Thursday, August 30, 2007

Khartoum continues bombing Darfur

KHARTOUM — Darfur rebels accused the government of bombing South Darfur on Thursday, the latest attack in an aerial campaign that has driven thousands of people from their homes over the past month.

"There is aerial bombardment on a daily basis -- bombing by MiG 29 and by Antonov (in South Darfur)," Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) commander Abel Aziz el-Nur Ashr Ashr said.

Mr. Ashr said 20,000 people in the area south west of Adila town near the eastern border of Darfur had fled their homes to the bush without access to clean water during the fighting which has been ongoing for the past month.

Mr. Ashr said bombers attacked again in South Darfur early on Thursday. The army was not immediately available to comment. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

ICC berates Sudan on war criminals

New York, US - The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC), says Sudan is not co-operating to facilitate the arrests of two war crimes suspects.

The two Sudanese, a top government official and a rebel leader, were alleged to have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan's war-torn Darfur region.

The ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who spoke to PANA at the UN, described Sudan's attitude as “totally unacceptable” and called on Khartoum to cooperate “immediately” with the court to bring the suspects to book.

Moreno-Ocampo said one of the two suspects, Ahmad Muhammad Harun, is currently Sudan's Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs.

“He was coordinating actions to remove people from their own villages and push them into IDP (internally Displaced Person) camps, and now he basically controls them,” he said.

“Harun is still in charge, effectively, of the same people. He is like the fox being in charge of the chickens,” the prosecutor noted. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

China aids Darfur genocide

“China continues to provide equipment to Sudan despite the fact Sudan is using these supplies to commit genocide,” said one. “The Olympic Games and China cannot co-exist,” said another.

USA Today reported that, “U.S. actress Mia Farrow leads torch relay against African genocide.” China’s support of the Khartoum regime is blatant. Aside from supplying money and arms China has shielded Khartoum from international sanctions over its actions in Darfur.

Among the global activists trying to stop the Darfur genocide who gathered recently at Montreal’s Darfur Conference was the Hon. David Kilgour.

He is rallying world-wide support to pressure China to stop aiding and abetting the criminal Khartoum regime that is committing these atrocities. He gave a powerful indictment of China’s complicity in the Darfur genocide. Read more >>>>>>>>

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Olympics, China & Darfur

LATEST: Actress and activist MIA FARROW has put pressure on the Chinese government to help the inhabitants of the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan. China has a massive oil interest in the African nation, and Farrow claims the country is effectively funding attacks on the people of Darfur.
The 62-year-old spoke out after starting an torch relay through countries that have suffered genocide. Her plea comes less than a year before the Chinese capital Beijing will host the 2008 Olympic Games. Farrow said, "China is hosting the Olympic Games and their slogan for the games is 'One world, One dream' but there is one nightmare - that China is not allowed to sweep under the rug - and that nightmare is Darfur." Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>

Monday, August 27, 2007

By Mona Ghuneim

A delegation of U.S. advocates for Darfur says Friday that conditions in refugee camps in Sudan and Chad are appalling and that the population in Darfur continues to suffer a genocide by attrition in those camps. From VOA's New York Bureau, Mona Ghuneim reports.

The advocates recently returned from Chad where they saw first-hand what they called the deplorable condition of refugees suffering from sickness, malnutrition, trauma and inadequate supplies. They say the genocide is continuing in slow motion. Read more >>>>>>

I am a witness to Darfur's suffering

My first visit to Darfur was in 2004. It changed the way I needed to live my life. I have just returned from my seventh trip to the region. I don't think I have the words to adequately represent what I have seen and heard there.

Incomprehensibly, it has now been more than four years since the killing began. Some experts believe half a million human beings have died thus far. Others bicker about the exact death toll - as if it makes a shred of difference to how we must respond.

Only the perpetrators dispute that hundreds of thousands of innocent men women and children have been killed, in ways that cannot be imagined or described. It is all the more appalling that we cannot know - that no one is yet able to count the dead. And the dying continues.

We can, however, know with certainty that more than four million people are dependent on food aid because their homes, villages, and the fields that sustained them, are ashes now. We also know that two and a half million human beings are struggling to exist amid deplorable conditions in squalid camps across Darfur and eastern Chad. I am a witness to their suffering. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sudan: New photographs show further breach of UN arms embargo on Darfur

Amnesty International today released new photographs showing that the Sudanese government is continuing to deploy offensive military equipment in Darfur despite the UN arms embargo and peace agreements.

"The Sudanese government is still deploying weapons into Darfur in breathtaking defiance of the UN arms embargo and Darfur peace agreements. Once again Amnesty International calls on the UN Security Council to act decisively to ensure the embargo is effectively enforced, including by the placement of UN observers at all ports of entry in Sudan and Darfur," said Brian Wood, Amnesty International’s Arms Control Research Manager.

The photographs, sent to Amnesty International and the International Peace Information Service in Antwerp by eyewitnesses in Darfur, reinforce evidence provided in Amnesty International's May 2007 report “Sudan: Arms continuing to fuel serious human rights violations in Darfur”. Taken in July at El Geneina airport in Darfur, the new photographs show:

1) Containers being offloaded by Sudanese army soldiers from an Antonov aircraft onto military trucks at the military apron of El Geneina airport. The Russian-supplied Antonov 12 freighter aircraft with registration number ST-ASA is listed as operated by Azza Transport, itself under investigation by the UN Panel of Experts on the Sudan arms embargo for arms transfers into Darfur (photograph 1).

2) A Russian-supplied Mi-17 military helicopter (registration number 534) belonging to the Sudanese Air Force at El Geneina (photograph 2). Russia signed a deal to supply at least 15 such helicopters for delivery in 2005 and 2006.

3) A Russian-supplied Mi-24 attack helicopter with registration number 928 redeployed to El Geneina airport from Nyala, Darfur (photograph 3). Russia supplied 12 such attack helicopters to Sudan in 2005. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Darfur Betrayed Again: The UN/AU "Hybrid" Force Steadily Weakens

Less than a month after passage of UN Security Council Resolution 1769, the force authorized is devolving into the “African Union-Plus” of a year ago

By: Eric Reeves

Bending to the will of Khartoum’s brutal National Islamic Front (National Congress Party) regime, African Union leaders are engaged in a process of eviscerating whatever potential may have existed for the force authorized by UN Security Council Resolution 1769 (July 31, 2007). As it did in defying UN Security Council Resolution 1706 (August 31, 2006), Khartoum has apparently ensured that any force deploying to Darfur will be little more than an enlarged version of the present African Union mission in Darfur, known as AMIS (African Union Mission in Sudan).

We are seeing, in short, an updated version of the “African Union-Plus,” first proposed following the rapid collapse of international support for Resolution 1706. Leading the way in abandoning any commitment to the UN resolution was Jan Pronk, then-Secretary General Kofi Annan’s incompetent special representative for Sudan. Out of Pronk’s insistence that the only option was augmenting the AU, the notion of an “African Union-Plus” was born, leading by a tortuous diplomatic path to the misconceived and ominously unprecedented AU/UN “hybrid” force, first promulgated at a “High Level Consultation on the Situation in Darfur” (Addis Ababa, November 2006). Read more >>>

Chancellor Merkel to Press China for Help in Darfur

Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she will discuss ways to improve the human rights situation in the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan when she meets Chinese leaders on the first leg of a trip to Asia starting on Sunday.

In her weekly podcast, Merkel said that China has close ties to Africa and "we will obviously talk about what we can do now to combat the appalling human rights violations in Sudan's Darfur region."

Merkel arrives in China on Monday and will meet President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao as well as cultural and civil rights groups. She heads to Japan on Wednesday where she will talk to leaders there about climate change and economic issues. Read more >>>>>

Thursday, August 23, 2007

How many deaths in Darfur?

How many people have died as a result of Khartoum's genocidal counter-insurgency campaign in Darfur? What is overall mortality since February 2003? These questions have been much in the news recently, particularly in the wake of a decision by Britain's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that an advertisement by the Save Darfur Coalition and Aegis Trust had inappropriately represented as fact a death toll of 400,000, when this was a matter on which opinions diverged. Notably, the ASA did not find, as erroneously asserted by Sam Dealey in the New York Times, that the advertisement "violated codes of objectivity and truthfulness". Nor is the ASA likely to be the best source for understanding the complexities attending the competing claims of various mortality estimates, ranging from Khartoum's figure of 9,000 to the figure of well over 450,000 generated by this writer. Read more >>>>>>>>>

Rapes detailed in UN report on Darfur

By Eliane Engeler,

GENEVA -- A UN report released yesterday describes gruesome new details about the rapes of dozens of Darfur women last year, saying they were sexually assaulted in front of each other, beaten with sticks, and forced to cook and serve food to their attackers.

Some of the victims became pregnant as a result of rapes, allegedly carried out by the Sudanese soldiers and allied militiamen, the report by the UN's top human rights office said. It accused the Sudanese government of failing to investigate the rapes. "The abuses may also constitute war crimes," said the report by the office of Louise Arbour, UN high commissioner for human rights.

The report alleged Sudanese forces and militiamen subjected about 50 women to multiple rapes and other violence in an attack on the eastern Darfur village of Deribat in late December. They also abducted many children, it said.

Darfur has been the scene of a four-year conflict between government-backed militias known as the janjaweed and rebel forces. More than 200,000 people have died and at least 2.5 million have been driven from their homes, according to UN estimates. Read more >>>>>>>.

Darfur rebel faction threatens to pull out of peace talks over refugee camp raid

KHARTOUM, Sudan: One of the main rebel factions battling the Sudanese government in the war torn western Darfur region threatened Thursday to reconsider its participation in peace talks following a raid by government forces on a refugee camp.

Police entered the Kalma refugee camp in South Darfur province on Tuesday following an attack two days earlier on a nearby security post, the official Sudanese News Agency reported. Authorities arrested at least nine people and seized drugs and weapons, it added.

The Sudanese Liberation Movement/Army faction, led by Ahmed Abdel Shafi, said in a statement that 1,000 Sudanese troops were involved in the raid, which he claimed resulted in 40 arrests and five deaths. Read more >>>>

Sunday, August 19, 2007


As we reflect on the horrors of Darfur we must say today that “We are still not satisfied!” For how can any of us – if any conscience be left in us at all – be satisfied with our ungracious self-absorption and inelegant consumerism when people are still being exterminated because of the color of their skin? How can we be satisfied when millions find rest and shelter only in the misery of refugee camps?

How can we be satisfied when some sixty years after the Nuremberg Principles and the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights the devastated of Darfur find themselves disenfranchised from humanity and bereft of the dignity owed each and every living soul? To paraphrase King, the authors of these magnificent documents wrote promissory notes to all human beings. And those notes are coming back NSF. Our responsibility, in this age of instant communication and instant destruction, is to make sure those promises are kept. To make sure that the banks of justice do not default. Read more >>>>>>>

Darfur: Shadow of genocide at the bowl

By: Nat Hentoff,

Next Jan. 1, millions worldwide will be watching the televised 94th Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, and the 199th Rose Bowl Parade with its celebratory floats. One of those floats, saluting the 2008 Chinese Olympics, has already stirred worldwide protests because of China's many human rights violations against its own people as well as China's large-scale financial partnership with Sudan, perpetrator of the continuing genocide in Darfur.

In the July 19 story "Roses Are Red," in the Pasadena Weekly, Joe Piasecki reported that both local and international human rights organizations are urging the Tournament of Roses Association and the Pasadena City Council to speak out about how the Olympics in China will be a chilling caricature of what Tournament President C.L. Keedy — justifying the inclusion of the float in the parade — said:

"The Olympics, which brings nations together, is the epitome of a global celebration — providing a worldwide spirit of cooperation, supporting athletes in peaceful competition." But there are no celebrations among the many victims of China's chronic cruelty. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sudanese government allows Arab refugees to settle in the villages of the displaced Darfurs

Arab refugees from neighbouring Chad work the land near Tulus, Darfur, the land that had belonged to the displaced Sudanese.

Three years after it was burned to the ground, the village of Tulus in Darfur is springing back to life.

Corn and sesame sprout from fertile fields. Children play around newly built huts. Smoke from cooking fires again rises from the land.

The problem is, those rebuilding Tulus are not the original inhabitants, who were chased away by pro-government Sudanese militias in 2004 and are afraid to return. Instead, their place has been taken by Arabs from Chad, who recently crossed the border to flee violence in their own country.

"It's comfortable here,'' said Sheik Algooni Mohammed Zeean, 42, leader of 150 Chadian Arabs who in March settled on a grassy plain not far from the ruins of the village's abandoned homes and school. Gesturing toward the fields bearing their first harvest in Sudan, he smiled. "I feel like this is my home now.''

Over the last six months, nearly 30,000 Chadian Arabs have crossed into Sudan, many of them settling on land owned by Darfur's pastoral tribes that were driven into displacement camps, aid groups say.

This migration quickly has become the latest obstacle to peace in western Sudan, drawing the attention of international observers and protests from those displaced from Darfur, who accuse the Sudanese government of orchestrating an "Arabization'' scheme by repopulating burned-out villages with foreigners.

"This is a government plot to give our land to Chadian Arabs,'' said Mohammed Abakar Mohammed Adam, 27, a farmer from the village of Bechabecha, which was abandoned after armed nomadic tribes known as "janjaweed,'' believed to be backed by the government, attacked in 2003. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>

By Ty Burr, Globe Staff | August 17, 2007

"The Devil Came on Horseback" is a documentary about the human-rights crisis in Darfur. It's also about our response to the human-rights crisis in Darfur -- not just the West as a whole, but you and me and the guy down the hall. You don't want to think about another faraway ethnic cleansing? Fine; here are pictures. You still don't want to think about it? All right -- why?

If that sounds like a self-righteous guilt trip, the movie's anything but. Rather, filmmakers Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern have built an engrossing, thought-provoking moral position paper on the back of one Brian Steidle, an ex-Marine who found himself working as a cease-fire monitor in Sudan in early 2004.

Steidle got the job via the Internet and quickly realized how deeply he was in over his head. The cease-fire between the Muslim government forces in the north of the country and the black animist revolutionaries in the south held everywhere but in the primarily Muslim western province of Darfur, where government-backed militias known as "janjaweed" -- "the devil on a horse" -- massacred entire villages, man, woman, and child. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Darfur Needs Most Efficient, Trained Troops Immediately

The nationalities of troops should not impede the urgent establishment of the most effective peacekeeping force possible for Darfur, Human Rights Watch said today in letters to the chairman of the African Union Commission and to the United Nations under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations.

The new African Union-United Nations hybrid peacekeeping force must have military and civilian components, including police, that are experienced, well-trained and well-equipped if it is to deliver on its promise to protect civilians in Darfur.

Human Rights Watch welcomed the announcement from the African Union that African countries have pledged troops for the force, but warned that the difficulties the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) has faced indicate that it may not be possible to source from Africa the full range of skills, expertise and experience required for either the military or the civilian contingent, and particularly for the police. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

China a key to Darfur peace-activists

KIGALI, Aug 15 (Reuters) - China must stop supplying weapons to Sudan and curb ties with the country to help halt killings in the war-torn region of Darfur, activists said on Wednesday.

Olympic Dream for Darfur, a U.S.-based advocacy campaign, appealed to the Chinese government as hosts of the Olympics next year to use its influence in Sudan to boost security.

"Genocide can only stop if there's willingness (in the) international community to stop it, and for Darfur that power lies in China," said Jill Savitt, director of the Olympic Dream for Darfur.

The activists accused China of continuing to carry out oil deals with Sudan and supplying weapons to the Khartoum government, which end up in the hands of Darfur militias.

China, the biggest foreign investor in Sudan, has said its arms sales to the country are limited and abide strictly by international rules. Read more >>>>

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

International court works to bring Darfur rapists to trial

When Amnesty International observers visited Darfur in 2004, they were appalled by the sheer number of rape victims they encountered.

Many were gang raped in front of their families as the conquering Janjaweed militia burned down their homes.

Hundreds of rape cases, including against girls as young as 7 or 9, were documented by human rights workers at the height of the ethnic cleansing in Darfur in 2004.

There are those who would argue that to allow the victims of such organised mass rape to give birth is arguably tantamount to complicity in genocide. Because the most horrible conclusion of rape as a weapon of war is that it can change the ethnic makeup of a country. In the case of Darfur, it could mean the steady Arabisation of the next generation.

In 2005, about 100 countries took a landmark decision by agreeing that rape should be included among the crimes against humanity that could be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court as they established the tribunal. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>

Sunday, August 12, 2007

'The devil came on horseback'

"I was blown away by what I saw [in Darfur], because nobody kenw about it. Not even us, in the same country 300km away."
-- Brian Steidle, campaigner

Three years ago, fresh out of serving with the US marines in Kosovo and elsewhere, Steidle saw a job opening for a US monitor attached to the African Union peacekeeping mission in the Sudan. "I had no idea," he says. "I was looking for some adventure. My goal was to make money, to have a good time making it and to retire early."

Without knowing it, he was heading into a genocide in the making and towards becoming an unlikely, but highly effective, campaigner. The result is that alongside the big players such as Washington and Beijing, whose political calculations lie behind the new Security Council agreement to send an international force to Sudan's conflict zone, it is a small player in the person of Steidle - with his everyman demeanor and eyewitness evidence - who crucially set the stage by helping to make Sudan's government-sponsored slaughter a cause du jour in the US. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>

War crimes suspect has free rein in Sudan


EL FASHER, Sudan - For a man accused of masterminding massacres, Ahmad Harun seems quite comfortable in the place he allegedly helped destroy.

He strolls around the grassy compound belonging to the local governor in Sudan's deeply troubled Darfur region, embracing tribal leaders, soldiers and officials who have come to hear the president.

Harun, a tall 42-year-old with high cheekbones and almond-shaped eyes, was in charge of the region's security during the height of the violent attacks on farm villages that caused millions to flee their homes in 2003 and 2004. He allegedly recruited, funded and armed local militias to root out rebels who had attacked the Sudanese army, sweeping away their home villages, families and the intricate fabric of Darfur's identity along the way. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Childrens’ drawings ‘evidence’ of Darfur war crimes

500 drawings by children who escaped the violence in Darfur could threaten to prosecute the Sudanese government troops for war crimes.

The collection of images will be submitted to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has started proceedings against a Sudanese government minister and a militia commander accused of committing war crimes in Darfur.

The testimony of the children, some as young as eight, emerged by chance when a peace campaigner Anna Schmidt, a researcher for Waging Peace, handed the children paper, pencils and crayons to keep them occupied while she interviewed their mothers, who are among 250,000 to have fled to the relative safety in neighbouring Chad.

Most of the children, who escaped by fleeing across the border to Chad, could not read or write and instead drew their experiences.

The government of Sudan has repeatedly denied launching military attacks in Darfur.

But the drawings apparently depict Sudanese tanks, planes and helicopters in action launching attacks on civilians who are depicted defending themselves with bows and arrows. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Violence continues to drive Darfur farmers into crowded camps

By Paul Jeffrey
Catholic News Service

ZALINGEI, Sudan (CNS) -- For years, Fatma Omar resisted leaving her farm near the village of Omra, despite repeated raids by Arab militias. At times she and her family would flee to hide in the desert for several days until it was safe to return home.

Then in mid-July the attackers came again, this time, she said, killing her husband, raping her and burning their thatched home.

With her four children, the eldest 13 years old, she walked for 15 days through the countryside of Darfur, Sudan's westernmost province, reaching the Hassa Hissa camp in Zalingei July 27. As she waited for U.N. camp managers to provide her a card for food rations, she borrowed a tarp and stretched it across the weathered walls of an abandoned hut. Then she sat down in the dust in front of her new home and stared across the landscape in the direction of her old life.

"Now I've got nothing," she said, her hand aimlessly drawing circles in the sand. Read more >>>>>>>

When dealing with Darfur atrocities, money talks

By Rep. Steny Hoyer

After the genocide in Rwanda, many of us swore that never again would we stand by idly and permit genocide to take place on our watch. Sunday, July 22, marked the third anniversary of Congress' vote, under the leadership of Rep. Don Payne, D-N.J., to declare that the atrocities taking place in Darfur, Sudan, constituted genocide.

Nearly 450,000 people have died, and more than 2.5 million have been displaced, yet the Omar al-Bashir government continues to stall the implementation of a joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping force. During our trip to Darfur in April, we saw firsthand that the situation on the ground continues to deteriorate.

If we are to make good on our commitment not to stand by in the face of atrocities, we have a moral obligation to use every tool at our disposal, and that means using both diplomacy and divestment.

The Bush administration has been firm in its dealings with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, and Congress has taken important steps to strengthen the administration's diplomatic hand. In April, the House passed a resolution 425-1 calling on the League of Arab States to recognize the genocide taking place in Darfur and take active steps to bring it to an end.

In June, the House voted 410-0 for a resolution calling on China, Sudan's largest trading partner, "to use its unique influence and economic leverage" to help stop the genocide in Darfur. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Darfur war crimes suspect has free rein

Ahmad Harun, accused of recruiting militias who ravaged villages, is the minister of state for humanitarian affairs.

EL FASHER, SUDAN — For a man accused of masterminding massacres, Ahmad Harun seems quite comfortable in the place he allegedly helped destroy.

He strolls around the grassy compound belonging to the local governor in Sudan's deeply troubled Darfur region, embracing Arab tribal leaders, soldiers and officials who have come to hear the president.

Harun, a tall 42-year-old with high cheekbones and almond-shaped eyes, was in charge of the region's security during the height of the violent attacks on farm villages that caused millions to flee their homes in 2003 and 2004. He allegedly recruited, funded and armed local militias to root out rebels who had attacked the Sudanese army, sweeping away their villages, families and the intricate fabric of Darfur's identity along the way. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Pronk: Darfur-missie zinloos

Jan Pronk, oud-VN-gezant in Soedan, oordeelt hard over de nieuwste resolutie voor Darfur. „Het gaat heel lang duren eer die missie compleet is.”

Een paar jaar probeerde oud-minster Jan Pronk als speciaal gezant van de Verenigde Naties in Soedan het tij te keren. Vergeefs: in het zuiden staat de wederopbouw nog in de kinderschoenen, in westelijk Darfur duurt de crisis onverminderd voort.

Pronk wijt de crisis in Darfur aan de orthodox-islamitische regering in Khartoem. „Die heeft geen enkele resolutie van de VN-Veiligheidsraad uitgevoerd. Alles, ├ílles hebben zij aan hun laars gelapt.” Anderzijds is hij bijzonder teleurgesteld over de Veiligheidsraad: „Die maakt zichzelf steeds zwakker. Je moet een land niet binnenvallen, maar er kan zoveel meer. Denk aan sancties.” Read more >>>>>>

Monday, August 06, 2007

Darfur rebel factions reach common position for peace talks with Sudan

ARUSHA, Tanzania: Darfur rebel factions reached a common negotiating position for peace talks with the Sudanese government, which they want to hold within three months, United Nations and African Union officials said Monday.

The rebel factions met at a resort in Arusha in northern Tanzania to try to bury past differences over the leadership and direction of Darfur, the vast western region of Sudan.

Jan Eliasson of Sweden, the UN envoy to Darfur, said the groups had reached "a common platform" for negotiations, encompassing power and wealth sharing, security, land and humanitarian issues.

"We have an impressive show of unity and purpose to get ready with final negotiations in the very near future," Eliasson said at the closing session of the four-day meeting. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Darfur rebel factions begin unity talks in Arusha

Darfur rebel factions begin unity talks in Arusha
Sat 4 Aug 2007, 7:22 GMT

[-] Text [+] By C. Bryson Hull

ARUSHA, Tanzania (Reuters) - Darfur rebel factions began African Union-United Nations sponsored negotiations on Friday aimed at resolving their differences ahead of peace talks with the Sudanese government.

The talks to end the four-year conflict in western Sudan have taken on a new importance since the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday approved the deployment of 26,000 peacekeeping troops and police to stem the bloodshed in Darfur.

Darfur rebels split into about a dozen groups are meeting to work out a single negotiating position for peace talks with the government, and a date and venue for the negotiations.

Members of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) arrived in the Tanzanian resort town of Arusha on Friday, as did some negotiators with factions of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA). Read more >>>>

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Darfur: The evidence of war crimes

500 drawings by children who escaped the violence are to be submitted to the International Criminal Court as proof of war crimes by Sudanese forces
By Andrew Grice, Political Editor
Published: 02 August 2007
The drawing is one of 500 to be submitted to the International Criminal Court Dramatic new evidence of the attacks on the people of Darfur by Sudanese government troops has emerged in 500 drawings by children who escaped the violence by fleeing across the border to Chad.

In a ground-breaking move, the remarkable collection of images will now be submitted to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has started proceedings against a Sudanese government minister and a militia commander accused of committing war crimes in Darfur.

The testimony of the children, some as young as eight, emerged by chance when a peace campaigner handed the children paper, pencils and crayons to keep them occupied while she interviewed their mothers. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

U.N. approves Darfur peacekeepers

The U.N. Security Council approved the deployment of peacekeepers to quell the violence in the Darfur region of Sudan.

In a resolution adopted Tuesday, the council approved the deployment of 26,000 military and police personnel in what will be the largest peacekeeping operation in the world. The resolution included reference to Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter, which permits the council to authorize the use of force to achieve its mandate.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called it a "historic and unprecedented resolution." Read more >>>>>>

UN Security Council approves 26,000-strong peacekeeping force for Darfur


PARIS (AP) - France, Denmark and Indonesia offered Wednesday to contribute to a joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force for Darfur, while Sudan praised the UN resolution, which was watered down to drop the threat of sanctions.

Acceptance of the new 26,000-strong force marked a major turnaround for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's government, which had resisted for months a push to send UN peacekeepers to the western Darfur region, where over 200,000 people have died and 2.5 million been chased from their homes in four years of fighting. Read more >>>>>