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Darfur Travesty Heads Into Sixth Year

21 Dec

According the U.N.’s peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy, six years in there is still widespread violence in the region, no sign of a political settlement and millions of civilians living in camps on lifesaving international aid, in Darfur.UN says Darfur conflict shows no sign of ending.

The NYT reports on a pro-rebel political force known collectively as the “shabab”, a group of angry outspoken youth who came of age in the camps and are more volatile than the traditional tribal sheiks in “Angry Youths Become a Force in Darfur”.

At “Making Sense of Darfur” Alex de Waal writes of the latest report by, The Overseas Development Institute’s Humanitarian Policy Group “Challenging Choices: Protection and livelihoods in Darfur”, Protection and Livelihoods: Important New Report.

Condeleeza Rice admitted this morning on Meet the Press that one of her regrets is not averting the tragedy in Darfur.

“We could have done so much more,” Rice said, adding that the president thought about intervening in the war-torn region of Sudan, but could have done more with greater international help.

MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm.

SEC’Y RICE: And we’ve tried to ameliorate the humanitarian…

MR. GREGORY: Genocide in Darfur.

SEC’Y RICE: Right. Exactly. The horrible lives that the people of Darfur are living, the horrible tragedy that is unfolding there. Now, it’s true, we’ve been able to do a lot about the humanitarian situation. We’ve even been able to support getting some peacekeepers onto the ground; and where there are peacekeepers, there’s less violence. But we could’ve done so much more had there…

MR. GREGORY: Why didn’t we act unilaterally?

SEC’Y RICE: Well, because acting unilaterally in an Arab country or in a Muslim country that is that complex, that far away, really did not seem to be an option. The president considered it. He thought about it. He thought about what we could do unilaterally. But in fact, instead, we’ve tried to mobilize the international community and international opinion. And frankly, given that, just a couple of years ago at the UN, the leaders of the world stood up and said, “We have a responsibility to protect, if a government will not protect its own people.” And then we’ve had trouble getting anybody to do anything about it.

MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm.

SEC’Y RICE: The United States has, by the way, imposed unilateral sanctions in Sudan. We have been the country that’s been the most active in resisting calls to interfere with the international criminal court investigation of the leadership there, despite the fact that we’re not members of the international court. So I think we’ve done a lot unilaterally, but we could’ve done a lot more if the international community were better mobilized.

MR. GREGORY: Isn’t it amazing, the last 16 years of American leadership, two presidents, two big regrets stand out: Rwanda and Darfur.

The full transcript available at Meet the Press

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Posted by on December 21, 2008 in Bookmarks

 

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