Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

They sing when they rape

by Sirocco Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 05:48:38 PM EST

Darfur landscape

"Kofi Annan," writes Nicholas Kristof in the February 9 edition of the New York Review of Books, "while trying to help Darfur, has been trapped in his innate politeness. He should be using his position to express outrage about the slaughter, but he seems incapable of the necessary degree of fury."

As if to prove this point, yesterday's Washington Post carried a characteristically flaccid opinion by the UN Secretary-General on what his High Commissioner for Refugees simultaneously called the "largest and most complex humanitarian problem on the globe." But for all the blandness of his prose, Annan aptly summarizes the status quo:


People in many parts of Darfur continue to be killed, raped and driven from their homes by the thousands. The number displaced has reached 2 million, while 3 million (half the total population of Darfur) are dependent on international relief for food and other basics. Many parts of Darfur are becoming too dangerous for relief workers to reach. The peace talks are far from reaching a conclusion. And fighting now threatens to spread into neighboring Chad, which has accused Sudan of arming rebels on its territory.

Despite a chronic funding crisis, A.U. [African Union] troops in Darfur are doing a valiant job. People feel safer when the troops are present. But there are too few of them -- a protection force of only 5,000, with an additional 2,000 police and military observers, to cover a territory the size of Texas. They have neither the equipment nor the broad mandate they would need to protect the people under threat or to enforce a cease-fire routinely broken by the rebels, as well as by the Janjaweed militia and Sudanese government forces.

Seven thousand lightly armed troops are now supposed to secure a virtually roadless area larger than France. Consequently, Annan is prevailing upon the Security Council to replace the AU operation with a "larger, more mobile and much better equipped" UN peacekeeping mission. "Those countries that have the required military assets must be ready to deploy them," he affirms.

Aye, there's the rub: "We, western countries, we are not ready to send troops there despite the fact that what is going on there is very serious," admits Jean-Christophe Belliard, a French diplomat and top advisor to the EU. It certainly is serious: the UN estimates the death toll at 100,000 a month if and when Darfur collapses completely. With the black rebel movements taking the fight to the enemy using increasingly heavy weapons, probably supplied by Chad, which has announced a "state of belligerence" with Sudan, that could well happen this year. Meanwhile the Janjaweed is escalating the humanitarian disaster, burning abandoned villages and driving cattle up from southern Darfur to ruin the crops.

Janjaweed
Janjaweed commanders. Photo: Amy Costello

As for the unreadiness to send troops, it has to do with commitments in Afghanistan – and, in regard to at least two central NATO members, an exercise in futility elsewhere. Now, western forces are not ideal for this region in any case. And arguably, the 51 other members of the AU should be able to produce more troops, at least if funding can be arranged from the West. After all, military forces are the one thing that continent has in abundance. But as Annan told Le Monde during a previous genocide, they "probably need their armies to intimidate their own populations." (See, Mr. Annan, you know how to bell the cat when you want to.)

Also, "we, western countries" aren't too eager to even contribute financially. The EU has cut off support. The US was asked for $50 million to help fund the AU mission until March. These the Bush administration put into the DoD budget, whereupon the US Congress – whose both chambers have unanimously declared the situation to be "genocide" under the 1948 Convention – unceremoniously crossed them out. True, western countries have donated handsomely to humanitarian aid. But what Kristof says about the US holds in general: we have "provided abundant band-aids-so that when children were slashed with machetes, we could treat their wounds. But we did nothing about the attacks themselves."

Besides machetes, the said attacks have a number of remarkable characteristics.

The Janjaweed have abducted women for use as sex slaves, in some cases breaking their limbs to prevent them escaping, as well as carrying out rapes in their home villages, the [Amnesty International] report said.

The militiamen "are happy when they rape. They sing when they rape and they tell that we are just slaves and that they can do with us how they wish", a 37-year-old victim, identified as A, is quoted as saying in the report, which was based on more than 100 testimonies from women in the refugee camps in neighbouring Chad.

Pollyanna Truscott, Amnesty International's Darfur crisis coordinator, said the rape was part of a systematic dehumanisation of women. "It is done to inflict fear, to force them to leave their communities. It also humiliates the men in their communities."

Source

According to the report, during one attack in June last year, Arab women allegedly stood by during rapes, joyfully singing: "The blood of the blacks runs like water, we take their goods and we chase them from our area and our cattle will be in their land. The power of [Sudanese president Omer Hassan] al-Bashir belongs to the Arabs and we will kill you until the end, you blacks, we have killed your God."

This blood-churdling chant is instructive, so let us examine its elements in turn.

The first sentence cuts to the core of the ethnic conflict: since the 1980s, desertification has pitted Arabic-speaking camel- and cattle herders against non-Arabic speaking farmers in a ferocious struggle over water. Tougher and much more mobile, the herders have the edge, and we get Genesis 4 inverted: Abel slaying Cain. This is an ancient pattern of warfare.

But as the second sentence suggests, Abel has friends in high places. The al-Bashir military regime in Khartoum has been backing the ethnic cleansing, probably to remove the demographic basis for two rebel movements which took up arms in 2003 in response to discrimination and neglect from the central government. Nicholas Kristof:

After it had decided to crush the incipient rebellion in Darfur, Sudan's government released Arab criminals from prison and turned them over to the custody of [tribal leader] Musa Hilal so that they could join the Janjaweed. The government set up training camps for the Janjaweed, gave them assault rifles, truck-mounted machine guns, and artillery. Recruits received $79 a month if they were on foot, or $117 if they had a horse or camel. They also received Sudanese army uniforms with a special badge depicting an armed horseman.

To cap it off, Khartoum has systematically deployed its air force against villages, letting Antonov supply craft drop barrel bombs filled with metal shards and using MiGs and helicopter gunships for added punch.

Child drawing
Drawing by Taha, a child survivor

The ending of the chant – "we have killed your God" – is puzzling: unlike the north/south civil war, all parties in this conflict are muslims. The mystery deepens when we learn of systematic burning of mosques, desecration of Korans, and targeting of imams.

The story is the same across Darfur, Sudan's westernmost region. In 25 days of research there and among refugees on the border with Chad, Human Rights Watch documented 62 attacks on mosques in Dar Masalit, the homeland of one of Darfur's three main African tribes. Several of them were accompanied by murders inside mosques, often during prayer time. Korans, prayer mats and other symbols of Islam were routinely desecrated.

Source

The explanation can only be that the Janjaweed don't acknowledge the blacks as fellow muslims, regarding them as unworthy of Islam. But why? Presumably because they consider them racially inferior. This, again, is absurd on the face of it, the Arabs being far from pale-skinned themselves. However, in his superb article "Arab Racism against Black Africans," the Nigerian scholar Moses Ebe Ochonu offers some enlightenment:

They are a dark-skinned people, although most of them are of mixed Arab and African ancestry. But these folks, by virtue of the aggressive Arab penetration of the Sudan (from the 13th century), a politically-implicated process of strategic intermarriages, and the adoption of the Arabic language and many aspects of Arab and Bedoiun culture, no longer perceive themselves as blacks, or African in any functional way. Indeed, they have long become Arabized. So deep is this new sense of the Northern Sudanese self that the region’s meta-narrative of origin and social evolution bears the imprint of an Arab antiquity more than it does that of African origins. This is the construction of racial and social memory par excellence.

And this "construction," boosted during recent decades, has had its engineers. Writes Darfur specialist at the University of Bergen, Professor Sean O'Fahey:

The ethnicization of the conflict has grown more rapidly since the military coup in 1989 that brought to power the regime of Umar al-Bashir, which is not only Islamist but also Arab-centric. This has injected an ideological and racist dimension to the conflict, with the sides defining themselves as "Arab" or "Zurq" (black). My impression is that many of the racist attitudes traditionally directed toward slaves have been redirected to the sedentary non-Arab communities.

This last is an interesting point. Let's return to the chilling testimony of the victim quoted above: "[The Janjaweed tell us] that we are just slaves and that they can do with us how they wish." This matches many other eyewitness accounts, including ones in a 2004 BBC documentary, The New Killing Fields. Describing a typical attack on a Fur village wherein 80 children were burned alive or otherwise massacred, a rape victim reports that the aggressors "were saying: 'The blacks are slaves, the blacks are stupid, catch them alive, tie them up, take them away with you.' They would say: 'Kill them.'" And here is an eye witness of another such attack: "I heard the horsemen, they said: 'Kill them all, kill all of the slaves.'"

Janjaweed
Arab with Sudanese slave girls, early 20th century

Though obscure and rarely discussed, there are over 1,300 years of precedence for Arabs enslaving black Africans. Starting around 650 AD and continuing even today in places like Mauritania and Sudan, this ancient tradition is estimated to have involved between 11,000,000 and 15,000,000 slaves – numbers equal to or exceeding the more short-lived Atlantic trade. (For more on this in the context of Central Africa, see this previous piece of mine.) Apparently, the racist sentiments associated with this vile tradition are alive and kicking, having lent themselves well to manipulation by the Khartoum regime.

Which brings us back to practicalities and how to deal with the latter. For while a UN peacekeeping mission will be hard to man, equip, and fund, the biggest hurdle is likely to be the Khartoum regime's allies in the Security Council. As the scholar Eric Reeves puts it in a brilliant recent article, "the real question is whether the US will use its diplomatic and political leverage within the UN Security Council to support an authorizing resolution, and to address the clear threat of a Russian or Chinese veto."

Of course, moral leadership from these is best sought at the bottom of a bottomless pit. China gobbles up nearly all of Sudan's oil and is reluctant to disturb the flow. Russia peddles weapons to Khartoum. As to the US, it is now painfully clear that the Bush administration's interest in Darfur flagged soon upon its reelection. Reeve's article devotes a whole section to its naked hypocrisy, concluding so: "Collectively, the actions by the Bush administration State Department and the CIA amount to virtually complete acquiescence before what it has described as 'genocide' in Darfur."

And so it goes. But next time, world leaders should spare us all that pious cant about "never again."

Display:
Great, comprehensive, disturbing, depressing diary, Sirocco.

Unfortunately there is a long history of what might be called "Arab exceptionalism" within some branches of Islam. This feeds into all the other historical issues you have noted.

Of course, this once again raises all the old issues:

Shouldn't the EU by now have a proper peacekeeping force organised for this kind of situation?

Shouldn't the UN have the funds given by members like the EU (and US) to finance an improved African Union presence?

Here, of course, is where the US (and Bush) criticism of the Security Council is all too true. There is no chance of basic rights in Darfur being protected whilst Russia and China are on the Security Council. The UN, lacking the resources to put together a truly neutral force, will not respond.

Clearly, the most pragmatic response is to fund an African Union intervention. Indeed, strengthening the African Union in many ways should be in all our interests. But sadly we don't seem to care enough.

(Side note for a future diary, the list of things the EU nations should be spending money on grows, but I don't know where the money can come from: Peacekeeping force/joint military action/supporting the AU/increased R&D/better universities/improved transport/energy policy/etc.)

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 06:06:51 PM EST
Unfortunately there is a long history of what might be called "Arab exceptionalism" within some branches of Islam. This feeds into all the other historical issues you have noted.

Yes. Some animals are more equal than others in that department, although only some 40 percent of muslims are Arabs.

There has been a shameless paucity of condemnation from the Arab countries, both on regime and street level. After all, what is being done here to their fellow muslims is worse than anything the Israelis have ever done to Palestinians, including 1948. The Arab League is going to hold its summit in Khartoum this March.

And Sub-Sahara Africa, with the partial exception of Nigeria, has also failed abysmally. The AU is meeting in Khartoum even as we speak, isn't that incredible?


The world's northernmost desert wind.

by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 06:22:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You know Sirocco, I had so far off-handedly avoided all articles in the press about the situation in the Darfur. This is something I had sensed, as soon as it started, as highly depressing ... so I had thought it best to be uniformed rather than be depressingly informed. I knew the general bits, but nothing more.

Your thread has let me catch up with all the information that I have missed, thanks for a comprehensive diary ... but god what a depressing mess the Darfur is and what a bloody useless bunch we western nations have become.

by Alex in Toulouse on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 09:11:21 PM EST
But it's not just the west, if that's any consolation. (Hardly...) See my reply to Bob below.

The world's northernmost desert wind.
by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 01:15:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If there is one place on Earth I would agree to nuke, it is Darfur. Sorry for shocking incorrectness of thought. I am pessimistic that we will avoid nuclear clouds, or that we can save anyone in Darfur.
by das monde on Thu Jan 26th, 2006 at 10:01:50 PM EST
Er... Could you explain that? Precisely what is to gained by use of nuclear weapons? Why would their use become inevitable?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 03:17:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well... The gain part would be that some worst evil would be destroyed. It is a shame of our civilisation what is happening there. Worse than a bomb, really.

Of course, the opposite part of precedent responsibility should be seriously weighted. It is more reasonable to wait until real rogue nuclear threats can be discerned.

I am pessimistic because I think that people are able to do very stupid things. Pakistan and India got a bomb, Iran would get a bomb, then Saudis and whatever next. Someone will see a "permanent" solution to some ethnic problem (Israel, for example), and go ahead... What do we have to leverage against that?

by das monde on Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 03:52:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
- to make any sense of your comments.

The world's northernmost desert wind.
by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 01:07:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Me too, I'm afraid.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jan 29th, 2006 at 03:06:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Whenever I see the word "rape" I cringe. Scanning through your article (I will read it agan more slowly, to inform myself), my blood boils, and I feel confusion. And I also know that on the ground in Darfur there are people trying to do positive things and make little differences...but within this context of hatred and violence, it seems so miniscule. Yes, and excellent and comprehensive article...and quite depressing. (And how can the West just watch? Just another black trajedy?)

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 05:01:29 AM EST
All the world is failing these people. China and Russia not only do not give a crap, by actively obstruct efforts to get tough on Khartoum. The African Union hardly even discussed Darfur at their recent summit, in... Khartoum. (For good measure, Sudan will chair the organization next year.) As to the Arab countries, they are way more preoccupied with shit like this.

What a lovely species we are.

The world's northernmost desert wind.

by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 01:13:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The UN - the dream of every socialist/secular/leftist - somehow failed the victims of the genocide!  But, but..its only an exception!

They also raped little girls in Africa, engaged in a very large financial and security scandal - Food-for-Oil!

Ah, who cares! And why would anyone be surprized - a bureacrat who cares?

Maybe, the left can create another agency like the UN. Why stop at one.  Make it 5.

by ilg37c on Sat Jan 28th, 2006 at 11:02:00 PM EST
The UN Secretariat is not beyond reproach, but as usual it's the member states, and especially the five moral midgets that grace the Security Council as veto powers, that refuse to take substantive measures.

For instance, your heroes in the Bush administration. An excerpt from Eric Reeve's article, mentioned above:

US POLICY AND THE "DARFUR PROBLEM"

How much better has the US been in responding to Kofi Annan's call for a force that is "highly mobile," "with tactical air support and helicopters," "very sophisticated equipment and logistical support," as well as "the ability to respond very quickly"? When Annan says that "[European and North American countries] are the countries with the kind of capabilities we will need, so when the time comes, we will be turning to them," we must wonder whether the US will respond.

In an initial statement, following Annan's remarks of last week, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in Monrovia, Liberia on Monday:

"`I think [the AU] is doing a good job, but it is pretty close to the limits of what it can do in its size and configuration. There are issues in how to sustain it,' said Rice. `We favour a UN mission which has the qualities of sustainability that comes from the whole UN peacekeeping system.'" (Reuters, January 16, 2006)

"Sustainability," while of course very important, does not speak to other key issues that will define success or failure for a UN mission in Darfur, nor does it address what is even more important than "sustainability," and that is urgency (any UN mission would take many months to deploy). Nor does Rice address the critical issue of mandate for a UN mission: will it be guided by the robust terms of Chapter VII deployment---a well-armed force with true peacemaking capabilities? Any mission lacking such a mandate will be at a severe disadvantage in responding to the acute threats against civilians and humanitarians.

But the real question is whether the US will use its diplomatic and political leverage within the UN Security Council to support an authorizing resolution, and to address the clear threat of a Russian or Chinese veto.

Annan, of course, very significantly hedged his comments about the need for a robust UN force, speaking only in conditional terms ("if we [the UN] were to be given the mandate")---and specifically declared that Khartoum, the AU, and the UN Security Council would all have to agree to the deployment of such a force. Annan well understands the enormous political difficulty, if not impossibility, that lies behind this "if"; and he may in fact have knowingly set the bar untenably high---this in the course of protecting himself from historical judgment: "Yes, genocide in Africa again occurred on my watch as Secretary-General, as when I headed UN peacekeeping operations during the 1994 Rwandan genocide; but this time I asked publicly for an intervening force and the international community did not respond." Of course we are three years into the genocide, and only now is Annan speaking (and so far only speaking) in appropriately urgent terms.

With this as political context, Rice's bland words in Monrovia are hardly encouraging:

"`I think the Khartoum government should be cooperative,' said Rice. `They have a problem in Darfur. The international community expects them to contribute to solving it and also expects them to allow the international community to contribute to solving.'"

But of course Khartoum has engineered the "problem" in Darfur---they don't simply "have" a problem. And the "problem" has been given a terribly specific name---by the Bush administration, by the Parliament of the European Union (in a 566 to 6 vote, September 2004), by senior officials of the British and German governments, as well as by numerous human rights groups, including Physicians for Human Rights, and international law scholars---the name of "genocide."

To date, the Bush administration, despite its own genocide determination, has been content to praise an AU force that has for many months clearly been unable to halt the ethnically targeted human destruction of African tribal populations in Darfur. Thus in an egregious moment of mendacity, US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer declared in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: "The African Union effort in Darfur has demonstrated why deployment of African troops is a viable option" (November 17, 2005). This was not simply transparent dishonesty: it was dishonesty in expedient service of a desire to forestall meaningful discussion of what is truly required for human security in Darfur.

Devising the political means of walking away from such dishonest assessment is one way of conceiving the difficulties facing Secretary Rice in Monrovia. This would account for her saying misleadingly of Darfur, "`the circumstances are beginning to change in a way that suggests that the AU mission may not be sufficient'" (AP, January 16, 2006). For of course "circumstances" have made abundantly clear the inadequacy of the AU for over a year.

But the more likely explanation for a tepid US response, despite political "cover" provided by the strong statement from Annan, is that Bush administration policy entails a deliberate accommodation of Khartoum's ambitions in Darfur. This would comport with a series of other actions and non-actions revealing Washington's continuing willingness to trade out Darfur, and to ignore the growing threats to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between Khartoum and the southern Sudan People's Liberation Movement.

And just what does the Bush administration secure from Khartoum by acquiescing before genocide in Darfur and a withering of the CPA? The answer is all too clearly a claimed, though unverified, "cooperation" from the NIF in the US-led "war on terrorism." Here we should look carefully at a recent Associated Press report on UN Security Council Resolution 1591 (March 2005), which targets individuals who "defy peace efforts, violate international and human rights law, or are responsible for military overflights in Darfur":

"The four-member [UN-appointed panel] said it was sending a confidential list of names to the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against Sudan to consider imposing a travel ban and asset freeze [against the named individuals]." (AP [United Nations], January 11, 2006)

But while the news focus of the AP dispatch was on efforts by Qatar and China to block immediate transmission of the panel's report and list of individuals to the Security Council (according to confidental reporting from a UN diplomat), behind the scenes the US has been working to revise the list of those to be targeted for sanctions. The most significant effort has been to remove the names of senior government ministers and military officials responsible for ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur, including Major General Saleh Abdalla Gosh, head of the National Security and Intelligence Service (the Mukhabarat).

This is particularly significant in light of the decision by the US Central Intelligence Agency to fly Gosh to Washington, DC last April on an executive jet---at Gosh's insistence (this trip was cleared at very senior levels within the Bush administration White House). Gosh was Osama bin Laden's "minder" during his time in Sudan (1991-96), the period during which al-Qaeda came to fruition; and the CIA seems convinced that securing terrorist intelligence demands that a key architect of genocide in Darfur be given extraordinary accommodation, not simply in being flown to Washington, but in being spared UN sanctioning for his role in ongoing genocidal destruction in Darfur.

The breathtaking cynicism of these efforts undermines any possible faith in Bush administration efforts to confront Khartoum seriously, and in particular US willingness to exert maximum diplomatic effort to secure deployment of the urgently required peacemaking operation. US officials are authoritatively reported to have been sought deletion of other senior members of the NIF from the sanctions list, including Abdul Rahmin Mohamed Hussein, currently minister for defense and former minister of the interior. Hussein, like Gosh, is certainly among the 51 names referred to the International Criminal Court for its investigation of "crimes against humanity" in Darfur. His role in orchestrating ethnic destruction in Darfur has been authoritatively established by Human Rights Watch ("Entrenching Impunity: Government Responsibility for International Crimes in Darfur," December 2005).

The effect of these US efforts, certainly understood by Khartoum as part of a ghastly quid pro quo, is inevitably to convince the NIF genocidaires that they have nothing to fear from the international community so long as they give the appearance of "cooperating" with the US on terrorism issues (the value of Khartoum's terrorist intelligence has been seriously questioned by many close and informed observers of the regime).

Such US efforts are consistent with a pattern of behavior that has powerfully encouraged Khartoum to continue its genocidal counter-insurgency in Darfur (see my October 27, 2005 article on changing US policy, The New Republic [on-line], http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=w051024&s=reeves102705). Tellingly, for example, the Bush administration State Department granted an exemption from US sanctions this past summer to a US firm, C/R International (headed by former State Department official Robert Cabelly), so that it might engage in public relations work for a regime formally designated by the US as guilty of genocide.

Even more disturbing than this exemption was the decision, made by the State Department last summer, to upgrade Sudan's status on the issue of slavery and human trafficking--from Tier 3 (the least favorable rating, assigned to governments that fail to meet international standards in responding to human trafficking) to Tier 2 (a category comprising countries, including Switzerland, that have demonstrated a commitment to addressing their problems). As recently as June 2005, John Miller, the senior adviser on human trafficking in the State Department, highlighted Sudan's well-deserved standing as a Tier 3 country. Shamefully, slaves from the country's south continue to be held in the north, and Darfur continues to see rampant abductions of women and children.

Nonetheless, President Bush certified in September 2005 (Presidential Determination No. 2005-37) that "on the basis of positive actions undertaken by the Government of Sudan since the end of the 2005 reporting period, the Secretary of State has determined that the Government of Sudan does not yet fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but is making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance."

This incomprehensible determination was justified on the basis of Sudan's "making significant efforts"; but the State Department also declared that "Sudan will remain on Tier 2 only as long as it continues to act on these commitments."

What are these commitments? And to what extent have they been honored? Certainly Khartoum has failed to address fully the issue of slavery and the thousands of southern Sudanese who remain enslaved in northern Sudan. "Combating trafficking" seems not to include eliminating the consequences of what was for many years a terrible weapon of war against the people of the south. And in Darfur thousands of women and children, overwhelmingly from the African tribal populations, have and continue to be abducted by the government-supported Janjaweed militia, without any significant action by Khartoum against its key military ally.

The State Department and President Bush also credited a well-coached Khartoum with "the release of an extensive plan of action for eliminating violence against women" (the US itself devised the plan), even as they declared that "we will now look at Government to quickly and effectively implement these measures, and to act to prosecute the perpetrators of sexual violence. We will be monitoring the situation closely, and will reassess the government's performance for the February 2006 report to the Congress."

Four months later, and a month before the State Department has promised to report to Congress, there is no evidence on the ground that those actions promised by Khartoum have been undertaken. On the contrary, all evidence, including from highly authoritative sources, suggests that sexual violence remains completely unchecked by Khartoum, and that the "climate of impunity" repeatedly remarked by human rights officials continues. There have been no meaningful prosecutions of those responsible for tens of thousands of rapes and other violent crimes against women in Darfur. The "close monitoring" promised by the State Department has certainly revealed as much. And yet there has been no public criticism of Khartoum's failures---nor is there any evidence that the State Department is prepared to act on what it knows to be Khartoum's bad faith.

Proud?

The world's northernmost desert wind.

by Sirocco (sirocco2005ATgmail.com) on Sun Jan 29th, 2006 at 02:54:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why is the world so gutless?

The brutality in Sudan has gone on for a long time, no one takes any action.

While everyone talks about the victimized Palestinians, who takes action to protect the black people of Darfur?

http://www.akha.org The Akha Heritage Foundation

by Akha Drug War (akhalife at gmail.com) on Sun Jan 29th, 2006 at 12:47:01 AM EST


Display:
Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]

Top Diaries