US Authorizes Airlift, Blasts Kristof, and Meets with Kiir

US President George Bush has ordered an airlift of much needed (and much delayed) equipment to the UN-African Union mission (UNAMID) trying to hold pieces together in Darfur.

According to US National Security advisor Stephen Hadley, the airlift will “help UNAMID directly protect civilian lives and improve the safe and effective delivery of lifesaving humanitarian aid”.

Certainly a curious move by the US – occurring during the final two weeks of Bush’s presidency regarding a now almost six-year-long crisis.

However, in perhaps an even more curious move, the US criticized NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof for his own criticism of the Bush administration’s inability to accompany its tough words for Sudan with tough actions.

Kristof responded by saying he was “flattered” to be mentioned in a statement issued by the US government.

In other news, Sudanese First VP Salva Kiir met with President Bush Monday to discuss the North-South peace agreement and the Darfur conflict. To read more about their meeting, click here.

Stronger than ever?

Watch the full video

The New York Times just released a video report on Omar Al-Bashir. One of the interesting developments of the recent ICC indictment of Bashir is that he is finding support among his former enemies.

Bashir just completed an extensive tour of Darfur, drawing huge crowds wherever he went. But more importantly, Bashir’s former enemies are rallying behind him.

This movement against Al-Bashir, is a movement against the people of Sudan at large.  It is against peace.  It is against security.  It is against the comprehensive peace agreement.  (Ghazi Sulieman, Human rights lawyer)

Watch the full report here.