Monday, April 30, 2007

Demand the UN Secretary-General takes action for Darfur.

Dear Secretary-General,

The international community has a responsibility to protect the people of Darfur. But after four years the destruction and loss of life in Darfur continues without end.

Already 200,000 people have died needlessly, possibly many hundreds of thousands more. Over 2 million will spend another night sleeping in makeshift camps where disease, rape and death are all too common. Four million need humanitarian assistance, and nearly a quarter of them cannot be reached by aid. Attacks on the humanitarian operation are unprecedented. This cannot continue.

The grim four-year anniversary of the conflict will pass on 29 April, marked by Day for Darfur protests around the world but no action unless you insist on it to the UN Security Council. The full petition text and the signature follow >>>
Nairobi/Brussels,

The international community needs to complement efforts to get peacekeepers on the ground with a new approach to negotiating a political settlement if there is to be peace in Darfur.

Darfur: Revitalising the Peace Process,* the latest International Crisis Group report, proposes a comprehensive strategy to achieve a political settlement and end the tragedy. While there has been marginally less fighting for two months, the security situation has deteriorated since the government and one of three rebel factions signed the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) in May 2006. Peace will remain elusive unless the international community coordinates better to surmount obstacles, including the ruling National Congress Party’s pursuit of military victory and increasing rebel divisions.

Deploying an effective African Union/UN hybrid peacekeeping force to protect civilians and establishing a workable ceasefire is vital, and further Khartoum delays can be expected despite recent agreement on more support for the African Union contingent. But new impetus in the moribund peace process is equally vital. “The DPA has failed because it did not resolve the conflict’s root causes, too few rebels signed, and inadequate representation in negotiation has meant a lack of support in Darfur”, says David Mozersky, Horn of Africa Project Director. “A revised political agreement is the only chance for lasting peace”. Read more >>>

Sudan: Protection for Darfur Must Be a U.S. Priority During Presidency of UN Security Council

PRESS RELEASE

Tomorrow, the U.S. will begin its month-long presidency of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, a crucial diplomatic position allowing the U.S. to set that body’s agenda. Africa Action today underscored that the U.S. must use this role to guarantee the deployment of a robust peacekeeping mission to provide protection for the people of Darfur.

As the genocide in Darfur enters its fifth year, civilians continue to be vulnerable to attack and access to humanitarian services, vital to the survival of vulnerable populations, has become increasingly tenuous. In recent weeks, increasing numbers of aid agencies have suspended their operations due to growing insecurity and violence. Africa Action emphasizes that the U.S., as the only government to publicly acknowledge that the events in Darfur constitute genocide, has a responsibility to ensure protection of the people of Darfur. Read more >>>

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Taking a stand on Darfur

BY MONROE ANDERSON

For hundreds of thousands of Africans, the Darfur region of Sudan has been hell on Earth. For about 20,000 Arabs, it is yet another opportunity to book a one-way trip to heaven. And for a relatively small number of Sudanese thugs and thieves, it is simply an opportunity to raid and loot.
Some 200,000 to 400,000, depending on whose estimates, African men, women and children have been massacred since the conflict in Darfur began four years ago. Besides the mass murders, reports of Janjaweed militias gang-raping, plundering and burning entire villages are routine. Some 2.5 million Africans have fled their homes in Darfur and are now holed up in refugee camp in neighboring Chad. Read more >>>

Saturday, April 28, 2007

PM warns of "tough action" over Darfur

Tony Blair has lent his support to a day of action on Darfur by issuing a warning to the Sudanese government.
In a statement, the PM says "tough action" will follow in the UN Security Council if the Sudanese do not abide with their commitment to peace.
More than 200,000 people have died in the conflict in Darfur, two million people have been displaced and there are four million people on food aid.Mr Blair said:
"The UK and its partners will take tougher action in the Security Council to target those responsible for the violence, to further restrict access to weapons and to improve monitoring of air flights.
"If the Sudanese government and President Bashir want to stop this process, they can, by doing those things that they should have been doing a long time ago." Read more >>>

Friday, April 27, 2007

Globe for Darfur III: worldwide action on April 29th, 2007







For signing petition, go to:

www.globefordarfur.org

Genocide in Darfur: Make the words count

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

When the violence in Sudan's Darfur region finally ends - or when all of the remaining inhabitants are dead or gone to another country - a count will be in order.

Count the number of times the Sudanese government has said it would work to end the genocide and then has broken that pledge.

Make sure to include President Omar al-Bashir's agreement this month to allow 3,000 peacekeepers and heavy equipment into Darfur to support the small African Union force there. It was followed by his rejection of a U.N. draft resolution written by the United States and Britain that talks about an international presence.

Because Bashir has reneged on earlier agreements, history also will count the death toll, which now stands at an estimated 200,000. It will count the 2.5 million refugees in Sudan and neighboring Chad who have fled the fighting between rebels and government-backed militias. Read more >>>

The child victims of forgotten war zone

The child victims of forgotten war zone

It is a desperate situation that could get much worse.

Children are dying in isolated areas of Darfur and many more lives will be lost without support, the British Red Cross said.

Money is desperately needed to help feed and care for tens of thousands of people subjected to years of unimaginable suffering caused by internal conflict. Thousands of people are stranded in areas of western Sudan that many aid agencies cannot reach. Read more >>>

Global Days for Darfur worldwide on April 29, 2007

Demand the UN Secretary-General takes action for Darfur.
Dear Secretary-General,

The international community has a responsibility to protect the people of Darfur. But after four years the destruction and loss of life in Darfur continues without end.

Already 200,000 people have died needlessly, possibly many hundreds of thousands more. Over 2 million will spend another night sleeping in makeshift camps where disease, rape and death are all too common. Four million need humanitarian assistance, and nearly a quarter of them cannot be reached by aid. Attacks on the humanitarian operation are unprecedented. This cannot continue. More >>>

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Photos, Video Expose Darfur Atrocities in Google Earth


By: Stefan Lovgren

For the past two weeks users of Google Earth have been able to get an up-close and personal view of the violence unfolding in Sudan's Darfur region.


By zooming in on satellite images of Darfur, users can see direct evidence of destroyed villages and hear from survivors through videos, maps, and photos assembled by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and other groups.

Michael Graham is coordinator of the Washington, D.C., museum's Genocide Prevention Mapping Initiative and the founder of the Crisis in Darfur project.

"This presents a story for people, a visual account that is very personal with photos and testimonies, while at the same time showing the scope of the genocide that is happening in Darfur," Graham said.

More than 200,000 people have been killed in Darfur and a reported 2.5 million have been driven from their homes since ethnically African rebels there took up arms against the Arab-dominated central....Read more >>>

Genocide in Darfur

A GROUP OF EAST BAY human rights activists will be among those who rally Sunday in San Francisco to mark the grim four-year anniversary of the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. We encourage others to join them.
Frankly, it is revolting that we even need to have a "Global Day for Darfur" rally at 4 p.m. in San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza. But the fact is, we do.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been murdered there. The actual number is somewhat in dispute, but the minimum estimate is 200,000. More than 2.5 million people have been displaced. Read more >>>

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Darfur requires tough, immediate action

By PETER MAKORI

It is time that the African Union, the United States and the United Nations formulated a joint strategy to deal with the crisis as a priority.


Reports that President Bush is contemplating sanctions against the Sudanese government are welcome, but they would come too late.

Bush and the United Nations ought to do more than just issue threats against the cold-blooded regime of strongman Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

The four years of destruction in Sudan’s western Darfur region remains the biggest shame in the face of the world community.

But seeking negotiation with the despot before deciding to deal with his madness continues to prolong the crisis. Sanctions against the Sudan government may not be enough.

Bashir, perhaps one of the most notorious dictators of modern times, is the single most culpable individual in the genocide.

The United States and the United Nations should not negotiate with the dictator. He continues to engage the world in an absurd game of hide and seek.

Women and children continue to bear the brunt of the violence by the government-sponsored militia, the janjaweed. Mass rape and defilement are the hallmark of the war in Darfur. Boys are abducted and forcefully conscripted into the war. Read more >>>

Stand Up for Darfur Now


The ongoing genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan has already claimed the lives of at least 200,000 innocent men, women and children, and perhaps as many as 400,000, and uprooted 2.5 million people from their homes. Efforts by the international community have thus far failed to stop the slaughter....More >>>

African Union says Darfur militias kill with impunity

By Alaa Shahine

EL-GENEINA, Sudan, April 25 (Reuters) - The African Union (AU) peacekeeping force in West Darfur told the United Nations on Wednesday that Arab militias were killing and pillaging in the region without fear of arrest by the Sudanese authorities.

Major Harry Soko, a Malawian officer who briefed the head of the U.N. refugee agency, said the presence of Sudanese rebel groups in his area had also led to conflict and hundreds of deaths in the past months.

"Arab militias believed to be employed by the GOS (government of Sudan) ... roam freely in our area of responsibility, threatening and killing anybody against the interests of the government," he told Antonio Guterres, the visiting U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

He said the militias were believed to be behind many crimes, ranging from banditry to rape. An African Union police commander later told the same briefing Sudanese police were not arresting the perpetrators.

The government denies any connection with the militias, known locally as Janjaweed and blamed for many of the attacks on villages inhabited by non-Arab farming communities. It says they are outlaws and that it takes action against them when it can.

Soko said one area where the rebel presence had added to the violence in recent months was around Sirba, about 45 km (30 miles) north of El-Geneina, the capital of West Darfur state.

"(This has) resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives of Sudanese government personnel, rebels and civilians," he said.

"These areas are no-go areas to AU personnel due to threats by the NRF (the rebel National Redemption Front)," he said.

The NRF is one of the Darfur rebel groups which have refused to sign the peace agreement signed last year by the government and one main rebel group.

CIVILIANS KILLED
The deal has failed to stop the violence in the region..,...More >>>

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Darfur in Focus: Gayle Smith explains the current situation in Darfur, and suggests ways for activists to help



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQRPVOeFvFE

Squeeze Sudan: To End Darfur’s Agony

Most experts agree that the 21st century’s first full-blown genocide is proceeding unchecked in the nightmare of Darfur. FSM Contributing Editor Peter Brookes explains exactly how half-hearted U.N.meddling in the Sudan have been feckless at best, and at worst, scandalous.
Squeeze Sudan: To End Darfur’s Agony

By Peter Brookes

Despite endless rounds of shadowboxing with the dodgy Sudanese government over the ongoing nightmare in Darfur, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is asking us to give appeasement, er, diplomacy, one more chance.

That’s not going to help: It’s going to take some highly credible threats to get Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir to end what many call the 21st century’s first genocide.

What kind of threats? Before I detail that, let’s review why diplomacy alone is a guaranteed bust.

The U.N. attempts to stop Khartoum’s ethnic cleansing have been feckless. At last count, the campaign by Sudanese government forces and their Arab-Muslim "Janjaweed" henchmen against Muslim Africans in Darfur has left 200,000 dead, 2 million refugees and 4 million needing assistance.

Bashir has made a mockery of U.N. efforts to stem the violence since the Security Council passed its first resolution on Darfur in 2005.

He’s made promise after promise to stop the chaos and carnage, yet it continues unabated. Now the ever-worsening humanitarian disaster is spilling over Sudan’s borders into neighboring Chad and the Central African Republic.

Last week, a "confidential" U.N. report disclosed that Khartoum is still moving weapons into Darfur, in violation of Security Council resolutions. Bashir’s boys are even disguising Sudanese aircraft to look like U.N. planes. (Khartoum denied all the charges.) Read more >>>

Khartoum's strategy of chaos

Encouraged by a recent statement from George W Bush, Sudan seems intent on sabotaging the fragile effort to re-start peace talks in Darfur.

Addressing visitors to the Holocaust Museum in Washington on Remembrance Day this year, President Bush launched a broadside against the Darfur rebels who refused to sign the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) almost a year ago:

They're roaming the Darfur countryside pillaging and stealing at will. They have killed civilians, they've plundered vehicles and plundered supplies from international aid workers, they've added to the lawlessness. The government in Khartoum has been unable to control the problem.

Within days, Khartoum was having a jolly good try, perhaps believing Bush was suggesting it should be controlling the problem. In so doing, it struck at the heart of the only progress made towards reviving the lifeless peace process since a majority of Darfurians rejected the DPA in May 2006: a "unity conference" organised in rebel-controlled North Darfur by the non-signatories of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) - with support and encouragement from the US, European Union and African Union - to give themselves structure and to agree on a common negotiating position for fresh peace talks. Read more >>>

Monday, April 23, 2007

U.S. says time running out for Sudan over Darfur


By Sue Pleming

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The State Department's no. 2 official accused Sudan's government on Monday of a campaign of intimidation against aid workers and said time was running out to accept a hybrid force in Darfur or face new sanctions.

Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, who returned from Sudan last week, said President Omar Hassan al-Bashir had "weeks" to agree to a U.N./African Union hybrid force in Darfur or have new U.S. sanctions slapped on them that were announced by President George W. Bush last week.

"Time is running out," Negroponte told reporters.

Negroponte said his meeting with Bashir was not encouraging and he was pessimistic the Sudanese leader would follow through and implement promises to allow U.N. peacekeepers to supplement struggling AU troops already in Darfur.

"I came away from that meeting with a healthy, strong sense of skepticism as to whether they might fulfill their commitments," he said.

In addition to rapidly accepting the hybrid force, Sudan's government must also disarm Arab militias, known as the Janjaweed, held responsible for much of the violence in Darfur, said Negroponte.

"The Arab militias that we all know could not exist without the Sudanese government's active support," he said. Continued >>>

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Every day horror, from Darfur to Paris


By Guy Senbel for Guysen Israel News
Editorial of the week

This week we wish to draw our readers’ attention to the situation in Darfur where, from February 2003, nearly 400 000 people have been massacred by the militias of the Sudanese government, and more than two million people have been forcibly displaced. Most editorialists are calling this the “Darfur crisis”, we prefer to call it the massacre or the crime against humanity.


The day after the commemorations of Yom Hashoah and on the eve of the anniversary of the Independence of the State of Israel, the huge drama engulfing the inhabitants of Darfur is an issue that affects everyone whose historic conscience is strong enough to understand the urgency of an intervention to put an end to the horror. For it is indeed a horror. In addition to the murders, the indiscriminate rape of women and extortion are committed every week. Read more >>>

DARFUR & THE HOLOCAUST

Yosef (Tommy) Lapid: 'Where Is The World Outcry To The Genocide Being Perpetrated In Darfur, Sudan'
'The World Does Little But Send A Few Sacks of Flour To Salve Its Conscience'

'We Know This Would Also Be Israel's Fate, It It Miscalculates'

The world is doing nothing to halt the genocide is again being perpetrated in Darfur - that was the message from Yosef (Tommy Lapid), a Holocaust survivor from Budapest, who now serves as chairman of the Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem for the six million Jews who were murdered by the Nazis during World War II. Lapid was speaking at the annual Holocaust memorial ceremony this week. This is a translation of his address to the people of Israel and the world. Read more >>>

No quick fix for Darfur

By Oscar Kimanuka

Pressure has been mounting on Sudan to allow the United Nations peacekeepers into the troubled Darfur region. The latest is US President George Bush, who has threatened tougher sanctions against Khartoum.

There has also been talk of China being urged by the US and other Western countries to persuade Sudan to accept the peacekeepers. While Sudan may have finally accepted 3,000 peacekeepers, it remains to be seen which approach will be the most feasible in resolving the crisis in Darfur where more than 200,000 have died and 2.5 million has been displaced.

The concession by Sudan is symbolic, given the magnitude of the challenge posed by Darfur.

THE UN had been pushing for a much larger role in Darfur — where the African Union peacekeepers are already operating — in an effort to put an end to the fighting.

Since November, 2006, the UN has attempted to reinforce the existing peacekeepers with smaller numbers of the UN personnel as well as technical and financial assistance. Read more >>>

Saturday, April 21, 2007

ICRC to Keep Villagers in Darfur From Fleeing to Camps


By Lisa Schlein

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says the security situation in Sudan's conflict-ridden province of Darfur continues to worsen and getting access to people in remote villages is getting harder. An ICRC delegate, who has just completed a one-year mission in Sudan, tells VOA the Red Cross is trying to make life in the villages sustainable so people do not feel they have to flee to the camps. Lisa Schlein reports for VOA from ICRC headquarters in Geneva.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is the only international aid agency working in the rural areas of Darfur. The main focus of its work is to get help and provide protection to people living in remote villages that are vulnerable to attack.

ICRC communications officer Jessica Barry has just completed a one-year mission in Sudan. She tells VOA that Red Cross aid workers regularly talk to all the various warring factions to try to make them understand that civilians must be protected. Unfortunately, she says, the message does not always get across.

"What is the real concern is that the more that this very difficult security situation continues and the more people are not able to return to their villages, finally, of course, they will have no choice but to migrate to the camps," she said. "Now the camps are already very full and this is a big concern." Read more >>>

Government aircraft bomb village in Darfur: rebels

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - A Sudanese rebel group said government aircraft destroyed a village in northern Darfur in an air strike on Thursday, inflicting casualties.

An army spokesman said he was not aware of such an attack.

Ibrahim al-Helu, a commander in the Sudan Liberation Army rebel faction, said the air strike totally destroyed the village of Jemmeiza.

"There are casualties but darkness is making it difficult to reach them or know their number," he told Reuters by telephone.

"A lot of civilians have fled the village. Some have gone missing," he said. Read more >>>

UN report says children in Darfur endure "unspeakable" violence and abuse

A new report by a United Nations group says children in the Darfur region of Sudan are being subjected to what it says are "unspeakable acts of violence and abuse."

The report is called "Sudan's Children at Crossroads" and says they are enduring some of the most inhumane treatment on the planet.

It says children are being raped, abducted, tortured and killed.

Many are being put in the military as fighters.

And the report accuses Sudan's government and all other armed groups operating in the African nation.

The group who prepared the report is calling for "immediate action" to protect Sudan's children. Read more >>>

Senator Biden Calls for Immediate Intervention in Darfur

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Senator Joe Biden (D-DE), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today called immediate intervention in Darfur, "a moral obligation" and argued that financial sanctions against the Khartoum government are long overdue.

Senator Biden made his remarks after a speech in which President Bush was expected to announce additional sanctions against the Sudanese government, instead offering another chance to abide by U.N. sanctions.

"It's been nearly four years since the Bush Administration rightly called the atrocities in Darfur genocide -- and we are still making threats instead of taking action," said Senator Biden. Read more >>>

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bush warns Sudan govt of 'last chance' on Darfur

US President George W. Bush on Wednesday bluntly warned that Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir had one "last chance" to help end violence in Darfur or face tougher US sanctions and other punishments.

"The time for promises is over, President Beshir must act," Bush said in remarks at the Holocaust Museum in Washington. "If President Beshir does not meet his obligations, the United States will act."

The US president noted that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was in talks with Bashir on the deployment of peacekeepers to Darfur, and warned: "President Beshir should take the last chance by responding to the secretary-general's efforts and to meet the just demands of the international community." Read more >>>

Secretary-General deeply concerned by reports of arms shipments into Darfur

Secretary-General deeply concerned by reports of arms shipments into Darfur, use of UN markings on aircraft
SG/SM/10952, AFR/1523

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General views with deep concern the evidence that has been presented to members of the Security Council regarding the flying of arms and heavy weapons into Darfur, in violation of Security Council resolution 1591 (2005).

He is especially troubled by reports that private or national aircraft have been illegally provided with UN markings and used for military purposes. If further substantiated, such actions would be in clear violation of international law and in contravention of the United Nations international status. Read more >>>

UK's Blair says Darfur situation unacceptable

LONDON, - British Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Wednesday new talks would start on Thursday in New York on a new United Nations' resolution on the violence in Sudan's vast Darfur region.

"Tomorrow the United States and the United Kingdom are going to begin discussions with partners in the United Nations Security council on a new ... resolution on Sudan, " Blair said, noting it would target individuals involved in violence and permit better air monitoring.

"What is happening in Sudan at the moment is unacceptable, is appalling and is a scandal for the international community," Blair told reporters. Read more >>>

Sudan weapons flow breaches Darfur resolution-UN

By Patrick Worsnip

UNITED NATIONS, April 18 (Reuters) - The Sudanese government is flying weapons and other military equipment into Darfur in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions, a confidential U.N. report says.

The government was using planes painted white to make them them look like U.N. aircraft to bomb and carry out surveillance of villages in the violence-torn western region, said the report by a panel of five experts appointed by the world body.

The panel said it had seen one such aircraft, an Antonov AN-26, at an airport in Darfur and that it had the letters "UN" painted on its wing. It had also seen white helicopters operated by Sudan. The report was accompanied by photographs. Read more >>>

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sudan Violating Security Council Resolutions: UN

An unpublished United Nations report says the government of Sudan is flying arms and heavy military equipment into the Darfur region in violation of Security Council resolutions.

The report says the planes have been painted white to disguise them as United Nations or African Union aircraft.

In one case, which the report illustrates with close-up pictures, the letters “U.N” have been stencilled onto the wing of a white-washed Sudanese armed forces plane at a Darfur airport.

Bombs guarded by uniformed soldiers are laid out in rows by its side.

The report says that the planes are being operated out of all three of Darfur's principal airports and used for aerial surveillance and bombardments of villages. The story >>>

Darfur: Keep up international pressure on Sudan

Khartoum Should Accept Full 20,000-Strong International Force

(New York, April 17, 2007) – Concerned governments should impose targeted sanctions against Sudanese officials unless Khartoum immediately agrees to the full deployment of the proposed 20,000-member hybrid international peacekeeping force for Darfur, Human Rights Watch said today.

According to media reports, the Sudanese government has signed off on the second phase of a proposed three-stage “hybrid” African Union-United Nations force for Darfur. The second phase includes 3,000 additional military police and additional equipment, while the third stage – the full hybrid force – would include more than 20,000 additional troops.

“Sudan’s green light for only part of the peacekeeping force is too little, too late, and is aimed only at defusing international pressure and heading off sanctions,” said Peter Takirambudde, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Governments should keep the focus on the full international force, which could really help to protect civilians in Darfur.”

The second-phase agreement follows months of negotiations, and Khartoum continues to resist the deployment of the third, most substantial, part of the proposal. Read more >>>

Monday, April 16, 2007

World 'has failed' over Darfur crisis


Oxfam says millions are in desperate need of aid in Darfur Printer friendly
Charity Oxfam has today launched a £5 million appeal after accusing the international community of failing the people of Darfur and Chad.

The organisation says it urgently needs the money in order to provide aid for more than two million people displaced by the conflict between rebels and government-backed militia forces in western Sudan.

It comes as US deputy secretary of state John Negroponte accused the Sudanese government of backing the janjaweed militia, which has been blamed for numerous atrocities in the region including rape, arson and looting.

Oxfam says the conflict has brought about the "greatest concentration of human suffering in the world" and blames the international community for allowing the conflict to spread, "blighting the lives of some four million people and forcing many to the very brink of survival". Read more >>>

40 killed in Darfur attacks

Khartoum - At least 40 civilians were killed and 25 wounded in an April 11 attack believed to have been carried out by the Janjaweed militia in the war-torn Darfur region, the UN mission in Sudan reported on Monday.

"A group of armed men, allegedly Janjaweed militia, attacked Abujogh Market (north Darfur) and seven other villages," the mission said in its daily report.

"The attackers reportedly used 30 vehicles equipped with heavy machine guns and artillery. Reportedly, 40 civilians were killed and 25 others were wounded," it added.

US deputy secretary of state John Negroponte, who spent five days in Sudan, said on Monday as he was leaving the Sudanese government must rein in the Janjaweed militia, which has been used by the government to quell the rebellion that erupted in the western Darfur region in 2003.

"The government of Sudan must disarm the Janjaweed, the Arab militias that we all know could not exist without the Sudanese government's active support," he said. Read more >>>

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Overview: Genocide in Darfur


The conflict in the Darfur region of the Sudan began in 2003, when government-backed militia groups called the Janjaweed stepped up raids and attacks against the region's farming communities.

The Sudanese government allegedly began arming and recruiting the Janjaweed from local Arab tribes when African rebel groups in Darfur, organized in response to a widespread perception of the Sudanese government's neglect of the region, began attacking government forces. Read more >>>

Since the conflict began, Darfur has become one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters. As many as 300,000 people have died and over 1.8 million have been displaced.

Probe Of Sexual Violence, Disappearances In Darfur

Top UN Rights Official Urges Probes Of Sexual Violence, Disappearances In Darfur
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights today called for investigations into widespread sexual violence during attacks by Sudanese Government forces and allied militia in Darfur as well as the disappearance of over a dozen men allegedly at the hands of rebels there.

In a new report, the High Commissioner's Office describes attacks in December 2006 in eastern Jebel Marra, Darfur. At least 15 cases of sexual assault, including rape, had occurred, according to the report. At least two pregnant women were targeted in the violence.

"Soldiers came in cars heading towards the hills. Three were in green military uniform and the fourth was in civilian clothes. All four of them were armed and all of them raped me," said one 13-year old victim, according to the report.

While some women were raped in the villages, others were abducted, taken away, raped, and later released. Read more >>>

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Darfur genocide rages on

By: Jordan Poe

Over 400,000 people have been killed and more than 2 million taken from their homes since 2003 in a violent war that many Americans are unaware of. Victims in Darfur and Sudan are being raped, starved, displaced and slaughtered every day.

Darfurians are flooding to refugee camps along the Darfur-Chad border as they trade their homes and possessions for safety and sustenance.

The Bush Administration has labeled the situation in Darfur as genocide. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, has described it as, "The largest and most complex humanitarian problem on the globe."

However, neither the U.S. nor the U.N. administrations have done much to help. Though Republicans and Democrats agree on the severity of the issue, no thorough consequential action has yet been taken.

Rebel groups such as the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and the Equality Movement have formed in opposition to the Sudanese government.

In response, the Sudanese government has enlisted the power of Afro-Arab herdsmen known for their brutality. These Sudanese government-funded "janjaweed" have been the force behind the "ethnic cleansing" or annihilation of the people of Sudan.

The janjaweed have launched a campaign to systematically humiliate and disarm non-Arab groups such as the Fur, Massaleet and Zagawa. They are conducting a "scorched-earth" policy, eliminating the groups from which the rebels draw their support, essentially destroying everything non-Arab.

Sudanese officials have continuously disregarded US deadlines to cease the bloodshed, and critics believe the White House has kept a limp wrist in enforcing cooperation.

President Bush has promised his unspecified "Plan B" if Sudanese President Bashir does not concede to ceasing the genocide in his country-- a genocide many believe he and his administration are responsible for.

However, this conflict has had minimal press coverage. Only two out of ten Yuba College students had heard of the conflict in Darfur. Continued >>>

Thursday, April 12, 2007

In Darfur, the suffering continues

Hotel Darfur?

THIRTEEN YEARS after the Rwandan massacre, what has the world learned about preventing genocide? Not enough, apparently, for those suffering in Darfur.

The two nations' stories are somewhat different; the results, sadly similar. The Rwandan massacre was a blitzkrieg of violence by government-supported Hutus against the Tutsis, an ethnic minority. In just three months, between 800,000 and 1.1 million people died. The Darfurian conflict has been longer, lasting four years now, but, again, the victims have been an ethnic group--the black Africans who populate Darfur. Driven from their homes, slaughtered and raped by government-supported janjaweed militia, 200,000 of them have been killed, and more than 2 million displaced. They sit in camps, waiting.

The Rwandan debacle forced the world's powers to do some soul-searching. Uniformly, they had refused to call what was going on in Rwanda "genocide." Rather than intervene to save the Tutsis, they withdrew peacekeepers, abandoned embassies and native workers, and thereby empowered the thugs running rampant through the land.

In the shadow of Rwanda, the U.N. Security Council in 2005 passed Resolution 1706, declaring that the international community has a "responsibility to protect" populations from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, or ethnic cleansing--even if the national government resists.

Enter Darfur. When news of the janjaweed's attacks on Darfurians surfaced, the United States was among the first to describe the killing campaign as "genocide." Four years later, the wholesale slaughter has ended, says Andrew Natsios, special envoy to Sudan. Speaking recently to a group of editorial writers, Mr. Natsios explained that most Darfurians are now languishing in displacement camps or holed up in the mountains hiding from government troops. Their villages are gone. The United States and other nations are providing over $2.7 billion in humanitarian aid to support the victims.

Peace is a long way off. And, despite the U.N.'s own resolution affirming a "responsibility to protect," that body dawdles, awaiting approval from the Sudanese government to send in U.N. troops. Read more >>>

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Darfur Crisis: Mediation Failure (1)

Por Ahmed M. Mohamedain

To help solve a certain problem necessitates knowledge of the causes, circumstances and factors that have instigated it. That knowledge seemed to be scarce from the very outset, if not totally absent, in the key figures of the team directly involved in addressing Darfur crisis at its earlier stages. This overlooked factor directly led to the change of course of Darfur crisis to an unprecedented worse saga of profound human suffering.

Indeed, Darfur was barely known to the outside world before 2003 except for one person who has, besides being a key mediator, had the only, presumably, relevant knowledge of Darfur when he visited the father of Musa Hilal last century in 1985 in Aamo (pronounced as Ammo in indigenous languages). The coexistence of different ethnic groups in Aamo area was described by Alex de Waal as being “worse, the villages who had always played host to camel nomads were now barring their migrations, and stopping them from using pastures and wells.” which was unequivocally untrue justified by the very author as ‘Sheikh Hilal was unbendingly proud of his nomadic way of life.” among the villagers of the area for centuries. De Waal totally lost the truck by blaming the villagers in the restriction of Hiallal’s movements and thereby utterly ignoring the fact that the government of Sudan at that time had migration regulations in place in relation to movements of nomads. De Waal appears to suggest that the local villagers deserve the treatment that Musa Hilal was widely accused of in carrying it out, on behalf of the Government of Sudan, on the civilian population in Darfur. Alex de Waal seems to hold Darfur villagers, represented by the villagers of Aamo area, accountable for the reasons behind the genocide orchestrated by the government of Sudan and its allied militias, the Janjawids. Read more >>>

Biden calls for military force in Darfur

By GEORGE GEDDA Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON — Joseph Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a Democratic presidential candidate, called Wednesday for the use of military force to end the suffering in Darfur.

"I would use American force now," Biden said at a hearing before his committee. "I think it's not only time not to take force off the table. I think it's time to put force on the table and use it."

In advocating use of military force, Biden said senior U.S. military officials in Europe told him that 2,500 U.S. troops could "radically change the situation on the ground now."

"Let's stop the bleeding," Biden said. "I think it's a moral imperative."

Under U.N.-backed agreements approved last fall, a hybrid force of 22,000 African Union and U.N. peacekeepers are to be deployed in Darfur to protect and provide relief for 2.5 million Darfurians who have been forced from their homes and are now confined to camps.

"We must set a hard deadline for Khartoum to accept a hybrid U.N.-AU force," Biden said. Read more >>>

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

U.N.: Nearly 400 Killed In Attacks Near Darfur

Janjaweed militiamen killed up to 400 people in the volatile eastern border area near Sudan's Darfur region, leaving an ''apocalyptic'' scene of mass graves and destruction, the U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday.
The attacks took place March 31 in the border villages of Tiero and Marena, some 550 miles from the capital, N'djamena. Chadian officials initially said 65 people had died, but added that the toll was sure to rise.

''Estimates of the number of dead have increased substantially and now range between 200 and 400,'' said the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). ''Because most of the dead were buried where their bodies were found - often in common graves owing to their numbers - we may never know their exact number.''

The attackers encircled the villages and opened fire, pursuing fleeing villagers, robbing women and shooting the men, said the UNHCR. Many who survived the initial attack died later from exhaustion and dehydration, often while fleeing. The story continues >>>

Google Earth maps out Darfur atrocities


By Elise Labott

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- If you Google the word Darfur, you will find about 13 million references to the atrocities in the western Darfur region of Sudan -- what the United States has said is this century's first genocide.

As of today, when the 200 million users of Google Earth log onto the site, they will be able to view the horrific details of what's happening in Darfur for themselves.

In an effort to bring more attention to the ongoing crisis in Darfur, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum has teamed up with Google's mapping service literally to map out the carnage in the Darfur region. Read more >>>

Monday, April 09, 2007

EMPOWERING EVIL

By Peter Brooke

EMPOWERING EVIL
CHINA AIDS SUDAN'S KILLERS

-- THE death, destruction and human misery in Sudan's western region of Darfur may now be worse than at any time since the conflict started four years ago - if that's possible.

As the world struggles to end the bloodshed in Darfur, one of the biggest stumbling blocks is China's support of Sudanese President Omar al Bashir's Islamist government.

Beijing runs interference for Sudan's repressive regime, whose armed forces and Arab-Muslim Janjaweed militias are responsible for more than 200,000 deaths and for creating 2 million refugees.

If Beijing doesn't use its influence to curb Khartoum's "ethnic cleansing" of Darfur's African Muslims, there may be little others, including the United Nations, can do to end what many are calling the 21st century's first genocide.

So what's China's interest in far-off Sudan? One word: oil. Read more >>>y

Genocide in Darfur continues

By Nat Hentoff

President Omar Bashir, head of the National Islamic Front government of Sudan, will not allow the International Criminal Court to question suspects involved in his nation's genocide in Darfur (which he denies). His minister of foreign affairs, Al Samani El Wassili, insists, according to the March 25 Sudan Tribune.com, that the sovereign nation of Sudan is fully able to conduct its own investigation of alleged crimes in Darfur. This, he assures us, is because Sudan has one of the best systems of justice in Africa.
Two women -- Saadiyeh al-Fadel and Umounah Daldoum -- have been convicted of adultery, and, now waiting for execution, they are being held in Wad Medani prison. One of the condemned women has her 18-month-old daughter with her. (Presumably, the child will not also be stoned to death, but her fate is uncertain.) Lt. Gen. Bashir boasts that the Sudanese judicial system authorizes Islamic Shariah law -- which stipulates death by stoning for adultery. Read more >>>

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Sexual violence and Disappearances in Darfur

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights today called for investigations into widespread sexual violence during attacks by Sudanese Government forces and allied militia in Darfur as well as the disappearance of over a dozen men allegedly at the hands of rebels there.
In a new report, the High Commissioner's Office describes attacks in December 2006 in eastern Jebel Marra, Darfur. At least 15 cases of sexual assault, including rape, had occurred, according to the report. At least two pregnant women were targeted in the violence.

“Soldiers came in cars heading towards the hills. Three were in green military uniform and the fourth was in civilian clothes. All four of them were armed and all of them raped me,” said one 13-year old victim, according to the report.

While some women were raped in the villages, others were abducted, taken away, raped, and later released.

“Based on testimony gathered, it appears that rape during the December 2006 attacks was used as a weapon of war to cause humiliation and instill fear into the local population. The attacks were indiscriminately aimed at a population of the same ethnicity as some rebel groups and also resulted in civilian death and displacement,” the Office of the High Commissioner, Louise Arbour, said in a statement on the reports. Read more >>>

People fight for dying Darfur

MARY WISNIEWSKI

Like filmmaker and documentary photographer Mark Brecke, Pepperdine students have a knack for humanitarian causes. His current focus is on Darfur, a region where the Sudanese government and the government-sponsored Janjaweed militia is killing, raping, starving and displacing non-Arabs since February 2003, partially, to arm rebel groups in the region. Although the United States acknowledged the situation as genocide in 2004, the crisis continues.

“Darfur is another culture who has lost their way of life and are targeted by the extermination of their government,” Brecke said.

Since his first visit to Darfur, Brecke said the situation has only deteriorated. He said the Internally Displaced Person camps are run by the government and have increased the violence as well as rapes. Brecke said the rebels are out of control, too.

“People are losing hope,” Brecke said.

Although countries have not come to a consensus in taking collective action to end the violence, many people like Brecke are raising awareness in America, including students. Read more >>>

Humanitarian disaster looms in Darfur

United Nations • The UN aid chief warned of a humanitarian catastrophe in Sudan’s strife-torn Darfur region if attacks on humanitarian workers there continue.

“Despite its scale and success in sustaining millions and saving literally hundreds of thousands of lives, the Darfur humanitarian operation is increasingly fragile,” John Holmes, the UN emergency relief coordinator, told the Security Council on his return from a tour of Sudan, Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR).

“If things do not get better, or if there were more serious incidents involving humanitarian workers, some organizations could start to withdraw and the operation could start to unravel,” he added. “Then we could face a rapid humanitarian catastrophe...We must do everything in our power to avoid it.” Read more >>>

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Catastrophe in Darfur, Eastern Chad Accelerates Amidst International Disarray

No progress on security, diplomatic, or political issues; international actors find no common ground in confronting Khartoum; eastern Chad slips further into chaos

Eric Reeves


The mismatch could hardly be greater between the massive security crisis in Darfur and eastern Chad on the one hand and the pusillanimous disarray on the part of the international community in responding. The clearest beneficiaries of this disarray are the g√©nocidaires in Khartoum and their Janjaweed militia proxies; those who suffer most are those innocent civilians who now confront a fifth year of genocidal counter-insurgency warfare. And while the Darfur rebel groups and leaders certainly bear significant responsibility for current unsustainable levels of insecurity, here we must also recall how badly the people of Darfur have been served by the international community forcing through the ill-conceived “Darfur Peace Agreement” (May 2006). We must also see how relentlessly the Khartoum regime has sought to prevent the rebels from creating a common negotiating front, including several times deliberately bombing sites where the African Union has sought to engineer a cease-fire with the rebel groups. Khartoum also continues to imprison Suleiman Jamous, perhaps the most critical figure in creating rebel unity (see my analysis of Jamous’s key role, at http://www.sudanreeves.org/Article153.html). Khartoum is clearly intent on denying the rebels Jamous’s conciliatory skills.

A grim genocide by attrition settles ever more deeply over Darfur and eastern Chad, with almost a million human beings completely beyond humanitarian reach. Mortality in these regions is unknown but is certainly in the thousands per month. We do know that UN agencies now estimate that approximately 4.5 million people in the greater humanitarian theater are “conflict-affected” and in need of humanitarian relief. A huge percentage of these people are totally dependent on humanitarian assistance for food, water, and primary medical care. If the Crude Mortality Rate (CMR) for this population (deaths per day per 10,000 of population) has risen by even 0.7 above normal (0.6 for Darfur, according to UNICEF), then excess monthly mortality is in the range of 10,000 human beings---month in, month out. Read more >>>

DARFUR: DEADLY MILITIA ATTACK ON CHADIAN VILLAGES DISPLACES SCORES


Geneva,AKI) - A deadly weekend attack on two villages in south-eastern Chad, possibly carried out by Janjaweed militias from Sudan's neighbouring Darfur region, has forced at least 2,000 people to flee their homes and seek safety in nearby camps, the United Nations refugee agency reports. At least 65 people were killed and 70 others were wounded, half of them seriously, according to preliminary reports following the attack, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson Ron Redmond said Tuesday.

The killings took place on Saturday in the villages of Tiero and Marena, when armed men on horseback and camelback, as well as in motor vehicles, surrounded the two villages and began to fire at random before pursuing and robbing the locals as they tried to flee.

Testimony from survivors interviewed by UNHCR and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) indicate that the attack was led by the notorious Janjaweed militias, which have been allied to Sudanese government forces during the brutal war in Darfur since 2003. Read more >>>

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Darfur deserves attention of Jews

BY HAROLD M. SCHULWEIS, Guest Columnist

PASSOVER commemorates the exodus and freedom of the Israelites from ancient Egypt. But as Jewish people sit and reflect on their ancestors, they must remember that there is another people who are still in the desert, dispossessed of their homes, belongings, food supplies and security.

Since 2003, more than 400,000 Darfurians have been killed by the Janjaweed militia. The Arab Muslim Janjaweed have been given free rein by the Sudanese government to destroy villages, kill, rape and abduct the black African Muslims in Darfur. More than 2.5 million people are now in refugee camps scattered throughout Darfur and Chad.

The Jewish community through Jewish World Watch has taken on Darfur as an advocacy campaign. People ask us why the Jewish people should care about another group that is far away and not of our own faith. As we commemorate our own survival and freedom from oppression during Passover, we ask the following four questions.

Who are they to us, those people in Darfur? Read more >>>

Rabbi sees reflections of Hitler in Darfur

(CNN) -- As Rabbi Marvin Hier scans the world, he sees a need for remembrance and a call for action.

A longtime fighter of intolerance, Hier, who founded the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization, said current crises like the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan, are troublingly familiar.

He compared the conflict, where outside countries and international organizations like the United Nations have been largely ineffective in stemming the violence, to Adolf Hitler's rise in Germany prior to World War II.

"He wasn't sent there like a hurricane," he said. "It wasn't that we woke up one day and there he was."

Hitler began speaking on street corners in 1919 and took power years later, yet the world was dismissive of his aims, Hier said.

"Even when he became the chancellor of Germany, it is amazing to see that we just couldn't figure out where this is heading," he said.

"If the whole world is advised not to pay attention to these bigots and go about our business and pretend they don't exist, we'll pay a dear price later on." Read more >>>

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Darfur tragedy must stop

OPINION
Christopher Phillips

During World War II, the German army murdered six million European Jews. The "civilized world" did not intervene in this horrible "genocide." From either the lack of intelligence, or -- hopefully not -- ambivalence, the "civilized world" allowed the deaths of millions of innocent, defenseless people.

During World War II, no countries possessed the ability to spy on other countries by satellite. Nor did countries, world peace organizations or individuals have access to the Internet, cell phones, cameras and videos.

Presently, a "civilized world" continues to allow the Sudanese government to allow Muslim militia to perform the worst genocide in the 21st century.

This genocide has been occurring for four years, and the "world" knows exactly what is happening in Darfur. From my research and from information from relief agencies, I know at least 200,000 to 400,000 people have died in Darfur.

My question to the U.N. Security Council and the world is, "Why do we allow this massive holocaust to continue?" Read more >>>

Kenya: State Silence Over Darfur Says a Lot About Itself

OPINION
Dominic Odipo
Nairobi

Does the Government have a foreign policy? If it does, what kind of policy is it? These are not idle questions. Take, for example, the case of Darfur.

Darfur is a region in western Sudan, the country we border to the north-west. In Arabic, Darfur means 'home of the Fur', who are black, Nilo-Saharan sedentary farmers. The region is home to other black tribes, notably the Masaalit and the Zaghawa, who are semi-nomadic pastoralists as well as various Arab camel and cattle-herding peoples.


Most of the six million people who occupy the semi-arid region are Muslims. Documents from the Centre for Minority Rights Development in Nairobi show that since 2003, about 400,000 people have been killed in Darfur; 2.5 million made homeless, thousands are dying every month and about four million depend on foreign aid.

But through all the catastrophes, our Government, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has said nothing. In 2003, the Sudanese government armed the Janjaweed militia to quell a so-called rebel movement in Darfur. With the government's support, the Janjaweed have attacked not just rebels, but also destroyed entire villages, using rape, torture and murder as its preferred weapons.

Through all this, we have not heard a word from President Kibaki, Foreign minister or our ambassador in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital. Read more >>>

Darfur IDPs: voices from the desert

Al-Salam, Darfur, - Fear of attacks by local militias has driven up to two million Darfurians in camps. WFP's Mohamed Amasha spoke to some of those whose lives are in tatters and who don't know what tomorrow holds.

Their only shelter is from plastic sheeting, they rely on plastic containers full of water for drinking and washing, and they face a daily battle with the wind which blows the desert sand in their eyes and with the scorching sun which beats incessantly. This is how the displaced people of Al-Salam camp in South Darfur live.

Considering the conditions, it's hard to imagine people actually wanting to live there, yet by mid-morning, there are already several hundred people waiting outside to get in. Read more >>>

Sunday, April 01, 2007

SAVE ALL WAR VICTIMS NOW

MAN OF THE PEOPLE Darfur is desperate
Eamonn Holmes

EUROPEAN leaders have described the suffering of innocent people in Darfur as "unbearable" and "intolerable".

So why don't they do something about it? Billions of pounds continue to be spent on the hopeless conflicts of Iraq and Afghanistan. Troops will be deployed "until the job is done", we are told over and over again.

We're told it's about the establishment of democracy and the safety of innocent civilians. They are, apparently, much better off under a newlyelected government propped up by Western forces than they were during the dark days of Saddam.

Yet who's doing anything about the three million victims of the war in Darfur who have been displaced?

That African conflict in western Sudan has been going on for four years, yet most people do not even know where it is or what the fighting is about. The United Nations can't be sure how many have died. It might be 200,000. It could be as many as 400,000. Does anyone really care? Read more >>>

Calls Mount to Boycott Beijing 2008 Olympics Over Human Rights

By Daniel Schearf
The Chinese government is facing increasing calls for a boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, in part because of Beijing's refusal to condemn the Sudanese government's actions in the war-torn Darfur region. Daniel Schearf reports from Beijing.

Celebrities and politicians are adding their voices to calls for a boycott of the Beijing 2008 Olympics to push China to use its leverage on Khartoum.

Advocates of a boycott say China, as the largest buyer of Sudan's oil and a veto-wielding member of the United Nations Security Council, is in a unique position to pressure Sudan. But they say Beijing ignores violence by government-backed militias in Darfur to maintain access to Sudanese oil. Read more >>>