Source Pravda.Ru

The government of Sudan is not going to respond

America's declaration that genocide is taking place in Sudan has injected fresh urgency - and controversy - into the international debate about what the UN unhesitatingly calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis. It was only to be expected that the Khartoum government would reject the charge, but there has also been a lukewarm response elsewhere to Colin Powell's statement to the Senate foreign relations committee. The US secretary of state says genocide is taking place on the basis of evidence that black African villagers in Darfur are being targeted with the specific intent of destroying "a group in whole or part". Human rights organisations have welcomed the shift. Britain's official response is that grave crimes are being committed by the government-backed Janjaweed Arab militias and that the UN should mount an urgent investigation. Is this a case of diplomatic sensibilities masking a brutal truth? Is it right to have reservations about using the G word? Situations previously characterised as genocide include the Turkish massacre of 1.5 million Armenians during the first world war and, less controversially, the Nazis' extermination of six million Jews in the second world war, when the term was coined from the Greek word genos (race or tribe) with the Latin word cide (to kill). It has been widely applied to Pol Pot's Cambodia of the 1970s and made bloody reappearances in Rwanda in 1994 and in the aftermath of the wars of the Yugoslavian succession. Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serbian president, is facing a genocide charge at the Hague war crimes tribunal. Radislav Krstic, a Bosnian Serb general, was convicted of genocide for his role in the Srebrenica massacre of 7,000 Muslim men and boys. Sudanese officials will admit to nothing more than a humanitarian crisis created by ethnic strife and have contemptuously accused Mr Powell of seeking black votes in the forthcoming US presidential election. Khartoum also argues that the intervention will undermine delicate peace negotiations with Darfur rebel groups in Nigeria. Most of the facts, though, are indisputable: 50,000 people have died since February 2003 and over a million have been displaced. Aid workers yesterday reported a new mass influx of refugees into one camp in southern Darfur. Harrowing images have been on our TV screens for long enough to fuel demands for something that goes beyond agonised handwringing and ineffective quiet diplomacy America's declaration that genocide is taking place in Sudan has injected fresh urgency - and controversy - into the international debate about what the UN unhesitatingly calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis. It was only to be expected that the Khartoum government would reject the charge, but there has also been a lukewarm response elsewhere to Colin Powell's statement to the Senate foreign relations committee. The US secretary of state says genocide is taking place on the basis of evidence that black African villagers in Darfur are being targeted with the specific intent of destroying "a group in whole or part". Human rights organisations have welcomed the shift. Britain's official response is that grave crimes are being committed by the government-backed Janjaweed Arab militias and that the UN should mount an urgent investigation. Is this a case of diplomatic sensibilities masking a brutal truth? Is it right to have reservations about using the G word? Situations previously characterised as genocide include the Turkish massacre of 1.5 million Armenians during the first world war and, less controversially, the Nazis' extermination of six million Jews in the second world war, when the term was coined from the Greek word genos (race or tribe) with the Latin word cide (to kill). It has been widely applied to Pol Pot's Cambodia of the 1970s and made bloody reappearances in Rwanda in 1994 and in the aftermath of the wars of the Yugoslavian succession. Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serbian president, is facing a genocide charge at the Hague war crimes tribunal. Radislav Krstic, a Bosnian Serb general, was convicted of genocide for his role in the Srebrenica massacre of 7,000 Muslim men and boys. Sudanese officials will admit to nothing more than a humanitarian crisis created by ethnic strife and have contemptuously accused Mr Powell of seeking black votes in the forthcoming US presidential election. Khartoum also argues that the intervention will undermine delicate peace negotiations with Darfur rebel groups in Nigeria. Most of the facts, though, are indisputable: 50,000 people have died since February 2003 and over a million have been displaced. Aid workers yesterday reported a new mass influx of refugees into one camp in southern Darfur. Harrowing images have been on our TV screens for long enough to fuel demands for something that goes beyond agonised handwringing and ineffective quiet diplomacy, publishes Guardian Unlimited. According to the Daily Times, several UN Security Council members objected on Thursday to a US draft resolution that threatens oil sanctions against Sudan but they supported a large African Union force in the country’s Darfur region. US Ambassador John Danforth, however, told reporters after a closed-door council meeting that he expected the draft to be adopted, perhaps next week and with some revisions. He said support for a large African Union monitoring mission in Darfur, expected to reach 3,000, was crucial to observe and stop abuses by its very presence in the country. “I am very encouraged by the meeting,” Danforth said. “The importance of getting an outside presence into Darfur to monitor the situation is something that is impossible to overstate.” China threatened to use its veto power against the resolution if changes were not made to the text, objecting mainly to the specific sanctions threats. “The draft as it stands right now will not be acceptable, “ Chinese Ambassador Wang Guangya told reporters. A minimum of nine votes and no veto is needed for adoption in the 15-member council. The resolution, which calls for an expanded African force, threatens punitive measures “in the petroleum sector” as well as against individual Sudanese officials if atrocities continue or Khartoum does not cooperate with the monitors. But it does not give a deadline. In spite of Sudan's rejection of the US description of the Darfur crisis as genocide, Washington said it had received a "very positive" response at the Security Council late Thursday to a draft resolution aimed at ameliorating the security and humanitarian crises in Darfur. US Ambassador to the UN John Danforth told reporters after the Council's closed session on the issue, he was hopeful the Council could pass a resolution on the issue by next week. He said the 15 members recognised that Council action was necessary, and stressed the need for the African Union (AU), which has a force of monitors in place in the war-torn region, to play a vital role. "The importance of getting an outside presence into Darfur to monitor the situation is something that's impossible to overstate. That provides the most immediate assurance to the people of that region that they will have some protection," Danforth said. Some 1.2 million people are internally displaced in Darfur and another 200,000 have fled over Sudan's border into neighbouring Chad because of attacks by militias believed allied to the Khartoum government. The government has been fighting two Darfur rebel movements over the past one year. UN human rights reports said the militias, known as the Janjaweed, have carried out murders, rapes and assaults against thousands of civilians, and also destroyed or damaged villagers' homes and cropland. Asked whether the draft resolution's threat of sanctions against Khartoum was a stumbling block, Danforth said the provision was essential. "The government of Sudan is not going to respond if there is no pressure. And nobody wants to impose sanctions just for the pleasure of imposing sanctions - that's ridiculous", reports Sudan Tribune.

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