SUDAN WATCH: Activists in US rally for war in Darfur

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Activists in US rally for war in Darfur

While Save and other American activisits innanly push for a UN force in Darfur, why do they refuse to address the glaringly obvious issue raised by people such as Nurradin Mannan, a retired Sudanese diplomat, who sensibly points out Khartoum is afraid of a Chapter Seven mandate that would accompany a UN operation, a mandate that has the power to use armed force to protect civilians and to confront combatants accused of committing atrocities?
"These people [Khartoum] are worried about chapter seven because this is going to drag them to the International Criminal Court. There are 51 [people] accused of war crimes in Sudan and this will give the UN the power, the right, to investigate those who are accused," he said.
Note the heading of this entry. I have changed it from "Activists in US rally for peace in Darfur" to "Activists in US rally for war in Darfur" because I believe they are playing with fire and are not stupid or uninformed, which makes me question their motives. I am at a loss to understand why, after Khartoum has signed a peace agreement, they don't apply pressure on Darfur rebels and tribal leaders to provide unstinting efforts to widen popular acceptance of DPA and improve prospects for IDPs to return home.

As if there weren't enough factions stoking the flames of war in favour of the Darfur insurgents, Save continues to join the fray by circulating an email, copied here below in full, to its supporters [I am not one of them] imploring them to press for a solution and ask for a special US envoy to Darfur, plus a UN force in Darfur no later than October:
Dear Supporter,

By taking action right now, you can help turn a potential setback to the effort to stop the genocide in Darfur into an opportunity!

Yesterday, Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick - who personally helped negotiate a peace agreement between the Sudanese government and Darfur rebel groups - resigned.

Zoellick served as an advocate for Darfur within the Bush Administration. With him now gone, we must keep the pressure on President Bush to act. And since today is World Refugee Day - created by the UN in 2001 to recognize the millions of refugees and displaced people around the globe - there is no better opportunity.

Click here to send a message to President Bush. Remind him on World Refugee Day to appoint a coordinator of US policy in Darfur and to push for creation of a UN peacekeeping force in Darfur.

Last month, Deputy Secretary Zoellick aided in brokering a peace agreement - an important first step. Yet with hundreds of thousands in Darfur already dead, millions more displaced and many at risk every day, we must continue to press for a solution.

That is why we are asking President Bush to appoint a special US envoy to the region and to press for a UN peacekeeping force to be on the ground in Darfur no later than October. We cannot wait any longer!

Join us in asking President Bush:

To push for a UN force for Darfur;
To strengthen African Union troops already in Darfur until the UN arrives;
To continue supporting humanitarian assistance programs in Darfur; and
To appoint a special envoy to coordinate US policy in the region.
Click here to email President Bush today. Today is World Refugee Day today - a day set aside to remember the millions of refugees around the globe - and now is the time to remind President Bush of the plight of Darfur's 2.5 million refugees.

Thank you for your continued support.
David Rubenstein
Save Darfur Coalition

P.S. Would you consider making a tax deductible contribution to support our work? Click here to make a secure, online donation.
If the Rubensteins of America believe peace can be restored in an African country through uninvited military action and occupation, why don't they first sort out their own back yard and make a start with the Klu Klux Klan? Jerry Fowler has a good blog but I don't agree with his warmongering stance either. In his blog entry June 20, 2006 he provides an excerpt from a briefing yesterday by the International Crisis Group that says:
Fighting between rebel and government forces is down somewhat but violence is worse in some areas due to clashes between SLA factions, banditry, and inter-tribal feuds, while the Chad border remains volatile. If the DPA [Darfur Peace Agreement] is not to leave Darfur more fragmented and conflict-prone than before, the international community must rapidly take practical measures to shore up its security provisions, improve prospects for the displaced to return home, bring in the holdouts and rapidly deploy a robust UN peacekeeping force with Chapter VII authority.
And he goes on to say:
ICG calls for five steps to be taken urgently: 1) targeted sanctions on anyone who violates the ceasefire; 2) unstinting efforts to widen popular acceptance of the DPA; 3) strengthening of the AU force; 4) UN Security Council authorization under Chapter VII of the UN Charter of a force to take over from the AU by October 1; and 5) efforts by the EU and NATO to insure that the UN force has the capability to respond effectively to ceasefire violations.
I say, why not put the onus on the three main rebel groups? They are the ones creating most of the trouble and violence right now. 4) and 5) should not be necessary if rebels and tribal leaders abide by ceasefire agreements. Pressure should be put on them to stop their violence, robbing and killing sprees, not for the international community to supply weapons and troops requested by the thugs and gangsters! Surely the only solution is for the warring parties to adhere to ceasefire agreements, denounce violence and fight for what they want using non-violent means.

One of my favourite bloggers, a Sudanese student in Malaysia, who goes by the name of Drima at The Sudanese Thinker, blogs his take on Darfur: the Situation So Far and concludes by saying
"I'm really getting p*ssed off and mad at the amount of garbage so called self-proclaimed professionals are churning out about the Darfur conflict. I have no idea where on earth they get their so called facts. They're on a mission to marginalize the former terrorism harboring Sudanese government as much as possible. They're using this conflict and blowing it out of proportions to pin every single tiny problem on the Sudanese government [edit] why not marginalize it the proper way? Why spread and market such garbage?"
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Jun 22 2006 Darfuris living in the US hope to move the US to take new action

Jun 22 2006 SPLM nominated Dr Akec Khoc, a Dinka tribesman living in Minnesota USA, for position with new government

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