Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A new tack on Darfur


Instead of saving Darfur's people, their advocates may be prolonging their agony. They need to consider whether a different message is required to get urgent action from the Bush administration on ending the violence. Specifically: Is it not time to go beyond urging greater pressure on Sudan and using force in the region to seek a negotiated peace settlement between Sudan's leader and the rebel groups in Darfur? That is necesssary in any event.

For three years, nongovernmental organizations and the media have pursued a relentless campaign to persuade Western governments to stop the killing in Darfur, protect and feed its people and get millions of refugees out of camps and back home. The recent renewed military carnage in Darfur has prompted continuing ads in major newspapers and on television imploring President Bush to get a United Nations force into Darfur to "stop the genocide."

This advocacy has rested on two assumptions: first, that only outside pressure will persuade Sudan's government to reverse course -- the country's leader, Omar al-Bashir, will do nothing without a gun to his head; second, if his government resists, Western governments can ultimately be persuaded to do the right thing: to take aggressive measures to force Khartoum to capitulate. Read more >>>

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