terça-feira, março 27, 2007

Talking Darfur to Death

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Saturday March 31 2007

New York Times Editorial: March 31, 2007, Talking Darfur to Death

The world has been discussing the genocide in Darfur for more than three years. But some 200,000 deaths later, it has yet to take effective action to force the Sudanese government to stop sponsoring the mass murder, rape, torture and forcible evictions being carried out on its orders in the region.

Yesterday, the United Nations Human Rights Council at last expressed its deep concern over human rights violations in Darfur. That modest advance was made possible by the welcome willingness of several African countries to set aside their usual reluctance to talk about their continent’s human rights problems.

But in practical terms, it was only a baby step. Despite an earlier finding by the council’s own investigative team that the Sudanese government “orchestrated” and took part in “large-scale international crimes,” the resolution failed to identify the Sudanese government as the author of these crimes.

Slow progress is also visible in the Arab League, where other leaders reportedly subjected Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, to tough questioning over Darfur at this week’s summit meeting. Their voices are crucial. Khartoum cannot dismiss Arab critics as colonialists or crusaders against Islam. But it will take more than discreet conference diplomacy to end the slaughter.

Once again, there are reports that Sudan will allow a United Nations-African Union force in Darfur. Concerted international action, including a strong protective force, would be the best response. But until now, Sudan has done all it can to delay that. The remaining people of Darfur cannot wait much longer. It is past time for other countries to insist that Khartoum end its obstructionism, which has cost thousands of additional lives.

The diplomatic timidity of the handful of governments that have denounced the horrors in Darfur has been almost as frustrating as the callousness of the many that will not. The European Union, for example, has no meaningful sanctions of its own against the responsible Sudanese leaders. The United States, which has been enforcing financial sanctions against a list of companies and individuals linked to the Darfur genocide, needs to expand the list, toughen the sanctions and persuade its allies, in Europe and elsewhere, to apply similar restrictions.

The United Nations has repeatedly disgraced itself by its halfhearted and inadequate response to the gravest human rights challenge it has faced since it failed the same genocide test in Rwanda more than a decade ago. The Security Council, which has authorized an international force, must now see to it that it is actually dispatched. The Human Rights Council, which should focus moral pressure on the Sudanese government, holds back from doing so. And Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his representatives have too often been taken in by Mr. Bashir’s hollow assurances.

China and a shrinking bloc of nonaligned nations have repeatedly put the sovereign right of Sudan’s rulers to annihilate minorities ahead of the international community’s legal responsibility to prevent genocide and protect human rights.

Other international leaders need to demonstrate that they can act as well as talk, or else fine words and empty deeds will be the epitaph for the dwindling survivors of Darfur.

Tuesday March 27 2007

Sir John Holmes
"It illustrated precisely the problem we are facing. If that can happen to me on a fairly high-profile visit they knew all about, you can imagine what it's like for ordinary humanitarian workers."
     Sir John Holmes, UN emergency relief co-ordinator in Sudan.

Darfur27/03/07, Steve Bloomfield: Darfur aid relief 'close to collapse', UN chief warns, (Source).
16/03/07, Economist: The UN and Darfur, Watching, but still waiting, (Source).

What the fuck do I know eh? Some photograph taken in some desert some where some when some how. What is the use of any of this hand-wringing anyway? None really eh? Turn yourself into another whining NDP nitwit? Ai ai ai.

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