“What I am hinting at in my previous comment is that none of us, especially EU nations and the Arab League countries, China, Pakistan, and a long list of other nations can say a damn thing about assisting the people of Darfur and southern Sudan. It is already too late, the ethnic cleansing and rampage of murder and rape and other atrocities against these people has reached the end game to the tune of perhaps 500,000 lives. The final death toll will be much higher because Darfurians will die of disease and
illness and neglect for years to come just as over 4 million Congolese have since their 2nd civil war of 1998. Millions of people in Darfur are displaced from their homes and villages living in the worst conditions imaginable and under constant threat of rape and death while the regime in Khartoum leads the international community around on a leash of inaction and fear threatening a wider Jihad than we are facing now in much of the Middle East and at the Horn of Africa (Somalia).”
“What can any of us say to the people of Darfur or do on their behalf now that will make a difference in their lives? It is too late. Never again has happened yet again and we let it happen without doing anything to stop it. The United States government has been calling for harsh sanctions and military intervention since 2003-2004 but it has fallen on deaf ears both at the U.N. and in Brussels and Strasbourg. Darfur should be of very special signifigance (and shame) to the people of Germany, and I think you know why.Although Jörg and I disagree on several issues re: U.S.-German relations, on the matter of Darfur we stand shoulder-to-shoulder. We are both outraged about the crisis in Darfur and in southern Sudan and deeply disappointed and confused that our respective governments and other nations around the globe have not stepped-in to help provide the necessary security for the people of Darfur and the many organizations who are desperately trying to help alleviate some of their suffering. Jörg writes about this in his November 2005 post “Genocide: U.S. calls for more sanctions against Sudan, but Germany sees business” and his May 01, 2006 post “Rallies to help Darfur across the United States. And in Germany?”
Berlin could have done a lot more than offer military troop transport and paltry financial assistance to the African Union mission to Darfur, but to date it hasn't and Germany's policy toward Sudan will not change in the near future. After all, Sudan is a potentially lucrative source of oil and natural gas to nearby Europe. Being an African-American, I have an especially bitter fire in my gut re: the atrocities carried out in southern Sudan and in Darfur at the hands of an "Arabized" Islamic black elite in Khartoum and the Janjaweed militias. Amre Moussa of the Arab League was right, the Gates of Hell have been opened and will not be easily closed again.”
Admittedly, many of us around the world who say we care about this crisis have tended to wash our hands of this complicated and seemingly hopeless situation. Darfur is seldom a headlines story in the international press or a breaking-news story in TV news today; it’s easy to move the suffering in Darfur and the rest of Sudan to the backburner while we concentrate on a cornucopia of misery and war and danger from other parts of the globe. This is what the murderous regime in Khartoum has been counting on, that we would look away and try to forget.
This week the GoS (Government of Sudan) has decided to move for the end game, the final solution to their problem with the black Africans occupying the valuable land over the oil and gas fields of western Sudan, in Darfur. News reports from several international media outlets report that Khartoum has begun a new offensive in Darfur, sending in more than 10,000 well-armed troops and national police to cleanse the province of rebel militias and their supporters. Various experts on the crisis and international NGO’s have dreaded this very action, warning for months and months that such a move by the GoS is simply a ploy to help the regime exert total control over the lives of millions of IDPs living in the squalid conditions of refugee camps and millions more Darfurians who do not have any shelter or safety at all. The end game scenario in Darfur has arrived, and the “international community” is poised to repeat the failures of Rwanda and The Balkans and the DR Congo yet again. What will we tell the people of Darfur when it is over, the ones that survive? That we are sorry???
Below I've listed some of the latest news articles about Darfur and Sudan. Over the next days I will post again about this crisis and list reports, press releases, and online multimedia presentations about Darfur that might help all of us decide what we can do, and what we want and demand our governments, the UN, and the Government of Sudan to do about Darfur___ and do it in a damn hurry. If the UN and the "international community" can get 15,000 troops into Lebanon so fast, then they can get troops into Darfur just as fast. Time for the desperate people of Darfur has run out.
UPDATE September 5th:
More and more bloggers around the globe are picking up on the plight of the people of Darfur after this latest outrage from Khartoum. Jörg sent me an email with a link to a heated discussion over at the European Tribune post What Now for Darfur?. Here is an excerpt from the comments thread for that post (ref: comment by Metatone 4.00/2):
What can be done? Well, we could engage in some "liberal hawking" and stage a NATO invasion. But, the killer is not winning the invasion, but what happens next. Short of setting up a separate state, it's hard to see how an invasion will solve the friction between the central government of Sudan and those in this southern area. And do we have the political capital and goodwill to go and create a new country after an invasion? Or indeed the strategic reserve of troops to do it whilst holding down commitments in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon (plus minor engagements elsewhere)?
I think not.
Which is easy to type when you don't live in Darfur, but I don't see any good solutions. I'd like to see a much stronger diplomatic effort, but I think it will fail because China has no interest in recognizing the rights of minorities (c.f Tibet) and besides neither China nor Russia have many reasons to trust the West, it seems at the moment.
Thanks for all the comments below folks and a special welcome to the new iAbolish blog author Sarah. See the iAbolish.org website for their feature AASG on the Ground: Sudan. iAbolish is part of the AASG (American anti-Slavery Group).
I smell smoke, don't you? Perhaps bloggers worldwide really can build enough momentum in the blogosphere and the media to Stop al-Bashir.
Latest news about Darfur and the UN-AU Peacekeeping Crisis
The Head Heeb
Catch-22 in Darfur - Aug 31, 2006
Darfur Rebels Say Government on Attack – Sep 03, 2006
Obama Visits Sudanese Refugees in Chad – Sep 02, 2006
Sudan President Claims West Conspiracy – Aug 29, 2006
Sudan wants peacekeepers to leave - Sep 04, 2006
Darfur tests international resolve – Sep 04, 2006
Times Online (U.K.)
Darfur villages burn as army tramples on UN peace plan – Sep 03, 2006
Sudan says AU can stay in Darfur but not under UN – Sep 04, 2006
Russia criticizes hasty UN resolution on Darfur – Sep 04, 2006
UN’s Sudan peacekeeping could cost 1.7 billion a year – Sep 01, 2006
UN votes for UN force in Darfur; Sudan says “no” – Aug 31, 2006
The Standard (Kenya)
The voice of reason in Sudan peace negotiations – Sep 03, 2006
China’s Peoples Daily – Aug 31, 2006
China calls for comprehensive, lasting peace in Sudan’s Darfur region
Global Day for Darfur – September 17, 2006
A coalition of humanitarian organizations from the U.S. and U.K. are organizing a global day of action worldwide to support the people of Darfur. Please help them by visiting their website and signing the petition to call for U.N. action in Darfur.
Source: Day for Darfur coalition (www.dayfordarfur.org)
Technorati tags: Sudan Darfur genocide Human Rights UN Africa Current Affairs Global Voices