Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Obstruction of Justice

I joined the Coalition for Darfur a little while ago, but never got a chance to do anything about it. The CfD is a multipartisan blog dedicated to exposing the horrific atrocities in the Darfur region and provoking the international community to action.

Today, the CfD links to a report of a USAID volunteer shot in the face by unknown assailants, in broad daylight, while traveling in a clearly marked humanitarian convoy. Sudan expert Eric Reeves (who spoke at Carleton, see my thoughts on his incredible lecture here) believes that this is part of a strategy by Khartoum to obstruct humanitarian aid, thus starving the Darfur refugees to death in a slow, but equally lethal, genocide. As CfD reports:
"If such a plan is truly in the works, it will have dire consequences for the people of Darfur. Last year, Jan Egeland, the UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, warned that as many as 100,000 people could die in Darfur every month if those providing humanitarian assistance were forced to withdraw due to insecurity."

When even the notoriously "even-handed" UN starts mentioning death tolls of 100,000 people per month, we should admit there is a crisis.

Meanwhile, yesterday's Washington Post contained a...interesting...interview with Sudanese Vice President (and architect of the cease-fire that ended the 30 year civil war between the northern and southern regions of Sudan--that's a separate conflict) Ali Uthman Muhammad Taha. He essentially denied there was any genocide taking place, and said that the international community needed to put more pressure on the rebels to lay down their arms. As CfD notes, the AU has estimated 90% of the cease-fire violations in the Darfur region have been instigated by the Janjaweed militias. But sure, let's blame the victim. Meanwhile, Joseph Goebbels is demanding that resistance fighters in Warsaw lay down their weapons before there is any talk of dismantling the concentration camps.

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