Saturday, December 31, 2005

Kidnapped Sudanese 'free' in Iraq

Five kidnapped members of staff from Sudan's embassy in Iraq have been set 'free' in Iraq. A web statement attributed to al-Qaeda in Iraq had demanded that Sudan cut diplomatic ties with Baghdad.

Chad steps up claims of Sudanese subversion

Further to next post here below, AFP Dec 30 reports that "Sudan is arming, financing and equipping Chadian rebels on its territory to destabilise Chad," Chad's Deputy FM Lucienne Dillah told parliament in Ndjamena, which then voted to back President Idriss Deby's efforts to defend the country.

Chad angry at World Bank over oil - Chad in 'state of war' with Sudan - Chad and its links to crisis in Sudan's Darfur

Some days my imagination works overtime wondering about the possibility of security forces diplomatically (read covertly) intervening in Darfur via Chad using international community clout, Chadian personnel and Sudanese refugees. This is one of those days. It's a recurrent thought whenever Chad and other countries neighbouring Sudan hit the headlines.

A curious story has been developing over the past few months re a World Bank loan to Chad of more than $39m (23m pounds) to build a pipeline with an estimated total cost of almost $4bn. The loan was on condition that Chad's churches, trade unions and non-governmental organisations monitored how oil revenues were spent. This was meant to guarantee that oil money was used to help reduce poverty in Chad.

Today, the BBC reports on Chad's angry reaction to warnings from the World Bank, after its parliament voted to relax controls on the use of its oil revenues. The Chadian government has accused the World Bank of acting like a coloniser.

The new laws introduced by Chad's parliament would give its country more control over the money.

Note, Chad's oil pipeline is barely two years old.

Further reading:
Dec 24, 2005 Sudan Watch: Chad in 'state of war' with Sudan
Dec 21, 2005 Sudan Watch: Chad and its links to crisis in Sudan's Darfur

Arab and African leaders to Darfur: we don't care

"The Sudan story is chilling as it shows the real nature of Islam", writes one commentator at Harry's Place (UK) re Gene's Dec 30 Darfur post entitled Arab and African leaders to Darfur: we don't care - excerpt:
"If the West's shamefully half-hearted response to the continuing genocide, and China's and Russia's obstruction of UN sanctions against Sudan, haven't outraged you yet, now comes the news that the Arab League and the African Union will hold upcoming summit meetings in the Sudanese capital Khartoum."
So far, Gene's post has attracted 95 comments, the most I've ever seen on a blog entry on Darfur. Here are some examples:

"African governments never criticize each other. To expect them to intervene successfully is foolhardy. Even the lauded rulers of states such as Uganda and Ethiopia are now jailing oppostion members and attempting to futher cement their rule. In the forty years since colonial withdrawal Africa's 48 sub-saharan states have produced one substantive statesman in Nelson Mandela. Is it too much to hope for just one more in 2006."
"People refuse to speak the truth because no one wishes to be seen as anti-Islamic, especially not at the UN."

In 1948 the UN declared the UDHR, now we have an Islamic UDHR which is a complete contradiction of the UDHR. Now we have the UN promoting religions and their value systems over and above the UDHR.

Are we happy to see the value system of Islam, promoted above the UDHR?

We have the obscene sight of the EU and the UN attacking the Danish PM for refusing to intervene in a dispute over cartoons, he declared that it was not correct for a PM in a free country to intervene over what the press prints, if they broke any laws sue them. It is evident that they prefer to put pressure on in an undemocratic way rather then face the issue in court over a point of law.

At this point I think that the most important defence of our freedom, the ability to speak up about something in safety from fear of death or persecution is being eroded.

Islam is a religion (not to me, it's a death cult), but it also has a system of law and government which I can only describe as undemocratic and allows the strong and powerful to rule the weak and poor. I hope that more people see this, especially the liberty loving and equality driven people on the left.

Dafur shows the moral corruption to the world of Islam, but most people chose to ignore it."
"So wtf are you saying? Because atrocities have happened in every century on every continent and didn't involve Muslims, then the genocide and other atrocities carried out in Dafur should not be viewed in a religious ie 'Muslim' context. An interesting notion ! rather like an ostrich's view of thinks."
"You mentioned Zimbabwe, Alec. What does the world's inaction there have in common with Darfur? (Of course there are multiple factors, so leave aside for now other common or country specific factors)

Answer: China, the winner so far in the new scramble for Africa Both cases, China has blocked any Security Council resolutions.

In Darfur's case, it really is all about oil.Zimbabwe,semiprecious metals an economic power.

No doubt it suits other powers to have China doing the blocking, but there are those in the U.S and elsewhere who genuinely would intervene if there was Security Council authority."
Note, this Sudan Watch post opened with an extract from a comment by Daffersd. Here is the whole comment:

"That Sudan story is chilling as it shows the real nature of Islam, but no one seems to listen, it can't happen here in the West can it? We will find out I guess..."

Friday, December 30, 2005

World's worst dictator hopes to be voted chair of African Union - African leaders to meet in Libya Jan 4 on Darfur

Chad rebel groups opposed to President Idriss Deby said on Friday they had formed a military alliance to try to overthrow him, increasing pressure on the Chadian leader who accuses Sudan of backing the insurgents.

Leaders from eight African countries Nigeria, Sudan, Eritrea, Egypt, Chad, Central African Republic, Libya and Gabon, will meet in Libya Jan. 4 for a special African Union mini-summit on Darfur crisis and growing tensions between Sudan and Chad, officials said Friday.

Note, the mini summit comes three weeks before the African Union holds its annual summit involving all 53 members in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

Sudan's President Omar el-Bashir hopes to become the next chairman of the African Union during the summit. That will only be decided after a vote by members of the bloc.

Surely, the AU's 53-member states won't vote for the world's worst dictator to preside over them as chairman? Surely, ordinary African and Arab folk will be outraged? If not, why - can anyone please explain?
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Sudan's President Omar Bashir named as world's worst living dictator

Pictured below is the Republican Palace in Khartoum, where Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir lives.

Sudan: Bashir announces national unity government

Photo: His Excellency General Omar al- Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan [click photo for details]

Last year, President al-Bashir ranked a mere seventh among the 10 worst dictators but this year's list- published ten months ago when Darfur death toll was reported at 70,000 - has him as the worst of the worst.

This week, Darfur genocide enters its 4th year with the death toll estimated at 400,000 and rising.

Republican Palace Khartoum, Sudan

Despite UN resolutions and the international community imploring President al-Bashir to rein in his Janjaweed militia, he and his regime denies backing the Janjaweed. In October 2004, BBC correspondent Koert Lindijer filed a news report entitled "Reining in the militia" in which he said he saw the President five months earlier addressing a meeting of his supporters in Nyala, south Darfur, and saluting the assembled Janjaweed fighters: "Long live the Mujahideen."

Sudan buys presidential yacht for AU summit

Sudanese refugees won't be thrilled to know the presidential yacht from Czechoslovakia arrived yesterday in Khartoum. The yacht is to be used to ferry delegates to the outrageous AU summit in Khartoum next month. Full report (ST) 30 Dec 2005.

African and Arab politics never cease to amaze - along with ordinary African and Arab folk who keep quiet about NIF and Darfur but waste no time in slating the West when it promotes global awareness campaigns like Live Aid, Live 8 and Make Poverty History.
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Czech yacht arrives in Sudan for AU summit

Copy of report by BBC Monitoring, Al Ayyam, 28 Dec, Khartoum:

The presidential yacht from Czechoslovakia arrived yesterday in Khartoum among tightened security. The yacht is to be used to ferry delegates to the AU summit in Khartoum next January from the presidential villas to Friendship Hall, the summit venue. The yacht, which has two decks and measures 9.5 m by 36 m, completed an arduous journey from Port Sudan to Khartoum and took about 20 days to arrive in Giad town yesterday. The yacht, which was bought in accordance with Sudanese naval specifications, has been named Al-Qasr [palace] and will be put on the Nile at the Baburat area in Bahri [Khartoum North]. Al-Qasr is the first large yacht to arrive in Sudan for presidential services.

Darfur genocide continues into 4th year - Ten Sudanese die as camp in Cairo stormed

Eric Reeves explains genocide continues in Darfur into its fourth year because there is no real international pressure on the architects of the genocide, the National Islamic Front security cabal in Khartoum, to bring the killing to a halt and none of its African and Arab neighbors really cares what NIF does in Darfur.

Despite a consistent and forceful Security Council response to the crisis in Darfur, reports from there confirm a marked deterioration since September, including an increase in ethnic clashes, destabilizing elements crossing in from Chad and continuing banditry, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a report released yesterday Dec 29.

Note, the U.N. refugee agency in Cairo has broken off talks with thousands of Sudanese protesters camped outside its building because they are making impossible demands, a U.N. official said on Thursday.

The UN says the 3,000 Sudanese protestors living in Cairo are economic migrants rather than those fleeing persecution, and so do not qualify as refugees. The protestors had been demanding that the UN refugee agency place them in a country with better conditions.

UNHCR says it has to prioritise help for people genuinely at risk of persecution and cannot solve issues of discrimination and deprivation in Egypt, where unemployment is high. Full report (BBC) 30 Dec 2005.

UPDATE 31 Dec 2005 CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian police end protest - Egyptian riot police on Friday stormed a protest camp in Cairo set up by thousands of Sudanese refugees, sparking clashes that left 23 Sudanese dead, officials and witnesses said.

Monday, December 26, 2005

EU provides EUR 165M for humanitarian crises in Africa

The European Union Monday earmarked EUR165 million ($195 million) for 10 crisis centers in Africa, saying droughts, floods and armed conflict ravage the continent like "silent tsunamis."

Sudan is the biggest beneficiary and will receive EUR48 million, while Congo has been allocated EUR38 million. Burundi, Chad, Liberia, Tanzania and Uganda will each receive over EUR10 million in aid. Full report (AP) Dec 26, 2005.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Sudanese official nominated as Arab League envoy in Iraq

You have to wonder what the UN Secretary-General and International Criminal Court Prosecuters think of this. SUNA news reports 25 Dec 2005 Sudan's President has accepted a request by the secretary-general of the Arab League, nominating the "presidential adviser" Mustafa Osman Ismail as a temporary representative of the Arab League in Iraq until the completion of the Iraqi reconciliation.
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ICC has list of 51 names of suspected Darfur war criminals

The International Criminal Court has a sealed list of 51 names of suspected war criminals, among them, it is believed, senior Sudanese officials, writes Eric Reeves. Extracts:

"Certainly on the list is First Vice President Ali Osman Taha, presently the most powerful member of the NIF.

Interior Minister Abd al-Rahim Muhammad Hussein is also surely on the list, as he is, among other things, the primary architect of forced removals of internally displaced persons from camps of refuge in Darfur.

So, too, is the director of security and intelligence within the NIF regime, Maj. Gen. Salih Gosh."

Saturday, December 24, 2005

European Union Statement on Darfur peace talks in Abuja

Statement by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the Darfur peace talks in Abuja. - Dec 21, 2005 (Brussels) via Sudan Tribune.

China scooping up deals in Africa as US firms hesitate

Report in today's Boston Globe says China scooping up deals in Africa as US firms hesitate.

Surely we could do a lot more to help Darfuris if Western companies were operating in Sudan. Powerful multinationals, oil and defence firms might have leverage with the UN Security Council. We could have contacted firms like British Petroleum Oil to ask for security forces to protect shareholders interests and locals in Darfur. As things stand, all I can do here in the UK is contact British politicians, sign petitions and use this blog to keep asking what happened to the five-point plan Tony Blair delivered in person to Khartoum October 6, 2004.

We ought to welcome Western firms doing business in African countries where unscrupulous Asian firms are taking natural resources from oil rich countries like the Sudan without giving much back in return.

See Sudan Watch October 25, 2005: UN could authorise cutting off Sudan's oil exports at Port Sudan.
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So what can you do?

Take action against genocide.

[via 1 Raindrop Darfur 3 with thanks]

Blog for Human Rights

Visit Human Rights Watch and see how to become a blogger for Human Rights. Get involved. Spread the Word.

Email Christmas card to Tony Blair

Send eCard to British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Click the link and hover your mouse over cards and you might see one I sent today from Sudan Watch Blog saying:

Please let us know what happened to the five-point plan you kindly delivered to Khartoum October 6, 2004. Thanks.

Chad in 'state of war' with Sudan - World Bank mulls withdrawal from Chad oil pipeline

BBC news report today Chad in 'state of war' with Sudan reveals statement issued by Chad's government on Friday afternoon is the most aggressive yet.

It claims that not only was Sudan behind the attack on Adre, but it also accuses Sudanese militia of making daily incursions into Chad, stealing cattle, killing innocent people and burning villages on the Chadian border.

'Chad is today in a state of war with Sudan,' the statement says.

It asks Chadians to form a patriotic front against what it calls 'the common enemy of the nation'.

See Sudan Watch Dec 21, 2005: Chad and its links to crisis in Sudan's Darfur

World Bank mulls withdrawal from Chad oil pipeline

Excerpt from Reuters Oct 28, 2005:

The World Bank may withdraw from a high-profile oil pipeline investment in Chad and halt lending to the government if it changes a law to access a larger share of oil profits, officials said on Thursday.

The officials, which called it "the nuclear option," said such drastic steps are possible if Chad changes the World Bank-backed oil revenue management law.

The move would be a major setback for the bank's biggest investment in Africa -- one it considered a test case for its strategy for oil investments as a way to benefit poverty-stricken nations.

In exchange for funding the $3.7 billion pipeline, the World Bank told Chad to pass a law ensuring that 10 percent from oil proceeds go into an overseas bank accounts and be spent only on poverty programs.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas eCard from UNICEF and the 59th Norwegian Christmas tree in London's Trafalger Square

Yesterday, I received this eCard from UNICEF with news saying more than 1 million children beyond aid net in Darfur:

Happy Christmas Blogmates

Christmas Greetings to Sudan Watch readers from England, UK

The 59th Norwegian Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square was lit on 29 Nov, 2005.

The first tree was brought over in 1947 as a token of Norwegian appreciation of British friendship during the Second World War. When Norway was invaded by German forces in 1940, King Haakon VII escaped to Britain and a Norwegian exile government was set up in London.

To most Norwegians, London came to represent the spirit of freedom during those difficult years. From London, the latest war news was broadcast in Norwegian, along with a message and information network which became vital to the resistance movement and which gave the people in Norway inspiration and hope of liberation.

The tree has become a symbol of the close and warm relationship between the people of Britain and Norway. Norwegians are happy and proud that this token of their friendship - probably the most famous Christmas tree in the world - seems to have become so much a part of Christmas for Londoners.

Happy Christmas

The tree itself, pictured above, a Norwegian spruce (Picea abies), is chosen with great care. Selected from the forests surrounding Oslo, it is normally earmarked for its pride of place in London's Trafalgar Square several months, even years, in advance. The Norwegian foresters who look after it describe it fondly as 'the queen of the forest'. This year, however, the tree will be chosen by a young viewer of the BBC's children's programme Blue Peter.

The tree is cut down one day in November during a ceremony in which the Lord Mayor of Westminster, the British ambassador to Norway and the Mayor of Oslo take active part. Most years, the first snow will have just fallen to brighten the otherwise dark forest. Local and international schoolchildren sing Christmas carols and the city authorities serve 'forest coffee' and sandwiches.

All I Want for Christmas is for women to nurture and run Africa ... to Remember the Poor ... and Human Rights for All

Last December, the senior pastor of Ginghamsburg church in America, Mike Slaughter, challenged his parishioners to spend only one-half of what they would normally spend on Christmas gifts and bring the rest in for a Sudan Project.

That challenge resulted in a $317,000 offering, which Ginghamsburg is using to fund a sustainable agricultural program in Darfur.

Since January 2005, CHF International has distributed over 25,000 egg-laying chickens in Darfur, benefiting c. 8,000 IDP families (44,000 individuals), which have produced over 1.5 million eggs.
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Sudan Christmas Cards

This December, Ginghamsburg has Sudan Christmas Cards:

Sudan Christmas Card

Front: All I Want For Christmas
Inside: for you to remember the poor - Jesus
Back: features information on how the recipient can be involved in The Sudan Project.
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Darfuris have little to look forward to in New Year

UN says Darfur sliding into anarchy and deteriorating further in last week.

The International Criminal Court has 51 Darfur war criminals on its list while ICC Prosecutor uncovers evidence of campaign of atrocities in Darfur.

Sudan gets away with barring investigations and telling the world HRW's report is ridiculous.

The regime in Khartoum have nothing to fear. Sanctions will never be imposed. Murder, rape and other crimes against humanity will go unpunished. Darfur war criminals will never be arrested. Khartoum is too useful to West in its war against terrorism. The world's tepid reaction to genocide in Darfur says (to me anyway) uneducated black nomads are not equally as important as educated rich black or white folk.

In the last two decades, the Sudanese government proved themselves capable of destroying two million Sudanese lives.

Current Darfur death toll stands at 400,000 and rising.

Rwanda's genocide cost 800,000 lives.

Darfur is Rwanda in slow motion.
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Christmas in Sudan

There are about 1.5 million Christians in Sudan. Christmas in Sudan is a time of joy, prayer, and getting together with friends and family.

In South Sudan, Christmas starts on December 23rd, and lasts until January 15th. For Christmas, people always wear their best clothes. If they can afford it, they get new clothes and bedsheets, and goats and bulls are slaughtered.

Church Under Tree

Photo: Nimule, Southern Sudan: Church Under A Tree. Many people in South Sudan do not have a church building, so they have church under a tree.

Following material courtesy Kids of the Nile:
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The Nuba Mountains

The Nuba Mountain area is in Southern Kordofan, in the center of Sudan.

The Nuba people are the grandchildren of the people of the Kush kingdom of the 8th century. They are a mixture of dozens of different tribes with different cultures and languages.

The Nuba hills rise sharply from the plains, sometimes in long ranges. They rise some 500-1000 metres from the surrounding plains. The mountains are rocky, with hill slopes and valleys. The Nuba are mostly farmers, cultivating fields in the hills, at the foot of the hills, and in the plains.


Nuba photo: The most famous dance which the Nuba have, is the 'Kambala Dance'.

The Kambala is a spiritual dance, and it has much to do with bringing up Nuba men to be brave, and courageous like a bull. That's why they wear the buffalo horns when they dance.

When the day for Kambala to start is announced all the young men who have reached 12-14 years of age have to join in and dance with the adults.
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Omdurman and Khartoum

Omdurman is a beautiful city that lies on the White Nile, opposite to Khartoum the capital of Sudan, Africa's largest country.

Khartoum means "elephant trunk" in Arabic. It is a "tri-town" city, made of three towns: Khartoum, Omdurman, and Bahri.

Omdurman is a place of many important events in the history of Sudan and its independence.

Nile Boat

Photo: Sailor on the White Nile in Omdurman, in the area of "Abu Rofe", where many people go to fish.

Khartoum is where the Blue and White Niles both meet to make the mighty Nile River, the longest river in the world. You can actually see the two different "colours" mix together where the two rivers meet.

When the city was first established, Khartoum was the political city, where the government buildings were.

Omdurman was the residential city where most people lived and had their homes, and Bahri was the industrial city, where you would find factories, mills, and train stations.

You can go up and down the Blue Nile on a sailboat, ferry, or cross over to Tutti Island. Trees are heavy with plump, ripe mango, guava, and lemon trees.
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Port Sudan

Port Sudan is the main port in the northeast of Sudan, where ships come in from all over the world through the Red Sea to reach the people of Sudan.

Port Sudan is famous for its rich sea life, fun things like fishing in the Red Sea swimming, deap-sea diving, water-skiing. On a boat ride, legend has it that, if you look hard enough, you can see the lights of Jeddah, all the way across the Sea in Saudi Arabia. Beautiful underwater features like coral reefs, starfish, swordfish, and more.

Red Sea

Photo of Red Sea: Port Sudan is nicknamed, "The Bride of the Sea" because of its beautiful nature, and beaches. The weather is really humid because of the Sea.
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Sudan's President Omar Bashir named as world's worst living dictator

Khartoum Weather this Christmas week is sunny with highs of around 95 and lows around 70.

Republican Palace Khartoum, Sudan

Photo: This is the Republican Palace in Khartoum, where the President Omar al-Bashir lives. Last year, President Bashir ranked a mere seventh among the 10 worst dictators but this year's list, published ten months ago when Darfur death toll was reported at 70,000, has him as the worst of the worst.

Despite UN resolutions and the international community imploring President Bashir to rein in his Janjaweed militia, he and his regime denies backing the Janjaweed. In October 2004, BBC correspondent Koert Lindijer filed a news report entitled "Reining in the militia" in which he said he saw President Bashir five months earlier addressing a meeting of his supporters in Nyala, south Darfur, and saluting the assembled Janjaweed fighters: "Long live the Mujahideen."
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Two million Sudanese perished in S Sudan

2m Sudanese perished in S Sudan

Photo: "Gubbat al Mahdi" in Omdurman is where Al Mahdi, the man who fought for Sudan's independence, was buried. You have to wonder what he'd think of Darfur today. Up until January 9th of this year, when a peace agreement was signed for South Sudan, two million Sudanese had perished in a 22-year long internal war.
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400,000 Sudanese die in Darfur, western Sudan

On December 8, some activists rallied at the US State Department in Washington DC challenging US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to take immediate action to stop the genocide in Darfur.

400,000 Sudanese die in Darfur, W Sudan

Photo: Protesters participate in a 'Die in for Darfur: Turn Up the Heat on Rice' while demonstrating in front of the US State Department in Washington, DC, 8 Dec 2005. (AFP/File/Jim Watson)

Recently, Dr Rice launched a behind-the-scenes lobbying effort this week to persuade Congress to appropriate $50 million in funding for an African Union effort to halt genocidal killings in Darfur.

But on Dec 18 Congressional aides said that Rice's attempt may have been a case of too little, too late. They said lawmakers have no plan on Darfur troop funding adding extra funding for Darfur to a federal budget that is stretched thin by Hurricane Katrina reconstruction, the Iraq war, and planning for avian flu.

Dr Condoleezza Rice

Photo: Dr Condoleezza Rice
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Christmas, a new ray of hope

Excerpt from the spiritual journey by Celestino Paul published by Sudan Mirror December, 2003:

"In Sudan today how difficult it is to be a brother and sister to one another, how difficult it is to say to the one who has killed your parents and children, robbed you of all your possessions and rendered you homeless. To one before whom you are nothing but a slave. Yet it is what we must say this Christmas, the day on which God himself reaffirms the equal dignity of every human being, respect and love to everyone.

Our quest for peace can be sensible if it is based on the principle of brotherhood. The argument for peace cannot be the unity of the country alone. It cannot be the improvement of the economy alone. The victorious cry for peace is: Every Sudanese is my brother and sister. The cry for war is the denial of God who created the brotherhood and himself became part of it. May this Christmas be a turning point in our history, adding a new chapter to our presence in Sudan, where we will no longer identify ourselves as Keresh (Gbaya), Ndogo, Zande, Bari, Balanda, Nuer, Dinka, Lathuho; but simply as children of God. There will be news of great joy for Sudan. May this Christmas help us to walk together in peace. May the new year be a year of life. Remember God is with us in all endeavours for peace."
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Africa, Democracy and Human Rights For All

Dr D is an Associate Professor of Government at Franklin & Marshall College and specialises in human rights and African politics.

Dr D's Human rights 4 all-Africa blog has interesting comments at a post discussing Africa's ability to handle democracy or not.

My view is democracy might work if all the crazy men that Africans allow to rule their countries were deposed and replaced with strong African women. Read Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's story in recent New York Times and see how Africa's first female president is ready to repay a favour.

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

Photo: Dr Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
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Spotlight on Darfur - Christmas Edition

Congratulations to Catez of Allthings2all in New Zealand and fellow bloggers for the Christmas Edition of Spotlight on Darfur. This post is dedicated to them and all bloggers keeping the spotlight on Darfur day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year:

Jim, Joanne and Eric at Passion of the Present
Eric Reeves
Eugene's Coalition for Darfur
Genocide Intervention Network
Bill's Jewels in the Jungle
Eddie somewhere at sea with US navy
UN Dispatch
Global Voices
Sudan Man
The Sudan Project
Loaded Mouth.

Here's wishing peace for the tribes of Sudan [click on each photo], the 200,000 refugees trapped in Chad, those in Cairo, Egypt who are protesting but not getting anywhere) - and not forgetting the Baby Mogo's of Sudan.

Who does not wish peace within a united Sudan? The stability of Sudan is fundamental to the whole of the African continent.

God bless them and all donors, peacemakers and foreign troops and aid workers who risk their lives to provide protection, food, shelter, medicine and comfort to millions of Sudanese in need.

African Union soldier in Darfur

Further reading:

The Darfur Collection
Spotlight on Darfur 1
Spotlight On Darfur 2
Spotlight on Darfur 3

Thursday, December 22, 2005

UN Security Council to hold accountable those blocking peace in Darfur?

The U.N. Security Council has demanded that the warring parties in Darfur honor a ceasefire agreement and reaffirmed its determination to hold accountable anyone impeding the peace process and breaking the arms embargo.

The council on Wednesday welcomed the start of a new round of peace talks in Abuja, Nigeria, and called on the government and rebels "to fulfill their commitments to conclude a just and full peace accord without further delay." The African Union-sponsored talks ended Dec. 7 and are not expected to resume until next year.

In a statement read at a formal meeting, the council demanded "that all parties refrain from violence and put an end to atrocities on the ground, especially those committed against civilians, including women and children, humanitarian workers, and international peacekeepers."

Full report (PA/Scotsman) 22 Dec 2005.

Annan Threat

Note, Cox & Forkum's cartoon and report on Annan Threat date back to November 19, 2004 - more than one year ago.

December 17, 2005 Eric Reeves rightly says "Khartoum Triumphant: The international community has failed to prevent, and gives no promise of punishing the ultimate crime."

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Ugandan LRA terrorists pose significant threat to Sudan

The UN's humanitarian chief, Jan Egeland, has warned that the aid operation in Darfur is at risk because of threats to aid workers. Killings, rapes and forced displacement were continuing and the situation was deteriorating, he told the UN Security Council in a report.

Mr Egeland also warned of the "significant threat" posed by the LRA rebels in Uganda. [As noted previously here at Sudan Watch, the U.S. sees LRA as a terrorist organisation]

On Dec 21, Kuwait News Agency reported that UNICEF say the security situation in Darfur imperils over one million children and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan late on Tuesday strongly condemned the vicious attack Monday on Abu Sarouj village in West Darfur.

Chad and its links to crisis in Sudan's Darfur

Launching a report to highlight the plight of Darfur's 3 million children after nearly three years of fighting, UNICEF appealed for a political solution and far more outside aid. "Darfur is complicated enough without the Chadians getting involved," UNICEF told reporters.

See Chad Chronology and its links to crisis in Darfur. 200,000 Darfur refugees are enterting their third year trapped in UN camps in Chad.

On Dec 29, the U.S. warned that Chadian rebel groups could launch new attacks against their government's forces across the Sudanese border after a clash on Sunday that the African country said killed hundreds.

On Dec 18, Chad accused Sudan after clashes:
A Chadian minister said Sudan was "wholly responsible" for an attack allegedly launched from Sudan on the eastern town of Adre. Apparently, the raid was repulsed by the Chadian army.

Several new rebel groups have begun operating in eastern Chad recently, led by mutinous military officers who say President Idriss Deby must step down. The raid on Adre is the second attack in the area in just three days, the BBC's Stephanie Hancock in Chad reports.
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UPDATE 22 Dec 2005: Chadian rebels say poised for fresh attack. Chad urges UN to stem spread of Darfur conflict.

Chadian troops guard rebels

Photo: Chadian government troops guard rebel prisoners following an attack by Chadian rebels and army deserters on the town of Adre on the eastern border with Sudan, December 19, 2005. (Reuters)

Several hundred militia attack Abu Sarouj in Darfur - UN

Militias riding on camels and horses attacked Abu Sarouj village in the West Darfur state of Sudan on Monday.

UN statement Dec 20 says twenty people are reported to have been brutally murdered, including several women and children, in the attack involving several hundred armed militia who also burned dozens of huts and looted livestock. Excerpt:
The Secretary-General urges the Government of Sudan to take immediate measures to prevent further attacks, protect its civilian population, and to pursue those responsible. The perpetrators of this and other attacks against civilians must be brought to justice.

The Secretary-General further condemns all the violent clashes, instances of banditry and inter-tribal fighting that have continued in Darfur in recent days. He calls on the parties to the conflict in the strongest terms to respect their agreements and the provisions of international humanitarian law, and to accelerate their efforts to reach an early, negotiated settlement in Abuja.
Note, two of the victims were burnt alive when their homes were torched. Those wounded included five policemen.

On Tuesday, hundreds of people affected by the raid on Abu Sarouj brought the bodies of the victims to the provincial hospital in West Darfur's capital, El-Geneina, where the crowd ran riot and stoned a policeman to death.

Sudanese police secure Abu Shouk camp

Photo: Sudanese police secures Abu Shouk camp. Governor of Western Darfur Jaafar Abdulhakam said Dec 20 that the militia attack mentioned above targeted Abu-Saruj police stations in Kulbus locality in Western Darfur State. Policemen returned fire and several civilians were killed because of the attack, he added. (ST)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Darfur betrayed: African Union summit to be presided and hosted next month by Khartoum's genocidaires

Without public objection from any African leader, the next African Union summit is scheduled to be held in Khartoum, January 23-24, 2006.

The countries of the AU have evidently concluded that a regime guilty of massive, ongoing genocidal destruction can serve as an appropriate host for the business of Africa.

The ominous prospect of an AU summit hosted by Khartoum's genocidaires calls into question whether the African Union has fully surmounted the political challenges of replacing the corrupt and self-serving Organization of African Unity (OAU).

Read more by Eric Reeves - if your stomach and brain can take it:

Darfur Betrayed: The African Union Summit in Khartoum (January 2006); A symbol of political, military, and moral failure. - Dec 11, 2005

Ghosts of Rwanda: The Failure of the African Union in Darfur; An international abandonment of the "Responsibility to Protect" (Part 1 of 2) - Nov 13, 2005.

Ghosts of Rwanda: The Failure of the African Union in Darfur An international abandonment of the "Responsibility to Protect" (Part 2 of 2) - Nov 21, 2005.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Sudanese islamist Turabi, is back on the scene

A turbaned Hassan Turabi sinks back into a large, plush sitting-room sofa, his stockinged feet barely touching the floor.

It's hard to comprehend that this aging former law professor with a chipmunk grin is the same man condemned by Western leaders as a terrorism-loving extremist and jailed repeatedly by Sudanese dictators he once helped empower.

Sudanese islamist Turabi, is back on the scene

"I'm an old man," the white-bearded Turabi, fresh out of his latest stint in prison, says with unconvincing modesty.

But behind the glinting teeth and rectangular spectacles is one of Africa's most influential Islamists, a man who has arguably had more impact on Sudan than anyone else.

Nicknamed "The Fox" at home and "The Pope of Terrorism" abroad, Turabi is climbing his way back onto Sudan's political stage, forging an opposition alliance, preparing candidates for the next election and criticizing the recently formed unity government as a failure.

Full report by Edmund Sanders, LA Times 10 Dec 2005.

Friday, December 09, 2005

China sells fighter jets to Sudanese army

China has become the top supplier of fighter-bombers to Khartoum regime, a report published in Washington revealed.

China sells fighter jets to Sudanese army

Photo: Shenyang fighter

'The Russians and Chinese from their permanent seats on the Security Council have constantly opposed moves by other members to impose sanctions or an arms embargo on Sudan.

China has sold fighter jets and helicopters to Sudan since the 1990s, while Russia sent 12 MiG jet fighters to Sudan in July 2004.

Sudan's air force recently bought $100 million worth of Shenyang fighter planes, including a dozen supersonic F-7 jets, and also purchased 34 other fighter-bombers from Beijing.

Vice-Chairman of China's Central Military Commission Xu Caihou, said that China is ready to increase military exchanges and cooperation with the Sudan. Mohamed Ismail, deputy chief of general staff of the Sudanese armed forces was in a visit to China at the end of November.' (UPI/MENL/ST) 8 Dec 2005.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Sudan Watch: Pundita's 2005 Weblog Awards

Today, I found this blog Sudan Watch listed in Pundita's 2005 Weblog Awards - quote, "for reporting on atrocities and human rights abuses in Sudan and other countries; for fingering the world's biggest scoundrels and for calling again and again to conscience."

God bless you Pundita, and thanks for highlighting the plight of the people of Darfur. Death toll now stands at 400,000 and rising - half the number of Rwanda's genocide ten years ago when the world said "Never Again".

Darfur is Rwanda in slow motion. But after 20 months of blogging Darfur, still not many people, including Africans and Arabs, are interested - even when given today's technology and free blogging tools.

It's a funny old world. What's different this time though is you can turn the other cheek but cannot say you did not know about the hellhole of Darfur.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Pope says world must do more to end Darfur "horror"

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said last week that killing and rape in Darfur had increased in September and October and the region was descending into complete lawlessness.

Darfur is slipping yet deeper into catastrophe before the very eyes of an unmoved international community, writes Eric Reeves Nov 20, 2005.

Darfur ablaze

Pope Benedict XVI said Monday "stronger international resolve" is needed to halt the bloodshed in Darfur.

"The horror of events unfolding in Darfur, to which my beloved predecessor Pope John Paul II referred on many occasions, points to the need for a stronger international resolve to ensure security and basic human rights," Benedict XVI said.

Pope says world must do more to end Darfur

Photo: Pope Benedict XVI

Click here to read the text of the speech of the Pope before the Sudanese delegation.
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Darfur rebel group 'attacks' town to earn spot in peace talks

According to the BBC, the Darfur rebels are 'united' for talks due to start in Nigeria's capital Abuja on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a Darfur rebel faction said it attacked a town in West Darfur state on Tuesday, killing 37 soldier and police, to push for its inclusion in peace talks.
- - -

A Tolerable Genocide

Published: November 27, 2005

After two years of heartbreaking slaughter, rape and mayhem, the situation in Darfur is now spiraling downward.

To continue reading this article, click here [with thanks to Eric]
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Darfur: The New Rwanda

Published on 11/29/2005

The New York Times published this editorial on Monday, Nov. 28:

Who says George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have nothing in common? Just as President Clinton did on Rwanda, President Bush is doing precious little to try to stop a genocide in Darfur. Indeed, this entire generation of world leaders has a dismal record at intervening in this kind of wholesale murder, and now they are failing to stop the elimination of entire African tribes in the Sudan countryside.

Obviously, most of the blame here can be laid squarely at the door of Sudan's government. Sudan has armed and supplied the militia groups who have been going from village to village, hut to hut, and systematically raping and murdering women, men and even children.

The Times columnist Nicholas Kristof reports that last month, members of the janjaweed militia attacked the village of Tama in southern Darfur, killing 37 people, with another 12 still missing.

In one particularly gruesome case, the marauders yanked 2-year old Zahra Abdullah from the back of her mother, Fatima Omar Adam, as Fatima tried to escape with her children. They bludgeoned the little girl on the ground in front of her screaming mother and sister. Fatima eventually escaped with two of her children, but was forced to leave Zahra to die at the hands of the janjaweed.

In another column, Kristof wrote that Arab men in military uniforms gang-raped Noura Moussa, saying, "We cannot let black people live in this land." Noura said the men called her a slave and added, "We can kill any members of African tribes."

The shocking fact is, apparently they can. The Sudanese government is enabling them, and the rest of the world isn't doing much to stop it. It's the same old Rwanda story, with the same indifference from the world's governments. 29 Nov. 2005.
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Help Organize a Peace Envoy (H.O.P.E.) for Darfur

Human Rights First are campaigning to appoint a prominent envoy to reenergize the diplomatic process in Darfur. They say there is an urgent need to bring an end to the human rights emergency in Darfur.
"In the last two months the security situation has deteriorated dramatically. United Nations personnel have withdrawn from parts of the region because of increased violence, the humanitarian relief work of international nongovernmental organizations has been greatly restricted, and the civilian toll is again climbing."
The appointment of a high-level envoy will be a visible symbol of renewed political and diplomatic will to resolve the Darfur crisis. Read more at TPMCafe - Finding the political will. [with thanks to Eric at Passion of the Present]
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Note, in above article, Simon Deng, a Sudanese activist living in the U.S., quite rightly asks:

"Tell me why we have Milosevic and Saddam Hussein on trial for their crimes, but we do nothing in Sudan. When it comes to black people being slaughtered, do we look the other way?"
- - -

And today, in response to comments at the weblog of Lord Soley of Hammersmith, I wrote this:
"Darfur is Rwanda in slow motion. The hand wringing began 19 months ago, when the death toll was at 10,000, and I bored everyone here about it. To date, more than 400,000 Darfuris have perished, half the number of Rwanda. There is still no news of what became of the five point plan Tony Blair personally delivered to Khartoum. Look at tv news and note how all the trouble in the world boils down to boys with their toys and the games they play. Men around the world really do not care about the suffering of millions of defenceless African women and children or about rape being used as a weapon of war. Not a lot of Africans are interested either. It is so sickening to witness, I have had to take a break from blogging Darfur because I am at a loss as to what to do or say about it anymore."
- - -

Note, Tony Blair visited Khartoum 6 October 2004 to deliver a five point plan and called for a peace agreement to cover the WHOLE of Sudan by the end of 2004.

And so it goes on ... while the West pays for 200,000 Darfuris to be imprisoned in camps in Chad, not to mention the millions of others displaced in Darfur and dependent on aid.

Why wait on Darfur being included in a peace agreement covering the whole of Sudan? The UN Security Council could authorise cutting off Sudan's oil exports at Port Sudan. Of course, it won't happen, not while the regime in Khartoum makes itself useful to the West by rounding up extremist suspects - maybe even in connection with OBL, thus avoiding sanctions and prosecution by the ICC - which is why this blog is probably a complete waste of time.

Further reading from Sudan Watch archives:

Oct 11 2005 U.S.: Bolton blocks UN briefing on atrocities in Darfur Sudan

Oct 3 2005 Message to Sudan: What happened to Tony Blair's 5-point plan?

Aug 23 2005 U.S. has to lift sanctions against Sudan - U.S. ready to cooperate with Sudan

June 20 2005 Al-Qaeda said angry at Sudan for passing data to U.S.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

CIA met Gaddafi - Sudan rounded up extremist suspects for questioning by CIA

Khaleej Times 20 Nov 2005 reports Deputy Director of CIA, Vice-Admiral Albert M. Calland III, visited Tripoli this month for secret meetings with top Lybian officials including Muammar Gaddafi. Note, the report says:
"In April, the CIA sent a plane to Khartoum to bring Maj. Gen. Salah Abdallah Gosh, Sudan's intelligence chief, to the U.S. for meetings at the agency's headquarters.

Sudan, accused by the Bush administration of conducting genocide in the Darfur region, has rounded up extremist suspects for questioning by the CIA and detained foreign militants transiting through the country on their way to join Iraqi insurgents."
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Dallaire in Darfur - 85 killed, 10,000 flee

Dallaire in Darfur

Former UN commander during the Rwanda genocide, Canadian General Romeo Dallaire, looks on as Africa Union armoured vehicles deploy in Sudan's Darfur region town of el-Fasher, November 18, 2005.

Armoured vehicles began arriving in Darfur on Friday, a move officials said would significantly improve the capabilities of African Union forces trying to cope with spiralling violence as infighting amongst rebels and Arab militias in the past week claimed up to 85 lives and forced 10,000 people from their homes in many parts of the vast region the size of France, a U.N. report said. Picture taken November 18, 2005. Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Darfur sliding into anarchy says UN - Darfur death toll 400,000 - ICC has 51 Darfur war criminals on its list

To date, 400,000 people have died from all causes in Darfur. This is roughly half the total of deaths in Rwanda.

On 5 November 2005, the Scotsman noted once again that Darfur has deteriorated back into a state of anarchy and bloodshed, hampering humanitarian work, according to senior United Nations officials. Excerpt:
"Thousands of people have arrived at the region's sprawling aid camps after rebels and government-backed Janjaweed militia stepped up attacks during the past six weeks.

And the UN's World Food Programme (WFP) is warning that November's harvest will be disrupted if the violence continues."
Regular readers here at Sudan Watch may recall the afternoon of 7 April 2005 when International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Deputy Prosecutor (investigations) Serge Brammertz, Deputy Prosecutor (prosecutions) Fatou Bensouda and Chef de Cabinet Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi in a meeting at the site of the ICC opened a sealed list of 51 individuals named by the United Nations International Commission of Inquiry as suspects of grave international crimes in Darfur.

Surely, to keep fear of war crimes trials real and effective, it really is necessary to prosecute these people along with the Tojos, Milosovichs, and Saddams of this world. See why, in this post by Curzon at and be sure to read the 26 comments:

"In yesterday's war crimes post (thanks for so many great comments), I suggested that war crimes tribunals could be counterproductive to ending war:

The threat of war crimes trials could even encourage violence, or a stubborn refusal to surrender, if the leaders know they will be tried, executed, and relegated to perpetual historical infamy if they lose.

The film Hotel Rwanda suggests otherwise, at least in regard to the boots on the ground in control of the situation. See the abridged clip here:

Hotel Rwanda

In the scene, hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina is in the process of bribing a general and must return to his hotel to be with his family and more than 1,200 refugees he is hiding. The general is reluctant - he wants to get to his headquarters and hide until the chaos dies down. He's neither a war criminal nor a hero, just a military man in a position of power who doesn't want to stick his neck out.

Rusesabagina hands the last of his whiskey to bribe the general, only to see him have second thoughts. Let's just go to my headquarters, he says. Rusesabagina has nothing left to bargain with and is at the mercy of this general. Desperate, he tells him the only thing that will scare him into action:

You are a marked man, sir... You are on a list. The Americans have you on their list as a war criminal... Are you stupid, General? How do you think these people operate? You sit here with five stars on your chest. Who do you think they are coming after?

The threatened general is a cosmopolitan man who enjoys real malt whiskey, European travel, and golf on the highlands of Scotland. The threat of war crimes prosecution genuinely terrified him, and helped keep Rusesabagina alive, along with his family and more than a thousand refugees.

To keep that fear real and effective, perhaps it really is necessary to prosecute the Tojos, Milosovichs, and Saddams of this world."

Further reading

Haris Aziz posts review of talk on the London Bombings: An Islamic Perspective, 19 October 2005 Warwick University, UK - excerpt:

"... in Islam, no Muslim is allowed to take the law in his own hands. Even in the case of a murder, the murderer has to go through a trial. Indiscriminate killing to make a political statement is then the exact anti-thesis of Islam. Aided by supporting references in the Holy Quran and Sunnah (example of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him), he explained that suicide is forbidden in Islam. He then questioned that how the last action of a true Muslim can be one which is most abhorred by God Almighty.

The theme was on the moderate nature of Islam. He stressed that Islam is the middle path and the Quran designates Muslims as the ummatan wasata - the middle community. Any form of extremism is to be utterly and completely rejected. He also pointed out that anger is forbidden in Islam."

Geek of All Trades says civil war is anything but.
- - -

Upgrading of Sudan's slavery watch status angers activists

The State Department, headed by Rice, has upgraded Sudan's slavery watch status from Tier 3 to Tier 2, meaning the problems with enslavement in the country will be monitored on the same scale as Switzerland, Israel, Chile, Hungary and Greece. The upgrading came as a result of the nation's promise to end aspects of slavery, according to a Sept. 21 State Department memorandum explaining the president's determination. [via whatsakyer? with thanks]

The Secret Darfur Genocide Archive - Sudan 'Ceasefire' CD: Emmanuel Jal, Abdel Gadir Salim

Inspiration for the 'Ceasefire' title of a newly released CD came when Emmanuel Jal, a rapper from south Sudan (one of two Sudanese artists featured on the CD) sang at the signing of Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement on January 9, 2005.

Click here to read an informative review by British blogger Simon at Under The Green Hill blog.

Ceasefire CD
- - -

New York Times
The Secret Genocide Archive
February 23, 2005 - excerpt:
This child had his face bashed in, presumably with a rifle butt, during a massacre in Hamada in January 2005.

Darfur:  The Secret Genocide Archive

The photo above was taken in the village of Hamada on Jan. 15, 2005 right after a Sudanese government-backed militia, the janjaweed, attacked it and killed 107 people. One of them was this little boy.

Kristof writes: "I'm not showing the photo of his older brother, about 5 years old, who lay beside him because the brother had been beaten so badly that nothing was left of his face. And alongside the two boys was the corpse of their mother."

The Secret Darfur Genocide Archive

Photo: This man was castrated and then shot in the head. This is a common fate of male prisoners taken by the Janjaweed.

Darfur:  The Secret Genocide Archive

Photo: Here's Zahra again. After her husband and sons were murdered, the Janjaweed carried her and her sisters off and gang-raped them. The sisters were murdered, and Zahra was finally released, naked, after the Janjaweed slashed her leg to mark her forever.

There are thousands more of these photos. Many of them show attacks on children and are too horrific for a newspaper.

One wrenching photo in the archive shows the manacled hands of a teenager from the girls' school in Suleia who was burned alive. It's been common for the Sudanese militias to gang-rape teenage girls and then mutilate or kill them.

Another photo shows the body of a young girl, perhaps 10 years old, staring up from the ground where she was killed. Still another shows a man who was castrated and shot in the head.

This archive, including scores of reports by the monitors on the scene, underscores that this slaughter is waged by and with the support of the Sudanese government as it tries to clear the area of non-Arabs. Many of the photos show men in Sudanese Army uniforms pillaging and burning African villages. I hope the African Union will open its archive to demonstrate publicly just what is going on in Darfur.

The archive also includes an extraordinary document seized from a janjaweed official that apparently outlines genocidal policies. Dated last August, the document calls for the "execution of all directives from the president of the republic" and is directed to regional commanders and security officials.

"Change the demography of Darfur and make it void of African tribes," the document urges. It encourages "killing, burning villages and farms, terrorizing people, confiscating property from members of African tribes and forcing them from Darfur."

It's worth being skeptical of any document because forgeries are possible. But the African Union believes this document to be authentic. I also consulted a variety of experts on Sudan and shared it with some of them, and the consensus was that it appears to be real.
Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company/Nicholas D. Kristof (via Richard at Hyscience with thanks)

Monday, November 14, 2005

Sudan Man's Insightful Baby Mogo Story

This story was written by a friend of Rob Haarsager, Richard Reesor, who just returned from a visit to a small village in Upper Nile, Southern Sudan (picture also courtesy of Richard):

Insightful Baby Magog Story

Baby Mogo, what will your eyes see?
You were born 5 months ago, the first baby born in your village after the signing of the peace treaty ending 22 years of war. Will you know a life of peace, or will the prospects of peace in your land only be a cruel mirage that evaporates in your eyes before your 5th birthday?

Will you live to your 5th birthday?
Or, will you succumb to the threats of malaria, malnutrition and unsafe drinking water because your village lacks access to a medical clinic. As your village chief warns, "Disease does not wait until morning and the 10 hour walk to the nearest clinic!"

Will you attend school?
Will your mind learn to recognize the letters and words your eyes see so you can read and write, so you can explore through books, the sciences, history, learn to reason and learn about other cultures and their understanding of God?

How will you earn your living?
Will you learn from a teacher about mysteries and vocations unknown to your village or will you learn only from your elders knowledge past down through the generations teaching you how to subsist by keeping livestock, fishing, cultivation, gathering wild foods and herbs and making petitions to the mysterious god NGO?

Will you marry?
Will you find a way to accumulate the bride price of 10 cows and 24 goats? Will you learn about other models of marital relationships or will you learn that your masculinity divines you the right to the family assets, including your wife, who will be responsible for providing food, water, firewood and comfort for you and your children?

Will you learn how to be a peacemaker?
Or, will you learn from your elders that your enemies are the Dinka, the Nuer and the Jalaaba and that your responsibility is to avenge the wrongs done to your ancestors when your eyes see the opportunity?

Baby Mogo, what will your eyes see?
- - -

Sudan tells U.S. "We don't need you"

Last week, US Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick met with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum. Mr Zoellick is responsible for overseeing disbursement of billions of dollars of development funds pledged for Sudan.

Zoellick with al-Beshir

On Nov 10, during his visit to southern Darfur, Mr Zoellick clashed with regional commissioner Sadiek Abdel Nabi who proclaims himself Bashir of the region.

Upon Mr Zoellick's return to the US, President Bashir gave local press a message to Zoellick (and the US) saying "we don't need you."

One can only guess Mr Zoellick reminded Khartoum of the 'peace' strings attached to the $4.5 billion pledged by the international community, and President Bashir's petulant message was a knee jerk reaction to being dictated to. Heh.

Meanwhile, instead of arresting any Janjaweed, Sudan praises bilateral relations with India and India's Exim Bank extends $450m loan to Sudan.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Why wait on Darfur? UN could authorise cutting off Sudan's oil exports at Port Sudan

Yesterday, a UK reader emailed me his comment saying:
"The Janjaweed are carrying out their orders with the same merry enthusiasm that Hitler's executioners killed Jews, Slavs, and Gypsies in millions! That's what humans do best, if they get half a chance. The orders they received were brutally logical, given the need at the centre to withstand rebel insurgency in the West of the country -- sparked largely by the fortuitous discovery of oil there."
And, he went on to say this:
1) The Sudan has indeed suffered, for many centuries, a bloody history of war and famine -- until the arrival of Scottish engineers and British Administrators (like me) from 1911 onwards, producing a short interval between the customary brutalities. Once the Sudanese gained independence, in 1955, they rapidly squandered the riches collected for them by those damned colonialists. Then the Dictator and former Army General Nimeiry (with whom I had several meetings) set up a religious government, based on Quranic law, deeply offending the Southerners, and here we are again.

2) It doesn't look as if things will change in future, either. Perhaps that will finally discourage people from living there.

3) Like Egypt, the Sudan is 'the gift of the Nile' and would collapse if anyone (for instance) sabotaged the Sennar dam, or blew up the White Nile barrage above Khartoum.

4) There are already plans to drain the Sadd marshes in the South, so that the wonderful Dinka become extinct, to the profit of the Northeners, whose threatened supply of water will be augmented throuogh a reduction in the rate of evaporation of the White Nile.

5) I say again: too many people in the wrong place.

I'm attaching an important new initiative from Lord May, who predicts that much of Africa will become uninhabitable if the West continues to consume such a large share of the planet's resources. In the face of that threat, the starving masses will have to move elsewhere -- or perish. He dare not say that there are 'too many people in the wrong place' but that happens to be the cause of the problem -- including the greedy 280 millions in America.
- - -

UN could authorise cutting off Sudan's oil exports at Port Sudan

Note, today's blog entry, together with the previous two below, are perfect for leaving at the top of this page over the next six week intermission. Feedback is invited via comments or email.

Robert I. Rotberg, director of the Program on Intrastate Conflict at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and president of the World Peace Foundation, writes this Oct 24 (and last Dec, see below):
"Cutting off exports, easily done at Port Sudan on the Red Sea by one or two American, British, or French frigates, authorized by the UN, would concentrate the minds of the rulers of the Sudan and presumably compel them to restrain the janjaweed and negotiate sensibly in Abuja.

So would the insertion of NATO or European Union troops into Darfur with a clear mandate not to watch, but forcibly to prevent further losses of life.

Annan could and should demand such action before thousands more are killed senselessly across the desert wastes of Darfur."
Read more in Why wait on Darfur? Boston Globe 24 Oct 2005. [via Watching Politics with thanks]
- - -

Sudan expects no oil sanctions - Turn off the oil spigot!

Last December, soon to be one year ago, Jim Moore bloggged about a dinner he had just attended in Boston to discuss the crisis in Sudan, hosted by Amnesty International. See links within Dec 21, 2004 Sudan Watch post "Sudan expects no oil sanctions - Turn off the oil spigot!". In his post, Jim said the wisest council was offered by Robert Rotberg, of Harvard's World Peace Foundation. Excerpt from Jim's Dec 2004 post:
"The United States still has a play in Sudan. One helpful thing would be to position a US destroyer or even a submarine off the coast of Sudan, off Port Sudan, and turn off the oil spigot. There is a single thousand-mile-long oil spigot [that is funding the regime].

My thoughts, not Bob's: Continuing to negotiate with the regime under current conditions is tantamount to appeasement. Of course we want to continue negotiating, but without any credible intervention negotiation with such a cynical, manipulative, and skillfull government will get nowhere -- and indeed, has gotten nowhere to date. Not one Janjaweed has been arrested, not one promise has been kept.

Here are simple military actions that require essentially no troops, and no UN approval if the Bush administration is willing to take the heat in order to save lives. [Read full post]
- - -

Death toll in Darfur tops 100,000 since UN directive

Gethin Chamberlain, one of the first Western journalists last year to report on Darfur from Sudan has two must-read reports in the Scotsman:

Oct 22 Darfur agony goes on as the UN fails to act.

Oct 26 Death toll in Darfur tops 100,000 since UN directive.
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Monthly report of the Secretary-General on Darfur

Via ReliefWeb - Source: United Nations Security Council 14 Oct 2005: Monthly report of the Secretary-General on Darfur.
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Darfur Diplomacy: Enter the Contractors

This month, US contractors Civilian Protection Monitoring Team (CPMT) website announced CPMT ceased operations October 2005 after over three years of monitoring and invesitigating in Sudan.

See Oct 2004 CorpWatch report re contractors in Darfur.

Peacekeeping contractors

Cartoonist: Khalil Bendib (CorpWatch)
- - -


Finally, the last word must go to Eric Reeves' analysis Oct 24:
"A series of extraordinarily dire warnings have recently been issued by various UN officials, a last desperate attempt to force the international community to take urgent cognizance of Darfur's deepening crisis. Full-scale catastrophe and a massive increase in genocidal destruction are imminent, and there is as yet no evidence that the world is listening seriously."

Photo: Janjaweed militia (Wikepedia) Read about Marla a militarized town ... In Divided Darfur, a Shared Will to Fight: "It's a war," declared Hassab, who wore a billowing white robe and leopard-skin slippers. "We were told to fight by the government. We also wish for this. Why would we stop now?" ...

Late last year, residents and African Union officials said, Sudan Liberation Army forces were driven out of the area [of Marla] by Janjaweed and government troops.

Once the rebels left, militiamen started tearing down half-ruined huts and using the materials to build their own. When African Union troops tried to intervene, the Janjaweed resisted until they backed off.

The Janjaweed were originally enlisted by the Khartoum government to crush the rebel insurgency, which arose to protest the political and geographic marginalization of African tribes. But officials now assert that the militiamen have escaped their control and become an entrenched, autonomous force.

Hassab, however, said his fighters had been given ID cards, weapons and small amounts of grain or cash by government forces to attack the rebels. He said they had come to feel like a permanent force.

Hassab said he answered his government's call at first to put down the rebellion. Now, Darfur has simply become too dangerous to stop fighting, with criminals taking advantage of the lawless conditions.

"There is still war here," he said with a shrug.
- - -

Snippets and responses from blogland: [More here later if and when found]

Author journalist Terry Glavin in BC Canada blogs An "unsurpassable urgency" in Darfur.

Eric at Passion of the Present posts A Few Reminders Oct 25.

Western Resistance writes Troubles in Darfur Continue and points out Scotsman UK report '3 Darfur asylum-seekers lose appeal.'

Mike Nargizian in New York notes Eric Reeves' report Darfur in the Deepening Shadow of Auschwitz, Bosnia, Cambodia, Rwanda.

Dartmouth Lawyers Association blog announces DLA Darfur Crisis Committee will on Nov 5 present an updated version of its April 2005 report "Wind of Madness" [a report I intended to link to here before, as it helps readers understand some factors that need to be evaluated before even considering the deployment of a peacekeeping force and discusses the Blair five point program saying it may be most workable proposed troop deployment plan]

Andrew Samwick at Vox Baby blog explains Some Economics of Divestment and says whenever he hears of calls to divest, he thinks that the emphasis has been misplaced [me too], and what is really needed is a boycott. But goes on to say say, of course, if you are planning to launch a boycott, the prudent investment strategy is to divest first.

John Quiggin in Australia blogs Darfur again - and at Crooked Timber - both posts have interesting comments. [Thanks to Passion of the Present - and for link to Oct 27 BBC report re increasing levels of hunger destablising Africa, head of UN's World Food Programme warns]

Avi Green in Jerusalem, Israel of Tel-Chai Nation blog lists Recommended op-eds.

Jenny of Urania: writes how UN condemns...violence against women [I left a comment on the overwhelming nausea I experienced after reading about so much grindingly slow bureaucracy ...]

At long last, Instapundit posts a Darfur update - follow all the links as they lead to some interesting comments by Michael Stickings and Nate.

Genocide Intervention Network "Darfur News Brief" for October 28th via Passion of the Present.

Nick Browne has finished reading Surrender or Starve, the book that Robert B Kaplan published in 1988 about the famine and his travels in Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea. In his review Nick concludes nothing much has changed.

World hunger hotspots

Next year, Sudan holds presidency of the African Union.

This year, there are just two months left of the UK's presidency of EU.

Tony Blair, UK Presidency of EU

See Abyei Boundary Commission Final Report 14 July 2005 - or click here

RIP +++ Oct 25 AU mourns Darfur Rdf Soldier Cpl David Niyonsaba of the 105 Battalion.+++

Monday, October 24, 2005

Calling Mama Mongella: The stability of Sudan is fundamental to the whole of the African continent

Note this excellent article by Mary Brazier in Asharq Alawsat Newspaper 24 October 2005. Google searches show Mary Brazier is the Press officer who accompanied HR Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), on a visit to Sudan and Chad 7-9 October 2005. Here is a copy of the article, in full:

The stability of Sudan is fundamental to the whole of the African continent - By Mary Brazier

Allow me to share with you my thoughts following my visit last week to Sudan, where I made a field trip to Khartoum and Darfur. I brought back with me three conclusions: the stability of Sudan has not yet been achieved; Sudan's stability is fundamental to the entire African continent; and the international community, notably Europe, has a duty to act and to achieve results in Sudan.

The stabilisation of Sudan has not yet been achieved. Yes, the North-South peace agreement signed on 9 January in Nairobi was a major event. Peace has returned to the South after more than 20 years of civil war. A government of national unity, containing former rebels from the South belonging to the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, was formed on 19 September. But this is still not enough. The new government in Khartoum must function as a genuine government of national unity. I am not certain that this is the case today.

I have called on the representatives of the former rebel movement, notably Salva Kiir, the first vice-president of Sudan, to continue along the path marked out by the late John Garang, who died on 30 July, a path leading to the construction of a new, united and democratic Sudan. The goal of the peace process cannot not be secession by the South. That would be a disaster for the entire region. To avoid that, the democratic Sudan desired by the Sudanese people must be created.

The stability of Sudan has been all the more uncertain since the Darfur crisis erupted in 2003. This is a major crisis. Crimes against humanity and war crimes have been committed there. It is the responsibility of the new government in Khartoum to resolve the crisis. It is an illusion to believe that there is a military solution. The only solution is political. Peace must be negotiated in Abuja, in the framework set out by the African Union. I appeal to the new government of Khartoum to form a common position for Abuja without delay. I appeal to the Sudan People's Liberation Movement to talk to the rebels. I appeal to the rebel movements, who claim to defend the interests of the civilian population in Darfur, to come and negotiate in good faith in Abuja. Failing that, I fear that the war in Darfur will sweep away the Khartoum government of national unity, call into question the peace in the South that was obtained at such a high price, and set in train a regional crisis stretching from N'Djamena to Asmara, as President Deby of Chad told me in N'Djamena, on my way back from Sudan.

Sudan's stability is fundamental for the stability of the entire African continent. With Angola and, very probably, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan's return to normality would make it possible to create, around South Africa and Nigeria, the framework for a new, peaceful and prosperous Africa.

I am certain that Sudan has the capacity to be a motor, amongst others, for Africa. It is the largest country in Africa. It has vast potential with its agriculture, its water resources and its oil. But Sudan's greatest strength lies in its people. They are well trained and able. Sudan's engineers and lawyers are in demand in the Gulf states and its musicians and writers are an inspiration to the entire African sub-region.

Above all, Sudan has the capacity to set an example not just to Africa but to the Arab world. It is a country in which the Arab and African worlds merge. Its 572 different peoples have always defined themselves as being Sudanese. It is also a country where religions merge, where Animists, Moslems and Christians have always known how to cultivate tolerance. Finally, it is a country that has already known democracy.

Thus, Sudan, a country at the crossroads between the Arab and African worlds and between Islam and Christianity, can become a testing ground for coexistence and tolerance where democracy can be nurtured.

That is the reason why we, the international community, must remain engaged in Sudan. We must maintain our commitment and we must continue to demand results. The European Union is, of course, present on all fronts: political, economic and humanitarian. It has already mobilised EUROS 570 million and is supporting, in Darfur itself, the efforts of the African Union monitoring mission; this support includes European officers - police and military - who are present on the ground. The European Union is working hard to persuade the Darfur rebels to come to the negotiating table in Abuja. The United States is playing a fundamental role in Sudan, and we must continue to work together. They have invested in particular in finding a solution in the South. The United Nations are involved, naturally, and are currently deploying a significant monitoring force in the South. We need the good will of everyone and we need to mobilise the Arab world, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Finally, and above all, we must support the African Union, which is doing a great deal of work on the ground and is seeking to secure a lasting settlement of the crisis in Darfur. That is why the cooperation under way in Darfur between the European Union and the African Union, which I regard as exemplary, is so important and why it sets a good precedent for our relations in the future in other African theatres. [End of article]
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Message to Sudan: Africa's future depends on you to make peace

There are millions of educated Sudanese, African and Arab women living in and near Africa, and around world, who are able and willing to take seats at the negotiating table of the Darfur peace talks in Abuja, and sit in positions of power in the Sudan, to represent the women and children of Sudan whose voices will never be heard.

How much longer can the world manage to help and feed Africa? All the Sudanese boys with their toys playing childish games in the Sudan need to have their heads knocked together by some smart African and Arabic women who really care about Mother Earth and its children. There is not a lot of time left to waste. As noted here recently, the head of the African Union said in 27 years time, the population of Africa will have increased to such proportions it will become unmanageable for the rest of the world.

The future of Africa is in the hands of today's boys and girls. Education is key. There are quick and easy solutions. All it would take right now is for a handful of men in Khartoum and western, eastern and southern Sudan, to arrange for someone to pick up the phone and call one of the world's leading African female peacemakers and say: "Here are 12 air tickets to Abuja, we need the help of you and eleven others like yourself, in representing the millions of displaced Sudanese women and children and the two million others who have perished through war whose voices will never be heard."

Even I would have no trouble in putting together a list of powerful and highly regarded African women who are connected to the best female peacebrokers in the world.

A cursory glance through and its list of 1000 peacewomen connected to millions of women around the world who work day in day out to promote peace proves there is no shortage of females who could be called upon to help broker peace and unite Sudan to ensure that every boy and girl, from nursery age on up, receives an education, before it is too late to do anything.

Here are some examples of extraordinary African women:

Like the remarkable Gertrude Mongella, the highest ranking elected woman in Africa who many refer to as Mama Mongella or Mama Beijing. Please read Gertrude Mongella - The first president of the Pan-African Parliament and be sure to click into the links within the post that leads to a discussion hosted by SARPN and the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference. And read 27 April 2005 Sudan Watch post: PAP urges Sudanese to disarm Janjaweed - Gertrude Mongella, President of PAP.

Gertrude Ibengwa Mongella

Photo: Gertrude Ibengwa Mongella, an astute diplomat, at an official function at the US Embassy in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. At present, Mongella is a member of CCM's top decision-making organ, the National Executive Committee. She is also Tanzania's Goodwill Ambassador to the World Health Organisation, a member of the Council of The Future at Unesco and the President of NGO Advocacy in Africa.

She also serves as Special Advisor to the Economic Commission of Africa as well as a member of the AU's African Women's Committee for Peace and Development. Through an NGO she formed in 1996, Advocacy for Women in Africa (AWA), she is involved in the expansion of education in Ukerewe.

Wangari Maathai is the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize

Photo: Kenyan ecologist Wangari Maathai - the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize 2004 who is quoted as saying:

"When our resources become scarce, we fight over them. In managing our resources and in sustainable development, we plant the seeds of peace."

Winnie Byanyima

Photo: Winnie Byanyima who is working at the African Union.

These three women should be part of a group of 12 women at the negotiating table on the Darfur peace talks in Abuja - as soon as possible.

And, of course: Rebecca de Mabior, widow of Sudan SPLM leader Dr John Garang, who has just been named a minister and part of new govt of the South 24 Oct 2005.

Rebecca de Mabior

Photo: Rebecca de Mabior (Sudan Tribune)

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

Photo: Liberian presidential candidate Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf wades through supporters at a campaign rally in the capital, Monrovia. She is a leader in the field of 22. (Photos By Chris Hondros Getty Images) - Liberia's 'Iron Lady' Goes for Gold 4 Oct 2005.
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Observers have all but lost hope that a peace deal can be brokered for Darfur by the UN deadline of end of the year

The sixth round of Darfur peace talks just ended in the Nigerian capital Abuja and have been abandoned until Nov 20 or 21.

Meanwhile, Darfur rebels are to meet to choose new leaders at a unity conference Oct 25-28 in SLA areas [now changed to Oct 28]

UN refugee agency chief Antonio Guterres said Oct 21 [LA Times] he sees "a very serious degeneration of the situation" in Darfur.

"People are dying and dying in large numbers," he said and issued a warning that the cease-fire in Darfur is unravelling, which could lead to a catastrophic increase in deaths in coming weeks, spreading instability in sub-Saharan Africa and resulting in many more refugees.

"The world has just weeks to help restore peace in Sudan's Darfur region or risk watching it slide back into civil war with repercussions for the whole region," he said.
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More of Africa's peace seekers

Africa's peace seekers:  Petronille Vaweka

Photo: Petronille Vaweka (center) talks with an Army chief. (Jiro OSE/Special to the CS Monitor)

Read about the incredible work of Jeanne Banyere, also known as Mama Jeanne, and the injuries caused by violent rape.

Mama Jeanne - who also looks after 62 orphans - is one of a handful of dedicated people from the Women's Protestant Federation that network remote parts of the Congo, providing counselling and hope.

They are often the only chance these women, ostracised by their communities, have of getting to Docs (Doctors on Call for Service) and receiving vital operations they need to rebuild their vaginas.

Sexual abuse by men continues in the Congo

Photo via Congo Watch: Sexual abuse by men continues and Women take brunt of human rights abuse.

For the record, please note report from Khartoum 18 Oct 2005: Sudan rejects laws on women rights which contradict Islam.
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Men and women are two wheels of a chariot

Final word here is a quote from Desmond Tutu:

"When we heard the revelations of unspeakable atrocities committed during the apartheid era we were appalled at how low we human beings can sink, that we had this horrendous capacity for evil, all of us.

Then we heard the moving stories of the victims of those and other atrocities relating how despite all they had suffered they were willing to forgive their tormentors, revealing a breathtaking magnanimity and generosity of spirit, then we realised that we have a wonderful capacity for good.

Yes people are fundamentally good. They, we, are made for love, generosity, sharing, compassion - for transcendence.

We are made to reach for the stars."

Desmond Tutu.
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UPDATE Oct 28:

UN: Women victims of sex abuse - Women an 'untapped resource'

Five years after a landmark United Nations resolution committed governments to protect women from the abuses of war, the security council condemned the continuing sexual exploitation and violence against women.

A presidential statement adopted at the end of a daylong council meeting on Thursday also expressed deep concern at the continuing lack of representation of women in peace negotiations and peace-building activities.

"The security council believes more must be done in order to achieve the greater participation and effective contribution of women at the negotiating table and in developing and implementing post-conflict strategies and programmes," said Romania's UN ambassador Mihnea Motoc.

Full report 28/10/2005 News (SA)

Security Council stresses urgency of full, effective implementation of 'landmark' resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security. Yay!

[Message to UN: It's no good continuously TALKING about it -- Please DO SOMETHING about it -- NOW!!]