Friday, July 30, 2004

Sudanese in Darfur abandoned to their fate [essay]

The United Nations Security Council has officially abandoned the people of Darfur to their fate.

As I've mentioned before (see: Stop the genocide in Eastern Sudan): militias, widely believed to be armed and sponsored by the Sudanese government, are committing massacres and other forms of ethnic cleaning in the country's eastern region of Darfur. These situation been declared to be 'genocide' by the US Congress, 'massive human rights violations' by the European Union and 'the worst humanitarian situation in the world' by UN officials.

The Security Council yesterday passed a resolution ostensibly designed to further increase the pressure on the Sudanese regime to reign in the militias. In reality, the resolution capitulated to the demands of about half the Security Council members (Pakistan, China, Russia, Algeria, Angola, the Philippines and Brazil, according to the BBC) to remove the explicit threat of sanctions from the text.

The watered down resolution gave the Sudanese regime 30 days to control the militias. And if they didn't, the Security Council would... revisit the issue. I'm sure Khartoum is shaking in its boots. "Stop arming the genociders or... we'll hold another meeting!" Can you say 'Bosnia'?

This demand, if you can call it that, occurs a full month after Khartoum promised to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and US Secretary of State Colin Powell... the exact same thing.

One month of stalling after promising to Annan and Powell. Another month of stalling is permitted by the resolution. This is already after the months of massacres that happened before it even made it on to the international agenda. Then after the month of "warning," it's going to take more time to impose sanctions, assuming the objecting nations even have the guts to do that minimal step. If military intervention, either by the UN or African Union, is ever decided, everyone in Darfur will already be expelled or dead.

Pakistan, China, Russia, Algeria, Angola, the Philippines and Brazil: their blood is on your hands.

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