of these times is to stop the genocide in Darfur. In the past three years, more than 400,000 people have been annihilated and more than 2 million driven from their homes by the National Islamic Front regime that rules Sudan and its proxies, Arab militias known as Janjaweed. And all that time -- while helicopter gunships were strafing villages, soldiers were raping women and girls, and Janjaweed raiders were smashing babies' skulls -- the nations of the world did little more than bemoan the complexities standing in the way of a life-saving mission. Now, they are even forcing cuts in United Nations food aid for lack of funding. Read more >>>

Holocaust On People's Minds At Darfur Rally

WASHINGTON

In the words of Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, "for the sake of our humanity, save Darfur."

Wiesel was among the thousands who turned out in Washington Sunday to urge the Bush administration to help end the genocide in Sudan's Darfur region.

The crowd chanted, "Not on our watch" as speakers took turns on the National Mall.

Wiesel said while families are being uprooted and starved and children tormented and slaughtered, the world is "indifferent to their plight."

He said he won't remain silent because "silence helps the killer, never his victims." Read more >>>