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Darfur, Sudan: Multilateral Half-Measures

| 9 Comments | 6 TrackBacks

The casualties are piling up, with over 30,000 believed dead and 1 million+ refugees. After wars with the black and mostly Christian south, the (mostly Arab) Sudanese government is busy terrorising and ethnically cleansing the black and mostly Muslim west. Robert Corr may have written the best history and summary of the Darfur crisis in the blogosphere.

Even in such an obvious case, however, multilateralism is running into trouble:

"The United States and Britain are pushing a Security Council resolution to impose trade sanctions, but they're having trouble getting it passed. Pakistan and China, for instance, are hesitant to interfere with Sudan's oil trade, which supplies about 300,000 barrels a day to Asia, partly pumped by a Chinese company."

...oh, and don't forget all the French oil deals (France is opposing sanctions, of course, as it did in Iraq). Not to mention Russian military contracts with Sudan. Meanwhile, African nations have ensured that Sudan will keep its seat on the U.N. Human Rights Commission.

Gary Farber has more on the limited progress being made, and sums it up as "Small steps continue. Meanwhile, people die." The Washington Post looks at the EU's cynical half-measures and asks, appropriately, "how many more deaths will it take?"

If YOU want to take action, a blog/ activists' workstation called Sudan: The Passion of the Present is a fine place to start.

6 TrackBacks

Tracked: July 29, 2004 9:01 AM
LIKE WTF from the voodoo lounge
Excerpt: First Iraq, now Sudan. How on Earth can anyone criticize the US for exactly the things that France, Russia and China are doing unbelievably blatantly? What the hell is going on? Has the whole world gone mad?...
Tracked: July 29, 2004 9:26 PM
Excerpt: Have any of the speakers at†the DNC mentioned the genocide in the Sudan, out of curiosity?† I hope so (if not, it's certainly not because they've been too busy talking about Al-Qaeda...).† I haven't blogged on this before - this kind of mind-bending
Tracked: July 30, 2004 2:56 AM
Sudan Website from The Politburo Diktat
Excerpt: Keep a close eye on these reactionary blog, Passion of the Present, -- an "independent, non-partisan, all-volunteer community initiative to stop the genocide in Sudan." Here is a list of talking points. Clenched Fist Salute, Joe Katzman at Winds of Cha...
Tracked: July 30, 2004 7:13 PM
Blogging on The Genocide in Sudan from In Search of Utopia
Excerpt: Much props and love to the Commissar for keeping the situation with the Sudan in the news. Today's Post 7/30/2004, 12:09 PM Sudan Website Keep a close eye on these reactionary blog, Passion of the Present, -- an "independent, non-partisan,...
Tracked: July 30, 2004 7:17 PM
Blogging on The Genocide in Sudan from In Search of Utopia
Excerpt: Much props and love to the Commissar for keeping the situation with the Sudan in the news. Today's Post 7/30/2004, 12:09 PM Sudan Website Keep a close eye on these reactionary blog, Passion of the Present, -- an "independent, non-partisan,...
Tracked: August 9, 2004 4:45 AM
Darfur from Quarry Bay from Simon World
Excerpt: The SCMP has, on its thankfully little-read op-ed page, a piece of excrement masquering as an opinion piece by Philip Bowring. The whole article is in the extended entry but there is a warning attached - it contains views that make little sense. The ma...


How about a Fantasy Bush speech on Sudan as Genocide?

I note that Amnesty and Human Rights Watch and the UN have avoided the "genocide" word -- Bush should be out challenging them.

And preparing operation Sudan Freedom.

I'm sure if we just enact sanctions on the Janjaweed, everything will be fine.

So, does that put you in the interventionism column?

Joe, Thanks for the roundup, and thanks for edgy the tone, and thanks for the link to

I agree with everything you say, including the frustration that the human rights groups don't call it a genocide. Actually, a few do: Physicians for Human Rights does. Samantha Power does. International Crisis Group does.

Two of us are involved in Amnesty International, and one of us has been pressing very hard on this issue. She just got a letter a couple of days ago from Bill Schulz, the Executive Director of Amnesty International in the United States. An excerpt:
I am pleased to inform you that the following resolution of genocide in Sudan was passed at the most recent meeting of the AIUSA Board of Directors...

"Whereas the repression currently taking place in the Darfur region of Sudan constitutes a genocide as defined by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention),
"Be it resolved that AIUSA urgently requests that Amnesty International find the situation in Darfur to be genocide and immediately denounce it as such."

...The Chair of the Board of Directors, Chip Pitts, will be forwarding this resolution shortly to the International Secretariat, which makes the final determination in such matters.

Well, while this and fifty cents won't get you a peacekeeping force, it helps a little--though it is awfully late. It tells you how unresponsive even the human rights groups are.

Thanks for posting on this subject. It is our view that we should be making noise asking for a peacekeeping force, and that the AU is the most likely organization to put one together. Both Nigeria and Rwanda have pledged troops, Obasanjo of Nigeria is the rotating head of the ŇU and does not want the AU to fail. So we will see.

The UN system is a disaster. In think maybe the personal respect the public feels for Kofi Annan insulates him and the system from criticism, which is a major problem in itself.

Best wishes, Jim Moore

The U.N. will not act unless the problem can be blamed on America or Israel. Then the U.N. Will blame the problem on Israel or America. End of Problem.

I mean problems like these are easily solved. Pass a resolution or two (once you get the dictators in line) and forget about it til its over. Then wring you hands and say "We should have done more, but we did not fail."

Works every time. Peace lovers every where (Libertarians take notice) applaud and go back to working towards Bush's defeat. Because Bush is the biggest threat to peace. For sure, dude.


The a republic is better off with police than without them. Even if police from time to time do bad things.

The 'tike does not think this applies to international dealings.

Well it is a point of view.



Because of our alpha male nature power vacuums will be filled. Who were you hoping would take the place of the US of A? Who is likely?

What are you talking about, M. Simon?

I was responding to Lurker's question: yes, I'm in favor of intervention.

I know you like to provoke me and view me as some kind of proxy for every view with which you disagree, but try to be an honest debater and we can have a good discussion. Until then, I'm just going to ignore you.

Of what importance is Sudan to the U.S.?

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