President Omar al-Bashir, who is under indictment for war crimes, called for a unilateral cease fire in the Sudan. He claimed to be initiating a program to disarm the militia and reduce the use of arms in Darfur. “I hereby announce our immediate unconditional ceasefire between the armed forces and warring factions, provided that an effective monitoring mechanism is put into action and observed by all involved parties.” His janjaweed militia has been responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands as well as the rape and brutalization of untold thousands of women, and suddenly Bashir has become a man of peace.
The Sudan president has become frightened at the prospect of being forced to appear before the International Criminal Court for war crimes. He has established the Sudan People’s Forum which includes members of the opposition and this group has recommended releasing political prisoners and paying compensation to the two million people his militia has driven from their homes. It remains to be seen if he is serious.
Posted in Gender Issues, Human Rights, Military, Multicultural, Muslims, Peace, Politics, War, World News
Tagged Bashir, cease-fire, Darfur, janjaweed, Sudan
Darfur still attracts celebrities and the concerned who would like to do something for the oppressed people of that region, but, overall, the media increasingly ignores events in the war-torn corner of Africa. President Bush will relent in his opposition to “terrorism,” but after the required statements of concern, Darfur receives scant attention from the bold leader in the fight to end militants and murderers. UN officials describe the Darfur situation as spinning out of control and on the verge of all-out war, but, no nation appears willing to do anything other than express “concern.” Steven Spielberg shocked China by pulling out of the Olympics due to their Darfur policy, but the only response was for the Chinese government to boast it has sent 321 engineers to clean up the mess.
Eric Reeves, writing in the Sudan Tribune, blasted the silence of the lambs of neutrality. “And still, there is no international action remotely commensuare with these extraordinary dire accounts. On the contrary, we see only continued posturing and pleading, even as the lives of many hundreds of thousands of civilians in Darfur and Chad have moved into the cross-hairs of a sweeping new offensive by Khartoum’s National Islamic Front regime.”
The Sudan government is now attempting to destabilize Chad by backing rebel attacks in order to deprive Darfur refugees a sanctuary of peace from the continued brutality of Khartoum. UN and African Union attempts to alleviate conditions have been hampered at every step of the way by Sudan obstruction. Over 3 million are displaced. Muslims rise up in anger if Israel attacks result in the death of several people, but where is Muslim anger at the slaughter in Darfur? Is the “refugee problem” of Darfur of concern to people who never cease complaining about “refugee problems?” I do not mean to denigrate problems suffered by Palestinian refugees, but there is hypocrisy in the Arab press which launches no program to spark protests about Darfur refugees.
A Human Rights Watch observer witnessed an attack on the village of Saraf Jidad, a town of 15,000. “The attacks were carried out by Janjaweed militia and Sudanese ground troops supported by attack helicopters and aerial bombardment.” China has been selling helicopters to the Sudan, but, they have sent the 321 engineers. The hypocrisy of George Bush’s crusade against terrorism is blatantly exposed in Darfur. One suspects a divison of Marines could wipe out the Janjaweed. But, most probably, the best people of Darfur can expect is a concert to raise money.
Posted in China, Gender Issues, George Bush, Human Rights, Military, Peace, Politics, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Bush, China, Darfur, janjaweed, Khartoum, Sudan
A million people in Darfur are homeless and countless thousands dead, beaten or raped, but the world still is unable to compel Sudan’s Islamic government to take action for peace. Sudan rebel leader Abu Wahid al-Nur charged the recent attack on troops from the African Union in which ten were killed stemmed from actions by the Sudan government. Al-Nur believes the attack was sending a message to the United Nations not to dispatch a large force to the Sudan.”This was an attack by the Khartoum government and (allied janjaweed) militias to send a message to the international community not to send troops. But all Darfurs want the UN force to protect them.” He also claimed planes from the Sudan government recently bombed and destroyed a village. Al-Nur said he would refuse to attend meetings until the UN finally sends in sufficient troops who can ensure peace and stability are established in the Sudan. A spokesperson for the British Foreign Office said: “We always knew we were going into a hostile environment.”
Months and years have passed while the killings go on in Darfur while the world talks and debates and raises money to care for people. From the beginning it was clear the government of the Sudan was behind the janjaweed and attacks on innocent people. The wold uttered a few words of protest, but China and other nations felt they could not upset the Sudan government because it would interfere with getting their oil. There will be no change in what is happening in Darfur until a powerful UN force supported by an air force are on the ground and ready to fight. The Sudan government must be shown reality that further attacks on civilians will be met by armed forces.
Posted in Human Rights, Military, Multicultural, Peace, Politics, War, World News
Tagged African Union, air attack, Darfur, janjaweed, Sudan, UN