SUDAN WATCH: UN envoy Jan Pronk calls for Ramadan calm in Darfur

Thursday, September 21, 2006

UN envoy Jan Pronk calls for Ramadan calm in Darfur

Following yesterday's excellent news that AU peacekeepers are to remain in Darfur, The Times reported today:
Jean-Marie Guehenno, the UN Undersecretary-General in charge of peacekeeping, welcomed the AU's decision. The logistics and support supplied to the African peacekeepers is expected to amount to 200 unarmed trainers and advisers at a cost of $22 million over the next four months, as well as help airlifting supplies and troops, and arranging contracts for food, fuel and water.
UN SRSG Jan Pronk has a great idea that, hopefully, could give fighters time to pause for thought and reflect on what is really important for the millions of defenceless women and children imprisoned in camps in Darfur and Chad, and start the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue. Reuters/ST Sept 21, 2006:
The UN envoy to Sudan on Thursday urged warring groups in Darfur to stop fighting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan to let relief workers operate in the region where conflict has displaced more than 2 million.

"I am sending letters to the president and to all the seven movements ... asking them to respect a month of tranquillity during Ramadan," Jan Pronk said in reference to Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and Darfur rebel groups.

"Get off the collision course ... Don't fight, don't bomb, don't change your positions," Pronk told reporters in Khartoum. The Islamic month of Ramadan begins with the new moon in the coming days.

Pronk said a halt to fighting would lead to "creating an atmosphere whereby you can start talking again rather than fighting again with each other." It would also allow U.N. agencies to reach those in need, he said.
Good luck to Mr Pronk. Let's hope everyone will take a month off to rest and reflect on what is really important: PUMPING WATER NOT WAR!! Note this gem, by an insightful blogger at dishyduds blogspot re "Climate Change and Darfur":
"I now believe that the United States has a moral obligation to alleviate the struggles in Africa. It is our responsibility because we are the largest contributors to the root of the problem. I no longer support a UN military presence. Peace cannot be forced, and military action would only act as a band-aid on a seeping infected wound. The root cause needs to be addressed and the United States needs to lead as we had a hand in creating the problem. The peace needs to be rewritten to include provisions for all tribes to address what they were fighting over to begin with. Famine relief needs to be supported by all western world countries, especially those who are the largest contributors to global warming."
Read the full story. And, some more good news:
Water firm awarded $203 mln contract for Port Sudan (Sudan Tribune, Sep 17 2006)
Water treatment and hygiene education protect millions in Sudan

UNICEF has been working closely with the Federal Ministry of Health of the Government of National Unity, as well as state authorities, to treat water sources and storage systems. And while acute watery diarrhoea continues to be reported in a number of states, fatalities have fallen from 6 per cent to 3 per cent in the last month. Full story 20 Sep 2006.

Water treatment and hygiene education protect millions in Sudan

Photo: Children gather at a community water point in Sag el Naam, in Sudan's North Darfur State. Following recent outbreaks of acute watery diarrhoea, UNICEF and its partners have embarked upon a massive programme of water chlorination and hygiene education. (Copyright UNICEF Sudan/2006/Carwardine)


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