Thursday, November 18, 2004



THE price of the United Nations’ procrastination over the genocide in Sudan is revealed today in stark human terms: 35,000 further deaths since the UN Security Council first warned Khartoum to clean up its act.

As the 15-strong Security Council meets in special session in Nairobi today to debate Sudan, the crisis in Darfur is worse than on 30 July when the first resolution was approved by 13 votes to nil. Every five minutes, another person dies.

UN staff say the Khartoum government’s armed forces have continued to attack their own people. Refugees have been beaten while UN workers stand by helplessly. Women and children have been gunned down in Darfur’s marketplaces. The world’s worst current humanitarian crisis is getting worse.

The death toll has been notoriously difficult to tally, thanks, in large part, to the obstructiveness of the Sudanese government. A figure of 70,000 deaths has been mooted, but aid workers say that simply accounts for deaths as a result of military action. Yesterday, the British aid agency Save the Children took the plunge: its spokesman, Paul Hetherington, estimated that between 200,000 and 300,000 people had died since the start of the Darfur conflict.

According to the UN’s World Food Programme, about 10,000 people are dying every month.

Source: The Scotsman

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