Sunday, December 28, 2008

A New Chance for Darfur

By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

If Barack Obama wants to help end the genocide in Darfur, he doesn’t have to look far for ideas of how to accomplish that. President Bush and his top aides have been given, and ignored, a menu of options for tough steps to squeeze Sudan — even destroy its air force — and those will soon be on the new president’s desk.
The State Department’s policy planning staff prepared the first set of possible responses back in 2004 (never pursued), and this year Ambassador Richard Williamson has privately pushed the White House to squeeze Sudan until it stops the killing.

Mr. Williamson, who is President Bush’s special envoy to Sudan, wrote a tough memo to Mr. Bush this fall outlining three particular steps the United States could take to press Sudan’s leader, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Read more >>>>>>

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Arab and Muslim Indifference Regarding the Suffering in Darfur

The Arab and Muslim Indifference Regarding the Suffering in Darfur


Muslims suffer in the hands of an Arab regime, then there is barely any condemnation of the violence and crimes in the Arab and Muslim world, notes Savo Heleta.


When Muslims suffer around the world in the hands of Americans, Russians, Serbs, or Israelis, the Arab and Muslim countries are very active in condemning the attacks and violence. Their governments complain and raise funds, diplomats protest, the media report, and the citizens demonstrate against "crusaders and infidels."


But when Muslims suffer in the hands of an Arab regime, then there is barely any condemnation of the violence and crimes in the Arab and Muslim world.


Since 2003, Sudan's western province of Darfur is an epicenter of a conflict between the mainly "African" rebels and the Arab-controlled Sudanese government and their proxy militias. It is estimated that about 200,000 people have died in the conflict from fighting, disease, and starvation. The UN and aid agencies estimate that over two million Darfurians, out of a population of about six million, are living in refugee camps in Darfur and neighboring countries.


The Sudan's ruling elite portrays itself as an "Arab" regime both at home and abroad. Some would say that this explains the lack of concern for the Darfur conflict in the Arab world. But things change when we consider the fact that both sides in the Darfur conflict are Muslim and that the Darfurians, both Arabs and Africans, are Sudan's most devout Muslims.


Even though Muslims are the victims in Darfur, the fact that they are the victims of an Arab regime prevents Arab and Muslim countries from acknowledging the humanitarian catastrophe in Darfur, let alone speaking against the horrendous crimes committed against innocent civilians in this Sudanese province.


Many people in the Arab world don't even know about the conflict and human suffering in Darfur as there is hardly any news about Darfur in the Arab media. The only exceptions are the Aljazeera and Alarabya news networks.


According to Lawrence Pintak, a journalist and Arab media expert, the Darfur conflict is not covered by the Arab media as "it does not fit the template of Arabs being the victims and other people the aggressors."


The involvement of many international humanitarian organizations in Darfur and the attention given to the conflict by the Western governments and media are "perceived by a large portion of Arab public opinion as yet another 'Western intervention' in an Arab country's affairs." Some Arab journalists even claim that the Darfur conflict is nothing but a "Zionist-American conspiracy to carve up Sudan and plunder its resources." Read more >>>>>>>

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The great Darfur singer ABDU KUKA

Kalma Outrage Victims Demand Investigation

Kalma Outrage Victims Demand Investigation
They say an ICC probe would deter further attacks on the internal refugee camp.

By Tajeldin Adam in Belgium and Katy Glassborow in The Hague (AR No. 196, 17-Dec-08)

Victims of a brutal attack on a Darfur camp for displaced people, in which over 30 civilians were killed and scores more injured, are calling on the International Criminal Court, ICC, to investigate the outrage.

In August, Sudanese government, GoS, forces and allied janjaweed militias are reported to have surrounded the Kalma camp near Nyala in south Darfur, before allegedly pounding it with machine-gun fire, in an apparent bid to root out rebels they believed to be stashing weapons there.

Kalma is one of the largest internal refugee camps in Darfur, housing about 90,000 displaced people, or IDPs. Those who survived the attack, like Mariam Ishak, want the ICC to launch a thorough investigation, and hold the perpetrators to account.

“I want the ICC to punish these criminals and stop their crimes so that we [can] live in peace like any human being,” said Ishak.

The woman described scenes of terror during the onslaught, which lasted for two hours.

“I looked outside and saw men in uniform with rifles shouting and shooting indiscriminately at people. They just wanted to kill people. A few metres from our shelter, I saw a very small child covered with blood and lying helpless; he was dying after being shot.

“I approached to help him, but my husband didn't let me; afraid that I could become another victim. The shooting was so intense; flying bullets filled the air. It was hell. When the armed men left, the child was already dead.

“We buried him with the other victims the same day. I [will] never forget that horror for the rest of [my] life.” Read more >>>>>>>>>

'Thousands made slaves' in Darfur

Strong evidence has emerged of children and adults being used as slaves in Sudan's Darfur region, a study says.

Kidnapped men have been forced to work on farmland controlled by Janjaweed militias, a coalition of African charities says.

Eyewitnesses also say the Sudanese army has been involved in abducting women and children to be sex slaves and domestic staff for troops in Khartoum.

But Khartoum said the report was "very naive" and called the authors ignorant.

"The government does not condone abductions and it is not government policy," a government spokesman told the BBC.

"We are working hard to stop such violations. The rebel factions are mostly to blame for abductions in Darfur."
Up to 300,000 people have died since conflict began in Darfur in 2003 and at least 2.7 million people have fled their homes. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bush urges Obama to keep Darfur pressure on Sudan

WASHINGTON (AFP) — US President George W. Bush, in a message seemingly aimed at successor Barack Obama, said Wednesday the United States must keep pressure on Sudan's government over its war-torn Darfur region.

Bush, meeting in his Oval Office with a leading activist for suffering Darfuris, also said he was "frustrated" with the sluggish pace of deployment of a hybrid UN-African Union peacekeeping force.

"I am frustrated with the pace of activities," Bush said as he met in his Oval Office with Halima Bashir, adding "the United Nations must expedite on sending troops, peacekeepers to provide security."

"The United States must continue to rally the international community to put pressure on the government as well," the US president, who leaves office January 20, told reporters.

Bashir, a doctor and co-author of "Tears of the Desert: A Memoir of Survival in Darfur," peered out from behind a striking red, white and black head-to-toe covering that White House aides said she put on just before journalists entered the room, as protection from possible reprisals.

"We do not need to wait any more. We need UN action," she said in a soft, muffled voice. Read more >>>>>>>>>>

ICC prosecutor: Sudan leader ‘inciting violence‘

Luis Moreno-Ocampo said President Omar al-Bashir has been "inciting violence" over the court‘s charges by threatening civilians and peacekeepers in the joint U.N.-African Union force.

The prosecutor‘s briefing to the Security Council was his last before the court decides whether to issue a warrant for al-Bashir. There have been no rulings on the warrant yet; a court decision is expected by early next year.

Up to 300,000 people have died and 2.5 million have been forced from their homes in five years of fighting. The ICC last year issued arrest warrants for a Sudanese government minister and for a commander in the government-backed janjaweed militia, which has been blamed for the worst atrocities in Darfur.

The court is not part of the United Nations, but the 107 nations that ratified the 1998 treaty creating it, along with the U.N., are responsible for responding to the ICC‘s requests for cooperation. The U.S. was opposed to its creation, but is now a strident supporter of bringing al-Bashir before the court on genocide charges.

He accused the rebels of committing war crimes, including murder, pillaging and deliberately attacking peacekeepers.

Both China and Russia are accused of arming Sudan, but both also approved the council‘s 2005 resolution ordering Moreno-Ocampo to investigate crimes in Darfur.

"We are not lawyers, we are not prosecutors," Kumalo added. "We sit here having to make decisions ... to balance the two things between the maintenance of international security and for fighting impunity." Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>

Crimes of humanity in Darfur

Bashir's day of reckoning may soon be near
Nat Hentoff

A hero of this young century, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, is coming closer to arresting the president of Sudan, Lt. Gen. Omar Bashir, and bringing him to be tried at The Hague for genocide, among other crimes against humanity in Darfur.

In July, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo asked the ICC to issue arrest warrants for Gen. Bashir on three counts of genocide, five counts of crimes against humanity and two of murder. The legal definition of genocide is the "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethinic, racial or religious group." The prosecutor accuses Gen. Bashir of a campaign to eliminate African Darfur tribes (Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa).

After the ICC asked for more supporting material to justify arrest warrants, Mr. Moreno-Ocampo submitted more than 700 pages of documented evidence, including witness statements. All of his previous requests for arrest warrants in other cases have been successful.

Adding to Gen. Bashir's fears is the prospect of national elections next year - which have been demanded by foreign donor governments and supported by the United Nations and many in Sudan. The Economist reports

that the dictator and his henchmen "know that if even vaguely free and fair ballots were to take place throughout Sudan, they would lose heavily." If Gen. Bashir is subject to actual arrest by the ICC, he would find it exceedingly hard to rig the elections.

In order to prevent attempts to take the dictator into custody by the ICC, there is a concerted, insistent attempt to get the United Nations to exercise its authority to defer any further action by the ICC. Ostensibly to assure "stability in the area," this Praetorian Guard protecting Al-Bashir includes the Arab states, some members of the African Union - and of course China and Russia. Read more >>>>

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

ICC Prosecutor: States must gear up for arrests

Today, in his briefing to the United Nations Security Council on the situation in Darfur, ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo called on States to prepare themselves “sooner rather than later” for the decision of the Judges on President Omar Hassan Al Bashir of the Sudan.

“Massive crimes are being committed in Darfur now; they are taking place because President Bashir wills them to take place” said the Prosecutor.

“What can UNAMID do when those controlling its deployment are the same people ordering the crimes? How long are we going to just tally the casualties, the displacements and the rapes?” he asked.

“If Security Council members can act together, the crimes will stop and millions of lives will be saved. If different interests prevent a strong and consistent position in support of the Court’s decisions, if they give room to false promises, rapes will continue, destruction will continue. An opportunity is coming. A united Security Council can make a difference” said the Prosecutor.

Last June, Presidential Statement 21 was a strong message that the UNSC is united in its efforts to bring justice to the people of Darfur. The future of the Darfuris depends on the ability of the Council to move forward together. Members must as a matter of urgency agree on a course of action. Read more >>>>>>>

Rape as genocide

'In this society if you rape one woman, you have raped the entire tribe" - so said one observer of the mass rape occurring in Darfur.

People hear the word genocide and think of six million victims of the Holocaust or an estimated 800,000 dead in Rwanda. They do not imagine that mass rape can be so well planned and targeted that it wipes out a substantial part of an ethnic group as thoroughly, though more slowly, than widespread killings. Yet three judges sitting on the International Criminal Court will decide soon whether to confirm an arrest warrant against a head of state, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan, on grounds that he masterminded rape as genocide against three ethnic groups in Darfur that have challenged his power.

The ICC's prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, has filed war crimes and crimes against humanity charges against Bashir. But the centerpiece of Moreno-Ocampo's application is the charge of rape as genocide "causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group" and "deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part." Such acts of genocide arising from rape rather than from murder can be prosecuted as stand-alone crimes before the International Criminal Court. Read more >>>>>>>>

Rights Groups: Sudan Lying About Improvements in Darfur

By VOA News

15 human rights organizations said in a joint report released Tuesday, the Sudanese government is lying about improvements in the situation in Darfur.

Human Rights Watch, Save Darfur Coalition and 13 other rights organizations said the Sudanese government continues to conduct large-scale military attacks against populated areas, harass aid workers, and allow impunity for the worst crimes committed in Darfur.

Sudan wants the U.N. Security Council to suspend the International Criminal Court's consideration of an arrest warrant against Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.


The new human rights report said Sudanese officials have been lobbying Security Council members to order the suspension of the ICC investigation of Mr. Bashir.

The ICC prosecutor is scheduled to brief the Security Council Wednesday about the progress of his investigation. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>

Monday, December 01, 2008

Obama Pick for UN Envoy May Face Resistance Over Darfur

By Patrick Goodenough, International Editor

While much attention will be focused Monday on President-elect Obama’s announcement that former rival Sen. Hillary Clinton will assume the top diplomatic post in his administration, his nominee for ambassador to the United Nations will also draw scrutiny in foreign capitals.

Susan Rice, a foreign policy advisor to Obama who was assistant secretary of state for African Affairs in the second Clinton administration, is expected to be named as envoy to the U.N.

Since Obama’s election, advocates of closer U.S. cooperation with the world body have been urging him to appoint an ambassador who will reflect a determination to renew American global leadership by re-engaging with the U.N.

Rice, a 44-year-old African-American – no relation to outgoing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice – has been a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, where she has been an advocate for tougher action to end the humanitarian catastrophe in Sudan’s Darfur region and a critic of Bush administration’s response to the crisis.

If the U.S. was serious about stopping the genocide there, she told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2007, it would take a series of steps to back up its earlier pledge of harsh consequences should the Sudanese government not accept peacekeepers and stop killing innocent civilians. Read more >>>>>>>>>>

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Genocide's harrowing cost

Hal Boedeker | Sentinel Columnist

Christiane Amanpour is a passionate teacher who picks difficult topics. She is so commanding that you want to enroll.

In CNN's Scream Bloody Murder, she takes up perhaps the hardest subject of all: genocide. In this two-hour documentary, which debuts at 9 p.m. Thursday, Amanpour examines how the world has frequently fallen short since the Holocaust.

This program looks at atrocities in Cambodia, Iraq, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur. She balances the horror by focusing on stirring figures who spoke out.

Father Francois Ponchaud told of the Khmer Rouge's mass executions in Cambodia. Peter Galbraith, then a staffer in the U.S. Senate, tried -- and failed -- to get Congress to punish Iraq after Saddam Hussein gassed the Kurds.

Richard Holbrooke, then a private citizen, pushed the Clinton administration to halt the Bosnian Serbs. The United States acted three years later.

Romeo Dallaire, commander of United Nations peace-keeping troops in Rwanda, warned of disaster. He didn't receive help, and still seems shaken by the tragedy.

Mukesh Kapila, formerly the U.N.'s top official in Sudan, took the Darfur disaster to the media. Professor Eric Reeves has rallied the world via the Internet. Read more >>>>>

Darfur aid groups face harassment - UN officials

By Andrew Heavens

KHARTOUM, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Humanitarian aid groups are facing growing harassment in South Darfur where government officials have forced staff to hand over confidential emails and files, United Nations officials said on Sunday.

But the head of Sudan's state Humanitarian Aid Commission in the region denied the accusations, saying his office was doing all it could to assist development groups.

The U.N. officers, who did not want to be identified, told Reuters that Sudanese officials had ordered a crackdown on aid groups they suspected of supplying evidence to the International Criminal Court for a war crimes case against Sudan's president. Read more >>>>

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Genocide in Darfur? Let the court decide

By Philip Heymann and Martha Minow

IS THERE a legal basis for the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan for genocide?

The crime of genocide has been widely accepted as the most heinous offense against human dignity. Although the term can sometimes be used loosely in political debates, it has a very precise and narrow legal definition. And rightly so.

According to the Genocide Convention of 1948, the crime of genocide is "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."

These definitional requirements are more than mere legal formalities. If the crime of genocide is deemed to occur, the Convention triggers mandatory prosecution requirements. The particular opprobrium that is attached to genocide should be reserved for those who have unquestionably violated its terms. Meanwhile, mass atrocities that do not satisfy the precise definition of genocide can still be prosecuted as crimes against humanity or war crimes. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Remember Darfur genocide? It hasn't stopped

Of all the world's dictators, Sudan's Gen. Omar Al-Bashir is the most unfailingly duplicitous and murderously arrogant. His government was one of the first to welcome our new president with the hope that the slogan of President-elect Barack Obama – "change" – "would (bring) some real change between Sudan and the United States."

Obama knows better. As the Paris-based Sudan Tribune website reports (Nov. 6): "During his campaign, Senator Obama pledged 'unstinting resolve' to end the crisis in Darfur, and stated 'there can be no doubt that the Sudanese government is chiefly responsible for the violence and is able to end it.'"

In what Bashir assumed Obama would consider a welcome move, Sudan's genocide president, on Nov. 12, announced "our immediate unconditional cease-fire" that would include the disarmament (which he has often pledged) of his most ruthless killers and rapists, the Janjaweed militia.

As is Bashir's custom, he followed the cease-fire by two days of multiple attacks by his army and Russian antonov gunships and bombers on rebel forces (Sudan Tribune, Nov. 15).

The blame for the continuing atrocities against Darfur's black African Muslims is not only Bashir's; but, as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice belatedly said in a New York Times Sunday Magazine interview (Nov. 16), the United Nations Security Council has continually failed to impose strong enough sanctions on Bashir. Read more >>>>>

Monday, November 24, 2008

Obama, Darfur, and ICC justice

Northampton, Mass. - Of all the issues President-elect Barack Obama faces before he takes office, none is of greater moral urgency than changing the tenor of the US response to what he has repeatedly described as "genocide in Darfur."

That's because, before Inauguration Day, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is very likely to issue a warrant for the arrest of Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, charging him with crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur.

These charges are amply justified by the evidence. Mr. Obama's clear and effective response is needed, because the Khartoum regime has threatened aggressive violence in a calculated campaign to fend off the arrest.

Indeed, its threats are as shocking as they are underreported.

In August, the UN head of mission in Sudan declared to the Security Council: "The government has conveyed to me that the issuance of an arrest warrant against President Bashir could have serious consequences for UN staff and infrastructure in Sudan." Translation: Seek to arrest our president and we'll unleash further hell on the aid personnel who protect Darfur's vulnerable civilian populations.

Also in August, Bashir declared, "We are ready to go through war with the great power" to forestall ICC actions. Such threats against UN personnel and operations are unprecedented – and they must be fully registered by the Security Council, both for Darfur and for future peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.

As if to make clear just how high the stakes have become, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Edmond Mulet recently stressed that a warrant for Bashir could "derail the [north/south] Comprehensive Peace Agreement," which in January 2005 ended more than 20 years of catastrophic civil war.

Sudan's unambiguous threat – which also poses grave regional dangers – means the international community has no excuse not to act forcefully now. And yet, to date, Khartoum's threats stand unrebuked. The UN Secretariat has acquiesced: Despite Secretary-General Moon's tepid and abstract support for the ICC, he refuses to challenge Khartoum directly over its recent dangerous pronouncements. Read more >>>>

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sudanese officers to testify at ICC

Dozens of Sudanese soldiers, some of them high-ranking officers, are in The Hague to testify before the International Criminal Court. Radio Netherlands Worldwide learned of the soldiers' role in the trial from a well-informed source today.

The court is trying Sudan's government and rebel leaders on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, including the bombing of civilians. Relatives of the witnesses have also been taken to The Hague to protect them against possible retaliation by the Sudanese government. ICC officials declined to comment on the matter, saying this would violate the court's commitment to protect witnesses and victims.

President
In April 2007, the ICC issued arrest warrants for two Sudanese nationals, Humanitarian Affairs Minister Ahmed Haroun and local militia leader Ali Kushib. In July 2008, ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo presented evidence against President Omar al-Bashir to support charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur. A preliminary hearing is currently considering whether to issue an arrest warrant for Mr al-Bashir. Read more >>>>>>>>>

The Hypocrisy in the Arab and Muslim World Regarding the Darfur Conflict

By Savo Heleta ,

When Muslims suffer around the world in the hands of Americans, Russians, Serbs, or Israelis, the Arab and Muslim countries are very active in condemning the attacks and violence. Their governments complain and raise funds, diplomats protest, the media report, and the citizens demonstrate against "crusaders and infidels."

But when Muslims suffer in the hands of an Arab regime, then there is barely any condemnation of the violence and crimes in the Arab and Muslim world.

Since 2003, Sudan's western province of Darfur is an epicenter of a conflict between the mainly "African" rebels and the Arab-controlled Sudanese government and their proxy militias. It is estimated that about 200,000 people have died in the conflict from fighting, disease, and starvation. The UN and aid agencies estimate that over two million Darfurians, out of a population of about six million, are living in refugee camps in Darfur and neighboring countries.

The Sudan's ruling elite portrays itself as an "Arab" regime both at home and abroad. Some would say that this explains the lack of concern for the Darfur conflict in the Arab world. But things change when we consider the fact that both sides in the Darfur conflict are Muslim and that the Darfurians, both Arabs and Africans, are Sudan's most devout Muslims.

Even though Muslims are the victims in Darfur, the fact that they are the victims of an Arab regime prevents Arab and Muslim countries from acknowledging the humanitarian catastrophe in Darfur, let alone speaking against the horrendous crimes committed against innocent civilians in this Sudanese province. Read more >>>>>>

Monday, November 17, 2008

Darfur refugees demand genocide trial for al-Bashir

KALMA CAMP, Sudan–Refugees in this crowded camp – where mass graves hold the victims of Sudanese government attacks against them – see little hope in the latest effort to end the war in Darfur.

What they want is justice.

And for many, getting justice means putting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on trial for genocide.

Khalthoum Adam, a 50-year-old woman in Kalma Camp, says even if a peace deal is reached, she will not return to her home village near Kalma unless there is a trial. She fears violence by Arab camel herders she says are holding the land she and her family were driven out of by attack planes and government militia five years ago.

"They will be sending us to another danger" if camp residents are forced to return home under a peace agreement, she said. "If (al-Bashir) doesn't go to trial, we will stay in the camps."

This week, prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo is to present details to The Hague-based International Criminal Court outlining what he says is al-Bashir's role in overseeing the systematic targeting of Darfur's main Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa tribes. Read more >>>>>>>>

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Darfur refugees seek justice over peace

KALMA CAMP, Sudan (AP) — Refugees in this crowded camp — where mass graves hold the victims of one of the bloodiest Sudanese government attacks against them — see little hope in a new drive for peace aimed at ending the nearly six-year war in Darfur. What they want is justice.

For many of the refugees, that means putting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on trial for genocide.

Khalthoum Adam, a 50-year-old woman in Kalma Camp, says that peace deal or no, without a trial she won't return to her home village not far from Kalma. She fears violence by Arab camel herders she says are still holding the land she and her family were driven out of by attacking planes and government militia five years ago.

"They will be sending us to another danger" if camp residents are forced to return home as part of a peace agreement, she said. "If (al-Bashir) doesn't go to trial, we will stay in the camps."

Adam spoke as she emerged from Kalma with a group of women to collect grain from nearby fields, guarded by U.N. peacekeepers to prevent the frequent attacks on women who dare step out of the camps.

Distrust of al-Bashir and his Arab-led government is deep and bitter among the 2.7 million mostly ethnic Africans driven from their homes. Some observers say their fears must be taken into account amid new, still struggling efforts to get Darfur rebel leaders and the government back to the negotiating table. Read more >>>>>>>>>

Friday, November 14, 2008

If peace comes to Darfur, thank the International Criminal Court

By David Blair

When Sudan's military dictator declared a unilateral ceasefire in Darfur this week, he was conducting the biggest plea bargain in history. President Omar al-Bashir, who seized power in a coup in 1989 and leads one of Africa's most ruthless regimes, did not try to halt Darfur's bloodshed out of the kindness of his heart. On the contrary, for the past five years, his armed forces and their associated militias, popularly known as the janjaweed or "devils on horseback", have pillaged villages at will, waging a ruthless war that has claimed some 300,000 lives, either from violence, starvation or disease.

Instead, Mr Bashir called the ceasefire because he faces a little legal difficulty. In July, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, asked for Sudan's leader to be formally charged with three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of war crimes.

At present, the ICC's "pre-trial chamber" is considering this request. So far, Mr Bashir has not been formally charged and no arrest warrant exists in his name. But this could change quite soon. Early next year, the judges will probably decide whether to uphold Mr Moreno-Ocampo's accusations. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Obama and Darfur


The crisis in Darfur is the most pressing humanitarian issue for President-elect Barack Obama. He can leverage the goodwill and pride in his recent electoral success to pressure the parties in Sudan to uphold the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2005 -- sending a powerful signal.

At least 250,000 people -- some estimates range as high as 500,000 -- have died and approximately 2.2 million have been displaced since 2003. In turn, the Sudanese militia, in tandem with an Arab militia known as the janjaweed ("devils on horseback"), waged a brutal campaign of genocide and ethnic cleansing against men, women and children.

An Obama administration needs to uphold the cornerstones of American policy established during the Bush administrations. Since 2003, the United States has placed Sudan on its list of state sponsors of terrorism, and since 2007 has imposed economic sanctions. Sudanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ali al-Sadiq told Agence France-Presse after Mr. Obama's victory that Khartoum "would like to see some real change between Sudan and the United States." "Real change" does not mean relaxing the pressure on Sudanese President, Lt. Gen. Omar Bashir, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity. Read more >>>>>>

Friday, November 07, 2008

Student documents Darfur genocide

Remnants of slaughtered people are shown as a reminder to what happened during Rwanda's civil war.

Rows of human skulls and heaps of bones filled the Ntarama Genocide Memorial in Uganda, surrounded by the remnants of clothes, I.D. cards and homework assignments that commemorated the people slaughtered at the site.

For U student Sheldon Wardwell, a junior in political science, the image he saw in his trip to Uganda and Rwanda in 2007 has resonated in his mind.

"When you're going to school, working and living life, it's easy to put this off like it's nothing," Wardwell said. "But when you've seen firsthand how they're every bit a person as you are...it's hard to let it go."

Wardwell will return to Africa in December to interview Darfurian refugees in eastern Chad-a research expedition to document the impacts of the Sudanese genocide.Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>

Kristallnacht remembered at Barry University in Miami Shores

BY JAWEED KALEEM
jkaleem@MiamiHerald.com
Seventy years ago this week, one of the first coordinated campaigns of the Holocaust began in Germany and Austria.

It was the night of Nov. 9, and the Nazi regime had alerted police officers and firefighters to stand by for two nights as more than 1,000 synagogues were burned or damaged, thousands of Jewish businesses were looted, and at least 91 Jews were killed, while 30,000 were arrested and later sent to concentration camps.

Thursday afternoon, more than 100 students and faculty members at Barry University in Miami Shores gathered around candlelit tables to observe the massacre that came to be called Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass.

''Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it,'' said Rabbi Solomon Schiff of the Rabbinical Association of Greater Miami, flanked by Israeli and American flags. ''Hopefully, we've learned our lesson.'' He reminded the audience of history's parallels to today, citing genocide in places such as Darfur, as well as racial and religious discrimination in the United States. He wasn't speaking only to the uninitiated. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Letter to President-Elect Barack Obama: A Peace Surge for Sudan

By John Prendergast, John Norris, Jerry Fowler

This is the first in a series of letters to the next president spelling out a practical roadmap to end the crisis in Sudan.

The message of Sudan activists all over The United States is clear:

Don’t try to contain the damage from the war in Darfur—end the war.
Don’t just declare that genocide is taking place—end the genocide.
Don’t just manage the consequences of crisis after crisis in Sudan—end these crises.
In short, President-Elect Obama must lead a concerted international peace surge for Sudan, and diplomacy must be backed by well-conceived and consistently escalating pressure on Khartoum and other combatants to create the proper conditions for a lasting peace. More effective protection of civilians and continued steps toward accountability for crimes against humanity, which are vital in their own right, will help advance this peace surge.

Five-and-a-half years into Darfur’s crisis, and three-and-a-half years after the signing of a peace deal for southern Sudan (the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, or CPA), there is no prospect of a peace deal for Darfur and no coherent effort to ensure that the CPA gets implemented. This is a damning indictment of U.S. and international efforts in Sudan to date. Despite an abundance of rhetoric, it is clear to all parties, including the Sudanese government, that the United States government and its international partners are content simply to manage the consequences of the crisis in Sudan, rather than resolve the situation. Read more >>>>>>>>

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Two Darfur girls raped: peace force

KHARTOUM: Two girls aged 11 and 12 and three women were raped by men wearing military uniforms in Sudan’s Darfur region, peacekeepers said yesterday.
The joint UN/African Union Unamid peacekeeping force said it would not release details of the date or place of the sex attacks because of high sensitivity over the issue.
But force spokesman Noureddine Mezni said the crimes had been “documented” over the past week.
Activists and Western governments have accused government-backed militias and other armed groups of carrying out widespread rapes during the five-year conflict, which international experts say has killed more than 200,000 people.
Khartoum denies there has been any organised campaign of rape, while allowing that individual cases may have occurred >>>>>>>>>>>>>

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The people of Darfur support The Chief Prosecutor of The International Criminal Court Mr. Moreno-Ocampo in the indictment of Sudanese president Omar H

His Excellency Luis Moreno-Ocampo
The Chief Prosecutor of The International Criminal Court

The Hague, October 31st, 2008




The people of Darfur support The Chief Prosecutor of The International Criminal Court Mr. Moreno-Ocampo in the indictment of Sudanese president Omar Hassan el Bashir

Your Excellency The Chief Prosecutor,

The signatories to this letter are representatives of the people of Darfur in Diaspora. The few who have assembled here today, from different parts of the globe, would like to express their utmost gratitude and emphatic support to the work of the International Criminal Court in pursuit for justice particularly for the innocent Darfuris who have endured a bitter experience of state sponsored atrocities for quite a long time. We do not only represent the voice of the oppressed masses of Darfur in their all walks of life but also express the feelings of the silent peace-loving masses of our globe.

Life offers very little to cherish in the absence of peace and peace can never be realized without justice. Peace and justice can not and shall not be traded with each other. Humanity has had enough of tyrannies and rouge regimes that do not only devalue human life but intend to destroy humanity. Grave crimes against humanity and impunity under the guise of sovereignty should not be unaccounted for. The credit goes to International Criminal Court with you as its Chief Prosecutor to render an unprecedented service to humanity.

The innocent civilian population of Darfur, as you are aware, has been victim of the worst criminal acts in the 21st century for no reason other than the revolt of some of their sons against the persistent injustices they have been enduring for decades. The regime in Khartoum is directly and solely responsible for all the mass killings, rape, torture, and forced displacement of our people. We genuinely value the efforts of The Chief Prosecutor of ICC and his team to have indicted the president of the Sudan Omar Hassan el Bashir for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. Genocide and other grave atrocities in Darfur have been, as are still being, orchestrated, financed and systematically carried out under direct supervision of Omar el Bashir

Justice and peace in Darfur and the Sudan will prevail only when the principal perpetrators of the crimes against humanity and war crimes are held accountable. What happened in Darfur is directly attributable to the regime’s similar outrageous practices in South Sudan and the Nuba Mountains with complete impunity. Only law and international justice can deter the repetition of the same sad human tragedies. If the international community in fact believes in “never again”, they should unconditionally and robustly support the exertion of the International Criminal Court and its Chief Prosecutor to bring the perpetrators of gross human atrocities to justice.

Peace-loving people of Darfur fully and categorically support your endeavours to end genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur and the rest of the world.

We are confident in your unshakeable determination to proceed in the quest for justice against all odds.


Sincerely yours,

Signatories:

Ahmed M. Mohamedain, The Hague
Darfur Union, The Netherlands

Khatir M. Kayabil
Darfur People’s Union in UK and Northern Ireland
U.K

Abdelbagi Jibril
Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre, Geneva
Switzerland

Gamal Adam
Darfur Association of Canada
Calgary Branch
Canada


Abdelhadi Abbakar
Darfur Call, Amsterdam
The Netherlands




Niemat Ahmadi
Darfuri Leaders Network
United States


Hafiz Bassy
Darfur Community Association of Australia Inc.
Australia

Darfur Australia Network
Australia
Hafiz Bassy

Mohamadain Ishag
Darfur For culture And Documentation Organization
Belgium


Mansour Ahmed
The Fur Cultural Revival
Portland, Maine, USA

Mr, ISSA THAR
Darfur Uninon
France

Najmaldin Musa Abdul karim
Darfur Internally Displaced Peoples and Refugees Union


De. Nagib Nagmeldin
Amel Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation, Khartoum
Sudan

Mr. Abdelmageed Salih Abker
Peace Youth Association; Khartoum
Sudan

Abdelraheem Haroun
Darfur Democratic Forum, Khartoum
Sudan

Abdelrahman Algasim
Darfur Bar Association, Khartoum
Sudan

Drar Adam
Darfur Call Organization, Khartoum
Sudan

Friday, October 31, 2008

Darfuri civil society and human rights activists: Justice for victims in Darfur

The Hague, The Netherlands

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 31 October 2008

Darfuri civil society and human rights activists: Justice for victims in Darfur

The Hague- Supporting the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on his quest of an arrest warrant for Omar al-Bashir, president of Sudan, on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Darfur civil society submits a letter of gratitude to the Chief Prosecutor of the ICC, outlining their strong and genuine support to the endeavour of the Chief Prosecutor in pursuit for justice for the innocent civilians of Darfur.
Darfur civil society worldwide and human rights activists express their full support for Mr Moreno-Ocampo’s work and stressed the importance of the international community’s pursuit of justice for the victims of crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Sudanese regime and its allied janjaweed militia continue to commit gross crimes against humanity and intentionally maintain inflicting on the people of Darfur the worse conditions of life to create the physical destruction of the civilian populations. To end the suffering of the people of Darfur, perpetrators must be brought to justice. Organizations such as African Union, Arab League and Organization of Islamic conference should not be rewarding perpetrators of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity by attempting to derail ICC indictment on Darfur crimes ” said Ahmed M. Mohamedain, leader of Darfur Union, a Darfuri civil society group based in The Hague.
Darfuri civil society and human rights activists have long stressed the paramount importance of pursuing justice while continuing to seek a political resolution to the conflict in Darfur.

“We call the international community to extend their strong support to the Chief Prosecutor to exercise his duties and to translate the ‘’NEVER AGAIN’’ slogan into reality” said Mohamed Ibrahim Abdelwahab, Spokesman of Darfur People’s Union in U.K and Northern Ireland.
The activists have called especially on the members of the United Nations Security Council to show strong support for the Prosecutor’s work and to insist on Sudanese compliance with the ICC.

Abdelbagi Jibril, Executive Director of the Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre, noted: “The decision to refer the situation in Darfur to the ICC was done by a means of UN Security Council resolution 1593 (2005) of 31stMarch 2005. As such the ICC action on Darfur is a mechanism for implementation of the provisions of UNSC resolution 1593. We wish to remind all UN member states, whether they are State Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC or not, to fully support the ICC work on Darfur and meet their obligations to cooperate in implementing mandatory UN Security Council resolutions”

Darfuri activist and Liaison Officer with the Save Darfur Coalition Niemat Ahmadi said: “As Darfuri woman I strongly believe that justice for the genocide victims must be an uncompromised right. I believe the suffering that came as the result of the injustice will not be alleviated without a proper trial and investigation, which will only be found in the ICC. Albashir has been given the last six years to make peace, but instead we have only seen the suffering of our people increase and the situation worsening. This gathering of the Darfuri civil society from all over Europe today is to press for justice to become a reality now in Darfur. The world must take into account that Darfuri concerns should be the priority among any other concerns. We are the victims and we want justice to be allowed to take its course.”

For further information contact:

Darfur Union, The Hague
Ahmed M. Mohamedain: +31 642 330 058

Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre, Geneva
Abdelbagi Jibril: +41 22 747 00 89

Darfur People’s Union in UK and Northern Ireland
Mohamed Ibrahim Abdelwahab, London +44 7717 408 966

Liaison Officer with the Save Darfur Coalition,
Niemat Ahmadi, Washington + 12022239541

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Demonstration at the ICC in support of the indictment of the Sudanese president el Bashir

Press statement For immediate release
October 24, 2008


Demonstration at the ICC in support of the indictment
of the Sudanese president el Bashir

Darfur Union in The Netherlands together with Darfur Unions and Associations worldwide will hold demonstration at the International Criminal Court to support the efforts of The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Mr. Moreno-Ocampo in the indictment of the Sudanese president Omar Hassan el Bashir for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Human rights activists and organizations, Sudanese civil society organizations and political parties and the press are cordially invited on this day.

Date: October 31st, 2008
Time: 12:00 till 17:00 CET
Place: The Hague, The office of ICC
Route: Starting point is Malieveld (near by the central train station of The Hague) and the end point is the ICC office.


Information desk
Interim committee Darfur Union in The Netherlands
Elemam Musa +31 617385135
Nazar Fransawi +31 617472631
Jamal Khamis +31 707852593
Darfur Union in The Netherlands
e-mail: darfurunion@yahoo.com

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mariam Amu the artist

Nn Zalingi mountain the people are beating to people

Save Lives in Darfur

Every day, the 2.5 million people chased from their homes in Darfur face the threat of starvation, disease, and rape, while the few lucky enough to remain in their homes risk displacement, torture, and murder. Therefore, we call on you to do the following:

Push for the immediate deployment of the already-authorized U.N. peacekeeping force.

Strengthen the understaffed African Union force already in Darfur until the U.N. force can be deployed.

Increase humanitarian aid and ensure access for delivery.

Establish a no-fly zone. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Indicted over Darfur, Sudan's President Feints and Punches Back

Ever since the International Criminal Court began pursuing allegations of war crimes in Darfur in 2005, its investigators have pursued a government-backed militia leader known as "the colonel of colonels." Ali Muhammad Ali Abd Al Rahman — a.k.a. Ali Kushayb — was high in the pantheon of the Janjaweed militia when a warrant was finally issued for his arrest in February 2007. Investigators said he led raids that left hundreds dead and countless homes destroyed. According to one witness, Ali Kushayb once inspected a line of naked women just before they were raped by his men. There were critical grumblings that the Sudanese government was coddling him: Ali Kushayb had been detained before but had been released for lack of evidence.

So it was more than a surprise when Khartoum announced last week that it had, in fact, been holding Ali Kushayb for several months and that he would be put on trial. "The timing of this particular claim about an arrest is certainly interesting," says Christopher Hall, head of Amnesty International's International Justice Project. Sudan claims that the investigation into Kushayb gained speed after a special prosecutor was appointed in August. But Hall and many others suspect that Ali Kushayb's trial — if it ever happens — is just the Sudanese government's latest gambit in what has become a full-blown campaign to derail the International Criminal Court's investigation into its own complicity in charges of genocide in Darfur. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>

“The Darfur Case” ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s address to CFR in NY, 10/1708

NEW YORK, USA, October 25, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Following is a keynote address by Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, on “The Darfur Case,” as given at the Council for Foreign Relations Symposium in New York, 17 October 2008.


Ladies and Gentlemen,


I would like to thank the Jolie-Pitt Foundation for promoting this dialogue at the Council on Foreign Relations. Particular thanks go to Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt for the consistent support that they have offered my Office since they visited the Court two years ago. In our first meeting Angelina Jolie told me that after visiting more than 25 refugee camps in different parts of the world she asked herself: Who is doing something to confront the root of the problems these refugees are facing? They are in a desperate situation. They cannot protect their own rights. This is particularly true for the displaced people in Darfur.


I am the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. In 1998 States decided to create a permanent and independent international criminal justice system. They did it based on ideals and self-interest. They knew that in the world of today, no country has enough power or legitimacy. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sudan's plots to derail ICC indictments on Darfur war crimes'

Nairobi, Kenya - The Sudanese government is attempting to undermine the International Criminal Court (ICC) efforts to prosecute senior government officials and rebel leaders suspected of crimes against humanity in Darfur, a rights body said here.

Sudan's recent legal actions against a militia commander and others accused of war crimes in Darfur hold little promise of bringing justice to victims of serious abuses, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a statement Tuesday.

HRW accused the Sudanese government of trying to undermine investigations by the ICC efforts to arrest and try individuals suspected of sponsoring atrocities in Darfur.

"The Sudanese government is putting up more window-dressing as part of its ongoing effort to block the investigations of the ICC," said Georgette Gagnon, HRW Africa Director. "No one should be fooled by these moves." Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sunday, October 19, 2008

First justice, then peace in Sudan

An international warrant for Omar al-Bashir, accused of genocide in Darfur, could speed his political demise.

The HagUe - For almost two decades, Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir has waged foul wars on ethnic groups within his country that happened to live on oil- or mineral-rich land. Today, the international community is finally close to holding him accountable. Though it could make for a rocky transition, it is the key to peace.

Even before Darfur, aerial bombing, murder, and rape seemed to be his government's tools for settling scores with the mainly African Christians of southern Sudan. In that 23-year war for resource control, just under 2 million people died as a result of mass violence.

In 2005, the US brokered a peace deal that divided control of the oil fields. But it did not address the crimes committed. And by the time it was signed, Mr. Bashir was back to the same, in Darfur.

This summer, however, things changed. The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, requested an arrest warrant against Bashir on suspicion of genocide. A flood of worst-case predictions followed. A fear that the situation will worsen has increased. And so have worries about chances for any meaningful peace process.

The pressure is now mounting on the United Nations Security Council to defer the ICC proceedings – as soon as this month – before the court judges decide the fate of the warrant request. This political emergency brake was meant to be used only when the interests of justice and peace collide.

Bashir is clearly doing his best to convince the world that the call for his arrest will indeed collide with peace in Darfur. He recently sent a diplomatic mission to Security Council member states, promising renewed peace and possible deals. Back home, his troops attacked Darfur's largest refugee camp, killing dozens. Read more >>>>>>>

End terror in Darfur

''Never again.'' These are the words spoken after the Nazi regime in Europe ended. We swore that we would never let our guard down again. We would not let innocent people suffer. Unfortunately, we have failed.

A horrible genocide is occurring in Darfur, in Sudan. Parents are losing their children, children are losing their parents and, worse, not enough is being done to stop this massacre. Since 2003, more than 300,000 people have been viciously murdered, and more than two million more have been displaced.

In 2001, more than 3,000 Americans died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Our country was almost paralyzed. The American spirit was temporarily destroyed, and there was fear in citizens' hearts. All of this for 3,000 lives. But 300,000 lives have been taken so far in Sudan, and not enough has been done.

In Darfur, a military-based group called the janjaweed, consisting mainly of Arab tribes, is persecuting black Africans. If this massacre were happening in the United States, life as we know it would be put on hold, and the tragedy would be put to an end. Unfortunately, it is occurring in an area with little media and political attention. It is not getting the attention and concern that it deserves.

Foreigners typically have a negative perception of our country. For instance, they think that we don't belong in Iraq. However, a nation as powerful as ours belongs in Darfur. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Saturday, October 18, 2008

North Darfur fighting displaces 24,000: UN

EL FASHER, Sudan (AFP) — A surge of fighting in Sudan's isolated north Darfur region has displaced 24,000 people, who face shortages of food and water, a senior UN official said on Friday, urging a rapid humanitarian response.

"The numbers being thrown out now are somewhere in the neighbourhood of about 24,000 people that have not gone back to Birmaza or Disa," said Gregory Alex, the head of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur.

A first wave of people abandoned their homes five or six weeks ago when the fighting began and a second group towards the end of September.

But Alex said humanitarian access to the area has been extremely limited, owing to insecurity and banditry.

"I would guess that their access to basic necessities are extremely limited. Water, I think, has been identified as the most important need, but then you have shelter. The colder season is approaching... these places don't have firewood," he said.

"The problem with the food is that they're distant from any place that they could actually have a distribution... that puts them in, I'd say, a fairly difficult situation." Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Statement , Darfur Union, The Netherlands

Statement

The Hague, Netherlands
October 05th, 2008

In a democratic and transparent environment, a reasonable number of Darfuris in The Netherlands appointed a preparatory committee with limited capacity to address the concerns of Darfuris in the coming three months till the day of their general assembly on which Darfur Union in The Netherlands will be established.

Members of the preparatory committee:

Name Tel E-mail
1) Ahmed M. Mohamedain +31 642330058 mohamedain02@gmail.com
2) Mahammed Muhagir +31 647185328 mamuhagir@yahoo.com
3) Jamal Abdalla Khamis +31 000000000 jeemi_1974@yahoo.com
4) Hawa Juma Ahmed +31 000000000 eshak100@yahoo.com
5) Elemam Musa Elemam +31 617385135 e.musaelemam@hotmail.com
6) Nazar I. Fransawi +31 617472631 nicoblack001@yahoo.com
7) Imad Ahmed Addin +31 000000000 imados77@hotmail.com


Preparatory Committee for Darfuris in The Netherlands
Secretary of Information
darfurunion@yahoo.com

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pre-Trial Chamber I requests additional materials in relation to the request for a warrant of arrest for Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al Bashir

On 15 October 2008, Pre-Trial Chamber I issued a decision requesting the Prosecution to submit, no later than 16.00 hours on 17 November 2008, additional supporting materials in relation to some confidential aspects of the Prosecution's request for a warrant of arrest for the Sudanese President, Omar Hassan Al Bashir.

On 14 July 2008, the Prosecutor made a request to Pre Trial Chamber I for the issuance of a warrant of arrest for the Sudanese President, Omar Hassan Al Bashir, for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide allegedly committed by him through members of the state apparatus, the army and the Militia/Janjaweed in the context of an armed conflict against organised rebel groups.

The situation in Darfur, Sudan, was referred to the International Criminal Court by the United Nations Security Council under resolution 1593 of 31 March 2005. The Prosecutor opened an investigation into the situation on 6 June 2005. For more see
http://www.icc-cpi.int/press/pressreleases/430.html

Sunday, October 12, 2008

How Did The Perpetrators Of The Darfur Genocide End Up Running A U.N. Anti-Poverty Program?

Eight years ago, nearly all United Nations member states and many international organizations committed to a series of ambitious steps designed to respond immediately to critical needs within the developing world, and particularly in Africa. Known as the "Millennium Development Goals" (MDG), these included the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, reduction in child mortality, and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other major diseases. 2015 was set as the deadline for meeting specific targets in all of these areas. But the reconvening of the U.N. General Assembly last month proved yet another occasion for lamenting our distance from meeting the MDG's objectives.

There are many reasons for these delays, and they lie on both sides of the "developmental divide." Richer nations, especially in the developed West, have provided neither sufficient financial resources nor the essential tools for developing nations to confront the daunting challenges they face. And poor governance, corruption, and financial mismanagement have plagued many of the nations most desperately in need. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

French Foreign Min Presses Sudan To Cooperate On Darfur

PARIS (AFP)--France told a senior Sudanese envoy Tuesday that Khartoum must cooperate with the international community to end violence in Darfur and bring to justice two suspects wanted for war crimes.

"In all of these areas, France expects actions," Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told Nafie Ali Nafie, an adviser to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

Kouchner met with Nafie after France raised the possibility of suspending a bid by international prosecutors to seek an arrest warrant against Bashir for genocide.

If charges are brought, it would be the first time the International Criminal Court has indicted a sitting head of state since it started operating in 2002.

But Paris has said Sudan must cooperate with the Hague-based ICC seeking to prosecute two Sudanese officials wanted by the court for the massacre of civilians in Darfur province.

Khartoum must also take steps to end the violence in Darfur, allow access for humanitarian aid workers, normalize relations with Chad and facilitate the deployment of a joint force by the U.N. and the African Union, said Kouchner. Read more >>>>>>>>

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

ICC push for Sudan leader arrest warrant

THE HAGUE (AFP) — Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court sought to persuade a panel of judges Wednesday to grant their request for a genocide arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir.

A closed hearing was held at the court's seat in The Hague in the morning for the prosecution to present evidence to back up the request for a warrant.

In a public document, the court said it had convened the hearing because "it (is) necessary to receive additional information from the prosecution in relation to the prosecution's application."

In July, chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked the court for an arrest warrant for Beshir on ten counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Read More >>>>>>>>>>>

When the bombing stopped, we fled Darfur

A move by the Sudanese government to bomb a region in Darfur thought to be a rebel stronghold has resulted in the deaths and mass displacement of thousands of civilians on the ground. When a shell hit her house in July this year Zenaba pulled her children out of the burning rubble and carried them to the Chad border, where they are still struggling to rebuild their lives

I was in the house with all my children when the bomb hit, injuring me and three of my six children. It was a Friday. The plane came over in the afternoon. First we heard the sound of the plane arriving and then – it was so fast – the bombs. My brother-in-law says that six bombs were dropped. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>

Mariam Amu

To all Darfuris during Eid festivities

Monday, September 29, 2008

Kufuor Must not Allow Omar al-Bashir on Ghanaian Soil!

A September 23, 2008, news item published on Francis Akoto’s GhanaHomePage, titled “Sudan’s President to visit Ghana,” the former the most influential and oft-accessed pro-Ghanaian Internet portal, at once rankled me and reignited my astoundingly waning passion to write again for my fellow Ghanaians. For those who know very little about Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Sudan’s despotic leader, this man has superintended ― overtly and covertly ― some of the worst cases of carnage, dismemberment, gross sexual abuse and annihilation of large numbers of his country’s black population, especially in the Darfur province, by the ostensibly “superior” Arab members of Sudanese society, which is the very reason why al-Bashir’s planned visit to Ghana has both generated outrage among the peaceable people of our dear nation and received unequivocal denunciation.

For world leaders to altogether embrace the trajectory of ambivalence while our Sudanese brothers and sisters are massacred on a daily basis ― the only “sins” of these “ostracized” members of Sudanese society are their Negroid features and a lack of access to political power ― remains an even greater mystery than the carnage itself. Of course, some will argue that the vastly undermanned joint UN-AU Peacekeeping Force in place in Darfur has performed amply well in the last few years to repulse advancing Sudanese Army personnel and members of the notorious Janjaweed militia ― the latter two have been receiving direct orders from Omar al-Bashir himself to perpetrate dastardly acts against the unarmed black Sudanese population ― but could not the world have done more? Read more >>>>>>>>>

Thursday, September 25, 2008

No Further Delays! Justice for Darfur

The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) has requested an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur. Some states have called for the United Nations Security Council to suspend the ICC’s investigation. The Security Council is expected to revisit this issue shortly. Call on the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. to remain firm in opposing political interference in the ICC’s investigation.

Take Action

Thursday, September 18, 2008

No More Delays: Peacekeepers and Justice for Darfur NOW

Close the gap between promises and reality: Call on United Nations Member States to honor their commitment to protect the people of Darfur. For over a year, United Nations Member States have promised peacekeepers, equipment, and funding for aid for Darfur. Promise broken. For over three years, the United Nations Security Council has promised justice for Darfur. Promise broken. The United Nations has failed to live up to its promises. The people of Darfur have already waited too long for peacekeepers and justice. Join us at the United Nations as we demand No More Delays: Peacekeepers and Justice for Darfur NOW.

WHAT: Demonstration on Darfur: “No More Delays: Peacekeepers and Justice for Darfur NOW.”

WHEN: Thursday, September 25, 2008, from 5:00-6:30pm

WHERE: Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (across from the UN), 1st Avenue and 47th Street

WHO: Larry Cox, Executive Director, Amnesty International USA
Alex Meixner, Director of Government Relations, Save Darfur Coalition
Bushara Dosa, President, Darfur People’s Association of New York
Roxanne Earley, New York State Outreach Coordinator, STAND
Other Darfuri human rights activists (TBA)

Amnesty will be providing placards – “No More Delays: Peacekeepers and Justice for Darfur NOW” – and FREE t-shirts and Instant Karma CDs to the first 200 people! Demo participants will also be able to visit Displaced, an interactive exhibition on Darfur, which will be staged next to the demo site.



Want more info? Want to help out? Planning on attending?
Contact Sara Bennett, sbennett@aiusa.org, 212-633-4160.



Event co-sponsored by Amnesty International USA, the Save Darfur Coalition, STAND, ENOUGH, Genocide Intervention Network, Africa Action, Human Rights First, Darfur People’s Association of New York, Darfur Alert Coalition, Darfur Rehabilitation Project, Darfur Peace and Development, United Nations Association of the USA, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, Darfur Human Rights Organization, and New York City Coalition for Darfur.



www.amnestyusa.org/darfurdemo

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

France supports ICC actions against Sudanese officials

PARIS, Sept 17 (KUNA) -- France said on Wednesday that it fully supports indictments issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against two Sudanese officials alleged to have committed war crimes in Darfur.
Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman Frederic Desagneaux said "France is attached to the fact that the procedures undertaken before the International Criminal Court should follow their course." While not reacting directly to reports that Algeria was seeking to block the ICC action by an action in the UN Security Council, Desagneaux did stress that Sudan must cooperate with the jurisdiction in The Hague, Holland, where war crimes and crimes against humanity cases are heard.

"Concerning Sudan, we call on the Sudanese authorities to commit, without delay, to the necessary cooperation with the ICC and the international community, starting with the application of arrest warrants already handed down by the Court for Ahmed Haroon and Ali Kushayb, two known Sudanese officials.

"In Darfur, the situation continued to get worse on the ground and violence is continuing, including against displaced people," Desagneaux remarked.
"We reiterate our call to the Sudanese government to halt these attacks without delay. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Holocaust scholars urge arrest of Sudan leader

Leading scholars of the Holocaust from around the world signed a petition September 15 to Luis Moreno-Ocampo of the International Criminal Court urging him to proceed with his prosecution of Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir for his role in the genocide of the people of the Darfur region of Sudan. While ICC chief prosecutor Moreno Ocampo has announced plans to seek al-Bashir’s arrest, the voices of the Arab League, African Union, as well as China and Russia have been raised against it.

Prosecuting al-Bashir will help stop the Darfur genocide and will send a powerful warning to future would-be killers,” said Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of the Washington-based David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, which organized the petition. “The governments that are trying to protect al-Bashir should be ashamed of themselves.” The Wyman Institute is based in Washington DC and focused the US response to the Holocaust. Among the members of its advisory committee is Nobel Peace Prize-winner Elie Wiesel, and members of the US Congress. The petition also compares the efforts by al-Bashir’s allies to the position of the US State Department in the 1940s, which advocated prosecuting only a limited number of Nazi war criminals. Dr. Medoff wrote “Blowing the Whistle on Genocide: Josiah E. DuBois, Jr. and the Struggle for a U.S. Response to the Holocaust,” which was published this week by Purdue University Press. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Court probing deadly Darfur camp attack

By MIKE CORDER

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court may add a deadly attack by Sudanese troops on a Darfur refugee camp last month to a list of war crimes allegations against President Omar al-Bashir.

In an interview Friday, chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told The Associated Press he was checking into reports of the Aug. 25 attack by Sudanese troops on Kalma camp in southern Darfur.

A camp resident told The AP after the attack that he counted 32 bodies, including women and children.

At the time, Sudanese officials said the soldiers were caught in a fire fight while looking for weapons in the camp. They put the death toll at 12, including five troops.

"The Kalma camp attack had to be highlighted because it's a case in which allegations are that al-Bashir forces killed civilians directly in the camp," Moreno-Ocampo said.

In July, Moreno-Ocampo asked judges to issue an arrest warrant for al-Bashir on genocide charges for allegedly leading a five-year campaign of murder and rape against civilians in Darfur. Judges are expected to take several months before responding.

In evidence supporting the genocide case against al-Bashir, "we submit that attacking civilians in camps is normally through rapes outside the camps — through more indirect ways," Moreno-Ocampo said. "This is a very direct attack against civilians. ... We try to check if this is a new policy or just an isolated event without authorization." Read more >>>>>>

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Government militias kill 6 in Darfur village raid

(Adds reports of raid on Darfur's Zamzam camp)

By Andrew Heavens

KHARTOUM, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Sudanese pro-government militia fighters on horseback have killed six people and abducted five in a raid on a village in the Darfur region, rebel leaders said on Wednesday.

But a spokesman from Sudan's armed forces dismissed the accusations of an attack on the village of Bere on Tuesday as "definitely incorrect", saying there was no military or militia activity in north Darfur.

The accusations come at a sensitive time, when Sudan's government is trying to block efforts by the International Criminal Court's prosecutor to put President Hassan al-Bashir on trial for war crimes and genocide in Darfur.

Rebels say attacks by government forces have been increasing and accuse Khartoum of trying to seize potential oil production sites and key transport routes. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Mariam Amu singer

Despite the unprecedented atrocities committed by the Sudanese regime in Darfur, still there is a space for sweet expressions of love, harmoney and nostalgia. Tune in:

Sudan continuing attacks on Darfur-UN rights envoy

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Sudan's government continues to launch deadly land and air attacks in Darfur, where peacekeepers lack the resources to protect civilians, a United Nations human rights investigator said on Tuesday.

Sima Samar, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in Sudan, said all sides in the conflict were committing abuses, including looting and rapes, without being held responsible.

"In the period under review, there have been widespread allegations of arbitrary arrests and detention, torture, incommunicado detention and serious violations of the right to fair trial," Samar said in her latest annual report covering two visits to Sudan this year.

All perpetrators should be prosecuted in fair trials, she said in the report to the U.N. Human Rights Council that flagged violations in Darfur and the oil-rich Abyei region.

"There are several reports of air attacks by government forces, leading to extensive civilian casualties," the report said, citing bombings in west Darfur and in north Darfur in the first half of this year. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sudanese goverment attacks rebel bases

Sudanese goverment attacks rebel bases

Sudanese forces launched ground and air attacks on at least three rebel positions in North Darfur today, killing an unknown number of people, insurgent groups said.

Leaders from three rebel groups said government troops, backed by helicopters, Antonov planes and militias riding horses and camels, attacked their bases in Disa and Birmaza, close to a key transport route.

Two insurgent forces said there had also been a third assault on settlements south of the town of Tawila, in an area held by a range of rebels and known for bandit attacks.

Sudanese armed forces officials were not available for comment.

The reports of the attacks came at a highly sensitive time in Darfur after the International Criminal Court moved to indict Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for genocide in the remote western region.

Rebel groups have accused the government of launching a string of raids in North Darfur over the last two months, even as Khartoum stepped up diplomatic efforts to get the global court's move postponed or quashed. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Don't Let Bashir Escape Justice

Don't Let Bashir Escape Justice
Any day now, the Security Council may seek to invoke Article 16, a provision that can suspend the International Criminal Court's proceedings against al-Bashir.


We can't let al-Bashir escape accountability, and we don't have a moment to lose. Last week's attack on the Kalma refugee camp by the Sudanese government is a reminder of what is at stake.


Send a message to President Bush, and tell him the US must oppose and veto any attempt to suspend the case against al-Bashir.

http://action.savedarfur.org/campaign/article16/i8u36ib4175bx76d

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

UN: Sudan forces build up outside Darfur camp

30 people in a raid on a Darfur camp have started to build up their position outside the settlement, raising fears of a new attack, peacekeepers said on Wednesday.

The joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force, known as Unamid, said a patrol had seen Sudanese police erecting tents at a new base close to the Kalma camp for displaced people in south Darfur.

Unamid, said it would now deploy its own soldiers and police to Kalma "on a permanent basis" after a tribal leader in the camp said residents were starting to panic about the possibility of a new assault. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tortured, but Not Silenced

By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
An early test of the next president’s moral courage will come as he decides how to engage two Sudanese people named Bashir.

One is President Omar al-Bashir, who faces indictment for genocide by the International Criminal Court. The other is Dr. Halima Bashir, a young Darfuri woman whom the Sudanese authorities have tried to silence by beatings and gang-rape.

In 10 days, Halima’s extraordinary memoir will be published in the United States, at considerable risk to herself. She writes in “Tears of the Desert” of growing up in a placid village in rural Darfur, of her wonder at seeing white people for the first time, of her brilliant performance in school.Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Saturday, August 30, 2008

UN rights official condemns 'disproportionate' Darfur camp raid

GENEVA (AFP) — The office of the top UN human rights official Friday condemned Sudan's "disproportionate and excessive" attack on a displaced persons camp in Darfur that killed more than 30 people, including seven children.

Thirty-one people were killed in Monday's attack, all bar one by gunshot wounds, in the Kalma camp near Nyala in southern Darfur, said Yvon Edoumou, spokesman for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

One woman died after falling into a ditch whilst trying to flee the shooting, he said.

In total seven children, 11 women and 13 men were killed in the attack which also left 54 people wounded, he added.

"The matter is still under investigation," Edoumou said.

Sudanese authorities describe the Kalma camp, home to around 80,000 people including representatives of some rebel groups, as a den of outlaws and armed robbers hoarding weapons, ammunition, explosives, narcotics and stolen goods.

Tensions in Darfur have heightened since the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court last month formally asked judges to issue an arrest warrant for President Omar al-Beshir on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>

Peace in Sudan as important as justice - UN's Ban

By Louis Charbonneau

UNITED NATIONS, Aug 28 (Reuters) - It is important that victims of any war crimes in Darfur get justice but peace is equally crucial for the remote part of western Sudan, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday.

Last month, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, asked the court's judges to issue an arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes committed in Darfur.

Moreno-Ocampo accused the Sudanese leader of orchestrating a campaign of genocide beginning in 2003 that had killed 35,000 people outright and at least another 100,000 through starvation and disease, with another 2.5 million forced from their homes.

In a bleak new report on the joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur, known as UNAMID, Ban said it was important to seek justice for any crimes committed in Sudan but made it clear that justice was not the only top priority.

"The international community also has the responsibility to seek agreement on the equal importance of peace and justice in trying to meet the needs of the people in Darfur," Ban said in the report. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sudanese government raided Kalma refugee camp

By Andrew Heavens

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - International peacekeepers criticised Sudan on Tuesday for using "excessive, disproportionate" force in a raid on a camp for displaced persons in Darfur that left more than 30 dead.

The unusually harsh statement from the joint U.N./African Union UNAMID peacekeepers accused Khartoum of breaking a Darfur peace agreement by using guns against displaced people armed mostly with "sticks, knives, and spears".

Armed Sudanese police and soldiers raided South Darfur's Kalma camp in the early hours of Monday morning, claiming they were searching for weapons and suspected rebels and bandits.

Sudan state media published a statement from South Darfur state's Security Committee saying armed camp residents had started the shooting, and that police had been forced to fire back. The statement insisted only five police and seven residents had been injured in the clashes.

But Darfur rebel leaders and Kalma residents told Reuters the Sudanese forces opened fire on people in the camp, then continued to build up their forces around the settlement on Tuesday. Read more >>>>>>>>>>

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Joe Biden on Darfur

Barack Obama has selected Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware to be his vice presidential running mate, choosing a veteran senator with a strong foreign policy background. What he can do to help solve Darfur crisis?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A wrong theme for the Beijing Olympics

17 August 2008
By Taban Abel Aguek

August 16, 2008 — "One World, One Dream" as the theme for the Beijing Olympics, though only in words, is as beautiful as the Bird’s Nest Stadium where the ceremony for the world sports was officially opened; but ironically it reflects exactly the opposite of what China portrays in the world.

Unless the theme is confined to suit sports only, there is no way one would believe that China could both be a perpetrator of love and peace and at the same time the mentor behind the war and genocide in Darfur. This proved beyond all doubt that China has opened its doors for the world’s Olympics not in beautiful colors but also in forms of an attractive wording to make up a theme that will put a curtain on the face of the world.

In terms of sports Beijing Olympics bring joy to hearts of many people around the world. However, sports are a little fraction of total humanness. For the world to be driven to Olympics with one dream, with China as the driver is not worthy. It has been clear that the world has never been one for China and is not one even as it hosts Olympics and enticing the world with a nice theme, to many people, is only one of the coloring flavors added to the Olympics. It is a paradox that one China cheers up athletes in Beijing and at the same time, cheers up the killing of the innocent people of Darfur. So how can the world be one for people in Darfur and what dream do they have?

Thicker than the Beijing wall, China is the main country that the Sudan Government uses to lean on as it commits all atrocities against human rights. Sudanese oil finds it way to China only to flow in rivers of blood in several parts of Sudan. When the President of Sudan went to China in the year 2006 for the Africa-China summit, he stood up and stated so ignorantly that the number of deaths in Darfur was a mere 10,000 people, not 200,000 as claimed by the media. Surprisingly, the government of China could not question Al Beshir, the president of Sudan, if it was not a disaster for a government to kill 10,000 people in a space of three years when they are the same people whose lives are entrusted to it to secure and manage with utmost care. Instead, China felt that was far too little than it articulated for the guns it sent to Sudan. If that is the meaning of one world, then the dreams are very many and parallel.

Today there is talk of all niceties between China and Sudan of a relationship that was long in the grave, recently resurrected 50 years after the discovery of oil in the South of the Sudan. There was no such relation before, and the most genuine thing about such affair is that the two countries, China and Sudan, needed a story to explain the revival of their intimate friendship because oil alone portrays more of a bloody deal than a mere economic affair. Sudan lost friends in the West and Europe, and another, not only as a substitute but also a defender in mistakes it may commit or have already committed was more presented in China as a rising super power and a rival to the West. The arms and veto that are both possessed by China are important aspects that make the value of the Sudanese oil something that is less than a business commodity, though Chinese relation is akin to a Chinese spare part, usually, that can not complete a round of a journey.

During the UN Security Council resolution 1607 that demanded the deployment of about 23,000 strong peace keeping mission in Darfur, it was China that first raised a hand against it and the main barrier against all the sanctions that Sudan was suppose to shoulder. In June 2006, after having secured assurance of protection from the China, the president of the Republic of the Sudan announced that he would lead war against the international peace keepers than be a head of state of a nation that was falling under what he described as a new colonization. He warned that because of this neocolonialism, Sudan, if it went to war with the West, would have been another Iraq in Africa; but again forgot to declare himself another Saddam. Yet, it was the same man and his Chinese allies that colonized Sudan more than ever before. Sudanese die everyday from Darfur in the West, Kasalla in the East and the whole of the South because of China supported government in Khartoum. It is the same China that supplies this rhetoric government with arms for purpose dividing one world into so many different suffering classes, with others living in vulnerable camps and slums, that today changes not in heart but in words for mere beauty and attraction.

After the Olympics I will be one of the people that will have their ears wide open to listen to China. The war in Darfur needs the intervention of China. The world has opened its paths to China and the only way it must pay back to all the people around the world is peace in Darfur.

Still this is a big doubt. China lives in its own world and has one dream: to be the world super power – if it matters that it should be at the expense of the poor innocent Africans so much the best. There is nothing that China can not do to achieve this status and the Beijing Olympics is one of the projects set to drive them to this target. For China to be a super power counts more than gold medals and more than half the Sudan – guess which half. Skeptics are never bad people. China will have to convince the world in action, not in words at the end of the Beijing Olympics that the world is one and dream is good for the people of Darfur.

Taban Abel Aguek
email: agaj_preciouson@yahoo.com

Darfur onslaught 'to clear way for Chinese oil hunt

A major offensive involving 300 Sudanese government battlewagons intended to clear space for Chinese oil exploration in Darfur's far north has begun, according to rebel commanders who have come under attack.

Oil companies have been waiting for the Government to secure the region before starting work on seismic surveys.

The claims of fresh fighting come after Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese President, embarked on a two-day peace mission to Darfur last month, promising investment and inviting rebel leaders to talks.

His visit took place days after the International Criminal Court's prosecutor accused him of genocide, murder and crimes against humanity.

Suleiman Marajan, a commander with one faction of the Sudan Liberation Army, said yesterday that the Government had lied to the world with its message of peace.

“The Government of Sudan has attacked our places with 300 vehicles. They have been here for three days protecting Chinese oil workers,” he told The Times by satellite telephone from North Darfur. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sudan 'launches attack in Darfur'

Sudan's government has launched a major offensive against rebel bases in the far north of Darfur, two rebel factions have said.

A commander from a faction of the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) said about 270 vehicles and 500 Janjaweed fighters were involved in the attack.

Nine rebels and nine civilians had been killed, he said.

An army spokesman declined to comment. The government has previously denied links to Janjaweed fighters.

A commander from the Abdul Wahed faction of the SLA, Sulieman Marajan, told the BBC that the Janjaweed had attacked on camel and horseback.

He said the attacks were part of a plan by the government to destroy all of the rebel bases in northern Darfur, adding that he believed rebels from neighbouring Chad were taking part in the operation.

Chad has accused Sudan of harbouring and supporting Chadian rebels. Analysts say the two countries are fighting a proxy war using each other's rebel forces.

Oil exploration

The Sudanese army now controlled the area around Wadi Atron, near the border with Libya, the SLA commander said. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>

Monday, August 11, 2008

Darfur Olympics: Day 4 of 8: Darfur and China

For the past five years, Beijing has been the most important economic and diplomatic supporter of the regime in Sudan, which is slaughtering its own unarmed citizens.

In today's webcast, at left, Mia talks about the Beijing Games against the backdrop of the refugee camp. Read & watch more >>>>>>>>>>>>

Victims of Genocide in Darfur: Past, Present, and Future

By Eric Reeves,

Deteriorating humanitarian conditions and access, amidst deepening insecurity, present unprecedented threats to civilians previously displaced or affected by ethnically-targeted violence

Despite what amounts to a humanitarian “news black-out” mounted by UN officials in Khartoum, a host of indicators suggest that Darfuris have entered the most perilous season of destruction since the advent of major humanitarian operations in summer 2004. Significant malnutrition is already in evidence according to numerous confidential reports from the ground in Darfur and from well-informed humanitarian officials. This occurs as the population in need of food grows by approximately one million human beings during the current rainy season/hunger gap. Prospects for harvests in the fall are gloomy, and this follows the disastrous harvests of last year, especially in South Darfur and North Darfur.

Food prices have increased by 150% in some areas. Because Khartoum refuses to escort UN World Food Program convoys in sufficient numbers, WFP is still unable to provide full rations to individuals weakened by more than five years of conflict. Other threats to civilians include a growing lack of potable water, diminished access to primary medical care, and a continuing climate of violence and impunity, threatening not only vulnerable civilians but humanitarian workers. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>

Victims of Genocide in Darfur: Past, Present, and Future

By Eric Reeves,

Deteriorating humanitarian conditions and access, amidst deepening insecurity, present unprecedented threats to civilians previously displaced or affected by ethnically-targeted violence

Despite what amounts to a humanitarian “news black-out” mounted by UN officials in Khartoum, a host of indicators suggest that Darfuris have entered the most perilous season of destruction since the advent of major humanitarian operations in summer 2004. Significant malnutrition is already in evidence according to numerous confidential reports from the ground in Darfur and from well-informed humanitarian officials. This occurs as the population in need of food grows by approximately one million human beings during the current rainy season/hunger gap. Prospects for harvests in the fall are gloomy, and this follows the disastrous harvests of last year, especially in South Darfur and North Darfur.

Food prices have increased by 150% in some areas. Because Khartoum refuses to escort UN World Food Program convoys in sufficient numbers, WFP is still unable to provide full rations to individuals weakened by more than five years of conflict. Other threats to civilians include a growing lack of potable water, diminished access to primary medical care, and a continuing climate of violence and impunity, threatening not only vulnerable civilians but humanitarian workers. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>

Darfur Withers as Sudan Sells Food

By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

ED DAMER, Sudan — Even as it receives a billion pounds of free food from international donors, Sudan is growing and selling vast quantities of its own crops to other countries, capitalizing on high global food prices at a time when millions of people in its war-riddled region of Darfur barely have enough to eat.

Here in the bone-dry desert, where desiccated donkey carcasses line the road, huge green fields suddenly materialize. Beans. Wheat. Sorghum. Melons. Peanuts. Pumpkins. Eggplant. It is all grown here, part of an ambitious government plan for Sudanese self-sufficiency, creating giant mechanized farms that rise out of the sand like mirages.

But how much of this bonanza is getting back to the hungry Sudanese, like the 2.5 million driven into camps in Darfur? And why is a country that exports so many of its own crops receiving more free food than anywhere else in the world, especially when the Sudanese government is blamed for creating the crisis in the first place? Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>