DARFUR 'When it comes to mass killing of civilians, a curious Catch-22 comes into play. If editors do not see the story on TV, they do not believe it's news; if program makers do not read it in the newspapers, they do not believe it's news.' And if politicians and officials don't see or read it except in reports thudding on to their desks from human rights and humanitarian NGOs, then that doesn't count either.'
1970s – Tensions between Arabs and Africans competing for scarce natural resources in Darfur.
Feb. 2003 – Rebel groups of African Muslims, fed up with inequalities between Africans and the ruling Arab elite (who are Muslim), struck out against the Khartoum government. The government responded by arming local militias to crack down on mainly three ethnic groups: the Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawa.
The government-backed groups, known as “Janjaweed,” terrorize Africans, destroy villages, kill and maim men, ransack food supplies, block international assistance, and carry out systematic campaigns of rape against African women.
Human rights groups say the government, by funding the Janjaweed militants, is carrying out an ethnic cleansing campaign.
What is the Situation? (These facts are as of December 2005)
2 million people have been displaced from their homes in Sudan
At least 200,000 have fled to neighboring Chad
As many as 2000 villages have been destroyed.
At least 300,000 people have died as a result of the conflict between the government-backed Arab militias and Africans in Western Sudan.
Living conditions threaten hundreds of thousands of people. It is estimated that many people will die of disease and malnutrition by the end of the year.
There has been a 21-year civil war between Arab Muslims in the north, who dominate the government, and black Africans in the south, represented by the Sudanese Liberation Army, who are mostly animist of Christian.
More than 2 million people have been killed, mostly due to starvation.
A U.S.-backed peace deal, signed in May, paved the way for a power- sharing agreement.
Bahai, Chad. Hadiya Adam Ahmed, who recently crossed into Chad, lives under a tree. She was shot twice by a Sudanese soldier guarding a well.
Iridimi refugee camp, Chad. Hadiya Adam Abdullah and her children. Her husband was kidnapped by the janjaweed when they attacked her village. She doesn't know whether he is dead or alive.
Iridimi refugee camp, Chad. Hawa Salihdin and her children. Her father, her brother, her cousin and 30 other people were killed when the militias attacked her village. Her mother, Hadiya Ahmed, disappeared and is still missing.
Bahai, Chad. The majority of refugees in Chad have 'spontaneously' settled in places like Bahai and are not in organized camps.
Touloum refugee camp. Like kids anywhere, many of the refugee children in Chad are living in the moment, even though they have seen things no child should have to see, and borne burdens no child should have to bear.
Video Clip – Atrocities Uncovered http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4121083.stm# Go to video and audio, key reports Nov 15, 2004 (Atrocities Uncovered) 4min
The Security Council passed a resolution on July 30, 2004 threatening to consider sanctions against Sudan if it failed within 30 days to apprehend and prosecute the Janjaweed.
The UN Security Council Resolution 1556 expired August 30, 2004. However, more refugees were once again fleeing to Chad to escape another wave of violence an attacks by Janjaweed. The Sudanese Government continued to violate the terms laid out in UN Security Council Resolution 1556.
September 9, 2004: The U.S. Congress declared that the killings in Darfur amount to "genocide.”
On September 18, 2004, the Security Council passed Resolution 1564 , which noted "its grave concern that the Government of Sudan has not fully met its obligations" under Resolution 1556. The new resolution urges a greater role for the African Union's monitoring mission, and urges the parties to reach a political settlement to the conflict. Resolution 1564 also specifically threatens sanctions against "Sudan's petroleum sector . . [and] individual members of the Government of Sudan." Finally, the resolution calls for the creation of a "Commission of Inquiry" to determine whether genocide has occurred.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4121083.stm# Go to video and audio, key reports Sept, 2004 (UN Sanctions Warning) 2min.
The only peacekeeping organization that has personnel on the ground in Darfur is the African Union. However, with only 120 ceasefire observers in Darfur, and a protection force of approximately 300 soldiers, the African Union (AU) has insufficient troops to effectively monitor the ceasefire, let alone prevent attacks on the civilian population. The African Union has indicated it is willing to provide up to 3,000 troops for a full-scale peacekeeping mission, but until very recently the government of Sudan had rejected any suggestion that the size of the AU force should increase.
On October 5, 2004, the UN Special Envoy to Sudan reported to the Security Council on the implementation of Security Council Resolutions 1547, 1556, and 1564. He reported that both sides had repeatedly broken the ceasefire. He also indicated that the government of Sudan has failed to halt the violence by the Janjaweed militias. He called for the rapid deployment of an AU peacekeeping mission charged with protecting civilian populations.
News Headlines December 5, 2004 - Sudan says Rebels Kill 89 Since Ceasefire Sudan on Sunday accused rebels in the Darfur region of killing 89 people during more than 300 armed robberies since a shaky ceasefire was signed in April. The state minister for interior affairs, Ahmed Mohamed Haroun, said the number of looting attacks in Darfur in the eight months after the ceasefire was higher than in the previous 15 months. December 6, 2004 - UN: Chaos in Darfur; Law and Order Collapsing Despite peace deals, Sudan's Darfur region is lapsing into chaos, with rebels attacking police and the government ignoring brutal tribesmen they once armed, according to a report by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The report also said close to 2.3 million people were in desperate need of aid, more than a third of an estimated population of six million in Darfur. December 3, 2004 - Rapes, Forced Moves Continue in Darfur Janjaweed militia continued to rape women and girls in Sudan's Darfur region last month while authorities forcibly moved refugees, says the United Nations. November 16, 2004 - Market Days in Sudan's Darfur Draw Militia Raids
News Headlines December 8, 2004 - Militia Attacks Villages, Force 7,000 to Flee Tribesmen attacked villages in Sudan's Darfur region last week, forced 7,000 people from their homes and looted in the area, said the UN. Reportedly, 15 bodies had been found in the area around the town of Edwa in Darfur. December 7, 2004 - US Senate Approves $300 Million in Sudan Aid The Senate authorized aid for victims of government-sponsored attacks in the Darfur region of Sudan and will press the UN and U.S. allies to impose sanctions on officials in Khartoum. The bill would authorize $300 million in aid, $200 million of which would be immediately available for humanitarian assistance in the Darfur region and eastern Chad, mainly for aid groups working in the region. The other $100 million would be available after conclusion of a peace agreement that has been in the works for months. Sudan's government and southern rebels signed a pledge at the UN on Nov. 19 to end Africa's longest civil war by Dec. 31. The bill also includes language added by the House that urges President Bush to impose sanctions on Sudanese officials involved with the alleged genocide in Darfur and freeze the assets of businesses controlled by the government or the National Congress Party.
The conditions are continuing to worsen. As of December 22 nd , clashes continue. Repeated Security Council Resolutions calling for Sudan to stop the violence on its own have proved ineffective. The African Union is willing to supply troops, the government of Sudan now says it is willing to accept a peacekeeping mission (instead of the ceasefire monitoring team) to Darfur.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan today (12/22/04) called on the UN and the Security Council to make an immediate and "real re-assessment" of their approach to resolving the humanitarian crisis engulfing Sudan's Darfur region. Mr. Annan told reporters at UN Headquarters that the Council and the Secretariat must speed up the deployment of African Union (AU) troops to try to end the fighting there and the continuing attacks on civilians.
Throughout 2005 January 24, 2005 - Darfur Villages Reportedly Burnt in Fresh Violence January 27, 2005 - Sudan Breaks Ceasefire by Bombing Darfur Villages January 27, 2005 - China, Russia Reject US Bid to Impose UN Sanctions The US yesterday gave permanent members of the Security Council elements of a resolution that would establish a peacekeeping force in Sudan of up to 10,000 troops and place an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze on government officials. China and Russia rejected the new U.S. bid, saying any action should follow deployment of a UN peacekeeping force and formation of a coalition government in Khartoum. January 27, 2005 - U.S. Lawmakers Call for Pressure on Sudan Moved and angered by their visits to camps for Sudanese refugees, House members called on world leaders Thursday to pressure Sudan to stop the violence in the Darfur region that has killed more than 70,000 people. Actor Don Cheadle, nominated for an Oscar for his role in "Hotel Rwanda,'' joined lawmakers at a Capitol Hill news conference, drawing parallels to the violence that killed more than 500,000 people in Rwanda in 1994. February 4, 2005 - NATO Could Play Role in Darfur Crisis if Asked NATO could play a role in the conflict in Sudan's troubled Darfur region if asked by Africans and the UN, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said Thursday... "As far as Darfur is concerned, NATO is not involved, because the African Union is trying to set up a peace-monitoring mission. The (UN) Security Council is divided, and NATO will not go and rush into Darfur," said the NATO chief.
February 14, 2005 - Kofi Annan, Senator Clinton Urge NATO Role in Sudan Conflict Speaking at the annual Munich Conference on Security Policy, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan urged NATO involvement in the Darfur crisis. "People are dying, every single day, while we fail to protect them. Additional measures are urgently required. Those organizations with real capacity - and NATO as well as the EU are well represented in this room - must give serious consideration to what, in practical terms, they can do to help end this tragedy," Annan said. Senator Clinton, in her strongest plea, advocated a direct NATO role to stop the killing in the Darfur region of Sudan - including logistical, communication and transportation support. March 7, 2005 – U.S. Opposes International Criminal Court Referral for Darfur - Reuters 12 of the Security Council's 15 members are on record in support of referring Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC) as part of a Sudan resolution that is currently under negotiation. However, the Bush administration opposes an ICC referral because of its policy aversion to the court. The United States has instead proposed creating a new ad hoc tribunal for Sudan. In the absence of sufficient support for this proposal, the United States is now seeking a 45-day delay for an accountability decision. March 16, 2005 – UN Agencies Withdraw Under Threats in Sudan - Reuters The United Nations has withdrawn all international staff in part of western Sudan to the state capital after Janjaweed militias said they would target foreigners and U.N. convoys in the area, the top U.N. envoy in Sudan said on Wednesday. Jan Pronk also told Reuters in an interview, "The Janjaweed militia have said that they will now target all foreigners and all U.N. humanitarian convoys," he said. March 22, 2005 - African Union to Double Troops Protecting Darfur Civilians - The Scotsman The African Union is drafting plans to double the number of peacekeeping troops in Sudan's Darfur region to 6,000, an official said yesterday, responding to United Nations' calls for more security in the region.
March and April, 2005 March 31, 2005 – UN Votes to Send Sudan War Crimes to International Criminal Court The United States allowed the U.N. Security Council on Thursday to refer war crimes suspects in Sudan's Darfur region to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, a tribunal it opposes. The Bush administration abstained in a vote on a resolution after receiving concessions that would bar prosecution of Americans participating in U.N. operations in Sudan. The vote was 11-0 with four abstentions. April 22, 2005 - Darfur Accountability Act Passes Senate - WNBC The U.S. Senate on Thursday unanimously passed a measure sponsored by Sen. Jon Corzine demanding that the genocide in the war-ravaged Darfur region in Sudan be stopped. The Senate also approved a Corzine amendment adding $90 million for humanitarian aid to the region. The Darfur Accountability Act calls for sanctions against the Sudan and the establishment of a special presidential envoy to the region. Similar legislation is pending in the House of Representatives.
On June 30, 2005, Reps. Hyde (R-IL), Payne (D-NJ), Smith (R-NJ), Lantos (D-CA), Royce (R-CA), Tancredo (R-CO), Wolf (R-VA), Jackson-Lee (D-TX), and Capuano (D-MA) introduced the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act (HR 3127). The bill is modeled similarly to the previous Darfur Genocide Accountability Act (HR 1424), but in order to get stronger bi-partisan support for the legislation, it does not include authorization for the use of force, oil sanctions, or a no fly zone.
Main provisions of the bill:
To expand the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) and give the force a stronger mandate in order to protect civilians, humanitarian operations and deter violence in the region.
To assist the efforts of the investigation by the International Criminal Court in Darfur
To appoint a special Presidential Envoy for Sudan
To impose asset and travel sanctions against individuals deemed by the President to be perpetrators of the atrocities in Darfur .
To provide assistance to reinforce the AU mission (AMIS), “including but not limited to” logistics, transport, communications, training, command and control, technical, and aerial surveillance
To deny entry at U.S. ports to cargo ships or oil tankers engaged in business in the oil sector of Sudan or involved in the shipment of goods for use by Sudan Armed Forces.
To report to appropriate congressional committees within 30 days after enactment on:
- sanctions imposed by the Comprehensive Peace in Sudan Act (2004) and
- on the status of the AMIS mission and U.S. assistance to it
To use the U.S. voice, vote, and influence to advocate NATO reinforcement of AMIS, including deterring air strikes
against civilians, logistical, transport, communications, training, technical, command and control, aerial surveillance, and intelligence support
April 29, 2005 - Analysis: Nato's role in Darfur - BBC News NATO officials will be engaged in intensive discussions during the next few weeks following a formal invitation from the African Union (AU) for military help in the Darfur region of Sudan. In order to give them the flexibility they need, the AU wants NATO countries to provide logistical support, including communications, and the heavy-lifting capacity which no African armies have at their disposal. NATO officials stress that there is no request for NATO combat forces - all of the contingency planning now is for this logistical back-up for the expanded AU force, crucial to enable it to be to able move large numbers of troops over long distances. May 21, 2005 - Divestment efforts seek to pressure Khartoum government - Sudan Tribune A strengthening movement to bring economic pressure to bear in Sudan got a lift this week when Illinois became the first state to pass a bill aimed at forcing public pension funds to shed investments in companies with business ties in the African nation. Several states, including California and Maryland, have considered similar legislation. Meanwhile, college campuses - a crucible of earlier economic protest movements - have organized to demand that their universities scour their portfolios of investments in companies that do business in Sudan.
Other Nations Help May 23, 2005 – EU Pledges Logistical Support for African Union in Darfur European Union foreign and defense ministers have pledged to provide aircraft to transport thousands of African troops to Sudan's Darfur region to help end the conflict there. Several E.U. member countries have offered logistical support and equipment to the African Union as it expands its peacekeeping mission in Darfur. May 24, 2005 - Britain to Send Military Advisers and Civilian Vehicles to Darfur Britain will send military advisers and civilian vehicles to Sudan's Darfur region but not troops, Defense Secretary John Reid has said. Reid said Britain was offering 600 civilian vehicles, military headquarters' support and planners to support the AU peacekeeping mission. Britain is also expected to offer extra funds to provide additional logistical support. May 26, 2005 - Africa aims to boost military muscle in troubled Darfur - The African Union (AU) aims by September to expand the force to more than 12,000, from 2,270. By the start of the conference, the US had pledged $50 million, out of a total of $200 million promised by international donors. But whether more AU or other troops can actually get into place in the vast region with the right logistical support and with rules of engagement that are robust enough, is all still very much in question. June 3, 2005 – European Commission Allocates 12 Million Euros to Darfur Refugees in Chad The European Commission has released 12 million euros in humanitarian aid for the victims of the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan, to alleviate the consequences of the population movements affecting Chad. This aid is to cover the immediate needs of the refugees, the host population and returnees.
June 17, 2005 – Sudanese Visitor Split U.S. Officials - Los Angeles Times A decision by the CIA to fly Sudan's intelligence chief to Washington for secret meetings aimed at cementing cooperation against terrorism triggered such intense opposition within the Bush administration that some officials suggested arresting him here, sources said. The U.S. continues to harshly criticize Sudan for human rights violations. In September, then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell accused Sudan of committing genocide in Darfur. President Bush reiterated that charge this month. Yet cooperation between the CIA and the Mukhabarat, Sudan's intelligence agency, has steadily grown since the Sept. 11 attacks. July 4, 2005 – Slow Pace of Darfur Negotiations Worries African Union The AU, whose heads of state will be holding a two-day summit between today and tomorrow, is concerned that the negotiations between warring parties in Darfur, which are being held in Abuja under the mediation of AU special envoy Salim Ahmed Salim, are taking more time without resolution while women, children and other vulnerable groups continue to bear the brunt of the conflict. July 8, 2005 – NATO Begins Deployment of African Peacekeepers Into Darfur NATO has started a three-month airlift of African peacekeepers into Sudan's strife-torn Darfur region, the alliance said yesterday. In a statement, NATO said that the operation began with the deployment of Nigerian troops into the region last week. It said the airlift would continue into September. NATO and the European Union agreed last month to help fly some 5,000 troops from African Union nations into Darfur to strengthen the AU's existing monitoring force of 2,700 troops.
Video Clip – Civilian Suffering Continues http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4121083.stm# Go to video and audio / key reports Dec 7, 2004 (Civilian Suffering Continues)3:31min
December 2005 December 1, 2005 – Pope Calls for Stiffer Resolve in Darfur Seattle Post Intelligencer Pope Benedict XVI on Monday called for stiffer international resolve in Darfur, and said the Holy See would do anything possible to "end the cycle of violence and misery" in the troubled Sudanese region. "The horror of events unfolding in Darfur ... points to the need for a stronger international resolve to ensure security and basic human rights," said Benedict. December 12, 2005 - IDPs Not Safe From Violence, Aid Workers Say All Africa Global Media Displaced people in the strife-torn western region of Darfur continue to be threatened and harassed even after their arrival in camps, aid workers say. "IDPs [internally displaced persons] were reporting continuous military presence inside the camps during the nights with threats, detentions, harassment to the civil population and shootings." Attacks in all three areas of Darfur have been recently reported - in West Darfur on Wednesday, an unknown number of gunmen opened fire on an IDP shelter, killing one man and seriously wounding his wife. Last month, 13 militiamen entered a camp in North Darfur and fired on civilians, killing two children, aged six and nine, and injuring a teenager and an adult male. In South Darfur state, humanitarian workers say that armed men attack IDP camps. IDPs say women are raped and belongings looted.
December 15, 2005 Rice urges U.S. funds for Darfur peacekeepers - 12/15/2005 MSNBC The State Department is pressing Congress to allocate an additional $50 million for peacekeepers in the troubled Darfur region in Sudan where the U.S. budget to pay for African Union troops is running out. "We are working with Congress on the issue. It is very important that the African Union mission can continue," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told Reuters on Wednesday. The $50 million is needed to cover the U.S. share of approximately $10 million per month for the African troops from February through June, said Oxfam America, an aid group lobbying for the funds.
MEANINGFUL QUOTES "After all that we know and have learned from the last decade's genocides and mass atrocities ...we owe it to the victims of Darfur and potential victims to do everything we can to prevent and account for what the PHR report establishes is genocide.“ Justice Richard Goldstone, former Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and a PHR board member “ Now people know, and so they can have no excuse for their passivity bordering on indifference.” -Elie Wiesel on Darfur, 2004
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