Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Tutu said in a statement released here Monday that the government of Sudan "continues to act with impunity and must now be subjected to tough and effective sanctions until the suffering ends."
"Sudan's President Mr Bashir longs to be given the AU's presidency. The AU cannot allow itself to comfort the oppressor. I appeal to those leaders meeting at the AU summit to stand up to tyranny and stand by the people of Darfur," Tutu said.
"The Africa Union has before it a stark choice on Darfur. Be bold and stand by the people of Africa or be weak and stand by the politicians who are making that corner of Africa a graveyard," he stated.
Tutu who noted that the level of human suffering over the past month has hugely increased, claimed that the limited succour that the UN and the aid agencies can offer in Darfur is on the verge of collapse.
"If the AU allows this to continue and the aid effort breaks down then there will soon be no help for the hundred of thousands who have fled their homes.
"This is a matter of utmost urgency. The people of Darfur need action in weeks not months. They have suffered terribly, and they cannot wait any longer."
Tutu charged that the Sudanese government and other parties to the conflict treat the AU peace monitors with contempt and they fail to comply with the promises they make to stop the killing. Read more >>>
While some 750 families—more than 5,000 persons—have so far been able to reach the Ardamata and Dorti camps, numerous others have been left behind and remain at the mercy of armed groups still active in the region. In the village of Tanjeke, located 30 km north of El Geneina, at least one thousand families are gathered in small, individual shelters made of grass and leaves that lack adequate roofs. The displaced persons also lack water and soon will be in need of food. People are mostly coming from the camps of Artega and Kouta and are on the run for the second time in less than three years. On January 19, a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) evaluation team was able to reach Tanjeke, but high levels of insecurity on the road have prevented any further intervention. This highly volatile environment leaves the already weakened displaced population without much needed assistance. Read more >>>
Monday, January 29, 2007
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
BOCA RATON — The cease-fire and peace agreements have done little to stop the violence, murders and rapes in the Darfur region of western Sudan. Though Darfur stands for "land of the Fur," for the last three years its name has been synonymous with "genocide."
The Save Darfur Coalitions of south, central and north Palm Beach County are not giving up. About 300 people attended an awareness rally at Temple Beth El Sunday. Their goal: to stop the genocide in Africa's largest country. Read more >>>
"Don't be distracted
Don't turn away
Don't be overwhelmed
Don't be too busy
Darfur can't wait."
Those are the powerful words of actress Meryl Streep, in a short video on Darfur.
Please click here Video to watch the video, and then sign a petition to US Special Envoy for Sudan, Andrew Natsios, urging him to support the work of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Sudan and neighboring Chad.
Since 2003, violence, war, and disease have killed in excess of 200,000 people. Another 2 million – mostly women and children - have been forced to flee their homes. Read more >>>
Thursday, January 25, 2007
AUSTIN — State pension funds would be required to divest holdings in companies fueling ongoing genocide in Sudan's Darfur region under bipartisan legislation lawmakers plan to unveil today.
The "Stop the Darfur Genocide Act," filed by Democratic Sen. Rodney Ellis and Republican Rep. Corbin Van Arsdale, both of Houston, claims broad-based support, uniting liberal advocates with social conservatives.
"It's such a compelling case that's killed more than 400,000 people and displaced 2.5 million," Ellis said Tuesday of the four-year-old strife, which the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian disaster.
"The U.S. government has declared these ongoing atrocities to be genocide," Ellis said. "One would be hard-pressed not to understand the moral implications of being on the wrong side of calling for divestment." Read more >>>
The latest report out of Darfur, Sudan, where genocide has been in progress since late 2003, is that the crisis has radically increased in violence and that international observers fear that if something is not done soon to halt the Sudanese governments' attacks on internally displaced and refugee camps, the situation might degenerate into a full blown genocide in which the black Africans of Darfur are wiped out.
After all of the hand-wringing over the lack of action to halt the Nazi Holocaust (1933-1945), the Khmer Rouge-perpetrated genocide in Cambodia (1975-1978), and the Rwandan genocide (1994), and the genocide in Srebrenica (1995), it is horrifically disconcerting that the international community (made up of individual nations, yes, but also individual citizens such as you and me) has done so very little to halt the genocide in Darfur. Read more >>>
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
In the closing days of last year, President Bush sent a message to Sudan’s commander in chief, Gen. Omar Hassan al-Bashir, that if he did not accept the United Nations plan to end the genocide in Darfur by Jan. 1, there would be consequences. Bush’s special envoy to Sudan, Andrew Natsios, said that if al-Bashir continued to stonewall, the Bush administration would implement “Plan B.” However, “Plan B” is classified, so we don’t know the details.
U.N. Security Council Resolution 1706 called for a U.N. force of 20,000 to supplement the African Union’s brave but inadequate force of 7,000 in Darfur. By Jan. 1, al-Bashir had not accepted the plan or Bush’s ultimatum. On Jan. 9, The Associated Press reported: “The U.N., the AU and international aid groups say Khartoum (Sudan’s government) is massively arming the Janjaweed (Gen. al-Bashir’s killers and rapists), and the paramilitary has recently carried out several deadly raids against civilians with the regular army’s support.”
YOUR MONEY OR YOUR CHILD
Every world leader knows of the massive crimes committed by the Janjaweed in Darfur and now in neighboring Chad. Before he left Sudan recently, Jan Egeland, U.N. coordinator for humanitarian affairs, told National Public Radio (Dec. 1), “I saw a mother who sat with her child at a hospital. There was a bullet wound through the child’s neck. An armed Janjaweed militiaman said, ‘I will shoot your child unless you give me money.’ They had no money, so he shot the child.” Read more >>>
Medair-Switzerland said about 500 households were reported to have arrived in Ardamatta Camp, and another 300 in Durti Camp, having fled their homes with very little during the peak of the cold season. Many of the displaced civilians, it added, had spent nights huddled inside rough shelters made of leaves and grass, without even blankets to protect them from the elements. Some suffered injuries while fleeing their villages.
"There has been an influx of newly displaced people arriving in [the] two camps," Medair noted in a statement, saying its technicians were extending water to the newcomers while its health workers had opened another temporary clinic in Ardamatta to focus on the specific health needs of the newly displaced. Read more >>>
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Jeremy Riddell-Kaufman wants the conflict in Darfur to cease — and he hopes showing the world just how many people have suffered because of it will be the first step.
The 19-year-old Cal Poly freshman created a group on a social-networking Web site to collect the photos of 400,000 faces — one for every person killed so far in the Sudan conflict. Read more >>>
Thursday, January 18, 2007
1) Save Darfur Coalition
2) Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre
3) Darfur Peace and Justice
4) Darfur Call
5) Darfur Association (Belgium)
6) Darfur Association (France)
For more information, contact:
+32 485698155 (Belgium)
+32 472372137 (Belgium)
+41 7973797497 (Switzerland)
+31 642330058 (Netherlands)
+33 661954614 (France)
Although the African Union (AU) peacekeepers in Darfur have a mandate to protect civilians, they have frequently failed to do so even when informed of impending attacks on civilians. Read more >>>
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
I hereby demand the European Union, under the current Union presidency of Mrs. Angela Merkel, as well as every European Government, to act now on Darfur and through the Security Council of the United Nations in order to :
1. assure that a United Nations force of 20,000 men will be sent to Darfur as required by Security Council resolution 1706
2. establish a no fly zone in Darfur
3. support measures aimed at putting economic pressure on the Sudanese government to comply with UN resolutions, particularly by targeting income from oil sales
4. To penalize members of the Sudanese government involved in the conflict, by freezing their earnings and limiting their travel
5. To encourage the creation of an international compensation funds for the victims of Darfur, which would be managed by the UN
6. To call on the International Criminal Court to continue and extend its current investigations on crimes against humanity already committed in Darfur.
Only the entries with * are obligatory : click the following link:
"If this situation continues, the humanitarian operation and welfare of the population it aims to support will be irreversibly jeopardized," 13 UN bodies involved in the relief efforts said in a joint statement, calling for protection for civilians and humanitarian workers and an end to impunity for perpetrators of human rights abuses. Read more >>>
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudanese government planes bombed Darfur rebel areas on Tuesday despite a declared truce, rebels said.
"The Antonovs bombed our areas of Amrai and Anka," Darfur rebel commander Jar el-Neby told Reuters from North Darfur, near the affected areas.
He said it was not immediately clear whether any civilians were killed but said dozens of cattle died in the bombardment.
An army spokesman denied the bombing. "No Sudanese planes have moved in Darfur or in Chad in the past two days," he said.
Chadian officials on Monday said Sudanese military aircraft had violated Chad's air space. Read more >>>
Monday, January 15, 2007
By Eric Reeves
Almost incomprehensibly, the humanitarian crisis in Darfur continues to deepen, threatening the lives of more than 4.5 million people now characterized by the UN as “conflict-affected.” Security throughout the humanitarian theater, including much of eastern Chad, is deteriorating badly. Acutely vulnerable aid operations now operate amidst intolerable levels of danger, even as these operations alone can avert cataclysmic human destruction within populations terribly weakened by four years of genocidal counter-insurgency warfare. Hundreds of thousands of civilians will die if there is no significant improvement in current security conditions.
More than 1 million human beings have no access to basic humanitarian assistance---food, primary medical care, and provision of clean water. Oxfam International reported in late December that more than a third of Darfur’s conflict-affected population was “effectively out of bounds to aid agencies.” This grim news came as UNICEF reported that nutritional studies revealed “over 70% of the population is experiencing food insecurity”; localized studies found acute malnutrition affecting 20% of children under five. The mortality rate within this most vulnerable population is certainly very high wherever humanitarian assistance is unavailable.
There were eight emergency evacuations of threatened humanitarian workers in December alone, involving 400 personnel at various locations throughout Darfur. The same number of personnel were evacuated from aid operations in eastern Chad, the scene of rapidly accelerating ethnic violence, most of it by Khartoum’s Janjaweed militia proxies or Chadian rebel groups supported by the National Islamic Front regime. Read more >>>
Sunday, January 14, 2007
EU special representative for Sudan, Pekka Haavisto, appealed for a ceasefire and said the rebels needed to reach a unified position before any political process could restart.
"I have a feeling there is a need for a long-term peacekeeping force even if there is a political settlement with the government," he told reporters in Khartoum.
"Even the government has created forces that it cannot control and this just indicates just how deep the problems are we have in Darfur." Read more >>>
Darfur rebels have branded Sudan's president Omar al-Bashir a liar, after his claims last week that the government had secured a ceasefire in the country's war-torn western region.
President Bashir said the government had agreed to a 60-day ceasefire with rebel forces as part of an effort to resolve the crisis in Darfur, where thousands of people have lost their lives in a campaign of ethnic cleansing.
But, speaking exclusively to The Sunday Telegraph, Abdalla Banda, a National Redemption Front rebel commander, said: "We have not agreed any such ceasefire with the government. We have not even taken part in any negotiations for a 60-day ceasefire. Al-Bashir is lying. He is claiming there is a ceasefire only to keep out the United Nations troops." Read more >>>
Thursday, January 11, 2007
In its December 2005 report titled "Entrenching Impunity: Government Responsibility for International Crimes in Darfur" Human Rights Watch (HRW) establishes that chains of command for military operations -- as well as recruitment, supply, and direction of the Janjaweed -- lead directly to the most senior members of the National Islamic Front (NIF). President (and Commander-in-Chief) Omar el-Bashir; Second Vice-President (and still arguably the most powerful political figure in Sudan) Ali Osman Taha; the head of Khartoum's viciously efficient security and intelligence services, Major General Saleh Abdallah "Gosh"; Minister of Defense Abdul Rahim Mohamed Hussein; Major General Bakri Hassan Salih, minister for presidential affairs and Abbas Arabi, chief of staff of the Sudanese Armed Forces.
"Since early 2003, the leadership in Khartoum has relied on civilian administration, the Sudanese military and Janjaweed militias to implement a counterinsurgency policy that deliberately and systematically targeted civilians in violation of international law. Read more >>>
But, for Darfur, the tides are turning. World leaders and celebrities alike are speaking out. United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon has called the situation “unacceptable.” The UN Human Rights Council held a special session on Darfur. Sudan is feeling the pressure. In short, we’re moving closer to putting UN peacekeepers on the ground to strengthen civilian protection.
We are at a critical moment. It’s time Canadian students united to pressure our government to take concrete steps to bring an end to the killing in Darfur. After four years of inaction, over 200,000 dead and millions displaced, we need to take a stand. “Never Again” means never again. Read more >>>
- After nearly four years of violence, homelessness and death, the suffering in Darfur, Sudan continues with no quick end in sight.
Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said, "Can the international community, having not done enough for the people of Rwanda in their time of need, just watch as this tragedy deepens?"
"It's very clear that we're heading towards the abyss, and it's very clear that now is the time for action," said U.N. Undersecretary General Jan Egeland. Read more >>>
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Nertiti, Jebel Marra, January 10, 2007-As the sun rises from behind the mountain, boys in long, white shirts, known as "jelabia," hurry through the streets of Nertiti, kicking up the dust with their feet.
The healthy chatter of their youthful voices fills the quiet of a town where the common mode of transportation is either donkey or foot. (The only motorized vehicles that venture off the main tarmac road are those of humanitarian agencies, government authorities or armed forces).
The boys are hurrying to get to school on time. In the yard, those who arrive late for morning assembly try to strategically dodge past the teacher standing at the gate.
"I want to learn so that I can help develop my country and help my mother and my community by getting a job," says 15-year-old Abaker, a student at the school. Read more >>>
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
By Lisa Schlein
Refugees at the Goz-Amir camp, eastern Chad, demonstrate during UN High Commissioner for Refugees visit, asking for more security
The U.N. refugee agency says it remains extremely concerned over the security situation in eastern Chad where there are now more than 220,000 Darfur refugees from neighboring Sudan and over 100,000 internally displaced Chadians. It says some 20,000 Chadians have been uprooted within the past three weeks. Lisa Schlein reports for VOA from UNHCR headquarters in Geneva.
The U.N. refugee agency says there has been a decrease in fighting between the Chadian army and opposition forces. But, it says inter-communal conflict continues in southeastern parts of the country near the border with Sudan's Darfur region. Read more >>>
Monday, January 08, 2007
The United Nations calls the situation in Darfur the "worst humanitarian crisis in world."
The violence in this region, which is located in the western part of Sudan, has taken hundreds of thousands of lives and left millions homeless.
The estimates are that between 200,000 and 400,000 people are now dead; more than 2.5 million have been forced out of their homes.
And the situation keeps getting worse. Read more >>>
In recent weeks, violence has flared again in the western Sudanese region of Darfur, forcing the largest-scale evacuation of humanitarian workers since aid operations in the war-torn area began in 2004.
More than 400 staff members from the United Nations and NGOs were moved from conflict zones last month due to rising insecurity. They included employees from Irish aid group Goal.
"For three years we have begged the international community to send in an international peacekeeping force to protect innocent civilians and keep the aid channels open," said Goal founder John O'Shea in a press statement following the withdrawal. Read more >>>
Sunday, January 07, 2007
The Sudanese government has unleashed a fresh aerial bombing campaign in Darfur in an attempt to inflict as much damage as possible on rebel forces before United Nations troops arrive in the region.
Antonov bombers and helicopter gunships are reported to have attacked villages and fired on civilians in open defiance of UN efforts to bring an end to the fighting.
The attacks are in breach of UN Security Council resolution 1591, passed in March 2005, forbidding "offensive military flights in and over the Darfur region". The new surge of attacks is targeting rebel strongholds throughout Darfur, where militias have secured key territories.
The African Union force commander, Major Gen Luke Aprezi, confirmed the attacks and said... Read more >>>
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Since 2003, at least 300,000 men, women and children have been killed, and some 2.2 million people—approximately one-third of Darfur’s population—have been terrorized and driven from their homes.
Villages are burned routinely, and survivors are usually forced into refugee camps where they depend on international assistance to survive. But relief operations delivering food and water to the region are often turned back by violence. This summer alone, 21 supply vehicles were hijacked and 12 humanitarian workers were killed. Read more >>>
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Recent large-scale evacuations of humanitarian personnel from Darfur, coming in the wake of an escalating series of violent attacks, are part of a pattern that may culminate in an almost complete collapse of aid operations during the coming year. The most recent analysis by this writer examines in detail a number of current reports and assessments (“Darfur Humanitarian Operations Now in ‘Meltdown’ Phase,” December 23, 2006, at http://www.sudanreeves.org/Article143.html). Highlights of the threats to humanitarian operations are suggested in the following compendium of excerpts:
“More aid workers have been relocated in western Sudanese region of Darfur following Monday’s [December 18, 2006] attack on Gereida, South Darfur State, bringing the numbers of humanitarian staff moved in December to a record 400, the United Nations said.” (UN Regional Information Networks [dateline: Khartoum], December 20, 2006)Read more >>>
Saturday's attack on villages near Kutum in North Darfur, was carried out by a government Antonov plane, according to the AU force commander, Luke Aprezi. The raid came two days after the AU mission and the United Nations mission held meetings with rebel commanders in the area.
The attack followed an incident on 25 December when armed militia in about 30 vehicles looted Kineen village (8 km Northeast of Kutum), stealing livestock, the AU mission said. The bush land surrounding the village was reportedly set on fire while women were sexually harassed.
Similar attacks had occured on 23 December on Tim village, in which 18 people were reportedly killed and eight others kidnapped.
Violence was also reported in South Darfur, where AU soldiers in Gereida (100 km south of Nyala) found the bodies of two women. A displaced woman from nearby Dar Es Salaam camp reported seeing an armed militiaman open fire on the dead women. Read more >>>
In a statement issued in Khartoum, the UNMIS said that the bombing was carried out by Antonov aircraft of the Sudanese government on the villages of Anka and Um Rai in North Darfur on Dec. 29, 2006.
The villages were the site of a meeting on Dec. 27 between officials of the UNMIS and the African Union Mission in Sudan ( AMIS) as well as a group of field commanders of Darfur rebel groups which had rejected to accept a peace deal reached between the Sudanese government and a rebel faction in May last year.
"UNMIS roundly condemns the subsequent bombing of the location where the meeting was held," the statement stressed. Read more >>>
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
SOMETIMES SOMETHING is not enough. That is the case in the saga of Darfur. Earlier this month, the U.N. Human Rights Council did "something"--it passed a resolution to send a team of investigators to western Sudan, site of the Darfur genocide. But the resolution stops short of directly confronting the Sudanese government for its complicity in the tragedy, and that's a mistake. When will the U.N. take decisive action to alleviate what it calls the "world's worst humanitarian crisis"?
Outgoing Secretary-General Kofi Annan said, in a video message to the council: "It is essential that this council send a clear and united message to warn all concerned, on behalf of the whole world, that the current situation is simply unacceptable and will not be allowed to continue. The people of Darfur cannot afford to wait another day. The violence must stop. The killings and other gross violations of human rights must end." Sadly, his words were just an echo of what has been said before. They amplify this truth: Warnings without teeth do not register with some contingents.
Arab Muslims seem determined to destroy black Muslim Darfurians. Read more >>>
Despite the news that the African Union will remain in Darfur, the world holds its breath as the Sudanese government escalates its military offensive. Hope for Darfur rests on the implementation of the United Nations resolution authorizing a U.N. peacekeeping force with a mandate to protect civilians. Yet the Sudanese government continues to veto the international responsibility to protect, denying consent for the deployment of peacekeepers. Read more >>>