SUDAN WATCH: Does anybody know what's happened to Sudan Tribune? Sudan says US-led no-fly zone would ‘impede’ aid to Darfur

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Does anybody know what's happened to Sudan Tribune? Sudan says US-led no-fly zone would ‘impede’ aid to Darfur

For some unknown reason, at the present time (Wednesday 08 October 2008 UK 09:23 GMT) and over the past day or so, news content at the Paris based website Sudan Tribune has disappeared. Today, a Google cache of the site's main page shows news reports only up until Saturday 04 October 2008.

However, thanks to a Google search, I was able to obtain Google's cache of a report published at Sudan Tribune on Monday 06 October 2008, enitled "US-led no-fly zone would ‘impede’ aid to Darfur - Sudan" (copied here below). Right now, I'm finding that some earlier reports published at Sudan Tribune cannot even be viewed via Google's cache and lead to a blank white page with a note in top left corner saying (sic): (Sorry, there is no article at this adress.)


So, this morning, I added a copy of the report at Sudan Watch entry dated Monday 06 October 2008 re Darfur no-fly zone impossible says top EU soldier - Sudan criticizes US VP contenders Palin, Biden over Darfur flight ban.

US-led no-fly zone would ‘impede’ aid to Darfur - Sudan
Sudan Tribune Monday 6 October 2008 04:31.
By Daniel Van Oudenaren

October 5, 2008 (WASHINGTON) – Sudanese foreign ministry spokesman Ali al-Sadig on Sunday responded to U.S. politicians who suggest enforcing a no-fly zone over Darfur, saying it would be impractical, useless, and would restrict humanitarian aid.

Both Senator Joe Biden and Governor Sarah Palin, respectively the Democratic and Republic nominee for vice president of the United States, spoke favorably Thursday of imposing a no-fly zone over Darfur.

The government of Sudan has repeatedly used Antonov aircraft and helicopters to attack rebels and villages in Darfur, according to official experts’ reports to the United Nations Security Council.

This violence has prompted activists to encourage the U.S. president to use military aircraft to enforce a no-fly zone, as the U.S. did in Iraq in the wake of the first Gulf War, where it worked with the United Kingdom and France in an effort to protect Shiite and Kurdish populations that had been targeted after they revolted against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

"They know very little about what is going on here," said Sadig, in response to Palin and Biden. "Their statements were meant for local consumption. They had nothing to do with Darfur."

The presidential candidates themselves, Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain, have endorsed a no-fly zone over Darfur, in response to identical questionnaires submitted by the Enough Action Fund, the Save Darfur Coalition and the Genocide Intervention Network – all United States activist groups.

McCain said that he would “seek a Security Council resolution endorsing such a mission and work to persuade our allies [in NATO] to join us in its implementation.”

Obama said, “I have co-sponsored resolutions calling on the President to work with international partners to enforce a no-fly zone in Darfur. While the U.S. has provided aid and military resources to the African Union mission in Darfur, I believe this is America’s moment to lead the way toward ending this crisis.”

Sadig said an air ban would be ineffective because the Sudanese armed forces were not using aircraft in their ongoing struggle against rebel groups in Darfur. McCain, however, in his response to the activist groups, referred to “recent bombing of civilian targets in Darfur—including a school, water works, and a market.”

He said government planes and helicopters were only being used to fight bandits and protect humanitarian convoys.

"It would be a very short-sighted move. Curbing the actions of the armed forces would impede the flow of humanitarian aid to Darfur and tie the hands of the government in its efforts to prevent attacks on aid convoys," he added.

Likewise, British foreign ministry officials also recently reportedly said they are not pursuing a no-fly zone because it would restrict humanitarian work. They also cited a shortage of planes and referred to the idea as "a major logistical challenge." (ST)
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UPDATE WEDNESDAY 08 OCTOBER 2008 17:11 UK GMT

I've just tried to access Sudan Tribune via Yahoo's search engine listings and it came up with a blank white page saying:

http://www.sudantribune.com/

Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, webmaster@sudantribune.com and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.
Apache/2.0.59 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.0.59 OpenSSL/0.9.8g Server at www.sudantribune.com Port 80
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