Rebels Reject U.N. Report

May 4, 2009 at 7:45 pm (Uncategorized)

A Darfur rebel group criticized a U.N. report saying that Darfur is now a “low intensity conflict.”   Rodolphe Adada, who is the joint U.N.-African Union special representative to Darfur, said that about 130-150 people were dying each month due to violence in Darfur,  opposed to the tens of thousands who were killed in 2003-2004. 

“We in the Sudan Liberation Army strongly condemn this fabricated … and unfortunate report,” said Al-Sadig Rokero, who is from a branch of the SLA. 

Rokero said refugees, internally displaced persons (IDP) and civilians gave a letter to the rebel group’s chief commander stating that they would not further deal with the U.N.-AU peacekeeping mission in Darfur, also known as UNAMID, unless the report was retracted.

This decision, which is already in effect, means that UNAMID personnel cannot enter the liberated areas based on the objection, and the decision of the chief commander unless the fabricated report was corrected as well as  a clear apology to the people and the world.

“We are neutral. We are working with all stakeholders on the ground to create an environment conducive to peace,”  said UNAMID spokesman, Nourelddine Mezni.

Many non-governmental organizations agree with the U.S. that Darfur is still amid genocide by the Khartoum government, a charge it still denies.

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AU to Meet With ICC

May 3, 2009 at 7:35 pm (Uncategorized)

According to former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, an African Union (AU) panel is to meet with the International Criminal Court (ICC) even though they do not agree with the warrant the ICC issued for Sudan’s president.  Mbeki said that he was not completely sure what they would recommend to the ICC, but they would be discussing issues of “justice.”

Mbeki is chairing the AU panel in order to help bring peace to Darfur by making recommendations to the ICC.  The AU believes that the warrant issued by the ICC will compromise efforts to bring peace to the region, and would prefer the indictment be deferred. 

Mbeki believes that relations between the Sudan and Chad must be improved to restore peace because they accuse each other of supporting rebels that oppose their governments.

“It’s critically important that relations between the Sudan and Chad governments should be normalized,” he said. “If that doesn’t happen then it is going to be very difficult to find a solution to the Darfur problem,” he added.

Other delegation members are former presidents of Burundi and Nigeria, Pierre Buyoya and Abdusalami Abubakar.

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Darfur Now “Low Intensity Conflict”

April 27, 2009 at 11:30 pm (Uncategorized)

What Washington has said is genocide, is now a “low-intensity conflict,” a international envoy said Monday.

“The situation has changed from the period of intense hostilities in 2003 to 2004 when tens of thousands of people were killed,” the joint U.N.-African Union special representative to Darfur, Rodolphe Adada said. “Today, in purely numerical terms it is a low-intensity conflict.”

According to figures collected by U.N.-A.U. peacekeeping mission in Darfur, 2,000 people have died from violence in the first three months of this year.

Adada’s assessment is different from the way Washington views events in Darfur. The former U.S. President, George W. Bush’s administration, referred to the conflict as “genocide in slow motion,” saying that a number of deaths were due to disease, neglect and poor conditions in over-crowded refugee camps.

Many non-governmental organizations also agree that Darfur is still amid genocide by the Khartoum government, a charge it still dismisses.

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Democrats Arrested in Darfur Protest

April 27, 2009 at 11:13 pm (Uncategorized)

Rep. Lynn Woolsey, a Marin Democrat, was arrested this morning along with four other members of Congress at the Sudanese embassy. Woolsey was protesting with the Save Darfur Coalition, the Enough Project and the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaisim. They were arrested after refusing to leave a protest on the embassy steps. Woolsey, also a member of the House of Foreign Affairs Committee, vowed that the genocide in Darfur will be “a top priority in Congress.” The other members of Congress arrested, all Democrats, were Reps. Jim McGovern, John Lewis, Donna Edwards and Keith Ellison.

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UN Lies?

April 27, 2009 at 4:01 pm (Uncategorized)

According to Sudan’s U.N. envoy, the U.N. was lying about the danger of expelling foreign aid groups.  In a report to U.N. Security Council, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said  the decision to expel 13 foreign and three domestic aid organizations had put “over 1 million people at life-threatening risk” in Darfur.

 Abdalmahmoud Abdalhaleem, Sudan’s UN Ambassador, dismissed the report.

“It’s a big lie,” Abdalhaleem said. “They are very good at dramatizing things. You will never find a report coming out of this body saying something positive about the situation.”

“There is now calm in Darfur,” he said. “No starvation.”

According to U.N. officials, 300,000 have been killed and more than 2.7 million driven from their homes in Darfur in what has been nearly six years of violence.

However, Khartoum, said only 10,000 people have died. Some 4.7 million people rely on humanitarian aid in Darfur.

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Fast4Darfur

April 26, 2009 at 4:30 pm (Uncategorized)

Actress, Mia Farrow, who is a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations will start a hunger strike this week to show her support for the people of Darfur.  A spokesperson for Farrow said that she will stick with the hunger strike as long as possible, which her doctors said would be three weeks. 

“On April 27 I will begin a fast of water only in solidarity with the people of Darfur and as a personal expression of outrage at a world that is somehow able to stand by and watch innocent men, women and children needlessly die of starvation, thirst and disease,” Farrow said.

Farrow added that she hopes other “human rights advocates and citizens of conscience around the world will join me in some form of fasting, even if for one day.”

Sudanese U.N. Ambassador, Abdalmahmoud Abdalhaleem, suggested that she should use her fame to help persuade rebel groups to stop boycotting peace talks with Khartoum instead.

 

“We advise her rather to ask those who are in a position to do so to put pressure on the rebel groups to come to the negotiating table,” he said. “The government is committed to the welfare of its own citizens and doesn’t need anybody to remind it of that.”

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USAid

April 20, 2009 at 1:32 am (Uncategorized)

According to Senator John Kerry, Sudan has told the United States that it will allow some aide back into the Darfur region, after expelling 13 international aid groups. 

“Thanks to the leadership of the president’s special envoy General Scott Gration and thanks to the willingness of the government here to engage in a new dialogue with us, some of that capacity for humanitarian assistance will be restored,”  said Senator John Kerry, who heads the U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee.

“Time is of the essence to avert a humanitarian catastrophe,” said Kerry. 

Kerry will travel to Darfur on Friday to see a camp first-hand,  and also meet local leaders and United Nations officials.  The senator also said Scott Gration will return to Sudan in early May to evaluate the progress being made.

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AidAppeal

April 16, 2009 at 2:43 am (Uncategorized)

A formal appeal was submitted by aid group,Oxfam GP, Wednesday to the Sudanese government over its expulsionfrom the country.  The group denied that it passed information to the International Criminal Court.  Oxfam said that the conditions in Darfur have worsened since the expulsion of 13 aid groups.  The groups were expelled hours after an arrest warrant was issued for Sudanese President, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, due to charges of war crimes.  Sudan does not recognize the ICC, and have rejected the charges brought against Bashir.  A joint assessment by the Sudan and the United Nations last month said that four of the expelled groups served 1.1 million people.  The UN runs its largest aid operation in the world in Darfur where 4.7 million people rely on humanitarian aid.

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Justice???

April 13, 2009 at 1:08 am (Uncategorized)

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who is wanted on charges of conceiving atrocious acts in Darfur, addressed a crowd of thousands in Zalingei. According to Reuters, Zalingei is one of the most politically charged towns in Darfur.  He claimed that his own officials will track down war criminals of Darfur, and he will continue to dismiss Western attempts to help.  

   “We know about justice between us and we know how to solve our problems. We have a committee for tribal reconciliation,” Bashir told the crowd. 

Due to alleged charges against Bashir for war crimes, the International Crimes Court issed an arrest warrant for him.  However,  he has chosen to ignore the charges brought against him.  He also refused to reconsider his decision to expell 13 foreign aid agencies that he accused of helping the global court.

“We thank the AU and the former presidents headed by Mbeki who came here … But we don’t want those Khawajas (foreigners),”  Bashir told the crowd.

“Judgement, it’s not here. It’s not with Ocampo or others. Our judgement is before God,” He said.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, is leading the war crimes case against Bashir.  Even though in August Sudan appointed their own prosecutor to investigate the war crimes continuing in Darfur, no convictions have been made.

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F-Y-I

April 10, 2009 at 9:27 pm (Uncategorized)

1.  Ninety percent of the villages of Darfur’s targeted ethnic groups have been destroyed.

2.  Ninety-seven percent of these killings have been innocent civilians who were executed by militia groups instructed

     by the government.

3.  Due to a lack of proper nutrition, 80 infants die each day in Darfur.

4.  Within the Sudan, 2.8 million people have been displaced. 

5.  Of that 2.8 million, 80% of those displaced are women and young girls who are consistently the victims of sexual  

       violence and even sexual slavery.

6.  Despite an abundance of oil and other natural resources, the majority of thenSudan’s people live in

     poverty.  Its’ government has been described as ‘the most repressive regime in the world.’

For more facts like these check out this website.

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