GS3 Thunderbolt 8-30-06: Urgent Action is Needed on Darfur, US's Security Council Proposal is a "Sham"
By Richard Power
If you live in the USA, you will not hear about Darfur on the evening news tonight or tomorrow or the next day...So here it is...Remember, there is a crime even worse than genocide, and that's allowing it to happen....
Amid fears that escalating violence could unleash another round of humanitarian catastrophe in Sudan's Darfur region, rights advocacy groups are urging the world community to take immediate steps to protect civilians.
With the looming threat of fresh military action by the Sudanese army, groups say the deployment of a 20,000-strong UN peacekeeping force in Darfur is the first step to enhance security for the civilian population....
Currently, discussions are underway at the 15-member UN Security Council on a U.S.-sponsored draft resolution calling for17,000 well-equipped peacekeepers. However, according to observers and diplomats, any breakthrough before the end of this week is highly unlikely.
The U.S. proposal calls for a gradual transition from the Africa Union (AU) force in Darfur, which has failed to take effective measures against violence, mainly due to lack of resources. The AU mandate is due to expire at the end of September....But human rights groups say such a move would prove to be a disaster.
"It is a sham," said Kate Gilmore of the London-based rights group Amnesty International. "How can Sudan realistically propose being a peacekeeper in a conflict to which it is a major party and perpetrator of grave human rights violations?"
Human Rights Watch's Takirambudde agreed.
"Sudanese government soldiers are not an alternative to international peacekeepers," he said, adding that any new military operations by government forces or rebels would lead to "devastating consequences for civilians."
rations were to collapse due to continued violence, "we could see hundreds of thousands of deaths" over a period of weeks, not months....
UN estimates show that in the past two months, hundreds of innocent people in Darfur have been killed, over 50,000 displaced, and more than 200 women and girls raped.
Officials said due to escalating violence, about half a million people across Darfur were unable to receive their food rations last month and it was very likely that they would not have any access to food aid this month either.
Haider Rizvi, Darfur: UN Troops ASAP, Say Rights Workers, OneWorld.net, 8-30-06
If the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region is not resolved soon, the conflict could spread deeper into neighboring Chad and the Central African Republic and destabilise the whole region, the United Nations representative in Chad warned in an exclusive interview.
"[The Darfur conflict] is creating armed groups that are destabilising entire populations in the east, and now it is moving towards the south, towards Central Africa," Kingsley Amaning, the UN resident representative in Chad told IRIN on Tuesday.
Amaning said stopping the flow of weapons to the dozens of armed militia movements in the region was a major target.
"If we do not stabilise Darfur soon it will become a major theatre where we see a considerable supply of weapons everywhere," he said.
There has already been a spate of skirmishes and attacks along the border of southern Chad close to Cameroon and the Central African Republic this year.
CHAD-SUDAN: Darfur crisis spreading to Central Africa - UN, IRIN, 8-30-06
Hard Rain Journal 8-24-06: Updates on Darfur & Katrina, Failures of the Human Spirit
Hard Rain Journal 8-3-06: Darfur is A Mirror Held Up to the Souls of the Great Nations, & What It Reveals is Hideous
Words of Power #12: The Fallen Tree (Spiritual Challenges of the 21st Century Global Security Crisis, Part II)
Words of Power #25: Lost Symbols, Part II -- The Rainbow Serpent Hisses, Lessons about Sustainability & Survival from Darfur, Senegal and Ecuador
Richard Power is the founder of GS(3) Intelligence and http://www.wordsofpower.net. His work focuses on the inter-related issues of security, sustainability and spirit, and how to overcome the challenges of terrorism, cyber crime, global warming, health emergencies, natural disasters, etc. You can reach him via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, go to www.wordsofpower.net
Darfur, United Nations, Sudan, Genocide, Chad, Human Rights, United Nations