Friday, April 01, 2005

UN mandate under chapter seven allows UN-approved military intervention without the consent of a state

The Times reports that Clare Short, former British international development secretary, said on Wednesday that the debate about how war criminals should be prosecuted detracted from the more urgent question of how to stop the killings in Darfur.

"There's all this talk of UN resolutions, but there's a failure to act, to give a big enough force powers to stop the killing," she said.

"The UK should immediately be calling for a UN mandate under chapter seven (of the UN charter that allows UN-approved military intervention without the consent of a state) so that the African Union force can be much longer, and much larger," Ms Short said.

"We're focusing on that, not because the other things don't need doing, but let's do that first, and urgently."
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Steidle speaks to House of Commons meeting in London

The Times March 31 report excerpt:

Yesterday, Captain Brian Steidle, a former US marine officer attached to the African Union monitoring mission, who was a military observer in southern Darfur from last September until February, told a House of Commons meeting that he saw villages burnt to the ground, people who had been killed, evidence of torture - "people who had had their ears cut out, their eyes plucked out of their heads, men who had been castrated and left to bleed". He was in no doubt about the complicity of government forces in the attacks. He said that the Janjawid militia received weekly supplies of military equipment from the authorities. He found evidence that Sudanese helicopters fired anti-personnel rockets at civilian targets that contained flashettes, nail-size shrapnel designed to kill and maim.

Further excerpt:

Bringing successful prosecutions at the ICC will be far more difficult. The court, based in The Hague, was created less than three years ago and has yet to try a single case. It has a limited budget and no powers of arrest and will therefore rely on the international community to bring suspects to court. In January a UN inquiry into the Darfur violence produced a sealed envelope containing the names of 51 suspected war criminals. But Khartoum has shown clearly that it will not co-operate with any international criminal investigation.
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Rectitude for Darfur

The international community wants to see a deeper commitment by the Sudanese authorities to punish the perpetrators of human rights abuses in Darfur, writes Gamal Nkrumah in Al-Ahram Weekly.
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China to join UN peacekeeping in South Sudan

UPI report via World News Beijing, March 31, 2005:

China will send military and medical personnel to join U.N. peacekeeping operations in Sudan, the Foreign Ministry has announced. Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said in a statement Wednesday that China would join the international community in helping bring peace and stability to Sudan.

China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, voted on March 25 in favour of Resolution 1590, which authorised the deployment of peacekeeping forces in Sudan to implement a peace agreement.

Liu said his country would send military engineering, medical and transport teams, plus military observers, civilian policemen and political officials as part of the UN mission.
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Japan to offer $7 million to help remove land mines in Sudan

April 1, 2005 Tokyo - Japan will give the UN Mine Action Service a $7 million emergency grant to remove land mines in southern Sudan planted in decades-long conflicts, Japanese government sources said Thursday.

In addition, the Japanese government is considering sending demining experts to a peacekeeping operation the United Nations plans to launch in the African country, the sources said. (Kyodo News)

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