Monday, July 25, 2005

News Summary
International Involvement
Rice speaks on ending violence in Darfur
July 20, 2005 – New York Times
Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice said actions, not words, are needed to prove the new government can and will halt the violence in Darfur.

Related Articles:
Rice urges AU to act faster
July 20, 2005 –
United States Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice urged the African Union (AU) on Tuesday to cut through any bureaucratic or political obstacles and speed its deployment of troops to Sudan's war-ravaged region of Darfur.
Rice to pressure Sudan to take action against rapes
July 19, 2005 – Washington Post
Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday she would press the government of Sudan to take specific steps to stop the recurring rapes of women in camps housing about 2 million people displaced by ethnic violence in its Darfur region.

U.S. military to assist with Darfur deployment
July 18, 2005 – ReliefWeb
In order to contribute to the peacekeeping efforts in the Darfur region of Sudan, the U.S. European Command began the deployment of personnel and equipment to Kigali, Rwanda, on July 14. <...> This U.S. airlift is part of NATO’s support for the African Union’s peacekeeping intervention in Darfur, and will contribute to the wide-scale, multilateral effort to provide humanitarian aid to Darfur.

Oil money and US pension funds flood Sudan despite Darfur genocide
July 20, 2005 – Sudan Tribune
Despite its status as a state sponsor of terrorism and the conflict in Darfur that Washington has called genocide that keeps U.S. businesses and most international aid out, Sudan will be awash in revenues: oil money. More surprisingly, Sudan will also be counting on investments from some Americans - those whose pension plans invest in companies active in Sudan, mostly in the oil sector. John Prendergast, an advisor with the International Crisis Group, said the money coming into the country from oil or other investments is going into the country's "war machine" and coming out the other side in Darfur or in repressing the Sudanese people.

Situation in Darfur
Security in Darfur is improving
July 20, 2005 – BBC News
Security in Sudan's war-torn Darfur region has improved significantly, says the commander of the African Union peacekeeping force. Festus Okonkwo said there had been no major battles since January and the number of village attacks had fallen. When Nigerian Major Gen Okonkwo first arrived as the head of a small observer force, he had to watch powerless as villages burnt and government and rebels clashed. Now the ceasefire between the government and the rebels appears to be holding and activity of the pro-government Janjaweed militia has decreased.

Sudan’s vows on Darfur doubted
July 21, 2005 – International Herald Tribune
The government, after promising a parade of foreign leaders over the last year to rein in the violence in Darfur, is still paying regular salaries to key leaders of the militias in the western province that continue to attack and kill civilians, according to U.S. government officials and aid workers stationed in Sudan.

Darfur’s rebel groups reach deal
July 19, 2005 – BBC News
The two main rebel groups in Sudan's war-torn region of Darfur have agreed to stop attacking each other. Clashes between the Sudan Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality Movement have hampered efforts to reach a deal with the government. The two groups also agreed to free prisoners and use dialogue to resolve disputes in future.

Interview with Amb Baba Gana Kingibe, head of the AU Misson in Sudan
July 19, 2005 – ReliefWeb
The Africa Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) has helped calm the situation in some areas of Sudan's war-torn western region of Darfur, allowing for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

Sudan says it's addressing Darfur rapes
July 19, 2005 –
The Sudanese government has set up a committee to investigate and eliminate rape and other violence against women in the country's strife-torn western Darfur region, foreign minister Mustafa Osman Ismail said on Monday. [I'll believe it when I see it.]

Sudan’s embattled Darfur region braces for hunger season
July 15, 2005 – Bloomberg
Aid agencies led by the United Nations World Food Program are accelerating food distributions in Darfur, a region the size of France, to prepare for the three-month period between planting and the harvest called the hunger season. As many as 3.5 million lives are at risk in Darfur, according to the UN, which is distributing $561 million of food in the region. Sudan, whose neighbors include Egypt and Libya, has a population of 40 million.

Memo to the community on Darfur
July 19, 2005 – Center for American Progress
"...Secretary Rice will have the opportunity to witness firsthand whether the steps taken by the Bush administration to stop the genocide have lived up to the promise that the president made in his second inaugural address: ‘All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors.’ If Secretary Rice and the Bush administration intend to bring an end to a genocide that has been unfolding since February 2003, they must immediately do the following: […].”

In Sudan, cautious hope for peace
July 20, 2005 – Christian Science Monitor
...If democracy does start to take hold in earnest, and if Darfur is resolved, US sanctions could eventually be lifted.

Activist Efforts
Grassroots project to relieve Sudan goes nationwide
July 15, 2005 – San Fransisco Chronicle
A Petaluma group that seeks to raise money for the victims of atrocities in the Darfur region of western Sudan is launching a nationwide campaign, timed to interfaith prayer events across America this weekend, to help at least 500,000 refugees by the end of this year. Tim Nonn, a former editor of technical journals who has a doctorate in Christian ethics, plans to use the National Weekend of Prayer and Reflection to launch a Web site Monday, at The campaign will call for 5,000 towns, cities and counties across the nation to initiate Dear Sudan campaigns to raise money for Sudanese refugees displaced from their homes and those living in U.N.- sponsored refugee camps.

Hundreds of Jewish groups sign on to “Call to Action” on Darfur
July 19, 2005 – Ascribe Newswire
American Jewish World Service (AJWS) has spearheaded a coming together of major national Jewish organizations, denominations and hundreds of synagogues, federations and other Jewish groups, to sponsor a unity statement demanding action to end the genocide occurring in Darfur, Sudan. The two-page call to action includes background about the crisis and a call to President Bush urging him to "assert moral and political leadership, promoting immediate and comprehensive international intervention" in Darfur, Sudan.

Bicyclists riding against Darfur genocide
July 19, 2005 – Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Elvir Camdzic today is pedaling his way through western New York on his way to Canada, gathering petition signatures along the route to try to get people interested and governments motivated to do something to stop genocide going on now in the African nation of Sudan. Ride Against Genocide, a 600-mile bicycle trek from Ithaca, Tompkins County, to Ottawa, the seat of the Canadian government, made its way through western Monroe County today. Cornell students organized the trip.

Student leadership on Darfur advocacy is inspiring
July 19, 2005 – Hillel News
One of the most heartening developments in the Jewish community's work on behalf of Africa (Forward, July 8, 2005) has been the activism of Jewish college students as individuals, as campuses and internationally. Young people have embraced the Darfur crisis with the same energy as previous generations opposed apartheid in South Africa or supported the struggle for civil rights in the United States.