Tuesday, December 13, 2005

AFRICAN UNION TO HOLD SUMMIT IN SUDAN

hat tip
I wonder if the African, Koffi Annan, will attend, since this is the 2nd African Genocide on his watch in about 10 years.

Eric Reeves reports on the continuing scandal of Darfur -

  • Without public objection from any African leader, the next African Union summit is scheduled to be held in Khartoum, January 23-24, 2006. The countries of the AU have evidently concluded that a regime guilty of massive, ongoing genocidal destruction can serve as an appropriate host for the business of Africa. Such a conclusion is wholly remarkable, since presumably the business of Africa includes the vast human catastrophe in Darfur that has been engineered by this very same regime of genocidaires.

    The perversity of the AU decision is only heightened if we reflect on the genocidal history of the Khartoum regime over the past fifteen years, directed against various of Sudan's African populations.
    .....
    It is a profound scandal that not a single African leader has publicly objected to this travesty, even as not a single African country has dared to declare the realities of Darfur to be genocide, despite overwhelming evidence of the ultimate human crime. Tragically, this moral cowardice and political perversity are reflected everywhere in AU policy toward Darfur, a policy that is increasingly defined not merely by inadequacy and incompetence, but by shameful expediency.

    To be sure, some countries bear particular responsibility - Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa most conspicuously. But as all African governments continue to acquiesce in the AU's accommodation of Khartoum, all must bear responsibility for continuing genocidal destruction in Darfur. Silence - the refusal to object publicly to Khartoum as the site of the January 2006 AU summit - is acquiescence.
In what is a long report, Reeves proceeds to the following conclusion -
  • It remains the case, as the International Crisis Group (ICG) argued in July 2005, that a NATO "bridging force" is the only timely response to the insecurity and violence that may soon precipitate wholesale humanitarian evacuation. The force of 12,000-15,000 troops that ICG proposed may be low in comparison with other recent force estimates of what is required in Darfur: that of Refugees International (20,000-25,000), of the Brookings Institution/Bern University (20,000), or Protect Darfur (UK) (25,000). But if the force were deployed effectively and rapidly (ICG called for an early September 2005 deployment), hundreds of thousands of lives might be saved that will otherwise be imperiled if insecurity forces humanitarian evacuation.
See also this post of Jeff Weintraub's (via whom). Jeff comments -
  • For anyone who genuinely wants to see serious action against the ongoing process of genocidal mass murder in Darfur... the conclusions seem clear. Neither the African Union nor the UN has either the capacity or the political will to stop the slaughter. It is completely unrealistic to expect the African Union to take on this responsibility without large-scale assistance and massive political pressure from elsewhere. As for the UN, it has to be part of the solution, but the UN framework cannot provide a genuine solution by itself. The UN's humanitarian operations are essential, and they need to be protected militarily and backed up politically. But the UN, as an institution, cannot provide the necessary protection on its own. Even if the UN were capable of moving quickly enough to deploy the required military forces before humanitarian operations collapse - which it is not - it is almost certain that any attempts to do so, or to take any other serious action in Darfur, would be blocked by the Sudanese regime's supporters on the UN Security Council, particularly China.
    .....
  • The crucial role of NATO in any possible solution means that once again the major responsiblity falls on the US and - alas - on the Europeans. (I say "alas" because, so far, both governments and publics in western Europe have entirely failed to match even the quite inadequate and currently diminishing efforts of the US government or - with the partial exception of Britain - the amount of concern shown by sectors of US public opinion...) Those of us who are citizens of the US or of western European countries need to press our governments to do something serious to stop this atrocity.