Thursday, June 16, 2005

Darfur this week 6/17/2005


National Weekend of Prayer and Reflection for Darfur
July 15th, 16th, 17th.
The Save Darfur Coalition invites you to participate in an interfaith weekend designed to call national attention to the crisis in Darfur. Congregations across the United States will include a prayer and information about the crisis in their services. We ask that you join us in promoting this initiative in your faith community. To request a faith action packet, please e-mail Darfur political developments

Darfur talks tackle draft declaration
June 14, 2005 – Reuters Peace talks on the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region progressed at a snail's pace in Nigeria on Tuesday with the opposing camps considering a draft declaration of principles that has yet to be discussed face-to-face.

Sudan war crimes court to open
June 14, 2005 – BBC NewsSudan has set up a special court to try those accused of war crimes in the Darfur region. Justice Minister Ali Mohammed Yassin said the court would be an alternative to the world court which has started to investigate alleged atrocities. Mr. Yassin said that more than 160 suspects had already been identified but he did not give any more details, beyond saying they were from Darfur and that they included rebels. The United Nations envoy to Sudan, Jan Pronk, welcomed the special court but said it could not be a substitute for the ICC.

National court for crimes in Darfur lacks credibility
June 14, 2005 – Amnesty InternationalTomorrow's opening of a special court set up by the Sudanese Government to try alleged Darfur war criminals is "doomed to failure," Amnesty International said today, unless the country undergoes serious legal reforms ensuring independence of the judiciary and brings about an end to the current climate of intimidation. "We fear that the establishment of the special court may just be a tactic by the Sudanese government to avoid prosecution by the International Criminal Court,“said Kolawole Olaniyan, Director of Amnesty

International's Africa Programme.

Sudan says charges against aid workers still stand
June 15, 2005 – ReliefWeb The Sudanese authorities have not dropped charges against two aid officials involved in the drafting of a report on rapes in the country's Darfur region, a judicial official said on Wednesday.

Sudan seeks to "strengthen" ties with U.S.
June 12, 2005 - The Sudan Tribune The minister of foreign affairs, Mustafa Osman Ismail has affirmed that the government's strategy was to strengthen ties with the United States based on mutual respect and benefit. In a press statement Isma'il said that the Sudanese-American ties were now better than what it was in the past. He said: "We are now trying to take these ties a step forward" pointing out that the existing complications from the US side was that there were many law makers and that pressure groups affected them.International Action

Green light for NATO support to African Union for Darfur
June 9, 2005 – ReliefWeb NATO announced on June 9th that it would help the African Union (AU) expand its peacekeeping mission in Darfur by airlifting additional AU peacekeepers into the region and assisting in their training.

Britain supports Darfur force, names special envoy
June 14, 2005 – Sudan TribuneBritain announced an extra 12 million pounds (22 million dollars) for the African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur Tuesday and named a special representative for the war-wracked western region of Sudan. International Development Minister Hilary Benn made the announcement as he wrapped up a two-day visit during which he toured two of the displaced persons' camps in Darfur.

UN mission chief heads to west Darfur
June 14, 2005 – UN News CentreThe chief of the United Nations mission in Sudan today headed for West Darfur to join a team scheduled to start work tomorrow on assessing how far Khartoum has gone in fulfilling its pledges to the Security Council to restore peace in the area.

Bush administration under increasing pressure to take more action in Darfur
June 9, 2005 – Voice of AmericaSince the fighting in the Darfur region of Sudan escalated two years ago, hundreds of thousands people have been killed and more than two million people have fled their homes. The Bush administration is under increasing pressure to take more action to end the conflict. On June 1, Mr. Bush restated that genocide is taking place in Darfur and said the United States is doing what it can to stop it, including support for the African Union, or AU. But critics say that is not enough. The International Crisis Group, a non-governmental organization, says "for too long, the international approach to the crisis in western Sudan has been defined by tough rhetoric followed by half-measures and inaction," which, the group says, ensures widespread attacks against civilians.

Briton named as buyer of Darfur oil rights
June 10, 2005 – The GuardianA millionaire British businessman, Friedhelm Eronat, was named last night as the purchaser of oil rights in the Darfur region of Sudan, where the regime is accused of war crimes and where millions of tribespeople are alleged to have been forced to flee, amid mass rapes or murders. Documents seen by the Guardian suggest that Mr. Eronat, who lives in a £20m house in Chelsea, swapped his US passport for a British one shortly before the deal was signed with the Sudan regime in October 2003.

Making a Difference

MTV movie awards fashion recap
June 9, 2005 – MTV.comRyan Gosling sported a black blazer, brown trousers and - apparently in an effort to spread awareness of the war in the Sudan - a T-shirt that said "Darfur."

Stanford University to divest from Sudan
June 9, 2005 – Stanford ReportStanford officials announced Thursday that the university will divest all directly held investments it may hold in PetroChina, ABB Ltd., Sinopec and Tatneft because of their business operations in support of the Sudanese government, whose actions in Darfur have been condemned universally, including by a unanimous censure vote of the U.S. Congress.


A Sudan Story
June 14, 2005 – Washington Post Editorial“Last June everybody we knew was just heartbroken about the killing and starvation in Darfur, Sudan, and frustrated by their inability to help stop it. It wasn't that Americans, the most generous people in the world, wouldn't lift a finger to help people in extreme danger, including Africans. The basic problem was that the groups that were working hardest to save the people in Darfur didn't seem to know enough about how American politics works in the 21st century. Then someone decided to hire our political consulting and lobbying firm….”

Darfur in darkness
June 15, 2005 – American Prospect“Well over a year ago, I remember hearing conversations about Darfur, and the word ‘genocide’ was used; but it seems to me that the issue just about disappeared from public consciousness for months,” said Brian McLaren, the pastor of an evangelical Christian church in suburban Maryland. “I know that the administration backed off from using the word ‘genocide.’”

A donor visits Darfur
June 15, 2005 – ReliefWebEarlier this year, I had the privilege of traveling to the Darfur region of Sudan under the auspices of International Medical Corps (IMC), hoping to bear witness to the tragedy there and the work of IMC to alleviate the suffering of affected communities. A trip to conflict-ravaged Darfur is not for everyone, but for me it was a life-changing event, watching IMC staff at work in the middle of what the UN has termed “the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world today.”

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