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.
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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]
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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]
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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)
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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.
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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 www.1000peacewomen.org 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 24.com (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!!]

Friday, October 21, 2005

World has just weeks to save Darfur says UNHCR - Bloggers please join/link/donate to Genocide Intervention Network

Oct 21 UN Secretary-General calls for international action.

World has just weeks to save Darfur says UNHCR Oct 21.

Further important updates will appear as footnotes in earlier posts here below.

Read Khartoum's war on humanitarian operations in the Sudan.

Sudan's National Islamic Front obstructs Darfur food aid delivery Oct 17.

UN warns Sudan is backsliding into chaos amid new violence.

UN Mission in Sudan reports Oct 12 that almost two-thirds of the humanitarian operations in South Darfur have been suspended for security reasons.

UN withdraws some staff from West Darfur Oct 13.

British aid agency Oxfam said Oct 13 it could not access any of its West Darfur camps by road and were concerned fuel for water pumps could run out, leaving tens of thousands of refugees without access to water.

African Union Security Council issues statement Oct 11 on deteriorating security in Darfur.

Read Press Association report Oct 11.

Please note 2.5m displaced Darfuris too frightened to go home - 3.5m in need of food and link/join/donate to Genocide Intervention Network.

Visit daily news updates and blog round ups at:

Passion of the Present
Coalition for Darfur

Search Google news on keywords Darfur or Sudan, and visit the excellent Sudan Tribune.

Sudan Watch intermission for next six weeks.

God bless, and thank you.

Recently burnt homes in Tawilla, Darfur

Photo: Recently burnt homes in Tawilla, Darfur. Photo courtesy breaking news report at IRIN 11 October 2005: Violence forces many to flee North Darfur.
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Save money and donate by fasting for Darfur

Fasting for Darfur

Photo courtesy Josephine Marie's photostream.

Click here to see how to transform a t-shirt.

Some responses from bloggers [more will appear here, if and when received]

Global Voices Online points to call for bloggers around the world to link to Genocide Intervention Network (GI-Net).

The White African asks Sudan: Will it Ever End?

About Mr Bolton not having time to listen to the latest briefing, as he is so busy actually doing something about the atrocities, Contango says it's time to act and links to GI-Net.

Thanks to Bill Wallo for writing And Now for the Darfur Reminder and linking to GI-Net.

Kirkland at The Ruth Group links to GI-Net and STAND [note their super Sponsor-a-Camp Initiative]

The author of Uveal Blues blog, an ex-USA-expat ophthalmologist with a strong interest in international healthcare, links to GI-Net.

Luke writes More Sudan at DSTPFW blog, links to GI-Net and ICISS Report: International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty - cross posted at A Cloud In Trousers.

Ex-Liberal Nightfighter rightly hollers SUDAN IS DESCENDING INTO CHAOS....ONCE AGAIN!

American sailor Eddie links to GI-Net in a round up of blog entries he's selected for this month's spotlight on Darfur. Michelle Malkin links to Eddie's post.

Bill, an American blogger in Germany, links to GI-Net but says he can't say he would support such an approach vs. pressuring UN member countries to live up to their responsibilities. [Hey Bill, China and Russia are blocking action on Sudan. The greater the number of members/links/donations by private citizens around the world, the more politicians will listen up and take note]

Tim co-authors group blog Hyscience with some R&D scientists and tells readers everything is out of control in Darfur.

It breaks Catez' heart to see only weeks to save Darfur and says "Lord have mercy on them, and us." [Amen]

Genocide Intervention Fund

Click here to copy and paste the source code for buttons into your blog or website to link to the GI-Net.

Darfur eyewitness photos

Photo via Artyom's Oct 14 post Save Darfur! Act Now!.

See Darfur Eyewitness: photos by Brian Steidle


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

2.5m displaced Darfuris too frightened to go home - 3.5m in need of food - Darfur sliding into chaos

In an article at Fredericksburg 21 Aug 2005, John Prendergast, a leading Sudan expert who travels frequently to Darfur, is quoted as saying:
"The standard as to whether or not the situation is improving in Darfur must not be mortality or malnutrition rates, but rather whether the two and a half million displaced people feel safe enough to return home. Not one of them does. The situation remains urgent."
The article goes on to say:
"Prendergast's organization, the International Crisis Group, has been advocating a more robust response to the genocide. The group has put forth these recommendations:

A stronger mandate for the AU forces on the ground in Darfur, to enable them to undertake any measures necessary to prevent attacks or threats to civilians and relief workers. The existing mandate does not allow AU soldiers to intervene to stop attacks, or launch offensive operations to ensure security in the region.

A rapid reinforcement of AU troops, with adequate support from the West, to boost the number of personnel to more than 12,000 in 60 days. The current AU plan calls for about 7,500 troops on the ground by next month and 12,300 by next spring. The ICG believes the latter is the minimal number of troops needed to provide security for an area about the size of Texas.

A NATO "bridging force" for Darfur if the AU cannot quickly increase troop numbers to an adequate level."
Full story [via Contango - with thanks]
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3.5 million Darfuris need food

The UN World Food Program says 3.5 million Darfuris need food, Eric Reeves tells us in June 2005, some four months ago.
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Anarchy reigns

The security situation in Darfur has deteriorated. Darfur rebel groups are falling out with each other and splitting into factions. Countless number of men in Darfur are getting away with looting, rape and murder. Bandits roam with no fear of arrest. Anarchy reigns while women and children suffer.

"Both rebels and government must understand that, "If these incidents continue, it will impede humanitarian assistance and delivery," the UN Secretary-General is quoted as saying on Monday, 10 October 2005.

Last year, the Sudanese government was ordered by the UN to provide unimpeded access or incur serious penalties.

Now trouble is brewing over the border and the UN is ordering staff families out of Eritrea, Ethiopia.

Oct 10 report from Cairo says more than 2,000 Sudanese refugees in Egypt staged sit-in to demand UN help.
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Bloggers link to Genocide Intervention Network

Last year, some amazing American students started the Genocide Intervention Network (GI-Net) and have already raised enough cash to support an African Union security team in Darfur to guard displaced women from being raped.

Read the students' incredible story published in the New York Times 9 October 2005 [also at Passion of the Present]

GI-Net is receiving donations online from around the world.

Word will soon reach the frightened women of Darfur that private citizens around the world are doing their best to bring more help.

Please help by clicking here to join up, link and donate whatever you can afford, even if it is just the cost of a cake or cinema ticket. Politicians will take note when the number of donations and members really grow.
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Darfur 'is sliding back into chaos'

PA report at Scotsman Oct 11 - excerpt:

'Juan Mendez, the UN special adviser on the prevention of genocide, said the only reason why there had not been more violence against villagers in Darfur was that there were no more villagers to attack. Some two million have gathered in camps and are entirely dependent on humanitarian aid.

"We have not turned the corner," Mendez told reporters days after returning from a trip to the region and delivering a report to the UN Security Council. "I found the situation much more dangerous and worrisome than I expected it to be."

US Ambassador John Bolton raised the possibility of new sanctions against Sudan, saying the council needed to do more about worsening security. He later said that one possibility was to put more controls on weapons flowing into the country.'

Darfur sliding back into chaos

Photo: US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, an advocate of drastic changes in the way the world body operates, seen here in September 2005, opposed a briefing of the council on Darfur by UN chief Kofi Annan's special adviser for the prevention of genocide. (AFP/File/Brendan Smialowski)

Javier Solana

Photo: EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana . "The EU is going to put all its pressure on the rebels and the Sudanese government so they understand that a political solution is the only solution," he said after talks Oct 11 with African Union chief Alpha Oumar Konare.

Solana travelled last week to Sudan and neighbouring Chad, which has been flooded with 200,000 refugees from Darfur. (AFP/ST) 11 Oct 2005.

Note, EU Press Release 12 Oct 2005: The European Union is the biggest donor of development aid worldwide and the largest trading partner of the developing countries. For historical, economic and political reasons, the EU is also by far the most important donor of development aid and trading partner of the African continent. Overall, the EU (Member States and EC) provides 60% of all development aid to Africa.


US: Bolton blocks UN briefing on atrocities in Darfur Sudan

Oct 10 UN report says U.S. Ambassador John Bolton blocked a U.N. envoy on Monday from briefing the Security Council on grave human rights violations in Darfur, saying the council had to act against atrocities and not just talk about them.

Bolton, joined by China, Algeria and Russia, prevented Juan Mendez, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special adviser for the prevention of genocide, from briefing the council on his recent visit to Darfur, despite pleas from Annan and 11 other council members that Mendez be heard.

Update Oct 11: UN (AFP) report report - US miffed by UN failure to stop Darfur violence.

Update Oct 12: More on this strange story [still don't know what to make of it] from Washington Oct 11 and UPI Oct 12. The US apparently was sympathetic to the reports from Pronk, Annabi and Perez, but wanted unspecified action, not more talk or statements from the council. "Some saw the Bolton move and the U.S. official's explanation as part of Bolton's "no nonsense" approach to the world organization, said one US official.

Note, the report points out the word "sanctions" had been barred and "measures" was found as a substitute - apparently, China was regarded as being behind objecting to the word "sanctions."

Update Oct 12: US State Department briefing to reporters October 12 (scroll down to towards the end of the page to see where it says "I do have something new to tell you today and that is that we are appointing Ambassador Cameron Hume as our Charge at the Embassy in Khartoum."

Update Oct 16: Excerpt from PA report in Scotsman Oct 11: "Sudan also has blocked 70 of 105 armoured personnel carriers for the AU troops and refused to allow NATO in to train AU troops, Mendez said in his report to the [UN security] council. Mendez wanted to brief the council on that report, and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan had asked the council to hear him. But that request was blocked by the US and three Sudanese allies, China, Russia and Algeria, according to council diplomats."
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Snippets from blogland

Oct 11: About Mr Bolton not having time to listen to the latest briefing as he is so busy actually doing something about the atrocities, Contango says it's time to act.

Oct 11 Mankind Minus One writes Part of the Problem - unfortunately, Bolton proposed no solutions to act on.

Oct 11: Read all the comments at The Huffington Post Bolton blocks envoy from briefing UN Security Council on Darfur atrocities ...

Oct 13: Captain Marlow writes I love Bolton!

Oct 14: AMERICAblog's post entitled 'more violence in Darfur and Bolton does nothing' attracts 47 comments so far. [I couldn't resist commenting with links to four Eronat posts from Sudan Watch archives]


AU will seek UN Security Council action on Darfur security

Today's report from Addis Ababa says African Union will seek UN Security Council action on Darfur security. Excerpt:
Before the AU's emergency security council meeting began, Baba Gana Kingibe, AU's top envoy in Darfur, had said, "The international community should be very alarmed by these events because the situation is getting out of hand and we are sliding backwards."

He said, "We have had some very terrible tragedies, but this is one of the lowest points, if not the lowest, that we have had."

Kingibe said Monday that the AU was still investigating the killings and it was too early to conclude who was responsible.

"We must not take this at face value and we are investigating," Kingibe said. "Things may not be as they appear. What interest would the (Sudan Liberation Army) SLA have in killing our troops, whose interest would it serve?"
Oct 10 report from Khartoum says Sudan seeks removal of AU chief in Khartoum.
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Oct 11: African Union released a Press Release by Chair of AU Commission.

Oct 13: Darfur rebel JEM ready to negotiate with Janjaweed militias in order to unify the people of Darfur and to stop the bloodshed in the region.

Oct 13: Reuters - Two African Union soldiers missing after an ambush in South Darfur have been found dead, bringing the total killed in the attack to seven, AU sources said Oct 13. AU blamed SLA for ambush on Saturday in South Darfur.

Oct 13: Economist says the plight of more than 2m Darfuris could worsen rapidly unless they are far better protected by African Union or other troops. [via CFD with thanks]

Oct 14: An AP report Oct 9 says Nigerian Maj. Gen. Festus Okonkwo, the commanding officer of the African Union peacekeeping mission complained that while Canada had shipped 25 armoured vehicles, only 12 had been delivered and the rest remain at the dock in the Ivory Coast capital of Dakar. Does anybody know the reason for the hold up? Can we help by blogging about it to try and get the attention of someone in Dakar? Is the hold up anything to do with what happened on Aug 31 in Port Sudan? [I've left a comment on this at Drink-soaked Trotskyite Popinjays For WAR - it's like putting a message into a bottle and throwing it out to sea ... you never know, something might turn up]

Oct 16: report via AngolaPress, Khartoum, says the African Union Mission in Darfur (AMIS) blamed the Darfur rebel group SLA for the killing of the Nigerian peacekeepers and the two civilian drivers working with an AMIS contractor.

The report reveals an AU mission has left Khartoum for Darfur on a week-long tour following recent killings of AMIS peacekeepers there, AU sources said in Khartoum. Also, the AU Security Council has called on rebel movements in Darfur to submit to the verification of their locations.

Oct 16: Ceasefire commission urges Darfur rebel groups to withdraw troops without delay from the areas of Labado, Ashma, Graida and Marla in South Darfur State, reports Sudan Tribune 16 October 2005.

Note, the commission includes representatives from the European Union, the United States, the African Union, the United Nations and the governments of Sudan and Chad.

Oct 16/17: News report from ST Khartoum - Rebel SLA division a stumbling block to Darfur talks: AU - AU head of delegation said outcome of the Joint Commission meeting in N'djamena, Chad, which ended on Friday would help the Darfur peace talks to move forward. Among other things the N'djamena meeting called on the parties to stop their incursions into areas controlled by AMIS and allow free movement of the AMIS troops.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Fighting feared in South Sudan's oil-rich Abyei region

Sudan Tribune report from Khartoum today claims fighting is feared in Abyei. Note, the report says Abyei is oil-rich.
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UPDATE Oct 11: The Khartoum Monitor - Sudanese presidency and Abyei
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Click on Abyei label here below to see related reports and latest updates.

New York Times features Genocide Intervention Fund

Don't miss Walking the talk on misery in Darfur, Nicholas Kristof's latest piece for the New York Times on Darfur, highlighting the magnificent work of the Genocide Intervention Fund.
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Eugene at Coalition for Darfur links to Eric Reeves' latest opinion piece entitled "A Final Solution for Darfur".

Update Oct 20: Note to self to beware of propaganda. It is used as a weapon of war to discredit, confuse and undermine. Things are not always what they seem. Link to reputable identifiable sources only or add a rider/disclaimer. Sudan is pretty media savvy and engages the West in an information war. Note this excerpt from Eugene's post on Sudan: Lobbying:
The Government of Sudan has hired Mr Robert J. Cabelly, managing director, C/R International, to lobby on its behalf.

This American company is taking money to wage a lobbying war against the hundreds of organizations and more than 130 million Americans who have voiced their concern about the situation in Sudan. While coalition groups work every day to call the world's attention to the regime in Khartoum and its condoning of the action of a violent militia which is raping and killing innocent women, men and children and pillaging villages in Darfur, they might be surprised to learn that one of the Government of Sudan's contract employees in working against it right here in Washington.

AU Security Council holds emergency meeting on Darfur

Hold on to your hats, we are about to witness African politics in action:
"The [AU] council has been convened urgently ... because of the extremely alarming degradation of the situation on the ground in Darfur and that fact that AU troops are being targetted," said Adam Thiam, a spokesman for AU chief Alpha Oumar Konare.

"It will be a question of asking the council member states to condemn these acts and find a means of putting an end to them," he told AFP, adding that the meeting was set to begin at 4:00 p.m. (1300 GMT).
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Note, Darfur Forum representatives arrive for talks in Abuja. Best of luck.

Sudan's SPLM will stand firm against anti-human rights laws. Great.


Sudan must protect both aid workers and AU peacekeepers

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Oct 10 urged the international community to keep up the pressure on both the Sudan government and rebel groups to respect their April 2004 ceasefire and work for a political solution to the conflict.

He said it was Sudan's duty to protect both aid workers and AU peacekeepers on its territory, even if it was rebels who were responsible for the hostage-taking.

"A firm stand must be taken by the government," he said.
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Update Oct 13:
African solutions to African problems

NATO Secretary General speech Oct 13 at the Egyptian Council on Foreign Affairs - excerpt: "Over the past few months, we have also seen broad, international engagement with respect to the terrible crisis on Darfur, and here as well, the Alliance has made a significant contribution. In response to a request by the African Union, NATO, together with the European Union, has already helped to airlift several thousands of African Union peacekeeping troops to the region. In addition, the Alliance is training African Union troops in running a multinational military headquarters and managing intelligence. Why are we doing this? Because we want to help implement African solutions to African problems."


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Eritrea seeks to up pressure on Ethiopia over border

According to Reuters Oct 9, experts say Asmara's goal is rather to force the issue higher up the agenda of world powers it suspects are either weary of the dispute or biased in favour of favour of Ethiopia.
"We go through this every six months to a year. People get nervous that a new conflict is going to break out," said British author Michela Wrong, who has written extensively about Eritrea.

"The danger is if the border issue is not settled, one of those days it's not going to be a false alarm. The current situation is clearly not tenable," she said.
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Oct 10 Ethiopia's Meles retains prime minister post.

Oct 10 Ethiopian opposition boycott opening of parliament.

Update Oct 13 Ethiopian-Eritrean border may have military buildup - UN: New restrictions on patrols by U.N. peacekeepers make it impossible to guarantee there's no renewed military buildup along the tense border between Ethiopia and Eritrea, a U.N. spokeswoman said Oct 13.

UN report Oct 12: Without explanation, Eritrea maintains restrictions on UN peacekeeper helicopters.


Tine, North Darfur: JEM gunmen kidnap 18 AU personnel

"18 African Union personnel including military observers, civilian police, a U.S. representative and a Justice and Equality Movement (rebel) representative are held hostage today," the acting head of the AU in Sudan, Jean Baptiste Natama, told Reuters Oct 9.

He said they were being held in the Chadian-Sudanese border town of Tine in North Darfur state. A spokesman in the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa said the kidnappers were believed to be members of a dissident faction of Darfur's rebel group Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

Update from Reuters Oct 9: "Most have been released but it is not clear how many," said AU spokesman Noureddine Mezni. He said earlier reports that 16 of the 18 people were being freed were not yet confirmed.


World Press Photo Contest 2005: Sandstorm wins 1st prize

Darfur photo wins 1st prize in World Press Photo competition

A sandstorm sweeps by the temporary housing used by displaced Sudanese people, just across the border from Darfur.

Photo courtesy World Press Photo competition 2005 - Nature category 1st prize winner: Jahi Chikwendiu, USA, The Washington Post.

Enter the 2006 contest

WPP is now accepting entries from professional photographers to the 2006 World Press Photo Contest. The deadline for entries is 12th January 2006.

[via Metroblogging Montreal - with thanks]


Saturday, October 08, 2005

Killing of two AU peacekeepers happened near Khor Abeche

The ambush of the AU patrol on Saturday 8 Oct 2005 happened near Khor Abeche, South Darfur where Arab militias wiped out a rebel base earlier this year; South Darfur was the scene of a rebel attack on a government garrison last month, which sparked a wave of tit-for-tat violence, reports Reuters Oct 8. Excerpts:
Sudan's state minister for foreign affairs, Samani Wasiyla, told Reuters he did not know who was responsible for the ambush but that it was definitely not government troops.

"It is unfortunate that there has been casualties," he said. "I want to assure all that the government is committed to seeing that the mission of the African Union forces succeeds.

EU foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, told reporters in Khartoum on Saturday the government was responsible for protecting AU troops in Darfur.

"There is a responsibility also of the government of Sudan to guarantee that the AU has the appropriate protection so that they can produce results in their mission," Solana said after a brief visit to Darfur."

"Their mission is a mission of peace, not of war but of peace."
Note, the EU is one of the largest funders of the AU mission in Darfur.
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African Union says Darfur rebel SLA killed 2 peacekeepers

Update from Reuters Oct 9:

"The AMIS soldiers clearly identified their attackers as men dressed in SLA uniform and that they escaped in typical SLA vehicles into which they loaded their own casualty," according to AMIS statement.

"From the foregoing account, all the evidence shows SLA direct responsibility."

UPDATE Oct 9: Sacked rebel JEM commander kidnapped peacekeepers.

UPDATE Oct 10: U.S. Condemns Attacks on AU Personnel in Darfur - US State Department deputy spokesman cited two Darfur rebel groups, the SLM and a faction of the JEM, as responsible for the attacks.


Two AU soldiers killed near Kourabishi, South Darfur

News from Russia reports two African Union peacekeeping soldiers from Nigeria were killed in an ambush Saturday Oct 8 in Darfur, a senior AU official said, marking the first deaths sustained by the African mission since deploying there last year:
Two civilian contractors attached to the AU peacekeeping team were also killed in the attack that occurred near Kourabishi, a town in South Darfur state, said the AU's acting head of mission, Jean-Baptiste Natama, in a telephone interview.

Three other African Union soldiers were wounded in the attack, Natama said without saying who was behind the ambush or providing further details. The attack occurred while European Union security affairs chief Javier Solana made a brief visit to Darfur.
Note, the report also states Nigerian Maj. Gen. Festus Okonkwo, the commanding officer of the African Union peacekeeping mission, painted a bleak picture for Solana about the conflict and complained that while Canada had shipped 25 armored vehicles, only 12 had been delivered and the rest remain at the dock in the Ivory Coast capital of Dakar.


Friday, October 07, 2005

John Garang proposed joint force of 30,000 AU/GOS/SPLMA troops for Darfur

The UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in his report to the Security Council 12 September 2005, explains:
"In Darfur, the humanitarian community, made up of more than 12,500 aid workers, 13 United Nations agencies and 81 international non-governmental organizations on the ground, has been assisting an ever-increasing number of affected people, including close to 2 million internally displaced persons."
Also, recent news reports continue to say the number of African Union troops presently in Darfur is expected to increase this month from around 6,000 to 7,700 with an additonal 4,300 AU troops due early next year. If true, this would amount a total of 24,500 people on the ground in Darfur by early next year.

On a few occasions over the past year, noted here at Sudan Watch, John Garang proposed a force of 10,000 soldiers from his SPLM army, together with 10,000 each from Sudanese and AU forces, making a total of 30,000 troops, to help with security in Darfur as well as assisting Darfur and eastern Sudan to achieve a settlement along the lines of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for southern Sudan. If John Garang's offer could become a reality by early next year, it would mean more than 40,000 helpers on the ground in Darfur.

Following on from a few posts last April here at Sudan Watch and Passion of the Present (see links below), the time seems right to push for John Garang's vision to become a reality, ie a troika/triumverate/joint security force of 30,000 troops from Government of South Sudan, Government of Sudan and the African Union. It would be interesting to know the cost per annum of such a force. NATO is currently providing logistical support to the AU mission in Darfur.

The Genocide Intervention Fund aims to support African Union troops in Darfur. Hopefully, GIF will soon fix its online donating facility so anyone can donate, not just those located in the US and Canada. Maybe as a fundraising initiative, GIF could launch a global competition that bloggers could help promote and find sponsors willing to donate desirable prizes such as the latest Apple Mac laptops, iPods, etc.

Note, a report by Reuters Oct 7 says bandits have punched beaten and whipped aid workers attempting to deliver aid to hungry refugees in Darfur, part of a pattern of regular attacks, aid workers said. Excerpt:
In West Darfur 75,000 people are cut off without aid because of a recent escalation in ambushes on the road targeting aid convoys, U.N. official Andy Pendleton said.

"They are punched, beaten -- aid workers have been whipped by these bandits, intimidated," he said. "So of course you give them anything they want," he told Reuters on Thursday. The armed men loot valuable equipment and supplies from aid convoys.

Pendleton said he had been caught in cross fire in Darfur. If security did not improve and aid could not get through, refugees would become malnourished, he said.

Matthew Ryder, another aid worker in el-Geneina, said serious attacks happened as often as 2-3 times a week but were becoming less frequent because aid convoys had stopped using the roads south of the town.
The report also says:
The AU plans to increase its force up to 12,000 in early 2006. But many aid organisations refuse to have AU troops accompany their vehicles, fearing association with any troops would endanger their neutrality.
So, anarchy reigns. How is peace to be achieved without a decent security force in place? What about the oil companies, and other firms doing business/soon to do business with Sudan, would they help fund such a force or sponsor prizes for an online fundraiser by GIF to support African Union troops in Darfur?

[Any feedback, ideas or suggestions would be much appreciated. Please email me anytime. Thanks.]
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Previous posts:

April 21, 2005 Sudan Watch post: SPLM/A willing and ready to deploy 10,000 of its troops to Darfur.

April 21, 2005 Passion of the Present post by Jim Moore: "Sudanwatch on the SPLM's offer to help in Darfur..and hey, maybe the Genocide Intervention Fund should raise money for the SPLM/A to intervene in Darfur.. Ok, here is a really interesting idea, highlighted today by Ingrid Jones over at the terrific Sudanwatch. Now combine this with the Genocide Intervention Fund, and we might have something."

April 22, 2005 Sudan Watch post: Bloggers unite to support Darfur peacekeeping mission - a troika of 30,000 forces from Sudan, New Sudan and UN/AU.
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Web definition of troika and triumvirate

*troika, n. [Russ.], 1. a vehicle drawn by a team of three horses abreast. 2. the minimum coordinate set required to define a single point in three-dimensional space.

S: (n) triumvirate (a group of three men responsible for public administration or civil authority)
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AU mediator admits stagnation of Darfur peace talks

The African Union mediator in the Darfur conflict in western Sudan acknowledged on Friday Oct 7 criticism by UN chief Kofi Annan about the stagnation of peace talks between the government and rebel groups.

The UN secretary general, also speaking on Thursday, lamented the stagnation of the Darfur peace talks and said he would increase pressure on the parties to the conflict.

Annan warned there could be no comphrehensive settlement in Sudan without a resolution in Darfur.

Salim Ahmed Salim

Photo: Salim Ahmed Salim

"The talks are moving very slowly ," Tanzanian mediator Salim Ahmed Salim said in an interview with AFP. Oct 7, 2005 (Abuja)
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NATO commander hails security efforts in Sudan's Darfur

Allied and US military interest in Africa is "embryonic" but growing at a rapid pace, especially in support of security operations in Darfur, NATO's supreme allied commander (SACEUR), Marine General James Jones, told Congress September 28, 2005.

Gen James L. Jones EUCOM

Photo: Gen James Jones of EUCOM

In Darfur, Jones said, NATO's involvement "will help create relationships between key regional security organizations as NATO works with the African Union [AU] mission. Most [important], this engagement will ameliorate one of the world's worst humanitarian crises." [btw web definition of ameliorate is 'to make a situation better or more tolerable']

He told the senators: "Different agencies estimate that between 180,000 and 300,000 Sudanese have died, and more than 1.8 million people have been displaced from their homes. Some 200,000 refugees are estimated to have fled westward to neighboring Chad, while the vast majority of refugees remain trapped in Darfur camps and settlements." - (Washington File/ST) 8 October 2005.
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EU urges Sudan to end conflict in Darfur

Javier Solana, the European Union's security affairs chief, emerged from a meeting Oct 8 with First Vice President Salva Kiir Mayardit, optimistic that Europe's message was heard.
"He has committed himself" to ending the Darfur conflict, Solana told reporters of Kiir.
EU diplomats said Kiir told Solana that ending the Darfur turmoil was key to resolving other ethnic crises in this vast country.

The diplomats, who asked not to be named, said Kiir expressed concern that Darfur was having a spillover effect on ethnic tensions in eastern Sudan.

"If the war in Darfur continues, it may also affect the implementation of the CPA," a diplomat quoted Kiir as telling Solana.

Javier Solana, EU Security Affairs Chief

Photo: Javier Solana - who also was to have met President Omar al-Bashir Saturday 8 Oct 2005 but the meeting was cancelled due to an illness in the family, EU diplomats said. He later flew to Darfur, where the EU has to date spent A600 million (US$270 million) in support of the African Union peacekeeping operation. (AP/ST)
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Sudan's First VP to hand over Ugandan rebel leader to ICC

Sudanese First Vice President Salva Kiir Mayardit said Oct 8 he would hand over a Ugandan rebel leader to the International Criminal Court if he was found.

Kiir's remarks came days after it was announced that the ICC had issued arrest warrants for Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, and four of his deputies. Uganda's defense minister said Friday that he believed Kony was in southern Sudan.

General Salva Kiir

Photo: Salva Kiir

"I don't know where Kony is, and if I find him, I'll hand him over to the ICC," Kiir told reporters after meeting Javier Solana, the EU's security affairs chief Oct 8, 2005.

The LRA has bases in southern Sudan's Eastern Equatoria state, from which it launches cross-border raids against Ugandan forces. The group has also been blamed for some attacks against Sudanese civilians. - (ST) 8 Oct 2005
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UN wants pressure applied, like last summer

Jan Egeland, UN Switzerland

Photo (AP/Anja Niedringhaus): U.N. humanitarian chief Jan Egeland gestures as he explains that escalating violence in Darfur is threatening to halt aid work as increasing numbers of international staff come under attack, during a press conference at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2005.
'If it continues to escalate, if it continues to be so dangerous on humanitarian work, we may not be able to sustain our operation for 2.5 million people requiring lifesaving assistance,' Egeland tells reporters.
Note, here is the important part of the message: At the press conference Jan Egeland said:
"We need to have the same kind of pressure on the parties as we had last summer when world leaders really, really put their thumb and their pressure on the Government of Khartoum." Mr. Egeland said he no longer felt the same kind of pressure.
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Some comments received [following above post re the late John Garang's proposal for a tripartite force to help with security in Darfur as well as assisting Darfur and eastern Sudan to achieve a settlement along the lines of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement for southern Sudan. If any more comments are received via email, they will be added to this list upon receipt of senders' permission]
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Oct 8 2005 Eugene at Coaltion for Darfur highlights 30,000 AU/GOS/SPLMA Troops for Darfur and the renewed call for more troops.
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Oct 8 2005 Luke at O Theophilus.com posts this: Hmm ... "A joint effort like that could be a huge step forward. Or a gigantic mess." [and picks up on a post at Uganda Watch noting Uganda rebel leaders named by ICC as world's most wanted men - he says About Time and links to more info]
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Oct 8 2005 email: 'Strangely, I believe this proposal was quickly dismissed because people didn't think everyone would buy-in to working with one other ... some felt that the SLA and, especially, JEM would obstruct the triumvirate ... others felt that the SPLM would not be willing or proactive to defend Darfurians when they are focused on establishing the nascent peace in the South ... Sen. Biden may have been supportive of this [JG's proposal].
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Oct 9 2005 Eric at Passion of the Present points out this blog author is inviting comments and suggestions re John Garang's proposal for a tripartite force to assist Darfur and eastern Sudan.
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Oct 9 2005 email from Eddie at Live From The FDNF: 'At the time Garang proposed it, it was feasible with him as the driving and guarantor force behind it. Without his presence, I really don't think the NIF fears anyone else from the South, not nearly in the manner that they respected and feared what Garang was capable of. More and more, this all reminds me of an African mirror version of Bosnia. We have out of control elements attacking peacekeepers, the impotence of the international community's response laid bear for all to see and essentially three (or more) sides that complicate matters, with two of the sides (in this case, the South and Darfur) very capable and willing to align against the other (the NIF). A phantom peace deal floats about, though it is much more alive and in action now than the Vance-Owen plan was for years in Bosnia. The only MAJOR difference here is the global media's MIA on Darfur, whereas in Bosnia it was all over for years on the horror of abandoning the Bosnians and Croats to the Serb war machine.'
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Oct 9 2005 email: 'I remember hearing concerns that the SLA and JEM would obstruct a triumvirate force, especially the GoS troops.'
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Oct 11 2005 email: 'There are too few people interested in genocide (?), as you point out. I just saw the AP report that John Bolton blocked a briefing to the UNSC about Darfur because he felt it is time to do something rather than just have briefings...

We'll see, so far they have done virtually nothing since Powell's genocide-statement more than one year ago.

I fear for Sudan, as there are so many unsolved issues (Beja, Darfur, Turabi/Islamist influence on the government, interference over the borders to Chad, Ethiopia/Eritrea, Uganda etc, leadership in the south, a lack of development of infrastructure etc in the South, ...). The AU forces have been relatively successful in Darfur, although suffering from a lack of personnel and resources, but the GoS and others seem to want to keep the issue open, so the atrocities there are continuing. I fear the people of the south will turn against their leaders, or make their leaders turn, as they get disappointed from lack of improvement in their lives. Currently, I see no possibility that a plebiscite or election will not turn down a joined Sudan.

I hope, but have turned more pessimistic the last couple of months, particularly since Garang's death.'
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Darfur wasn't genocide and Sudan is not a terrorist state

In an article for the Guardian Oct 7 entitled "Darfur wasn't genocide and Sudan is not a terrorist state" Jonathan Steele in Khartoum writes:
"Grim though it has been, this was not genocide or classic ethnic cleansing. Many of the displaced moved to camps a few kilometres from their homes. Professionals and intellectuals were not targeted, as in Rwanda. Darfur was, and is, the outgrowth of a struggle between farmers and nomads rather than a Balkan-style fight for the same piece of land. Finding a solution is not helped by turning the violence into a battle of good versus evil or launching another Arab-bashing crusade."
Steele also notes even MI6 and the CIA are frustrated by the attitude of US neocons and the Christian right towards the Sudanese conflicts, and says:
"Thriving on bad news - typical was Caroline Moorehead's Letter from Darfur in the New York Review of Books this summer - commentators who still write about Darfur often thunder away without any sense of time or context. In fact, the UN secretary general's latest report to the security council points out that the influx of 12,500 aid workers has "averted a humanitarian catastrophe, with no major outbreaks of disease or famine". Patrols by the hundreds of AU monitors have reduced violence and other human-rights violations."
The Century's First Genocide is Nearly Over

Yesterday, I noted a few blogs linking to an opinion piece by Johann Hari entitled "The Century's First Genocide is Nearly Over." The Independent UK published it online under subscription but the author copied it in full at his website JohannHari.com.

My initial reaction was not to link to it here at Sudan Watch because it does little to help readers understand what is really going on in the Sudan and why. Even the title is misleading. However, after reading Jonathan Steele's piece in today's Guardian, I have decided to file both articles here for future reference, along with a link to the inane comments it prompted at a post entitled "The crisis in Sudan is nearly over...".

Plus, one other opinion piece entitled "The Bosnia of Our Time" by Michael J Totten, 23 August 2005. [with thanks to E]
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UPDATE Oct 8: Indigo Jo Blogs - Darfur "not genocide" - links to an MSNBC article "Violence in the Sudan displaces nearly 1 million" - featuring an interview with aid worker Mercedes Taty. Taty, a 36-year-old Spanish doctor and the Deputy Emergency Director for Doctors without Borders in Paris, had returned from a month working in Sudan where she worked with 12 expatriate doctors and 300 Sudanese nationals in field hospitals set up in the towns of Mornay, El Genina, and Zalinge. She spoke with MSNBC.com about the gravity of the crisis. [Note the report is dated 16 April 2004 - eighteen months ago, when I first started blogging Darfur]

UPDATE Oct 13: More Sudan from DSTP for War blog [with thanks to Wilson]