SUDAN WATCH: People in Malaysia show kindness and concern for the children of Darfur

Saturday, October 02, 2004

People in Malaysia show kindness and concern for the children of Darfur

Here is some heartwarming news. Malaysia's Star newspaper and Mercy Malaysia have embarked on a humanitarian aid mission to help the victims of Darfur.

The Star joined hands with Mercy Malaysia to raise funds for a humanitarian aid programme in West Darfur. It has received over 600 cheques since the fund was launched last week.  

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Malaysians continue to show strong support for the Darfur Children’s Fund with donations totalling some RM76,000 over the past two days.

Tears rolled down the cheeks of Malaysian artist Joe Rozario when he found out that children in Darfur could no longer draw flowers and sunny pictures.

Rozario, 55, was so moved by an article published in The Star that he felt more people should be made aware of their plight. 

He immediately whipped out his notepad and started writing a message to the public based on the article. This is what he wrote: 

Dear you, 

Children in conflict-ridden Darfur, Sudan, are drawing pictures of guns, burning homes and dead bodies.  

They do not draw flowers and sunny pictures any more.  

Injured and older children lie in El-Geneina Hospital starving, as food is not provided.  

There are 1.3 million people who have been driven out of their homes in Darfur in a crisis described as one of the greatest human tragedies today.  

You can help these children.

All it takes is RM200 a month to feed a child.  

Help! 

Donate to Mercy Malaysia

[Full Story and more photos]

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Joe Rozario with his message to the public to help the children of Darfur.
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Rajan's latest Sudan Genocide Round-Up

Warm thanks to Malaysian blogger Rajan, blogging in English out of Malaysia, for his great new Sudan Genocide Roundup.
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U.N. hopes larger AU force on ground in Sudan by end of October

UN mission officials in Sudan said Friday they hope an expanded African force will be on the ground in Darfur by the end of October.

Facing the genocide investigation and the threat of U.N. sanctions, Sudan's Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail told the Security Council on Thursday that Sudan would accept 3,500 African Union troops for Darfur.
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Nivasha peace talks to be held October 7, 2004

At long last, after a four month delay, Sudan's final phase peace agreement talks are due to start on October 7.

According to the following report, SPLM leader John Garang said that the SPLM believes in the importance of obtaining self-rule in Darfur and south and east Sudan.

Here are some excerpts from arabic.news.com Sep 30 - SPLM requests Egypt's assistance for concluding a final peace agreement with Khartoum:

Asked whether or not a final agreement is expected to be reached during Nivasha talks to be held in October 7, he [Garang] said that six protocols have already been signed during the month of June and two supplements should be agreed upon. One is on reaching a cease fire agreement and the other pertains to ways to implement the agreements reached, he said.

He voiced hope that an agreement would be reached on these two supplements as soon as possible.

He claimed that the Sudanese government is acting intendedly to waste time, saying four months have passed after July agreement.

He said a final agreement should have been signed in Nivasha in August or September but it was the Sudanese government which asked for delaying talks due to its preoccupation with Darfur crisis.

He claimed that among the reasons behind the government delay is that it would find itself obliged to divide oil proceeds after signing the agreement in order to get 50%, referring to high oil prices at the present time.

Garang warned of any delay saying it could lead to disintegration of the Sudan and this does not serve the interests of any party.
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Once a deal with the SPLA is struck, other agreements could be concluded

Garang is in Cairo, Al-Bashir threatens to execute his mentor Al-Turabi and the Darfur catastrophe worsens: Gamal Nkrumah examines crisis-ridden Sudan.

Note, SPLM leader John Garang told Weekly Ahram news: "Once a deal with the SPLA is struck, other agreements could be concluded with regards to Darfur and the NDA."
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US denies supporting rebels anymore than they are supporting the Janjaweed

According to swissinfo Sep 30 report, a U.S. State Department official in Washington, who asked not to be named, dismissed the charge by Khartoum that the US is supporting the rebels.

"The whole purpose of the U.S. policy is to end the violence in Sudan. We are not funding, training, providing armaments to, supporting in any way, shape or form the rebels anymore than we are supporting the Janjaweed (militia)," the official said.
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Darfur tragedy may last years

In an apocalyptic new warning, British officials said that the humanitarian disaster in Darfur may worsen and last years.

The British Foreign Office fears that, whatever political agreements are made about Darfur’s future, the hundreds of thousands of civilians driven from their land by government-backed militias are unlikely to be able to return to their homes in time for next year’s crop planting season in April and May.

And they say that could condemn Darfur to another season of starvation and disease. The refugee camps now feeding and housing thousands of internal refugees could become permanent camps, like those in the Palestinian territories, officials say.

"We are a very, very long way from being able to say that circumstances anywhere are good enough for people to return home," one senior official said.
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In Sudan work on laying new oil pipeline begins in the next few weeks

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation bags expansion contract in Sudan.

ONGC is to lay an oil pipeline in Sudan. Work will begin in the next few weeks.
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US LIFTS SANCTIONS ON PAKISTAN
And then sells eighteen fighter jets to Pakistan - as a first installment

ChaiTeaLatte (heh love the title of the post: FILE UNDER BAD FREAKIN' IDEA) points to a report saying the US has lifted sanctions on Pakistan. The US then received an order from Pakistan for eighteen F16 fighter jets - as a first installment.

Note, Pakistan is a non-permanent member of the 15-member Security Council. And was one of the members which did not back the Darfur resolutions, despite urging of council.
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Update Sunday Oct 2 - Here is a copy of a report via Associated Press:

US: Commercial interests impeding aid to Arabs in Darfur

WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State Colin Powell says commercial interests in Sudan were motivating their opposition to a U.S. diplomatic campaign to help the oppressed non-Arab community in Darfur.

Powell singled out the four countries, Russia, China, Algeria and Pakistan, that voted against a U.N. Security Council resolution two weeks ago that set up a commission to explore human rights abuses in the violence-ravaged area of Sudan.

But in a radio interview with Michael Reagan on Tuesday, he did not say which of the four countries he believed were motivated by commercial interests and which by their opposition to the sanctions threatened in the resolution.

Still, it was an exceptional jab by the secretary of state at governments that put business over mistreatment of hundreds of thousands of people.

"There are some of these countries that just don't like the possibility of sanctions, and others that had commercial interests that they thought would not be well-served if they voted against Sudan's interest in this resolution,'' Powell said in the interview.

A text was released Wednesday by the State Department's press office.

Later, at a news conference, Andrew S. Natsios, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, noted China was extracting oil from the African country and Pakistan recently took over Chevron-Texaco's oil concessions.

"I don't know about the other two, but I can tell you Pakistan and China do have commercial interests,'' Natsios said while discussing his Sept. 11-19 trip to Sudan.

Meanwhile, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Michael Ranneberger, who participated in the press briefing, rejected assertions by a top Sudanese official in Khartoum that Sheik Musa Hilal, accused by the State Department of coordinating bloodletting by Arab militia, was a legitimate tribal leader.

Ranneberger said Hilal was a leader of the Janjaweed militia as well as being a tribal leader.

"I think he wears four or five hats,'' the State Department official said.

Natsios said 1.5 million people have been displaced form their homes in Darfur and were in refugee camps, and there was also drought and an approaching locust plague.

The AID administrator said 574 towns had been destroyed while the militia have taken over the homes and herds of African tribes in the region.

"They have nothing left and those animals were basically their savings accounts,'' Natsios said. "The crisis hasn't peaked,'' he said. "It's the malaria season and the worst phase is right now. It's just beginning. And it's going to kill a lot of people.''

At the same time, Natsios said, food was moving in and there were 710 foreign relief workers in Darfur, more than twice the 323 workers there when Powell visited in early July. - AP http://thestaronline.com/news/story

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