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.


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