Obama: What happens in Sudan “matters”

President Obama spoke earlier this week at the United Nations meeting about the future of Sudan.  Because of his presence, the meeting was attended by the Vice President Taha and Salva Kiir, president of Southern Sudan.

[President Obama’s speech starts at 20:30]

At this moment, the fate of millions of people hangs in the balance.  What happens in Sudan in the days ahead may decide whether a people who have endured too much war move forward towards peace or slip backwards into bloodshed.  And what happens in Sudan matters to all of sub-Saharan Africa, and it matters to the world.

– President Barack Obama, September 24 2010

Darfur War is “Over”?

According to a United Nations military commander, the war between Darfur and the Sudanese government has ended

Banditry, localized issues, people trying to resolve issues over water and land at a local level. But real war as such, I think we are over that.

Great news right? Not so fast.

I agree with Sudan analyst Gill Lusk in that, even if the war is “over”, the people of Darfur continue to be overwhelmed with other obstacles. The local issues mentioned by the military commander are very real and debilitating – and also include hardships such as a lack of food, shelter, and medical aid.

In the words of Lusk –

There has been a large decline in fighting in Darfur, and that is undoubtedly a good thing for the people…But it is the government that turns the tap on and off – they can restart the violence whenever they want.

So yes, the military commander’s words should make us happy, but do they mean we should close the chapter on Darfur? Absolutely not.

U.N. Antigenocide Policy – Too Late for Darfur?

FCBDBFF5-F30C-4BB2-893D-1DCA0A7D505AThe Obama administration supports the U.N. doctrine for multinational military action to stop genocide after diplomacy is exhausted. The Responsibility to Protect doctine was endorsed by the U.N. in 2005. Now support is needed to implement it “when a new genocide” occurs. Too late for Darfur?

Supporters of implementing the doctrine include China and Russia. Opponents fear the policy will be exploited by major powers to interfere in sovereign nations for economic and strategic goals. What do you think?

Read the complete article at WSJ.

Obama’s first meeting with Ban Ki-moon focuses on Darfur

400http-_dyimgcom_a_p_ap_20090310_captc0fe4136c6cb4c4ba03f776782d2a44aobama_un_whgh107President Barack Obama met with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for the first time since the inaguration yesterday.  And they discussed Darfur.  The president declared “the violence in Darfur and inaction in the face of its worsening humanitarian crisis are “not acceptable,” and pledged to work more closely with the United Nations to bring peace to western Sudan’s conflict-wracked region.”

“It is not acceptable to put that many people’s lives at risk,” Obama said. “We need to be able to get those humanitarian organizations back on the ground.”

I am so glad to see President Obama taking a leadership role on this issue.  And making good on his promise during the campaign.

Thank you President Obama for being a champion for Darfur.

Read the complete article here.

CNN’s “Scream Bloody Murder” airs this coming Thursday


CNN is airing a 2-hour documentary by Christiane Amanpour on genocide this coming Thursday evening at 9pm, entitled SCREAM BLOODY MURDER. The timing is in commemoration of December as 60th anniversary of U.N. Genocide Convention.

History has much to teach us, especially on this topic.

I hope you will make a point to watch it.

About the Show:

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour traveled to the world’s killing fields to understand the world’s indifference, even as courageous voices tried to “Scream Bloody Murder.” A worldwide investigation and two-hour documentary on CNN/US and CNN International:

CNN/US: 9 p.m. December 4; 8 p.m. December 6; 3 a.m. and 8 p.m. December 7; and 3 a.m. December 8 (All times ET)

The world’s most heinous crime.

Samantha Power at TED

Samantha Power recently spoke at TED about the world’s response to genocide 20th century.  And of Sergio Vieira de Mello, a Brazilian UN diplomat who for over 34 years negotiated with the world’s worst dictators and helped their people survive the crisis.

Watch her passionate talk below.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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People of Darfur speak out about the ICC charges

Jerry Fowler, president of the Save Darfur Coalition attended a conference with Darfuri civil society leaders in Tanzania earlier this month.  He spoke with attendees about the significance of the ICC charges against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

Here was their response.

This is the best thing that the international community has ever done.

We the Darfuris… are really encouraging Mr. Ocampo to proceed… whether it belongs to the Janjaweed or… even to the civilians, whoever did a thing… must be taken to account for that.  That will bring sustainable peace.  Without that, there will never be peace.

Here is the original post.