Improtant David Rieff Op-Ed, LA Times dot come.
Starkly put, human rights groups want solutions to crises — including military solutions if necessary — whereas humanitarian relief NGOs seek to palliate the effects of war and ethnic cleansing, and they believe that outside military interventions make their position on the ground untenable because neutrality is at the core of the humanitarian enterprise.
They point out that, in fact, the logic of “humanitarian intervention” is regime change — a charge that at least some advocates do not deny. What is not in dispute is that, in the final analysis, the activist politics of confrontation and the humanitarian politics of palliation are incompatible, much as both sides might wish it otherwise.
Sudan will watch from a distance on Monday as world powers, including ally China, gather in Paris to seek ways to end the violence in Darfur, in a conference Khartoum rejects as a distraction from current peace efforts.
“We will not comment until the end of the conference,” foreign ministry spokesman Ali Sadek told AFP.
The ministerial gathering, which brings the United States, China and some 15 other nations together, was announced on June 7 at the G8 summit in Germany by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has made Darfur a high priority.
Sudan on June 12 agreed to a combined United Nations and African Union peacekeeping force of more than 20,000 troops and police but many diplomats doubt Khartoum will keep its word.
They are also dismayed Sudan has sent mixed signals about the force, saying it that should be under the AU’s command and control rather than that of the United Nations, and suggesting it should chiefly be comprised of African forces. The existing force of about 7,000 AU troops is widely seen as ineffective.