Tuesday, April 04, 2006

UN humanitarian chief refused entry into Darfur

The UN's Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland has been denied permission to enter Darfur by the Sudanese military regime.

Sudan's permanent mission at the UN in New York indicated over the weekend that Egeland would not be welcome in Darfur or in the capital, Khartoum.

Reportedly, this occured AFTER Egeland had received prior assurances from the regime that he could indeed visit Darfur, as he has done several times in the past.

The regime offered a number of lame excuses such as that his visit coincided with a holiday to honor the Prophet Mohammed and thus he should come back another time. Presumably, they knew the timing of this holiday before they authorized his visit in the first place. The regime also said it would be a bad idea for him to visit Darfur because Egeland happens to hail from Norway and a couple of Norwegian publications were involved in the Mohammed cartoons firestorm.

So the regime is worried about this non-issue but isn't the least bit concerned about the genocide and enormous humanitarian crisis on its own soil. Humanitarian services are being undermined by insecurity and the regime is blocking a potential UN peacekeeping mission that would help the NGOs do their jobs. But at least the regime is still mindful of cartoons. I'm glad they have their priorities straight!

I'm sure they wouldn't be trying to hide the fact that the International Organization for Migration has recently said that the violence in Darfur is 'as bad as ever' and 'has a good chance of getting worse.'

I wonder if these accomplices to genocide think anyone is being fooled.


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