Friday, June 30, 2006

Mia Farrow on the Conflict in Darfur

Mia Farrow spoke with ABC News from the Dafur region of Sudan. She traveled there to put a spotlight on the genocide and human suffering.

— - Q. Where in in the Darfur region of Sudan were you?

A. We went to south and north Darfur and visited refugee camps in both places. Unlike my last visit in 2004 I could not go to west Darfur which is now considered too volatile to visit. Even now the itinerary keeps changing because of the security situation. We went to Gereida and Finna camps which were outside of the town of Nyala. This is the biggest refugee camp with 126,000 people. Also visited a camp called Zam Zam in Nyala which has 30,000 people. Read the full interview >>>

Thursday, June 29, 2006

UN decries lack of will for Darfur

From correspondents in London

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has decried a lack of "political will" among world leaders to end the Darfur crisis, in an interview with BBC television to be aired later Thursday.
Speaking ahead of an African Union summit in Banjul to discuss Sudan's refusal to accept a UN force in Darfur, Mr Annan said it was "in the interest of Sudan to cooperate with the UN and the international community in Darfur". Read more >>>>>

The Meaning of Khartoum’s Suspension of Humanitarian Access to Darfur

The regime has a long and deadly history of such suspensions, both in southern Sudan and currently in eastern Sudan

Eric Reeves

Khartoum’s decision to suspend for two days most UN humanitarian operations in Darfur---including the World Health Organization, the UN High Commission for Refugees, the UN Mission in Sudan, and others---had little to do with the reason offered by the regime, viz., UN transporting of Suliman Jamous, the recently rescued Sudan Liberation Movement humanitarian official. Jamous had been imprisoned by the increasingly brutal and tyrannical Minni Minawi, and on securing his release the UN was understandably eager to afford him shelter from re-capture. To be sure, Khartoum’s vicious Military Intelligence was angry that the UN moved Jamous without permission. But the real purpose of suspending UN humanitarian aid had little to do directly with the rescue of a man who has been indispensable to humanitarian operations throughout Darfur. Rather, Khartoum’s action was, in effect, a pointed threat: Read more >>>>>>>>>

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Sudan: Adding anti-Semitism to genocide

By Nat Hentoff

While the killings and gang rapes in Darfur, and among refugee camps in neighboring Chad, are increasing after the so-called "peace agreement" on May 5, the genocidal president of Sudan, Gen. Omar Hassan al-Bashir, absolutely refuses to allow entry to U.N. peacekeepers to supplement the inadequate, though brave, African Union mission in Darfur.

Declaring that these would be "colonial forces," the ruthless al-Bashir accuses Jewish groups of organizing for U.N. intervention. "If we return to the last demonstrations in the United States, and the groups that organized the demonstrations," said al-Bashir on June 21 (Associated Press), "we find they are all Jewish organizations." (Actually, a rainbow of many religious groups organized the demonstration.)Read more >>>

UN Fails to Take Decisive Action On Darfur

Press Release: Genocide Intervention Network
UN Fails to Take Decisive Action On Darfur
Khartoum Continues to Deter Deployment of UN Peacekeepers

International Force Urgently Needed to Address Deteriorating Situation on Ground

WASHINGTON — The Genocide Intervention Network today expresses serious concern over the UN’s failure to take meaningful action to end genocide in Darfur. Following the Sudanese government’s outright rejection of an international force in Darfur, the UN continues to compromise the lives of civilians by allowing Khartoum to stall indefinitely on the question of peacekeeping. Read more >>>

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Darfur: between peace and delivery

Simon Roughneen

The failure of the Darfur Peace Agreement to improve conditions on the ground will jeopardise the lives of already displaced and hungry people, writes Simon Roughneen from Fata Borno camp in northern Darfur.

Harian, a 28-year-old mother of five, smiles and chats amicably as nutrition staff from the Dublin-based charity Goal wrap a measuring tape around 14-month old Insaf's arm. Harian takes the indicator cards entitling her family to supplementary feeding at the nearby clinic at the Fata Borno camp for conflict-displaced people in north Darfur. Insaf is underweight, and the whole family is technically malnourished. This camp has been their home for two and a half years.

On 5 May 2006, the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) was signed between the Sudanese government and one faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLA), led by Minni Minawi. Minawi's faction is militarily more potent than the rest of the SLA, but is itself splintering in the wake of the DPA. The more popular faction of the SLA, led by Abdul Wahid Mohamed Nur, remains outside the agreement; so too does the Justice & Equality Movement (JEM), militarily powerless and lacking grassroots support in Darfur, but with a pan-Sudanese agenda and links to opposition forces in other regions of Sudan. Read more >>>

Monday, June 26, 2006

UN Fails to Take Decisive Action on Darfur

Khartoum Continues to Deter Deployment of UN Peacekeepers

International Force Urgently Needed to Address Deteriorating Situation on Ground

To: National & International Desks

Contact: Rajaa Shakir, Director of Education, 202-481-8109,, Genocide Intervention Network

WASHINGTON, June 26 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Genocide Intervention Network today expresses serious concern over the UN's failure to take meaningful action to end genocide in Darfur. Following the Sudanese government's outright rejection of an international force in Darfur, the UN continues to compromise the lives of civilians by allowing Khartoum to stall indefinitely on the question of peacekeeping. Read more >>>

Darfur: Further complicated by al-Bashir

KHARTOUM, Sudan, June 26 (UPI) -- Sudan announced that it is ready to take over security and peacekeeping duties in Darfur if the African Union forces pull out.

The announcement Monday further complicated the Darfur issue, constituting as it did another public rejection by Khartoum of a U.N. resolution calling for the deployment of international peacekeepers to replace African forces monitoring a cease-fire agreement between local militias and the Sudanese government in the war-torn province of western Sudan.

A Sudanese government spokesman said that at a meeting chaired by President Omar al-Bashir the cabinet renewed its refusal to relay the mission the African Union's mission in Darfur to the United Nations. Read more >>>

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Khartoum Adamantly Refuses Urgently Required UN Forces in Darfur

At the same time, the National Islamic Front regime also misses key deadlines in the “Darfur Peace Agreement”

Eric Reeves

For those vaguely hopeful that genocidal destruction in Darfur might somehow be halted by a UN peace support operation, or that there would be good faith observance of the terms of the Abuja (Nigeria) “Darfur Peace Agreement,” this has been a very bad week. Blaming a conspiracy of Jewish groups for the large chorus now calling for humanitarian intervention in Darfur, President Omar al-Bashir felt particularly unconstrained in expressing his views about a UN peace support operation in the increasingly violent region:

“Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has escalated his rejection of the UN deploying peacekeepers in Darfur, saying they would be neo-colonialists and accusing Jewish organizations of pushing for their deployment.” [ ]

Speaking of a UN deployment, al-Bashir declared:

"‘This shall never take place,’ al-Bashir told reporters at a press conference with South African President Thabo Mbeki Tuesday. ‘These are colonial forces and we will not accept colonial forces coming into the country.’ ‘They want to colonize Africa, starting with the first sub-Saharan country to gain its independence. If they want to start colonization in Africa, let them chose a different place.’” (Associated Press [dateline: Khartoum], June 21, 2006). The full article >>>

Sudan suspends all UN mission work in Darfur

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudan has suspended the work of a U.N. mission in its violent Darfur region after accusing the world body of transporting a rebel leader who opposes a recent peace deal, a Sudanese official said on Sunday.

"The suspension applies for all of Darfur and this will continue until we get an explanation," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Jamal Ibrahim. Read more >>>

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Annan plans to see Sudan president on Darfur force

By Evelyn Leopold

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Friday he would try again to persuade Sudan's president to accept a U.N. peacekeeping force in Darfur when they meet at an African Union summit in Gambia next week.

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Tuesday that U.N. troops were out of the question, suggested there was a "colonial" agenda behind such demands and accused Jewish organizations of pushing for their deployment.

Annan said he had spoken to Bashir by telephone and received the same negative response given to Jean-Marie Guehenno, the head of U.N. peacekeeping, on the need for a force in Sudan's arid western region where at least 200,000 people have died from fighting, hunger and disease and 2.3 million have been uprooted. Read more >>>

Friday, June 23, 2006

Darfur deal "weak", needs urgent UN force

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - A Darfur peace deal has "serious flaws" and only an urgent, robust U.N. peacekeeping mission will ensure it does not collapse and further divide the violent region, a think tank report said on Tuesday.

An African Union-mediated May 5 peace deal for Sudan's west was signed by only one of three rebel negotiating factions in the Nigerian capital Abuja.

Thousands in Darfur's refugee camps have demonstrated daily against the accord saying it does not meet their basic demands and AU forces monitoring a shaky truce there have been attacked by angry and frustrated Darfuris.

"There is a very real danger that the international community, in its eagerness to get a deal, has brokered one that is structurally weak," the International Crisis Group (ICG) said in a 19-page report.

"The document has serious flaws, and two of the three rebel delegations did not accept it," it added. Read more >>>

AU Konore aligned himself to Khartoum

Sudan Liberation Movement/Army
On Mr. Konare’s remarks while visiting Darfur

June 22, 2006 — The continuous struggle of the people of Darfur to realize their right for peace, better life and security, that struggle shall not be subjected to any compromise, political or otherwise. The African Union has sustained its turn away policy in dealing with the ongoing genocide against the people of Darfur. Mr. Knoare’s remarks while the latter was visiting Darfur, is another example of the AU’s refusal to admit its failure in Darfur, both politically and from a security standpoint. After the people of Darfur and Sudan had rejected the AU’s weak proposed DPA, the AU had been left with nothing, but to create more unrest and chaos in Darfur. Read more >>>

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

War Crimes In Darfur

War Crimes In Darfur (MP3)
War Crimes In Darfur (Real Player) - Download
Listen to War Crimes In Darfur (Real Player)

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court says that he anticipates bringing war crimes charges against those who have committed atrocities in the Darfur region of Sudan. Luis Moreno Ocampo says his office is able to document thousands of killings of civilians, including "a significant number of large-scale massacres, with hundreds of victims in each incident." Read more >>>

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Darfur puzzle

The U.N. will only act if invited by the murderers, so the U.S. should press harder for punitive sanctions.

THE UNITED STATES IS APPARENTLY serious about sending international troops into Darfur — so much so that on Thursday, Congress approved $60 million to help pay for a United Nations peacekeeping mission there. Too bad the mission itself doesn't exist and, without more top-level diplomatic involvement, may never materialize.

Last month's peace agreement between the Sudanese government in Khartoum and one of the rebel factions in the Darfur region was hailed as a triumph of diplomacy. But it's looking more and more like the latest in a series of empty gestures. Read more >>>

Real Peace In Sudan

Colin Thomas-Jensen

Colin Thomas-Jensen is the Research and Advocacy Officer for Africa for the International Crisis Group, the global conflict resolution organization.

Last month, four days after the Darfur Peace Agreement was signed, the desperate and angry residents of Kalma camp in South Darfur lashed out against the African Union (AU), the regional body charged with observing a failed 2004 ceasefire and brokering the latest deal. Demonstrators looted an AU police post and brutally killed an unarmed Sudanese translator. Anger at the peace deal and the forces behind it is not limited to Kalma. Similar post-agreement violence has erupted in numerous other squalid displacement camps across Darfur. Read more >>>

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The UN Security Council and a Final Betrayal of Darfur

No willingness to confront Khartoum on the need for civilian and humanitarian protection

Eric Reeves

Despite rapidly escalating violence throughout Darfur and eastern Chad, the UN Security Council refuses to push for urgent measures to protect civilians and humanitarians. Instead, deferential Council members have repeatedly insisted that the genocidaires of the National Islamic Front regime in Khartoum will determine whether an international force deploys to Darfur, even as the regime continues to send explicit signals that it has no intention of allowing for such deployment.

In short, all evidence suggests that the only protection for a region the size of France will continue to be a radically inadequate African Union (AU) force---and that most of eastern Chad will continue to be without security of any kind. This continuing exclusive reliance on the AU, whose performance has recently deteriorated badly, comes even as “reports from the UN and the AU indicate that violence against civilians in Darfur has doubled since the May 5 peace deal” (Associated Press [dateline Khartoum], June 7, 2006). Read more >>>

Joint Statement of Darfur Leaders Abstaining from Signing on Abuja

Aware of the failed inter-Sudanese peace talks in Abuja;
Conscious of the need to assess the afore mentioned process and lessons drawn from it;
Confirming the urgency of joining political, diplomatic, military and media activities;
Determined to successfully mange the resulting challenges;
Mindful of the international drive underlined by the UN Security Council meetings with the Government of Sudan (GaS) and the African Unions (AU);

Leaders of political and military organizations abstaining from signing the Abuja document met in Asmara on June 7,2006; and noted that:- Read the full story >>>

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Witness to Darfur horrors will speak

An activist hopes to aid refugees, the victims of genocide in the Sudan.
By WAVENEY ANN MOORE, Times Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG - Rebecca Hamilton says she saw firsthand the horror of genocide when she traveled to the Sudan to work with refugees.

It's what she will share during a talk Thursday at the Florida Holocaust Museum. She also will speak about what ordinary people can do to help stop the killing and prevent similar atrocities in the future.

"There are things that the average individual citizen can do to make a difference to people who are facing genocidal violence in Darfur,'' Hamilton said.

"Over 300,000 have died already and nearly 3-million have been displaced and I think we lose sight of what that means. Behind those numbers are individual stories. Sudan is the country that has the largest number of internally displaced people in the world.''

The genocide in Sudan's Darfur region, where government-backed Arab militias, or Janjaweed, are destroying communities of African descent, is just the latest in humanity's history of systematic killings of a disfavored group. The full story >>>

UN told of mass Darfur killings

By Crispin Thorold
BBC News, United Nations

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court says he has documented thousands of alleged direct killings of civilians in Sudan's Darfur region.
Luis Moreno Ocampo, who is investigating crimes against humanity in the western region, says the killings include large-scale massacres.

Mr Ocampo, in a report to the UN, also criticised Sudan's own investigations. Read more >>>

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Janjaweed, and peace, are elusive in Darfur

By Lydia Polgreen The New York Times

MISTARIHA, Sudan Their camouflage uniforms bear no insignia.

Their machine guns lack the brassy patina of long use. Instead of boots, most wear sandals or flip-flops.

The armed men swarming this mysterious town, usually off limits to foreigners, look almost, but not quite, like soldiers. Their allegiance does not appear to be to any military commander, but to a tall, copper-skinned man in a white robe and turban named Musa Hilal.

Hilal, the sheik who the U.S. State Department and human rights organizations say is an architect and perhaps the key leader of the fearsome Arab militias that have unleashed a torrent of misery in Darfur, laughed softly at the question of who these armed men were.

"They are soldiers," he replied with an easy smile in a rare interview here. "Just regular soldiers."

But Colonel John Bosco Mulisa, the commander of the African Union peacekeeping base about 40 kilometers, or 25 miles, away, said there was little doubt who these men really were.

"They are janjaweed," he said, using the local term for the Arab militias. "This town is their headquarters." Read the full story >>>

Sudan says no to UN forces

Khartoum - Sudan renewed its opposition to the deployment of international forces in Darfur and denied giving the African Union the green light to hand over its mandate to the United Nations.

Presidential adviser Majzoub al-Khalifa Ahmed said: "We have expressed our opposition to deployment in Darfur of international forces.

"We have made it clear to the UN mission that we have not ordered the AU to hand the mandate it has been accorded over to any other authority, and that the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) has not provided for a UN role." Read more >>>

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Sudan: Divide and destroy in Darfur

John Prendergast

Negotiating the end of a war is tricky enough. But in the case of Darfur, mediators were also faced with the implicit task of ending what the Bush administration calls genocide, and what nobody can deny have been gross crimes against humanity.

Such a tall order, coupled with an abrupt negotiating deadline, produced an agreement that leaves more questions than answers. And unless a United Nations force is deployed immediately to guarantee its implementation, it will also leave over two million homeless Darfurians vulnerable to further exploitation.

One question without a rational answer is why it took so long to broker this deal. When the U.S., UK and African Union finally set a deadline and committed high level support to the process, it took just weeks to finalize a deal. Why didn't this happen a year and a half ago? Up to two hundred thousand lives could have been saved, and the dynamics on the ground would have been more amenable to reconciliation and reconstruction. Read more >>>

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Sudan: No Justice for Darfur Victims

(New York, June 8, 2006) ? The courts established by the Sudanese government to deal with the widespread crimes in Darfur have failed to provide justice to victims of war crimes committed since early 2003, Human Rights Watch said in a briefing paper released today. On June 6, 2005, the Office of the Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced it had opened an investigation into the events in Darfur. The next day Sudan's chief justice announced the establishment of the Special Criminal Courts on the Events in Darfur (SCCED), telling the Sudanese media that the court was "considered a substitute to the international criminal court." Read more >>>

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

SUDAN: Washington imposes flawed 'peace’ deal

Norm Dixon

In the early hours of May 5, the most militarily significant Darfur rebel group — a faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) led by Minni Minnawi — reluctantly accepted a flawed “peace” agreement with Sudan’s authoritarian regime. Contrary to the optimistic claim by US President George Bush on May 7 that the agreement allows the people of ravaged Darfur “a chance to begin anew”, the deal imposed by Washington again leaves the fate of millions of Darfuris dependent on the “good faith” of Khartoum’s rulers, whose vicious scorched-earth tactics are responsible for the deaths of up to 450,000 people in western Sudan. The full story >>>

Darfur's continued killing and raping

Nat Hentoff

You may have believed that a purported peace treaty signed on May 5 by Sudan's Khartoum government and a main rebel force in Darfur signaled, at last, the end of the genocide in Darfur, and the displacement of 2.4 million largely black Muslim survivors — alive for the time being. The facts on the killing fields, however, are that this treaty is a tragic illusion. Read more >>>

Millions dying: Do we care?

This evening, as you laugh at sitcoms, eat a satisfying dinner, and telephone loved ones, know that millions of people are in the midst of a genocide. Since 2003, the Janjaweed militia has killed over 400,000 innocent Sudanese men, women, children, and babies. The Janjaweed have displaced over 2.5 million, many of whom will die because of disease or starvation as a result of being moved from their homes. Read more >>>

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Demonstrations in Darfur refugee camps overcast peace deal

By Shao Jie

KHARTOUM, 06/04 - Most camps of refugees and internal displaced persons (IDPs) in Sudan`s western region of Darfur are in a state of disarray because of continuous demonstrations against the African Union (AU)-sponsored peace deal between the government and Darfur rebel movements.
Most of the demonstrators are from the Fur tribe, the biggest non-Arab tribe in Darfur, and supporters of Abudu al-Wahid Mohammed al-Nour, also a Furian, who is leading a main faction in the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and has refused to sign the AU-sponsored peace agreement, said an official administrating one of the biggest refugee camps in Darfur. Read more >>>

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Arbitrary arrests among students originating from Darfur

On May 30, 2006, the security force unjustly detained students from Darfur while protesting against the incomplete Abuja deal of May 05 th, 2006 signed between Minni Minnawi and the Sudanese regime. The following were unjustly arrested:1) Khalid Yagoob Abdalla ( University of Umdurman)2) Jibreel Adam Musa ( University of Koran)3) Adam Assadig (University of Gazeera)4) Mohamed Adam ( University of Nileen)5) Idris Ibrahim Ismail ( university of Sudan)In addition, many unreported students are in detention without any accusations against them.

Darfuris say peace deal incomplete - 'We stay for 100 years in camps'

El Fasher, Sudan - The dozen men hunched inside of a small mud hut in the Abu Shouk refugee camp are yelling so loudly that a small boy retreats into the corner and begins sobbing.

The men may sound as if they are fighting, but in fact, they are all in agreement as they discuss the Darfur peace accord, which was signed by the government of Sudan and one faction of the rebel Sudan Liberation Army on May 5.

To hear this angry discussion, one thing is clear: Not all Darfuris think the widely-hailed peace agreement is going to solve any of their problems.

Following the refusal of Abdel Wahid Mohamed Nur's breakaway faction of the SLA to sign the agreement, Darfuris and observers have charged that the peace deal is doomed to failure. Read more >>>

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Oil at root of Darfur atrocity

By Rick Stiebel
Goldstream News Gazette

Local MP Keith Martin outlines Sudan situation for Belmont students

The genocide in Darfur is directly linked to the discovery of oil in that region of Sudan, says Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca Liberal MP Dr. Keith Martin.

Speaking to about 75 Belmont Secondary School students last week, Martin said the Sudanese government is furthering its oil interests by using the profits from oil to hire rebels and troops to brutalize and kill people who just want to farm the land. Read more >>>