Despite Khartoum – and China.

25 Aug

I have been disparaging Khartoum recently, and rightly so, as one has only to read to know that the government of Khartoum – along with China – is largely responsible for the continued genocide in Darfur.

Yea are you listening? It is your fault and the blood in on your hands.

A good editorial in Fridays Globe and Mail.

A duty to help Darfur, in spite of Khartoum From Friday’s Globe and Mail

The government of Sudan is being entirely unreasonable in opposing the deployment of a robust United Nations military force in Darfur. In fact, its bellicosity — it has threatened to attack any arriving UN soldiers — deserves the strongest possible condemnation. Is Beijing listening?

The issue will be back before the Security Council next week, when the United States and Britain rightly push hard for the adoption of their proposed resolution on transferring peacekeeping from a meagre ill-equipped African Union contingent to as many as 23,000 UN troops.

A large, mobile and quick-response UN-led force is needed to help the hundreds of thousands displaced by the conflict and to stop attacks on civilians and on humanitarian workers.

In May, Khartoum reached a peace deal with the strongest of the rebel groups fighting for autonomy and resources in the Darfur region in western Sudan. But there has been precious little peace. In fact, the situation in the region has deteriorated.

More than 200,000 people have died since the conflict began three years ago, and more than two million have been forced from their homes. Yet the chaos and violence continues. Last month, nine aid workers were killed. Not only have the African Union peacekeepers been unable to protect civilians, but they have been unable to protect themselves.

Last week, two AU peacekeepers were killed and several others injured in an ambush. President Omar Hassan al-Bashir says he wants to use thousands of his own troops to dampen the violence and restore order. This cynical response is laughable.

Recall that the conflict escalated into what has been called the world’s greatest humanitarian crisis when Khartoum unleashed Arab militias known as janjaweed as a counterinsurgency force. At the same time, the rebels, who are now fighting among themselves, have been guilty of grave human-rights violations. It is beyond sickening to learn, from a UNreport released this week by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, that the Sudan Armed Forces, the janjaweed and rebel groups are all kidnapping children to use in their fight, and that sexual violence against girls and women continues unabated.

A vigorous UN force could help sort out this tragic mess. But the Security Council has to demonstrate unity in the face of Mr. al-Bashir’s recalcitrance. That can come about only if China, which hides behind its objection to interfering in a country’s internal affairs, comes on board.

China has strategic oil investments in Sudan and appears unwilling to alienate its supplier. That should not keep it from joining the world in addressing this crisis.

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Posted by on August 25, 2006 in Bookmarks, genocide, The Sudan


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