Will 2008 be another year of death in Darfur?

Linked with Eric Reeves – USA.

Published on the morning call, by Hans M. Wuerth, January 28, 2008.

An excerpt: … The massive genocidal assaults in Darfur during 2003 and 2006 appear to have diminished, but a number of ominous events prompted Prof. Reeves to write on January 15 that ”a vast cataclysm of human suffering and destruction seems virtually inevitable.” Indeed, there are several alarming developments.

First, the much reported UN/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) calls for the deployment of a peacekeeping force of some 26,000 troops. However, only 9,000 soldiers and policeman are currently deployed. Some observers doubt if the UNAMID force will ever be realized.

Second, the current force is under-equipped, under-manned and thus incapabable of protecting the more than 2.6 million Internally Displaced Persons. (300,000 more people were displaced in 2007.) On Jan. 7, a UNAMID convoy allegedly was attacked by Sudan Armed Forces, but UNAMID did not return fire. It still lacks sufficient transport aircraft and vehicles.

Third, Sudan’s primary trading partner, China, has used little of its political and economic influence to persuade Khartoum to help alleviate the suffering of the Darfuri people. Because 70 percent of Sudan’s oil flows to China, China may veto any anti-Sudan sanction at the United Nations. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International also have cited China for supplying Sudan with military equipment. China is unconcerned about human rights in Sudan and only promotes projects for the exploitation of Sudanese raw materials, said Koos Richelle, the director of EuropeAid. Without China’s influence, leverage, and assistance the human rights situation in Darfur will not improve.

Fourth, without the aid and support of human rights organizations hundreds of thousands of displaced Darfuris, and some 300,000 in neighboring Chad, face insecurity, neglect and starvation … (full text).

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