Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Prendergast calls for ‘informed activism’

U.S. President Barack Obama said student groups were key to putting the conflicts in Darfur and Sudan on the radar screen of policymakers, according to John Prendergast, a prominent human rights activist, author and former Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council. Prendergast spoke Monday afternoon to a group of 40 Stanford students, staff and community members at the Arrillaga Family Dining Commons Study Room. Prendergast praised the efforts of youth and student movements, such as anti-genocide movement STAND, which has a Stanford chapter, for its advocacy efforts. He encouraged students who are passionate about activism to use new media tools to craft personal stories that can mobilize the public and policymakers. Read more >>>>>>>>

Sudan: Beware, Khartoum Leaders Are Becoming Crazier

When the Second Vice President of Sudan Al Haj Adam Youssef who is also the senior advisor to the Janjaweed terrorists group in Darfur was quoted by Sudan Tribune website of Friday 27th January, 2012 as issuing a threat on SAF hitting Juba the capital of a sovereign nation in which are based diplomatic missions from all parts of the world including of United Nations Security Council members and its own embassy. With this kind of nonsensical talk it is now abundantly clear that abnormality is creeping inside the National Congress Party in Khartoum for people who used to pretend to know international relations, made themselves organizers of international conferences in 1990s and in later years and to be exemplary to the people of the world are now speaking strange language. When also they have resorted to stealing the oil of South Sudan openly indicates clearly that these people have lost their national integrity, and are becoming crazy by the minute. The language of the Second Vice President of Sudan lacked sanity and diplomatic approach by a personality of his status indicating clearly his lack of knowledge of addressing common issues which involves international concern. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Sunday, January 29, 2012

“Evil and Ignorance: The Case of Darfur,” Dissent Magazine, January 26, 2012

What is the role of ignorance in allowing evil to thrive? Can ignorance be a form of acquiescence? When does ignorance of evil become culpable in itself? These are large questions, but ones worth asking of public intellectuals who presume to speak about the nature of evil, and on this basis particular instances of evil.

In his much-reviewed new book Political Evil, political scientist Alan Wolfe attempts to diagnose various forms of political naïveté among those attempting to respond to political evil (as opposed to the evil of individuals). If evil will always be with us, and will always be in some sense incomprehensible, Wolfe wants to argue—in the tradition of Orwell, Arendt, Niebuhr, and others—that we can speak seriously about the meaning of political evil, and work to halt the use of evil for political or ideological gain. He is contemptuous of those who look to international courts of justice or to misguided liberal human rights agendas, and of those who indulge in “indiscriminate” characterizations of atrocity crimes. He is particularly contemptuous of American-led advocacy efforts to respond to large-scale human destruction in Darfur. Indeed, Darfur is his test case for a principled realism, which allows us to diagnose and respond to events in maximally effective fashion.

At the heart of Wolfe’s claims is the argument that what occurred in Darfur beginning in early 2003 was not genocide but civil war, an insurgency that prompted a predictable counter-insurgency by the Khartoum regime. Wolfe acknowledged in a roundtable discussion at the New Republic (March 2009)—in which I and others participated—that he “was not an expert on Darfur,” but this confession has not prevented him from picking and choosing among historical and sociological facts and opinions in order to make the case that genocide had not occurred. Comparisons to Rwanda are wholly inappropriate, Wolfe argues in his new book and elsewhere, and responses of the sort required in Rwanda are correspondingly ill-considered when it comes to Darfur. Raed more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Friday, January 27, 2012

A day in the life of an African refugee in south Tel Aviv

Haaretz' Gideon Levy spends the day with Yitzhak Muhammad Said, an asylum seeker from Darfur who recently came to Israel.

Said, along with dozens like him, lives in Tel Aviv's Levinski Park. The park has become a makeshift home for dozens of refugees who come to Israel seeking asylum and work, only to be caught in the quagmire of Israeli bureaucracy with very little options left.

A new law approved by the Israeli Knesset this month called "The infiltration prevention law" prevents the refugees from working and has created a fierce debate within Israeli society. Read more >>>>>>>>>>

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Stopping Sudanese genocides


Earlier this month, the US special envoy on Sudan, Princeton Lyman, called upon South Africa – current chair of the UN Security Council – to ensure that “crisis is averted” in Sudan, saying, “The prospect of hundreds of thousands of people dying with no access to food or medicine is something we can’t accept.”

South Africa has long been a mediator in Sudan and its leadership is needed now more than ever. Sudanese officials are engaged in an escalating and violent triangular assault on two states that border South Sudan – South Kordofan and Blue Nile – as well as on the oil-rich region of Abyei coveted by Khartoum.

Sudanese expert Eric Reeves recently described and documented this now ominously parallel triangular assault as follows:

Accelerating violence by Khartoum’s regular and militia forces threatens many hundreds of thousands of civilians in Blue Nile and South Kordofan; the regime’s military seizure of Abyei is now a fait accompli; the international community seems unable even to speak about the urgent need for cross-border humanitarian corridors to reach highly distressed populations. War has begun again in Sudan, and it is a war whose historical trajectory is tragically clear. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Friday, January 20, 2012

They Bombed Everything that Moved’: Aerial military attacks on civilians and humanitarians in Sudan, 1999 – 2012″ (Update, January 12, 2012)

by: Eric Reeves

Since inaugurating hostilities in South Kordofan on June 5, 2011, Khartoum’s Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) military aircraft have been engaged in relentless, widespread, and systematic attacks on civilian targets throughout the state, particularly in the Nuba Mountains. Similarly, since fighting began in Blue Nile on September 1, 2011, bombing has been relentless, widespread, and systematic. Many hundreds of civilians have been killed or wounded, although even a broadly approximate census has no real authority; judging from the character of reports and the geographic dispersion of the attacks, the figure is more likely to be in the thousands.

Most consequentially, aerial attacks have displaced many hundreds of thousands of civilians from South Kordofan (chiefly into Unity State in South Sudan) and Blue Nile (chiefly into Ethiopia, and Upper Nile in South Sudan). The UN figure of 417,000 displaced first promulgated in mid-December 2011 is almost certainly low, since much is excluded from the data sets available (the January 11 estimate of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-North [SPLM/A-N] is over 700,000 within Blue Nile and South Kordofan). Many of the displaced are unable to travel the distances required to escape the violence, and have stayed in areas not controlled by Khartoum’s forces, but which are inaccessible and highly vulnerable. They remain subject to aerial attacks, and have often fled at least some distance from their homes and lands. And the flow of refugees is unceasing: the UN Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) reported that relief organizations in mid-December estimated that “at least 1,000 refugees are arriving daily in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State” (December 14, Doro, Upper Nile). There are also reports of large groups of people who have had to halt in their flight to safety, but have so far not been registered or provided for. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Amid Darfur 'peace' residents cite gunfire, rape

Almost a decade after government-backed Janjaweed militias began a "genocide" in Sudan's Darfur, shootings, rapes, looting and arson continue, residents say. But officials are touting a deal signed last year between the government and an alliance of rebel splinter factions
as the best hope for peace, and say security is showing signs of improvement.
"Darfur is at a crossroads," Ibrahim Gambari, who leads UNAMID, the joint African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur, said in a statement on Wednesday.
"One direction is toward more peace, more progress, more movement toward early recovery and development; and one side is leaning towards the enemies of peace, the spoilers."
Darfur plunged into uncertainty in December when government forces announced they had killed Khalil Ibrahim, who led the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), once Darfur's most heavily armed group.
JEM said this week that it is "still active and still able to do what we want", despite the loss of Ibrahim.
The group has not signed the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, which Khartoum inked in Qatar.
"I think they still feel bitter about the death of their leader," said Khalil Adam, of a UNAMID-backed citizens' liaison group. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>

Malnourished children receive help at UNICEF-supported nutrition centre in North Darfur, Sudan

EL FASHER, North Darfur State, Sudan, 18 January 2012 – Abu Badriya is a soft-spoken man with a face that lights up when he smiles. A traditional healer, or ‘faki’, by profession, he has become an unusual but important partner in the fight against child malnutrition in this part of Darfur.

He stands tall and wears his turban and ‘djallabia’ – traditional Sudanese attire – with grace. But like many here, he bears scars from the years of conflict in Darfur. A bullet wound to his right leg left him with a limp and ongoing pain.

His role as a healer means many people turn to him for help. Parents sometimes bring their sick children to him for a form of traditional healing called ‘ruqaya’.

But Mr. Badriya understands that, in many cases, especially those involving children, conventional medical treatment must be used as well.

And when it comes to dealing with malnutrition among children, he does not hesitate to refer families to the local Therapeutic Feeding Centre (TFC), which is supported by UNICEF.Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Thousands of Darfur refugees remain displaced in Chad

Almost nine years after the civil war in Darfur, western Sudan, repercussions are still felt by tens of thousands of refugees who were forced to flee to camps in neighbouring Chad.

The conflict flared in 2003 when rebels in Darfur took up arms, accusing the government of neglecting the region. Refugees accuse the government of responding with a brutal campaign of violence.

It forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.

The BBC's David Loyn has visited a refugee camp in eastern Chad where the people are still living - having moved out of Darfur in 2003 and 2004.

He explains how, despite peace talks and a peace-keeping force in place in Darfur, it has been impossible for the international community to provide enough security for the displaced to return to their homes. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>

Monday, January 16, 2012

Chad expels UK Darfur aid envoy Mukesh Kapila

A senior British aid official has been expelled from Chad while attempting to visit Darfur refugees still living in the east of the country.

Mukesh Kapila was the outspoken head of the UN in Sudan when the Darfur conflict began nine years ago.

Chad's interior minister personally ordered him to leave the country.

Mr Kapila says his expulsion is because Chad has close ties to Sudan's government, which he has accused of genocide.

This was Mr Kapila's first visit to the region since he was removed from his post in 2004 when - frustrated by his failure to persuade the international community to take action on the unfolding crisis in Darfur - he went public, speaking to the BBC.

Mr Kapila is haunted by his inability to stop the massacres in Darfur.

Some 2.7 million people have fled their homes since the conflict began in Sudan's arid western region, and the UN says about 300,000 have died - from war, hunger and disease. Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


The Hague, January 9, 2012 (FH) - Lawyers for Darfur rebel leaders Abdallah Banda and Saleh Jerbo before the International Criminal Court are asking the Court to suspend proceedings. They say they cannot investigate properly because of Sudan's refusal to cooperate with the Court, and that their clients will therefore not get a fair trial.

Former commander of the Justice and Equality Movement Banda, and former Chief of Staff of SLA-Unity Jerbo are accused of crimes against humanity for a 2007 attack on Haskanita military base, in which twelve international peacekeepers died. The two men have appeared voluntarily before the ICC. No date has yet been set for their trial.

Defence lawyers Karim Khan and Nicolas Koumjian say the government of Sudan not only refuses to cooperate with investigations, but has made any cooperation with the ICC a criminal offence. The two lawyers have been trying to conduct investigations in Sudan since 2010, without success. They say telephone conversations with witnesses inside the country are also impossible because the Sudanese authorities monitor calls.

Khartoum has been opposing the ICC ever since the Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir in July 2008 for crimes allegedly committed in Darfur.


© Hirondelle News Agency