Thursday, May 26, 2005
Latest Darfur Bulletin (News and what you can do)
Action Alert and News Updates
ACT NOW: Send a message to urge stronger action on Darfur
The Save Darfur Coalition joins 80 prominent advocacy groups across the nation representing millions of Americans in sending a letter outlining the steps that President Bush must take to stop the genocide in Darfur. You can send the same message. The letter, which highlights the urgency of the genocide in Darfur, calls for immediate US action through the United Nations to strengthen the mandate of the African Union (AU) force on the ground and to augment their mission to protect civilians.
By clicking below, you can join this effort to contact President Bush and other elected representatives to tell them you care about the people of Darfur and call for strong action to protect them. When our leaders understand that their constituents want them to act, they will.
May 24, 2005 - Africa Action News Release
National leaders release open letter to President Bush on Darfur
The Save Darfur Coalition joined Africa Action and other national advocacy groups in Washington on Tuesday to demand that President Bush take specific steps to stop the genocide in Darfur.
May 24, 2005 - Inter Press Service
President Bush urged to take immediate action on Darfur
Nine months after his administration first declared that ongoing violence in Darfur constituted ''genocide,'' U.S. President George W. Bush was urged by some 80 human rights and religious groups and prominent individuals in Washington on Tuesday to do more to protect innocent civilians in Sudan's western Darfur region.
The Darfur Genocide Accountability Act (HR 1424) will be replaced by an alternative measure sponsored by Congressman Hyde, the chair of the House International Relations Committee. This creates a challenge to the Senate counterpart, the Darfur Accountability Act (S 495), since any bill passed by the House will have to coordinate with a Senate measure.
Kofi Annan visiting Ethiopia and Sudan to seek help for Darfur
May 25, 2005 - UN News Centre
Mr. Annan is due to co-chair a meeting in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa to bolster international support for the African Union (AU) mission in Darfur with AU Commission Chairperson Alpha Oumar Konare. The donor conference aims to rally support for the AU Mission in Darfur.
From Addis, Mr. Annan is scheduled to go to Sudan's capital, Khartoum, and from there to troubled Darfur. In Khartoum he will meet Sudanese Government officials, AU officials and UN system representatives. Mr. Annan is returning to Darfur "to see at first hand one of the world's worst humanitarian crises and the progress being made in meeting the people's needs on the ground," a UN spokesman said earlier Monday. He is also hoping to revitalize the AU-mediated but stalled political negotiations and focus attention on the area's humanitarian needs.
NATO set to make African debut
May 22, 2005 - Sudan Tribune
Barring a last-minute hitch, NATO is set to make its debut in Africa by backing up an African Union peacekeeping mission in Sudan's war-torn Darfur region, but NATO stresses that the African body will be in charge of the mission.
EU pledges logistical support for African Union in Darfur
May 23, 2005 - Politinfo.com
European Union foreign and defense ministers have pledged to provide aircraft to transport thousands of African troops to Sudan's Darfur region to help end the conflict there. The ministers also called for an international inquiry into recent events in Uzbekistan and warned Iran to continue its freeze on nuclear activities. Several EU member countries have offered logistical support and equipment to the African Union as it expands its peacekeeping mission in Darfur.
Egyptian Parliament approves sending troops to Darfur
May 23, 2005 - Sudan Tribune
The Egyptian People's Assembly on Monday approved a decision by President Husni Mubarak on sending peacekeeping forces to the western Sudanese region of Darfur for a period of six years at the request of United Nations.
Canada's commitment to Darfur still falls short, says MP Kilgour
May 18, 2005 - Embassy Online
Canada has pledged $170 million in assistance to Darfur and appointed a special advisory team led by Senators Romeo Dallaire and Mobina Jaffer and Robert Fowler, which plans to support the existing African Union monitoring force in Darfur, and lobby other donor nations to make substantial increases in their pledges at a conference in Ethiopia to be held next week. But MP David Kilgour is concerned that Canada's funds will not go toward essential and immediate security needs, and suggests that it will require a large multilateral force to substantially pressure the Khartoum government.
News in Sudan
Food shortages and aid dependence set to continue in Darfur
May 25, 2005 - International Committee of the Red Cross
Food supplies in Darfur are running critically low and millions of people there are dependent on food aid. The prospects for farmers being able to sow their fields this planting season are not encouraging. During the last planting season, less than 30% of arable land was cultivated. This proportion is set to decline further. If people cannot plant crops, there will be chronic food shortages. A depleted harvest at the end of the year will mean that increasing numbers of Darfuris remain completely reliant on humanitarian aid for their survival, trapped in a cycle of dependency for at least another 18 months.
AU calls for increased support to Darfur mission
May 25, 2005 - allAfrica.com
Africa's peacekeeping mission in war-torn Darfur risks failure unless it receives increased support, the African Union (AU) warned on Wednesday. Speaking on the eve of a major fundraising conference for the peacekeeping mission, AU Peace Commissioner Said Djinnit told reporters Darfur was a critical test of international commitment and Africa's resolve to end wars on the continent. A "shopping list" of military hardware that includes helicopters, 116 armoured personnel carriers, passenger and cargo aircraft as well as trucks for African troops operating in Darfur will be presented at the summit on Thursday.
Sudan eyes Darfur war crimes court
May 21, 2005 - Reuters
Sudan, which has rejected trying its citizens in a foreign court, could announce the make-up of a tribunal to try people accused of war crimes in the troubled region of Darfur soon, a senior official said on Saturday. The U.N. Security Council in March referred Darfur war crimes suspects to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. But it also left the door open for Sudan to hold its own trials provided these were credible, saying the ICC should encourage such domestic efforts.
Sudanese rebels kidnap three politicians in the east
May 25, 2005 - Reuters
Sudanese rebels kidnapped three ruling party politicians as they returned from a conference aimed at preventing conflict in Sudan's east, a government official said on Wednesday. One of the two main Darfur rebel groups, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), said in a statement it had joined forces with eastern rebels to kidnap the three men who were leaving the government-organised conference in the town of Kassala near the Eritrean border on Tuesday. Both sides complain of marginalisation by the government, accusing it of concentrating on the country's central region, where most of the ruling elite hail from. Analysts fear the east has the potential to explode as Darfur has done.
NATO to Darfur
May 25, 2005 - International Herald Tribune
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and foreign ministers from Canada, Britain and Asia call for NATO to offer more in the way of assistance to Darfur. "While such contributions are both appreciated and much needed given the severity of Darfur's humanitarian emergency, we strongly urge NATO to make an even greater commitment to this important African protection mission, one that would include putting NATO troops on the ground under UN authorization. While much of the international community openly acknowledges the situation in Darfur as one of the world's gravest humanitarian crises, national governments and international organizations have thus far failed to find an effective way to halt the atrocities since they began more than two years ago."
A chance for peace in Darfur
May 25, 2005 - Morocco Times
Editorial by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and AU Chairman Alpha Oumar Konare
"While no one knows for sure how many people have died in the conflict in Darfur, western Sudan, more than 2.6 million are suffering because of it, and in urgent need of assistance. As part of our efforts to address the crisis in Darfur, we have jointly convened [this week's/tomorrow's/today's] donor conference in Addis Ababa: to give the rest of the world - especially the wealthy countries which have the means to contribute, and whose media and public opinion have been most vocal about the need to halt atrocities in Darfur - an opportunity to rally round and give practical support to the Africans who are actually doing something on the ground."
Help African Union boost troops now
May 25, 2005 - Human Rights Watch
"International donors and African countries meeting Thursday to boost support for the African Union mission in Darfur must ensure that more AU troops are quickly deployed to protect civilians in the western Sudanese region. Human Rights Watch sets forth recommendations for the African Union and donors supporting the AU mission in Sudan."
Darfur needs bolder international intervention
May 25, 2005 - Crisis Group
"With the high-level conference on the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) set to begin in Addis Ababa on 26 May 2005, the International Crisis Group is urging much stronger international intervention to stop the ongoing killing in Darfur. In a letter addressed to world leaders, including those meeting at the conference, Crisis Group President Gareth Evans highlights two areas in particular that immediately demand a bold new approach: the mandate of the international troop presence, and its size and capacity."
The Darfur crisis: simple needs, complex response
May 25, 2005 - ReliefWeb
An analysis of the needs in Darfur and the appropriate international response by Max Glaser, former UN-OCHA Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer in Darfur between July and December 2004.
Grassroots support to stop the Sudan genocide grows while the world action wanes
May 23, 2005 - Reuters AlertNet, American Jewish World Service
One year ago, American Jewish World Service (AJWS) launched a Sudan humanitarian aid and advocacy campaign within the Jewish community and spearheaded the interfaith Save Darfur Coalition. Since that time there has been a grassroots swelling of activity in synagogues, college campuses, and communities across America.
Save Darfur Coalition beneficiary of charity softball tournament
The International Studies program at the University of Maryland won second place at the College Park Scholars 8th Annual Charity Softball Tournament. Having adopted the Save Darfur Coalition as its charity, the International Studies Program secured and donated $500 to the coalition.
Rabbis call for day of fasting for Darfur
May 20, 2005 - The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles
Rabbis from all denominations are calling upon Jews in Los Angeles to participate in a day of fasting, prayer and political activism to raise alarm about the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan, organized by Jewish World Watch.
March for Darfur starts "Week of Conscience" in Cincinnati
May 23, 2005 - The News-Record
The University of Cincinnati chapter of Students Taking Action Now: Darfur, kicked off the "Week of Conscience" with a Freedom Walk Sunday.
Divestment efforts seek to pressure Khartoum government
May 21, 2005 - Sudan Tribune
A strengthening movement to bring economic pressure to bear in Sudan got a lift this week when Illinois became the first state to pass a bill aimed at forcing public pension funds to shed investments in companies with business ties in the African nation. Several states, including California and Maryland, have considered similar legislation. Meanwhile, college campuses - a crucible of earlier economic protest movements - have organized to demand that their universities scour their portfolios of investments in companies that do business in Sudan.
The cost of doing business in Sudan
May 25, 2005 - FindLaw's Writ
Human Rights Attorney Joanne Mariner describes and applauds the efforts of states and universities to divest.
Treasurer scolded over Sudan
May 25, 2005 - Philadelphia Inquirer
A Newark (NJ) assemblyman tore into state Treasurer John E. McCormac yesterday for posturing against a bill requiring the state to divest itself of investments in companies doing business in Sudan.
In the midst of a budget hearing on updated state revenue figures, Assemblyman William D. Payne assailed McCormac for suggesting that it would be fiscally irresponsible to pull the plug on an estimated $7 billion in state investments.
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Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Let the threnodies rise,
sing the dirges soft and sad,
bring the mourners to keen up to heaven.
Let the tolling begin,
long, slow, sonorous,
here the strands of Dies Irae proclaim,
the day of wrath approaches.
With each choice that says bad is good,
good is bad,
sterility is abundance,
death is choice,
God is nil,
man is all,
spirit is myth
and all is dust,
We man the death watch
that says farewell to the bright and wonderous promise
that once was western civilization,
and see it take its place
next to Sumeria,
and join the dead cities,
and all the others
in being in the past.
The future it looks, belongs to others.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Newsweek: "The Day America Died"
Osama bin Who?
See for yourself here: