Monday, August 28, 2006


Amnesty International has a Darfur Campaign. It's not been the most high profile campaign but they have had one. Details are here. Further details on Amnesty's site are here.

For more up to date information see the excellent Sudan Watch.

There's an interview with Eric Reeves, an academic expert on the Darfur conflict, at Democracy Now that has been picked up by Mick Hartley. You can read Mick Hartley for a good summary and extract from the interview.

Here's my take on the latest situation. The Sudanese government has rejected a draft U.N. resolution calling for a 17,000 person force to be deployed to Darfur. Reeves says
Khartoum is right now planning a massive military offensive in North Darfur, which has been the most violent of the three Darfur states.

If this offensive takes place, there will be massive, massive civilian destruction. I think we're also likely to see a withdrawal of virtually all humanitarian workers. This will leave some 1.2 million people completely dependent on humanitarian aid, without any assistance whatsoever. By my own calculation, some 500,000 people have already died. As many more could die in the coming year if current trends continue.
The U.S.A's Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Jendayi Frazer got a frosty reception and a "No" from the Sudanese President, to accepting the U.N peacekeeping force. Not being a Permanent Member of the U.N. Security Council you'd think that Sudan would not have that much say in what the U.N. does or does not do. And you'd be wrong.

New global political realities are forming. Sudan is the major offshore oil supplier
to China and China dominates oil production in southern Sudan. Any U.N. force will only be deployed if there is a concensual resolution. Khartoum consistently says that any state supporting the U.N. resolution is an enemy of the state of Sudan, and that is something China does not want to be. Thus any resolution will be vetoed by China. To quote Eric Reeves
[China] will veto any resolution, and we come up against a very, very difficult problem. What will we do if the United Nations proves incapable of acting in the face of ongoing massive genocide?
Faced by such a question what is the response of campaigning NGOs such as Amnesty? It's the Global Day for Darfur where you can wear a blue hat on September 17th. Is it an adequate response? No. Have I signed up for it? Yes. Do I feel annoyed and angered by the inadequacy of the response? For the love of Hegel, yes.

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