The E6 Envoys

Through their envoys to Sudan, six global powers have called for Chad and Sudan to “exercise restraint”.

The “E6 Envoys” represent the US, UK, Russia, France, EU, and China. The group met Wednesday in Doha, Qatar.

According to reports, they “recognized the negative impact on the Darfur political process of the current escalation of tension between Sudan and Chad” and “underlined the need for continued efforts to address humanitarian needs in Darfur and other parts of Sudan”.

 

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“No One Will Give A Damn”

Today, the US, Britain, and France announced their opposition to any deferral of an International Criminal Court indictment of Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir.

On Wednesday, the UN said that the ICC had decided to issue an arrest warrant for the man behind the Darfur genocide. However, Thursday, the ICC denied that a decision had been made.

If a warrant is issued, Bashir would become the first sitting head-of-state to be indicted.

Sudanese officials continue to dismiss allegations against Bashir.

In the words of Sudan’s UN ambassador –

For us, this so-called indictment doesn’t exist. No one will give a damn in the country. If it has any merit, it has united the whole Sudanese people around our president.

The ambassador also vowed that Sudan will not cooperate with the ICC.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

BBC News has released its 2008 Africa – Year in Pictures. Check it out.

Sadly, most monthly highlights show violence and instability.

Hopefully, 2009 will bring more awareness and aid to regions in need.

Not Even a “Single Cat”

bashir102Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir has once again displayed his defiant nature.

Al-Bashir announced today that he will not hand over two Darfur war crime suspects to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

I swear to God I will not surrender even a single cat from Sudan because we can make a shoe out of its skin.

I swear to God that neither the US, UK, or France will move a single hair on our skin.

We told them if they want to come after us, come and try.

It is only a matter of time before Al-Bashir finds himself at the mercy of the ICC and alleged charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

Shocking Statistics

610Reuters AlertNet has a fascinating tool on its website that allows you to generate interactive charts comparing humanitarian statistics across countries. You can compare average life expectancies, internet use, access to sanitation and water, maternal mortality, and much more.

All statistics have been gathered by various UN agencies. However, there is one catch – data exists only for years 2000 – 2005.

Nevertheless, the numbers, although slightly outdated, are still mind-blowing. For instance, with a few clicks of the mouse, I was able to compare the 2005 average life expectancy of the UK (79), US (78), Sudan (57), Congo (46), and Rwanda (45).

Many of the discrepancies between countries are unbelievable (and inexcusable).

Try it out yourself.

Al-Bashir Scoffs at ICC and Western Countries

Omar Al-Bashir

Omar Al-Bashir

In July 2008, an arrest warrant was issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for Sudanese president Al-Bashir, alleging crimes against humanity, murder, and genocide.

So is Al-Bashir shaking in his boots at the thought of his potential punishment?

The answer to this question is a resounding NO. At a rally held this week, Al-Bashir discounted the actions of the ICC as nothing more than “mosquito buzz”.

He further dismissed pressure from Western countries (particularly the US, France, and UK), asserting that such countries were “under his shoes”.

Al-Bashir’s statement is one of utmost insult, as in the Arabic culture, shoes are a symbol for ultimate filth and impurity. The statement is also intriguing considering the Sudanese government hired a UK law firm this week to represent it in front of the ICC.