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Thursday, June 10, 2004

Brief Update on Sudan/Darfur 

Despite the good news of a ceasefire in the other major conflict in Sudan, the situation in Darfur continues to be bad. Terribly bad.

What are the governments of the West doing about it?

Bonassus reader and fellow blogger J sent along a number of articles on the topic this morning, all of which portray UK Secretary of State for International Development Hillary Benn as leading efforts to get somebody to do something. The Independent reports that:
BRITAIN IS pressing for the UN Security Council to take action to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Sudan's Darfur region, despite resistance from other council members, the Secretary of State for International Development said yesterday.

Hilary Benn said Britain was working on a draft resolution for a peace-
keeping mission to enforce the deal ending Khartoum's long war with rebels in
southern Sudan. "It seems inconceivable that the council should pass a
resolution relating to Sudan that doesn't deal with the crisis in Darfur," Mr
Benn said in London after returning from western Sudan. "This is the most
serious humanitarian emergency in the world today...

Although the US agrees with the British position, it appears that there is resistance among some council members to be seen to be "Arab-bashing" so soon after the Iraq war."
Arab-bashing, my ass.

Even if the UN isn't able to address the issue (meaningfully or hot-air-wise), other multilateral institutions appear to be waking up. The BBC reports that the G8 leaders have issued a joint statement calling on the UN to take action and asking the leaders of Sudan to disarm the Janjaweed militia. And the EU is financially backing an African Union-led monitoring team.

What can you do? The BBC has a helpful list of relief organizations operating in the region to whom you can donate some money. I'll be attending a briefing put on by one of these organizations on June 24, and I'll have a more substantive update for you after that.

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