Aid to Sudan depends on peace in Darfur says EU
The EU recently decided to release E450 million for Sudan after the signing of a peace agreement between the government and the southern rebels that ended 22 years of conflict on 9 January.
The parliament, however, said the aid intended for Sudan should be granted gradually and must be managed as much as possible by humanitarian organisations operating in the country.
The Sudanese government should not benefit from it until it ends any form of violence in Darfur and accepts to cooperate with the ICC on the abuses that have taken place in the western region, the parliament said.
The European deputies also denounced the arrrest of two Sudanese human rights organisation officials. - via PANA Brussels, Belgium May 14, 2005
Photo: Mudawi Adam
Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam was arrested on Sunday and charged with photographing military buildings and with crimes against Sudan. He remains in police custody.
See SOAT alert May 14, 2005 "Sudanese rights activist Mudawi Ibrahim facing Death Penalty."
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EU president to meet with head of AU to discuss Darfur
On Tuesday, May 17 the President of the European Union, Jose Manuel Barroso, will meet with the head of the African Union to discuss the EUs role in managing the Darfur crisis.
Note, an African Union team has arrived in Khartoum to verify the positions of government troops and rebels in Darfur, an AU spokesman in Sudan said.
The team held talks with the head of the AU mission in Sudan (AMIS), Baba Gana Kingibe, and is due to travel to Darfur on Monday to start on the verification mission. The team is led by the chairman of the joint ceasefire committee, General Mahamet Ali.
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Six-way Libya summit to discuss Darfur crisis
On Monday, May 16 a six-way African summit will be held in the Libyan capital Tripoli to probe means of solving the Darfur crisis.
The summit will be attended by leaders from Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, Sudan, Chad, Gabon and Eritrea.
Sudanese Foreign Minister said Saturday that the aim of the conference was to "set the stage for reaching a quick solution to the Darfur crisis."
The summit will discuss consequences of a UN Security Council resolution calling for war crime suspects in Darfur to be tried before the International Criminal Court. The Sudanese government rejected the resolution as infringing on its sovereignty.
As a leading mediator of the Darfur issue, Arab League (AL) Secretary General Amr Moussa was also invited to attend the summit.
In statements to the press before heading for Libya, Moussa said that the league's participation in the summit will be the first for the pan-Arab body at such a level, though not the first time for the league to attend meetings on Darfur.
Full Report via Xinhua Cairo, May 15, 2005.
Note, Libyan leader Col Ghaddafi has invited Darfur's two main rebel groups SLM and JEM to participate in the talks. But an AFP report May 15 says they are staying away. [That's OK, Col Gaddafi is handling their interests]
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Eritrean president leaves for Libya to participate in Darfur summit
President Isaias Afwerki left for Libya Sunday morning upon an invitation extended to him by the Libyan leader Col Gaddafi to participate in the Darfur summit.
Photo: Eritrean President Afwerki
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US to help AU in Darfur, but opposes tougher action against Sudan
The Bush administration has offered Air Force transport planes and crews to airlift thousands of additional African peacekeeping troops into Darfur this summer, State Department officials say.
The airlift proposal is part of a larger effort, including at least $50 million in U.S. aid and offers of equipment and military advisors from other members of NATO, to help African countries more effectively enforce an unstable cease-fire in Darfur, the officials said in recent days.
Full Report LA Times May 12, 2005.
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Do something ... But what?
The new AU deployment won't stop the genocide in Darfur. But what other options are there? See must-read by Bradford Plumer, assistant editor of the Mother Jones website, May 11, 2005.
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German military observers fail to get visas for Sudan
Deployment of German military observers to southern Sudan may be delayed. So far, the Sudanese government has issued entry visas to hardly any of the soldiers who are supposed to help with monitoring the peace agreement in the African country as of mid-May.
According to the German news magazine Der Spiegel, the reason for the delay is occasionally seen in the pressure exerted by German diplomacy.
Germany had pilloried the human rights violations in the crisis region of Darfur early and contributed to making the brutal civil war an issue in the UN Security Council, which adopted sanctions.
The UN in New York has now noticed that other Western members of the UN mission have not received the entry visas necessary for southern Sudan, either.
This makes it difficult for the UN to station 10,000 soldiers in Africa's largest country as soon as possible.
One of a total of some 50 German soldiers has meanwhile arrived in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, another four are in Nairobi, Kenya, for preparations. - BBC via Sudan Tribune Berlin, Germany, May 15, 2005.
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Kofi Annan describes what happened at Khor Abeche
Note neat monthly report to UN Security Council by the Secretary-General 10 May, 2005. It explains about the recent attack on Khor Abeche.
Mr Annan says in April, the number of conflict-affected persons rose to 2.45 million, of whom 1.86 million are internally displaced. Extracts:
Despite existing agreements on unimpeded access for humanitarian workers, non-governmental organizations continued to be harassed by the local authorities, particularly in Southern Darfur. In Northern Darfur there were repeated incidents of harassment of humanitarian staff, including some who were temporarily detained by SLA.
The World Health Organization is preparing for the second retrospective mortality survey of conflict-affected persons in Darfur. The survey will be conducted in May, and the results are expected to be available in June.
In Saraf Omra, Northern Darfur, a blanket meningitis vaccination campaign covered approximately 80 per cent of the targeted population in response to the outbreak detected in Northern Darfur in March 2005.
Local government is contravening the letter and the spirit of the agreements on voluntary return, for example by offering incentives to internally displaced persons to return or relocate.
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Protesters urge more British action on Darfur crisis
In London, Survivors of the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide and the war in Bosnia joined a protest on Sunday calling for Britain to help stop violence in Darfur.
About 200 demonstrators held a rally near the gates of Downing Street, where Prime Minister Tony Blair lives. Some protesters unloaded a coffin symbolising the victims of unrest in Darfur from a hearse.
Full Report AP May 15, 2005.
Photo: Protesters and refugees from Darfur, Sudan lay in the street to symbolize the dead outside 10 Downing Street in central London, Monday May 2, 2005 (AP).
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Darfur Peace and Development Organization
Darfur Peace and Development's Board of Directors includes Dr. Eric Reeves of Smith College.
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Bill Gates donates
Bill Gates has kindly given Lutherans $539,000 for Sudan relief work, reports Religion Journal May 9, 2005.