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.

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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,, 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.

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


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.

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 >>>>>>>>>>>