SUDAN WATCH: The UN's quiet diplomacy not working on Sudan - Not one Janjaweed camp has been closed

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The UN's quiet diplomacy not working on Sudan - Not one Janjaweed camp has been closed

In her latest report entitled "The UN's quiet diplomacy not working on Sudan", Julie Flint raises the point that the most notorious Arab tribal leader was permitted to hold court in a five-star hotel in Khartoum.

Don't you think it's curious how the media made nothing of a so-called Janjaweed leader lording it in the lobby of a five-star hotel, while being interviewed by the press for all to see, in the knowledge that Pronk's offices were situated upstairs? Why was he was not arrested and put on trial for murder?

Julie Flint, is a journalist and author of the Human Rights Watch report Darfur Destroyed. Here is a copy of her latest report, in full:

"Even in a best-case scenario, the World Health Organisation says, 110 000 people will die in Darfur by year end. Others believe it could be as many as 350 000. Slowly evolving, deniable death by hunger and disease is one of the favourite weapons of the Arab generals who seized power 15 years ago. They used it in the Nuba mountains and oilfields of southern Sudan - now they're using it in Darfur.

When the international community first reacted to the slaughter in Darfur, a predominantly African but wholly Muslim region, Khartoum blocked efforts to save lives with an array of stratagems. It denied access, demanded that UN drugs be tested in Sudanese labs, insisted that storage fees be paid on items the state itself was holding up.

In the last month, despite guaranteeing unimpeded access, it has opened some doors but closed others. The UN Security Council today begins debating whether Khartoum has done what Resolution 1556 of July 30 demanded that it do: immediately impose "a moratorium on all restrictions that might hinder the provision of humanitarian assistance" and, most critically, "disarm the Janjaweed militias and apprehend... Janjaweed leaders and their associates".

But not one Janjaweed camp has been closed

But not one Janjaweed camp has been closed. A handful have even been opened. Not a single Janjaweed leader has been apprehended. Common criminals have been paraded as Janjaweed detainees. The most notorious Janjaweed leader, who wears the uniform of an army colonel, has been permitted to hold court in a five-star hotel in Khartoum.

It is a foregone conclusion that the Security Council, driven by self-interest, will this week give Khartoum more time in which to let the Janjaweed destroy more lives.

Quiet diplomacy does not work. The Security Council must conclude that the government has not fulfiled its obligations under Resolution 1 556 and name and shame the officials responsible. International travel by them and their families should be barred, their assets frozen and an international commission of inquiry established to investigate war crimes. Sanctions should be introduced and the arms embargo that was ordered against the Janjaweed in July redirected to the government, which supplies the Janjaweed.

The Security Council must demand that Khartoum accept an African Union mission robust enough to protect civilians."

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