International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

September 16, 2004

September 16, 2004





** Media laud Powell's recognition of Darfur genocide; it is "significant" and a "meaningful step."


** Skeptics doubt the impact of Powell remarks, bemoan the semantic wrangling over "g-word."


** Many fault international "inaction" and fear divisions at UNSC render sanctions unlikely.




Powell's remarks 'better late than never'--  Writers praised Secretary Powell's "unequivocal denunciation" of Khartoum as an encouraging step toward "ending the silence and inaction."  Even critics of U.S. policy, such as London's center-left Independent, deemed his statement a "hopeful first sign that those governments capable of acting may, this time, be showing a willingness to do so."  Canada's leading Globe and Mail likewise held that Powell's statement "stands in sharp contrast to the dithering of some other Western governments." Conservative Western outlets praised Powell's "willingness to call the crimes...what they are," while berating the EU's "tone" and describing its avoidance of using the term genocide as "really astounding."


A 'battle of words' amid human suffering-- Detractors were dubious that Powell's "astonishing declaration" would have a real impact.  They carped that the U.S had just "invented a new use for the word genocide," with Powell's remarks fueling a "semantic quarrel."  While left-leaning French dailies observed the Secretary was "careful to add that the situation did not elicit any obligation" under the 1948 Convention on genocide, German counterparts reasoned that if "a crime is categorized as genocide, an immediate intervention has to take place to stop it."  Summing up the pessimism in this camp, Frankfurter Rundschau lamented: "These are strong words, but they will not have any effect."  Meanwhile, South Africa's Sunday Independent alleged that several countries are "trying to justify inaction with grotesque word play."  Citing "racism as the reason for the lack of public pressure," the paper dismissed the call for sanctions as a "salve for conscience, not a serious attempt to stop murder."


Can UN 'stop the madness'?--  Global dailies shared a sense of indignation that while it had a "moral duty to act" in the face of an "unfolding human tragedy," the international community has put up "a sorry performance."  Capturing this outrage, Kenya's independent Standard railed against both Khartoum for abetting the "genocidal attacks" and the "more vexing" response of the international community, the UN included, that "still dithers on how to resolve the situation."  Latin and Asian writers agreed the world has been slow to act but "should no longer stand on the sidelines" and, as India's centrist Hindu admonished, "watch as it did in Rwanda."  Some African press, however, blamed the "so-called African leaders" for not intervening.  It is an "indictment of the AU" intoned Zimbabwe's independent Financial Gazette, that "a decade after Rwanda...the catastrophic situation in...Darfur continues to be treated like an isolated atrocity."  Pessimists predicted, however, that pressure on Khartoum was unlikely to be "strong enough," given the divisions and the "oil customers" in the UN's "top panel."  China and Russia, with their "massive business interests," can be expected to "stand by the country's ruler Bashir."


Prepared by Media Reaction Branch (202) 203-7888,


EDITOR:  Irene Marr


EDITOR'S NOTE:  Media Reaction reporting conveys the spectrum of foreign press sentiment.  Posts select commentary to provide a representative picture of local editorial opinion.  Some commentary is taken directly from the Internet.  This report summarizes and interprets foreign editorial opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government.  This analysis was based on 47 reports from 21 countries September 10 - 15, 2004.  Editorial excerpts are listed from the most recent date.




BRITAIN:  "The Killing Continues"


A commentary in the independent weekly Economist asserted (9/11-17):  "The Sudanese government says any attempt by foreign troops to do more than observe the situation will be violently rebuffed.  Mr. Ismail said that AU monitors in Darfur should tread carefully, or they might find themselves attacked by suicide bombers, like the American forces in Iraq, though Sudan has no tradition o f suicide-bombing....  Sudan's regime looks nervous.  On the evening of September 7th, soldiers with semi-automatic weapons in Khartoum were stopping and searching cars.  Later, 33 members of an opposition Islamist party were reported to have been arrested, allegedly because they had conspired with a foreign power to destabilize Darfur. 


"The government portrays western moral outrage over Darfur as a facade.  President Omar Bashir recently told a women's meeting the West's real motive was to grab Sudanese oil and gold reserves.  Many northern, Arabised Sudanese believe him.  Local journalists visiting a camp in West Darfur this week accused the refugees there of parroting foreign propaganda.  'Do you even know what the term 'ethnic cleansing' means?' asked one, 'Or have you been told to say it?"


"The Belated Recognition Of Reality In Sudan"


An editorial in the center-left Independent held (9/10):  "It is highly significant...that the U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, should state, as he did yesterday, that the atrocities carried out in Darfur constitute genocide.... If the UN had accepted the use of the term genocide to describe the slaughter of 800,000 people in Rwanda in 1994, military intervention might have saved lives.  Instead, it went unpunished by Western governments.  Mr. Powell's statement is a hopeful first sign that those governments capable of acting may, this time, be showing a willingness to do so."


FRANCE:  “Washington Waters Down The Resolution On Darfur”


Philippe Gelie in right-of-center Le Figaro (9/16): “By toning down the threat of sanctions, Washington’s draft resolution to the UN may prove the limitations of its method.… The new version seems to ensure European support by making reference to Article 41 of the UN Charter.… The Bush administration, contrary to Clinton’s administration with respect to Rwanda in 1994, has not hesitated in calling the massacres in Sudan a genocide. This is a first for American diplomacy.”


"A Semantic Quarrel Over Darfur’s ‘Genocide’"


Christophe Ayad in left-of-center Liberation (9/15): “Ten years after the genocide in Rwanda, a genocide may be underway in Africa without generating an immediate reaction from the international community.  Ever since Washington used the word ‘genocide’ in connection with Darfur… a harsh debate has ensued in the international community.… When Secretary Powell used the word, he was careful to add that the situation did not elicit any obligation with regard to the 1948 Convention on the prevention of genocide.… Has the Bush administration invented a new use for the word ‘genocide?’ A more preventive than qualitative use, aimed at raising support rather than qualifying a crime? This is where the difference between France and the U.S. lies. On this side of the Atlantic the word ‘genocide’ is so charged that it cannot be used incorrectly.… For the U.S., as long as the word can help to mobilize the world, it does not matter if it is used incorrectly.… Beyond the semantic quarrel, there are geo-strategic reasons: for Washington, Sudan remains a rogue state. The threat of a foreign intervention is therefore a good way of pressuring Khartoum… As for France, it has a long-standing tradition of alliance with Northern Sudan's Islamists.… And all those who fight against ‘Anglo-Saxon imperialism’ in Africa are welcome… Still, Washington has not yet accused France of turning a blind eye on a genocide.”


"From One Genocide To The Next"


Medecins Sans Frontiers Chairman Herve Bradol argued in left-of-center Le Monde (Internet Version, 9/14): "On 9 September, Secretary of State Colin Powell declared...before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, that 'genocide has been committed and could still be occurring in Darfour.' In 10 years, from Rwanda to Sudan, what has changed is the U.S. perception of the threats to its national security and its strategic interests.   And the Sudanese regime, even if not at the top, is nevertheless high on the list of the country's enemies drawn up by the Bush Administration.  Despite the clear political opportunism, this change in the use of the word 'genocide' could nevertheless find its legitimacy in a careful reading of international criminal law....  To sum up, supposing that it is real, the intention to destroy a human group has not been announced and the definition of the group of victims requires the use of a category that has been rightly invalidated for many years.  However, it must be admitted that the notion of genocide in Darfour, even if it is not accepted by everyone, meets with genuine success within organizations for the defense of human rights and humanitarian organizations.... If the description of genocide applied to crimes carried out in Darfur can obtain the hoped for effect -- the application of the law, by force if necessary -- the constraint of having to describe in identical terms events that are in fact very different becomes secondary.  We should note in passing that to support this thesis the permanent members of the Security Council must be credited with the desire and power to put an end to the most serious crimes all over the world....  And, at a time when the whole world is becoming aware of the scale of torture carried out in US prisons in Iraq and the seriousness of the crimes carried out by the Russian Army in Chechnya, the temptation is strong to see in this stance not only naiveté but also a good dose of cynicism.... The careful examination of arguments in favor of the right to intervene and results of contemporary international military interventions should finally convince us of the need to avoid going down this road."


"Powell Accuses Khartoum Of Genocide"


Christophe Ayad in left-of-center Liberation judged (9/10): “Secretary Powell did not mince his words when he spoke of a genocide in Darfur.… This astonishing declaration comes just as Washington is pushing for a new UN resolution on the Darfur crisis that could lead to economic oil sanctions against Sudan. There is no doubt that Powell’s position will render the debate even harsher at the UNSC, where several members have already opposed the idea of sanctions. France in particular, because it believes sanctions are unproductive and wants to give Khartoum more time.”


GERMANY:  "Battle Of Words"


Brigitte Kols said in an editorial in left-of-center Frankfurter Rundschau (9/11):  "U.S. Congress says it, Secretary Powell says it and now their boss also said it: what is happening in Darfur is genocide....  Is this finally the vigor, ten days after the UN deadline expired and after the expiration of the 30-day UN period that was unable to force the government in Khartoum to take action?  These are strong words, but they will not have any effect.  Again Sudan can be certain that its oil customers in the Security Council, mainly China, will not support sanctions.  And Sudan is also able to strike back, saying that Bush lied with respect to WMD in Iraq and is now operating with a 'genocide lie' to score points among the African-American voters in the United States.  The concern that the battle of words will be lethal for the people in Darfur make the EU act with caution.  It primarily wants to strengthen the African monitoring force...but the question is how much time will Khartoum get out of it?  So much that only one thing can be observed in Darfur: the death of the people?"    


"Darfur And Genocide"


Maritta Tkalec judged in an editorial in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung (9/11): "President Bush's words require practical consequences and have different effects than the usual appeals and resolutions.  If a crime is categorized as genocide, an immediate intervention has to take place to stop it....   The U.S. election is the real reason for the verbal escalation of the Darfur diplomacy.  Evidence of this is also the draft for a new UN resolution on Darfur that was drafted by the United States: It does not provide for serious measures.  Sudan's government gets an extension to meet stricter conditions; the international monitoring mission is to be intensified; it threatens sanctions in the oil sector.  We cannot expect UN Security Council members Russia and China to approve it, since both are in involved Sudan's oil business unlike the Americans.  And all understand that the Sudanese government fights the separatist rebels in Darfur.  It is a principle in politics and pedagogues to say:  Never threaten sanctions that cannot be implemented, since this would undermine one's authority.  In this case the mere swinging of the club has another effect: It shows that the term 'genocide' can be used according to one's own discretion.  A debate over this would certainly result in a further weakening than a precise definition of this term."




Centrist Heilbronner Stimme argued  (9/11):  "Is a reason necessary to say that the problem in Darfur is genocide?  Those who know the facts realize that this is not necessary.  That is why it is all the more surprising that it is the U.S. government, which usually is not so precise when it comes to international law, is now openly addressing the facts.  But the tone from Brussels and Berlin is really astounding.  The Foreign Ministry is using wordy acrobatics to avoid using the term genocide, and the EU, too, does not use the term; but without international pressure the genocide will continue." 


"U.S. Is Finally Fed Up"


Right-of-center Augsburger Allgemeine Zeitung (9/11) said: "Since the mild UN sanctions did not provide for any sanctions and the few observers of the African Union are unable to frighten the Arab militia forces, they continue their treacherous killings.  The United States is now finally fed up with the situation.  It is calling for concrete steps against the government in Khartoum.  But it is really strange that the Germany government is now hesitating.  It does not see genocide but only a 'human rights tragedy with genocidal potential.'  There is hardly a worse excuse not to act." 


"German Government Lacks Credibility And Consistency"


Andreas Zumach commented on national radio station Deutschlandfunk of Cologne (9/10): "In the Sudan question, the German government lacks credibility and consistency.  Similarly like the genocidal Russian war in Chechnya, the government in Berlin is smoothing over and minimizing problems.  Foreign Minister Fischer only speaks of a humanitarian and human rights tragedy in Sudan with genocidal potentials.  These words are really embarrassing to hear from a man who compared the serious Serbian human rights violations against Albanians in Kosovo with the Auschwitz concentration camp and tried to justify with it the humanitarian NATO war against Belgrade."


"Sudan Faces A Wildfire"


Dominic Johnson commented in leftist die tageszeitung of Berlin (9/10): "Given the lasting violence in Darfur, the international indecisiveness is getting very embarrassing.  Ten days after the UNSC deadline passed without any results the UN is debating the crisis again.  Sudan can live with the situation that no penalties are imposed but that more and more ineffective deadlines are set, resulting in new debates in the Security Council.  That is a penalty for the Security Council and for the people in Darfur.   It is not just about ending the violence against Darfur's people, a withdrawal of the militias and a return of the many refugees.  It is about the future of Sudan.  Many foreign policy makers are right when they fear that Sudan might fall apart."    


"Sudan And Symbolic Policy"


Maritta Tkalec argued in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung (9/6): "Some UN countries showed understanding for Khartoum's problems and want to give the regime more time.  As a result, the Security Council could not agree on sanctions, but the U.S. is sharpening a twofold sword:  The word is genocide.  The Afro-American Secretary Powell is investigating whether genocide is happening in Sudan.  No sanction exerts more pressure on Sudan's government than this word.   If genocide were ascertained it would result into an international mission.  On the other side, Afro-American voters might be impressed by the U.S. engagement.  Action might not follow this symbolic policy-making, but it can be effective after all."


AUSTRIA:  "The Sudan Farce"  


Senior editor Helmut L. Mueller commented in independent provincial daily Salzburger Nachrichten (9/11): "International crisis management in Darfur has turned into a veritable disaster....  Why should Sudan's Islamic regime have been impressed with the toothless resolution a divided UN Security Council came up with in July? Sadly, when it comes to the Darfur crisis, the international community is putting up a sorry performance....  It is doubtful whether Washington's call for outside intervention will indeed force the regime in Khartoum to reconsider....  Also, pressure on the country's leadership is unlikely to become sufficiently strong, given the fact that the UN's top panel remains divided over Sudan. America and Europe are far from pulling together in this. Besides, the UN veto powers China and Russia, both with massive business interests in Sudan, can be expected to stand by the country's ruler Bashir. The support of Arab governments further contributes to the fact that Khartoum will continue to keep its cool in the face of the international community's purely rhetorical; indignation. All of this, however, only adds up to permanent suffering for Darfur."


DENMARK: "Therefore Darfur"


Nationwide centrist Politiken contended (Internet Version, 9/13):  "Finally the word has been spoken: what had to be said about Darfur. The man behind the terse and unmistakable statement was none other than United States Secretary of State Colin Powell.   In a speech to the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee last Thursday, Powell said that, following a prolonged investigation, the United States government had concluded that genocide is being committed in Darfur. And Powell left no doubt as to who was responsible: the government in Khartoum and the Janjaweed militias.... There is nothing particularly surprising about hearing who is behind the bloody attacks or the accounts of the brutal conditions in the isolated province in western Sudan. What is new -- and encouraging -- is that the Secretary of State of the most powerful country in the world has chosen to speak up and put into words what few observers have doubted.   With over 50,000 dead in Darfur...some may bitterly object that Powell's admission could have come earlier. But the old saying 'better late than never' is of crucial importance when the object is to prevent additional mass murder. Powell's remark comes at the right time, since the United Nations Security Council is about to begin talks on sanctions against Sudan. That country's government must be convinced that aid and international trade, including oil, will be suspended until effective steps are taken to protect the civilian population of Darfur against rampaging militias.   If the United Nations agrees with the American interpretation and accepts the fact that it is genocide that is being perpetrated in Sudan and not just national conflict or whatever nebulous diplomatic language they may come up with, then for the first time there will be some slight hope for those who are still alive in Darfur." 


IRELAND:  "UN Dilemma"


The Irish Independent asserted (Internet version, 9/9):  "The draft UN resolution circulated by the United States, threatening oil sanctions if Sudan does not cease abuses in Darfur, is felt to have little chance of passage through the Security Council. It will fall victim to the political games that make people across the world despair of relief for the appalling suffering of Darfur.   But there is also a substantial point of practice and principle involved, which the UN must resolve sooner or later.  What justifies interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state?   We have seen this dilemma closer to home, in the Balkans.   As to Sudan, common sense would seem to say that the expulsion of a million people from their homes, and the slaughter of 50,000, must be reason enough.   The argument gains force from the fact that the sufferers are still under attack from the Janjaweed, with the open or covert support of the Khartoum government.  But the all-out intervention advocated in some quarters would in all probability make their plight worse.   Sanctions, if strictly applied, might work.   Meanwhile, the UN should insist on a stronger mandate for the African Union's military observers.   Any move that strengthens the UN's policy of working through regional organizations is a step forward."


"U.S. Resolution On Sudan Threatens Oil Sanctions"


The center-left Irish Times stated (9/9):  "The United States has drafted a new UN resolution threatening oil sanctions against Sudan if Khartoum did not stop abuses in Darfur and accept an expanded African Union monitoring force with more powers. The Security Council measure also sets out steps Sudan must take, including submitting names of Janjaweed militiamen disarmed and arrested for abuses. The resolution does not give a deadline for Sudan's compliance, although diplomats said this might be added during negotiations with council members. It says Secretary-General Mr Kofi Annan should report back in 30 days....  U.S. Secretary of State Mr Colin Powell may answer questions about whether the violence in western Sudan constitutes genocide during a Senate hearing today."

NORWAY:  “Darfur”


The Christian democratic newspaper Vaart Land commented (9/7): “The international society has tried to interfere in Darfur.... But nothing has been done to disarm the militia, which continues its ravaging. If it is allowed to go on, an ethnic cleansing will soon be completed. The world cannot continue to silently accept this. The central government will have to be pressured harder, and the main issue must be to stop and disarm the militia. Norway holds a key role here, in the power of our central position in the negotiations between the north and the south. The United States, however, has the most say here, as anywhere else. An American invasion is not a desirable situation, but what is being done now, is not comparable to the vigor President Bush says he shows against terrorism.” 




SAUDI ARABIA:  "Continuing Crisis"


The pro-government English-language Arab News editorialized (Internet version, 9/16):  "The Darfur crisis has slipped temporarily from the headlines because of so many other terrible happenings which have diverted international attention. The attention, however, will return shortly.... Regardless of the confused international response, the Sudanese government itself needs to be far more pro-active in the way it handles the crisis in Darfur. Diplomatically it would be a mistake to continue to ignore world opinion. The Arab League's support was given on the basis that if Sudan was given more time, it would act decisively. The government should heed the advice of its friends. Resisting outsiders only makes critics believe that the Sudan has something to hide. An early publication of the report from the commission set up by President Bashir's administration to look into the origins of the crisis would be extremely useful. Hopefully by explaining the role of the Darfur rebels in apparently provoking a bloody reaction among government supporters, this document can inject some balance into the debate. More important than anything, however, is for Khartoum to be seen to be doing everything it can to protect and support the million Sudanese who have, for whatever reasons, become refugees."


"Double Standards Regarding Genocide"


Jeddah’s moderate Al-Bilad editorialized (9/13): "The United States touches a sensitive issue when it plays the tune of human rights and humanitarian principles.  This would be a good thing if the U.S. did not deal with Arabs and Muslims one way, and with its Israeli ally in another way....  We are against any violation of human rights, and against any genocide crimes whether in Sudan or anywhere else.  But we are also against any American prejudice.... The U.S. crime record in Iraq is contemporary history, but what has been happening in Palestine is a tragedy that is half a century old.  It is ironic when the U.S. classifies what happened in Darfur as genocide and what happens in Iraq and Palestine is not.... We are committed to opposing genocide but we are also against double standard classifications."


UNITED ARAB EMIRATES:  "Being Pedantic Over Semantics


The English-language Gulf News stated (Internet version, 9/12):  "Words describing the situation in Darfur may be important in the UN's corridors of power or the plush hotels where politicians and diplomats meet.  If it's genocide then this course of action must be followed, if it isn't then a different response is required. But the issue is not about a dictionary definition of genocide.  The issue is simple. A massive human tragedy is unfolding before the eyes of the world.  People are suffering and dying as politicians seem to debate whether the tragedy falls under the category of genocide.  Ten years ago the world turned a blind eye to what was taking place in Rwanda. Now the world knows the scale of suffering in Darfur but is wasting precious time defining how the suffering should be officially described. About 50,000 people have died since February 2003 and over a million have been displaced. Recognising the extent of this suffering and acting to ease it should be the main talking point."


QATAR:  "Genocide Jibe Does Not Help Victims In Darfur"


The semi-official English-language Gulf Times editorialized (Internet version, 9/12):  "By alleging 'genocide' is taking place in Sudan’s Dhafur province, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has injected new urgency into the debate on the crisis that is going on in the UN Security Council....  Any call for sanctions against Sudan would be counterproductive.  What is needed is a concerted effort to encourage the Sudanese government to take up all the offers of assistance being made by the African Union and other groups willing to assist the regional body....  All those with the ability to influence the thoughts and actions of those close to the crisis should do what they can to encourage a speedy end to the suffering of the victims.  Getting bogged down in acrimonious debates using terms such as 'genocide' is unlikely to be useful.  Indeed, it is extraordinary that the U.S. should adopt the term so readily in connection with Sudan when, year after year, it refuses appeals to apply it to the vastly greater and comprehensively documented Armenian tragedy of 1915.  U.S. interest in events in Sudan may not be inspired entirely by humanitarian concerns.  There are suspicions that Washington is using the tragedy as a convenient way to criticise a government it has always despised and as a distraction from its own blunders over Iraq.  However, that does not exonerate the Sudanese authorities from responsibility for whatever role they may have had in encouraging the Janjaweed."




CHINA (HONG KONG SAR):  "World Must Do More To End Suffering In Sudan"


The independent English-language South China Morning Post had an editorial stating (8/30):  "International efforts aimed at ending the terrible human tragedy in Sudan will reach a crucial stage today.  Regrettably, there is little sign that a solution is in sight.  Peace talks between black African rebel groups and the Arab-dominated Sudanese government have faltered....  The government must do more to bring peace to Darfur. This means disarming the militia and respecting the cease-fire.  And better protection has to be provided for civilians, so that refugees feel it is safe for them to return home.  A more substantial deployment of international peacekeeping forces - resisted by the Sudanese government - may be the only way in which this can be achieved.  The perpetrators of the atrocities should be prosecuted.  And, if a long-term solution is to be found, a fairer distribution of the country's precious resources will be needed.  Experience suggests that the Sudanese government will not do this on its own. International pressure should be stepped up now.  There is a moral duty to act.  The 15 nations of the security council will, as usual, have their own political agendas. But differences of the kind that so often render the UN impotent should not be allowed to prevent pressure being brought to bear.  Sanctions may be necessary, and even these may prove insufficient.  The world has been slow to react to the unfolding human tragedy.  It should no longer stand on the sidelines."


JAPAN: "Mass Slaughters Continues In Darfur"


 The top-circulation, moderate-conservative Yomiuri editorialized (9/8), "A solution must be quickly devised to end the Darfur conflict.   It is necessary to ensure that Sudan proceeds with an agreed peace initiative with southern Christians... The latest conflict in Darfur appears to have been prompted by Western Muslims excluded from the peace talks between the central government and the Christians.  The mass slaughter by Muslim militiamen must be stopped before coming up with a political solution to address Muslim concerns over the Khartoum-Christian peace process.  If the civil war remains unchecked, Sudan could become a hotbed of terrorism.  The international community must not allow this to happen."




INDIA:  "Sudan On The Brink"


An editorial in the centrist Hindu (9/11):  "In not initiating steps to improve the situation in Darfur, the regime of Omar al-Bashir in Sudan is bringing on itself tough international measures.... The world cannot stand by and watch the crisis worsen, as it did in the case of the genocide in Rwanda a decade ago.... The United States has circulated a draft resolution that proposes the imposition of penalties on Sudan's oil industry, the expansion of the African Union force monitoring violence in the Darfur region, and the creation of an international commission to determine whether genocide occurred. Strongly worded resolutions of a similar nature were contemplated earlier but shelved because of opposition from President Al-Bashir. If punitive measures are now to be thrust on him, he will have no one to blame except himself....  But sanctions have on occasion worked powerfully. They worked to end apartheid in South Africa, even though it took nearly two decades for the results to show. If Sudan does not put its house in order soon, it will leave the international community with no option other than using this weapon, unpleasant though this may be. There is no question of looking away while millions of homeless, hungry and frightened people wait for help. It is also disheartening that there is little progress in the peace talks between the Sudan Government and the two militant groups operating in Darfur, the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudan Liberation Army.... The African Union must intensify its efforts to find peace quickly in western Sudan, as this will certainly help avert an escalation of the humanitarian disaster in Darfur without a resort to sanctions."


PAKISTAN:  "Darfur"


An editorial in the center-right national English daily Nation (9/13):  "Security Council members see things from the U.S. lens.  Apart from discomfort with the genocide determination, China, Russia, Pakistan and Algeria have also objected to the U.S. proposal of sanctions on Sudan’s oil outputs.  Pakistan is likely to abstain if sanctions are part of the UN resolution, while China has indicated it would veto the US draft as it stands.  That said, despite these objections voiced in the closed-door Council meeting, the US Ambassador was positive that the resolution would pass by next week. The optimism may be short-lived, as many countries would not accept the charge unless corroborated by a UN genocide investigation.  The scale of human suffering, however, demands early action instead of creating new controversies and foreign policy point scoring."


"Dealing With Darfur Crisis"


An editorial in the Karachi-based center-left independent national English daily, Dawn (9/13):  U.S.-sponsored draft resolution on Sudan has met with considerable opposition from China, Pakistan and other countries in the 15-member UN Security Council.  Expressing its reservations about the proposed resolution, that calls for sanctions on the sale of Sudanese oil and a UN inquiry to determine whether the western region of Darfur was witnessing a genocide, Pakistan has said that this would only serve to 'make things more difficult'."




SUDAN:  "US, Sudanese Officials Discuss Relief Aid, GM Food"  


Khartoum's independent Al-Ayam stated (Internet Version, 9/15): "The director of the US Agency for International Development [USAID], Andrew Natsios, began talks yesterday with the government in Khartoum. He had talks with the first vice-president and the minister of the humanitarian affairs. The talks touched on the Darfur issue and the future of peace process in southern Sudan following his talks with the [Sudan People's Liberation] Movement in Rumbek.... The minister of humanitarian affairs, Ibrahim Mahmud Hamid, said the meeting with USAID director discussed the humanitarian and security issues in Darfur.  He pointed out that the meeting discussed future peace plans in the south by focusing on the means to reduce the costs of transport and improving sea and railway transport, as well as demining.  The minister said that the government has asked the USAID to increase aid to other parts of Sudan which will help in combatting locust. He pointed out that an agreement had been reached on holding a special meeting on the issue of locusts with the minister of agriculture to discuss aid.  He added that the USAID had promised not to bring in the controversial genetically modified [GM] material, but at the same he affirmed that GM processed food has been brought in.      He added, however, "The American aid [donors] have pledged that they would not bring in GM material. And if they did, it would be in processed food which does not harm the environment, such a [cooking] oils and maize flour which are not harmful to the environment."


"Powell Reports Sudan Responsible For Genocide In Darfur"


Pro-government, security-financed Akhbar Al Youm noted (9/10):  "In testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, Colin Powell, US Secretary of State declared that the actions of the Government of Sudan and its proxies, the Janjaweed militias, against the people of Darfur to be genocide. Citing the recently completed State Department investigation that was conducted in the Refugees’ Camp in Chad with assistance of the US Bar Association and the Coalition for International Justice, Colin Powell identified a consistent and widespread pattern of atrocities- killings, rape, burning of villages committed by the Janjweed and government forces against non arable villagers, we conducted that genocide has been committed in Darfur and that Government of Sudan and the Janjaweed bear responsibility- and genocide may still be occurring....   Powell acknowledged that some progress has made in allowing African Union troops in to monitor the cease-fire between the government and the rebels providing greater access for humanitarian aid. But he said, Sudan continues to throw obstacles in the way of aid workers and has done little or nothing to rein the Janjaweed. The key issue, he said, is to provide real security in the region to those displaced can return to their homes- when their houses and towns are rebuilt. “What is really needed is for the Janjaweed to cease and desist their murderous raids against these people- and for the government in Khartoum to stop being complicit in such raids. Khartoum has made no meaningful progress in substantially improving the overall security environment by disarming the Janjaweed militias or arresting its leaders.  Powell called on the UN to bring further pressure to bear, including conducting an investigation on the issue of genocide, increasing the AU peacekeeping force, and taking realistic sanctions against the government of Sudan for failure to comply with the resolution no. 1556.



"Government Rejects U.S. Accusation And Considers Then As Pressures"


Pro-government Al Sahafa stated (9/10): "The Government of Sudan hastened to reject Powell’s accusations. El Zubair Ahmed Hassan, Minister of Finance considered these accusations come within the context of Washington's and the other Western States pressures on Khartoum. During the conclusion of Burkina Faso extraordinary Summit El Zubair added that Powell’s statement proves that the United States is not a friend of Sudan. Sudanese legislators warned that declaration of occurrence of genocide in Darfur will cause harm to the peace movements in Sudan, biggest African Sate. This might lead to anarchy similar to that occurred in Somalia.  Angelo Beda, Deputy Speaker of the Assembly declared in Kenya, in a press conference yesterday, Thursday, the U.S. pressures will destroy everything; consequences would be fatal! He added The United States revolts like a bull in China store! Beda considered the American pressures on the Sudanese Darfur...would cause new separatist instability in other parts of the country and would even complicate the peace efforts in Darfur and could subvert the peace efforts in the south....  He added if there were no government, the situation would then become like that of Somalia. There might be some bad killings but there was no genocide in Darfur. Beda urged the African journalists in particular to visit Darfur to be acquainted with the situation there. He rejects that threat and added the Security Council would not approve it....  Moreover, Powell affirmed there is no trend to impose unitary sanctions by Washington on Khartoum because they are of no use due to absence of commercial transaction and economic cooperation between the two countries. He said he is not confident of passing the draft sanctions in the Security Council due to the opposition of China and Pakistan. They believe they would have no impact in changing Khartoum’s behavior."



"Powell Describes Darfur Crisis As Genocide And Khartoum Considers It As Non-Benign Political Pressures"


Pro-government Al Rai Al Aam asserted (9/10):  "The government rejected the new American classification of the crisis in Darfur as genocide. It considered it as sort of non-benign political pressure. Upon end of Powell’s testimony, the government submitted an official protest to the United States. It declared its rejection of classifying he crisis as genocide.  Ambassador Khider Haroun notified the U.S. State Department the government absolute rejection of such classification considering it wrong message to the other party that is negotiating with the government. This would lead to non positive negotiations, he affirmed.... He added that the number of the displaced in the country exceeds one million according to the UN testimony. Haroun described the method pursued by America in collecting data as lack credibility and defective. He advised it not to resort to such weak method in classifying the situation in any state. Haroun considered the United States’ position as queer from the majority in the international community such as the EU, AU, Arab League, OIC and the Non Aligned States Organization which all ruled out presence of genocide. They considered it difficult to conduct population discrimination to classify to Arabs and others. This is considered a message that predicts continuation of the crisis. A number of government officials declared to Al Rai Al Aam and news agencies that Washington has to desist from what they called negative signals to the rebels because it would motivate them to be extreme in their positions in the negotiations hall."



SOUTH AFRICA: 'East Africa Keen To Keep Peace in Darfur'


Johannesburg's balanced Business Day stated (Internet version, 9/13):  "A two-day meeting of defence ministers and other government representatives of east African countries ended in Rwanda's capital, Kigali, on Friday, with the issue of African Union (AU) peacekeepers for the troubled Sudanese region of Darfur high on the agenda. 'I am told the meeting went well,' Rwanda's President Paul Kagame said at a press conference at the weekend. Rwanda is one of two countries Nigeria is the other that has so far contributed peacekeepers to the region, although their arrival was delayed by logistical problems stemming from the AU's lack of resources.  Yet, with US Secretary of State Colin Powell having last week called for an increase in the size of the AU deployment after terming events in Darfur a possible genocide, it is conceivable that the US may provide financial backing for an increase in the size of the operation. This could prove electorally advantageous for US President George Bush ahead of presidential elections in November. At present, there are only 305 peacekeepers in Darfur. Their mission is to protect AU observers, but Kagame has been in favour of extending the scope of their responsibilities to include protecting civilians....  However, the countries involved in last week's meeting which, aside from Rwanda, included Uganda and Kenya have not officially pledged more troops in numerical terms.


"Darfur Genocide Once Again Exposes UN As Grand Fraud"


Johann Hari wrote in The Sunday Independent (8/29): "Several countries are trying to justify inaction with grotesque word play....[Political leaders] will usually behave altruistically only if we  -- the public--strongly urge them to.  So where is the public pressure to make the West stop the Sudanese holocaust?  The reason, on the left and right, is racism....  The best the UN will offer when its deadline runs out is, it seems, sanctions.  And sanctions are a salve for conscience, not a serious attempt to stop  murder." 


"Immediate Human Need Should Override Diplomatic Nicety In Africa's Response"


Foreign Editor Peter Fabricius argued in liberal Cape Times (8/31):  "Egypt opposes secession for southern Sudan, for fear a new government there might put the squeeze on its water supply.  It probably fears that too much Darfurian independence will add momentum to the secessionist trend in the South.  But one must say that disinterested analysts have also expressed the same misgivings about piling in the [foreign] troops and for the same basic reason:  that it will probably remove the incentive for the rebels to really negotiate a settlement and thereby prolong the conflict.  The only flaw in this argument is the innocent people of Darfur.  To the sophisticated diplomats like [Egyptian FM] Gheit, a delay in sending in the cavalry may be tactically advantageous; to the ordinary Darfurian it means more murder, rape and pillage....  [W]hen someone is drowning and shouts 'save me', one jumps in and only later worries about who owns the water or even whether there are sharks in it.  That must surely be the prime consideration in Darfur."


KENYA:  "It Is Genocide. Period"


Independent pro-business Standard asserted (9/15):  "The blinding fact that the international community is reluctant to face is that what is happening in Darfur is simply genocide, racial annihilation of one of Sudan’s black communities by a government-sponsored militia.... The core of the problem lies in the genocidal attacks waged by the bloody-thirsty government-sponsored militia, baptized as Janjawid, who kill, maim, rape and sexually molest girls and women with full state protection. Already 50,000 people have been killed by the militia.  But the Khartoum government does not seem bothered by the killings.  More vexing is that the international community, including the UN, still dithers on how to resolve the situation.  This is reminiscent of what happened in Rwanda.  Must it happen again in Sudan? The UN is the custodian of international law.  It must stop this madness.”


"How The Conflict Is Affecting Prospects Of Peace In S. Sudan"


Fred Oluoch, Special Correspondent, stated in the intellectual weekly East African (9/13):  "It is now apparent that the war in Darfur could slow down the signing of the final peace accord between the Sudanese government and the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), even as the protagonists still differ on what is fueling the war and how to end it.... Since the rebellion broke out in February last year, the Khartoum government has taken a major beating from the international community for supporting the Janjaweed militia and fuelling the war, which has so far cost up to 50,000 lives and displaced about a million people. The rebellion was initially believed to have been sparked off by the perception of Darfur residents that Khartoum was spending too much to contain war in the south at the expense of their development needs. Mr Beada sought to correct what he termed a misconception promoted by the Western media that the war in Darfur was between the Arab population and their African counterparts. "Darfur is considered part and parcel of the north and all the people there are Muslims. The clash is between the farmers and the pastoralists over grazing land."Mr Beada disputed US claims that there is genocide and ethnic cleansing in Darfur, arguing that although there were killings and destruction of property, no specific group was targeted for annihilation.Mr Beada noted that it was unfortunate that the Naivasha Accord had prompted other regions to take up arms in the belief that they could only win their share by fighting for it.


"Aid Groups In Darfur Face Critical Stage Of Operation"


Zeddy Sambu commented in the independent, left-of-center Nation (9/6):  "United Nations agencies and other humanitarian groups are bracing themselves for the critical stage of Africa's largest relief operation in Sudan's Darfur region. Since the crisis began about eight months ago, this will be the first time the agencies are airdropping food into the most inaccessible parts of the region. The International Committee of the Red Cross says it is scaling up relief distribution in all the three regions of Darfur to about 400,000 people....  As the rainy season reaches its peak, the agencies are faced with an even greater challenge to meet the needs of the displaced and dispossessed....  On an almost systematic and continuous basis, at least five conflicts occur in Africa annually. From 1998, more than 25 have broken out and the Darfur one is the latest.   But the civil war in Sudan, which has run for the last 19 years, is Africa's longest and has claimed about 2 million lives....  The continued atrocities by the Arab and government-backed militia groups have forced the UN to threaten the Khartoum government with both economic and political sanctions. But early last week, the government survived the UN sanctions despite the deteriorating humanitarian situation. The UN special envoy instead pleaded for reinforcement of peace-keeping troops. Apart from concerns that relief food distribution is being hampered by the militia groups, insecurity and human rights abuse continue unabated. A report titled, Rape as a Weapon of War in Darfur, outlines how rape is being used by the armed militias to punish, control, inflict fear in and displace women. The latest round of talks sponsored by the African Union in Nigeria have hit a snag, with Justice for All and Sudanese Liberation Movement rebel leaders walking out. 'The Sudanese government is now faced by probable UN sanctions over increasing security concerns. Top officials of the Khartoum government, racing against time, have one week to disarm the Janjaweed and the two other militia groups by August 30,' the report says."


"Darfur Crisis Stagnates Sudanese Peace Talks"


The independent, left-of-center Nation stated (9/5): "IGAD officials agree that the Sudanese peace talks were galloping along fine until the complication of the Darfur crisis came up. Suddenly, international attention has shifted to the humanitarian crisis in this western part of Africa's largest country. Darfur is really a political, not a religious dispute. The militias are alleged to be aided by Khartoum, but the government denies it. In fact, the universally accepted divide of Arab-African in the Sudan is far from clear-cut. The majority of Sudanese, even those in the North, are dark-skinned, though perhaps less so than the Dinka or Nuer of the South. Actually, the more pronounced divide is religious, pitting Muslims and Christians of the South....  There is enormous interest in the Somali and Sudan peace initiatives from the West. The bulk of the funding for IGAD (under whose auspices both initiatives are going on) is from Western countries. EU member countries France, Italy, Britain, Germany and Sweden have financially been supporting the protracted Somali negotiations, which have been going on for about 3 years while Sudanese have been 10 years....  Even the Sudan talks receive strong EU backing. France has a special envoy to the talks. But the heavy lifting is actually done by the Americans who have put in a lot of effort and money recently to push the process forward. None other than US Secretary of State Colin Powell was in Naivasha this year to arm-twist the delegates to sign the Nairobi Accord of June. The story is that he was pushing for the Final Settlement to be signed later in Washington, as a boost to President George W. Bush re-election campaign."


NIGERIA: "Darfur: Sudanese Govt Faults U.S. 'Genocide' Position"


Kingsley Nwezeh independent This Day asserted (9/14):  "Republic of Sudan yesterday faulted the statement credited to the United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell before the U.S. Senate Committee that the tragedy in the Darfur region of Sudan amounted to genocide.  In a statement issued in Abuja, Sudan said the statement contrasted with the real situation on ground and the assessment of the EU, African Union, Arab League, the Non-aligned Movement, Organisation of Islamic Countries and the Red Cross International on the matter.  Secretary Powell's testimony, while admitting that the two rebel movements kidnap relief workers...has failed to hold them accountable for the killing looting, burning of villages and other atrocities which occur as a natural result to their criminal behaviour, the statement claimed.  It wondered why the U.S. Senate having said that the Sudanese Government was arming the Janjaweed militia did not bother to know who trained and armed the two rebel movements. The consequences of the Secretary of State's message have already been seen. The Sudanese rebel representatives to the negotiations in Abuja, Nigeria has declared the peace talks dead and pledged to 'wage a full-scale war from all directions to bring down the government in Sudan,' it added."


"Africa: Visionless Leaders And Rural Poverty)"


Victor Dike, head of the Center for Social Justice and Human Development  stated in the independent Vanguard (Internet version, 9/14)

 AFRICA remains one of the World's poorest continents. This is not surprising to many observers because 'of the 86 countries that are defined as low-income and food-deficient, 43 are in Africa.'...   It is proper to note here that expansion of 'freedoms' and 'enhancement of human capabilities' could reduce the poverty of a people . However, deep ethno-religious crises in Africa impede its economic and social progress.   But African leaders do not seem to have done enough to resolve the problem in the continent. For instance, the unending conflicts in Burundi and Rwanda, Ethiopia and Eritrea, the Sudan and of course Nigeria, have caused a lot of human misery.   Again, the so-called African leaders seem to lack the vision and political will to halt the 'genocide' going on in places such as Sudan.... Despite repeated promises of poverty alleviation over the years by African leaders those living in poverty in the continent seem to be increasing. It is sad that African leaders take delight in traveling to the West to enjoy the 'goodies' in the area (with the pretense of attracting international investment to the region). But they lack the vision to transform the continent into a place that would be attractive to foreign businesses. Poverty destroys aspiration and hope, and many of the poor rural dwellers seem to have given up on the current African leaders that do not seem to have any real plans for their welfare....  But African leaders do not seem to care about the poverty of the people because they seem to have personal interests that are often at odds with those of the general public. If they really care they should show it by providing good quality education and social infrastructure and improve the 'legal system that can enforce contracts and settle disputes and banks that can lend money' and control corruption.... To break the circle of poverty in the troubled Africa the leaders must have clear and progressive vision that would ensure sociopolitical and economic development (trade and industry, etc), and to assume the responsibility of meeting the basic needs of those they govern. If not, only the divine intervention would rescue the African child born of poor parents from poverty."


"Abuja Talks On Darfur Crisis" 


Abuja-based independent Daily Trust (8/31) in its editorial stated " It is the hope of this newspaper that both sides will commit themselves to do more to ease the suffering of the people of Darfur.  Failure at the Abuja talks will be a minus not only for the Sudanese government, which is keen to limit the problem within the African continent, but also for the rebels as it will only elongate the suffering of the Darfur people they claim to represent.  It is also a test case for the African Union to show that it is indeed different from its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity that was keen to promote the notion of internal affairs of African countries whose conduct is beyond the pale.  Daily Trust believes that the two sides should not be keen on grandstanding and playing to the gallery even as more and more people suffer on the ground."


ZIMBABWE:  "Save Lives First And Talk Later"


A commentary in the independent weekly Financial Gazette asserted (9/2):  "It is an indictment of the African Union (AU) and African diplomacy that a decade after the Rwanda genocide, the catastrophic situation in Sudan's western Darfur region continues to be treated like an isolated atrocity. When about one million Tutsis were massacred by Hutu militias inside Rwanda in 1994 and a further two million Rwandans who fled to the then Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) died of cholera and other natural causes, the international community took the flak for its failure to intervene. The AU's forerunner, the Organisation of African Unity, stood on the sidelines....   But despite declarations being made from various quarters that 'NEVER AGAIN' should such a situation be allowed to recur, nothing seems to have changed. No lessons seem to have been learned, particularly by the AU, one of whose lofty goals is to find and promote homegrown solutions to African problems. It is scandalous and inexcusable that a decade after the genocide in Rwanda, the AU appears to have been caught as flat-footed as the rest of the world with regard to the humanitarian crisis in Sudan's western Darfur region.... Despite it being crystal clear that such a regime is not to be trusted, Khartoum has been given endless grace periods to get its act together. The AU and others have continued to act at a leisurely pace while the people of Darfur continue to die at the hands of the Janjaweed and from disease and hunger. What purpose is served by the constant going back and forth to Khartoum by the AU, the United Nations, the European Union, American and British officials to reason with a regime that is not willing to see reason?...  What is a mystery to me is why organisations like the AU and the United Nations have not learned from this example in dealing with man-made disasters such as genocide or ethnic cleansing whose signs and symptoms can be observed months before the situation gets out of hand?  The niceties being engaged in now such as trying to appease the Sudanese government and begging it to disarm the Janjaweed are a terrible slap in the face of the victims of Khartoum's immoral and illegal machinations.... The AU needs to take these matters seriously and come up with more efficient ways of responding to and tackling conflict situations. The AU should, in fact, be embarrassed that the international community is blamed for not intervening in situations that occur on the African organisation's doorstep....  Even a role limited to alerting partners of an impending humanitarian crisis and coordinating an appeal for international assistance and intervention would be far better than the organisation's current also-ran status in tackling African problems."




CANADA: "The Power Of A Word"


The conservative National Post opined (9/13): "The Bush administration has, for the first time, attached the term 'genocide' to the ongoing atrocities committed by government-supported Arab militias in Darfur.  Will the use of this one word suddenly end the violence and chaos that have displaced more than a million people and killed up to 50,000 in Sudan?  Almost certainly not.  Will it have any binding legal impact within the United Nations, or commit the United States itself to any particular course of action? Not likely.  But do not underestimate the power of language. The Americans' choice of words raises hope that the international community will finally be compelled to respond to end the outrage.... In fact, the tragedy of Darfur so far has been how little concern and action it has generated in the West, perhaps in part because of the awkward truth that this genocide is rooted in Sudanese Arab bigotry against black Africans. With its willingness to call the crimes in Darfur what they are, genocide, the United States has taken a meaningful step toward ending that silence and inaction."


"Not All Horrors Are Genocide"


The conservative Gazette opined (9/11): "When U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell called the Sudanese violence a genocide, other governments, including Canada's, backed right away.... Words have meanings, and much as we deplore and denounce the brutality being used as a tool of statecraft in Darfur, we aren't sure we see genocide.  As we understand it, this is, rather, an 'ethnic cleansing' - an effort to expel a population, rather than to exterminate it. Truly, our modern world imposes some cruel increments of horror. The United States has acknowledged that in 1994 it dragged its heels on using the 'g- word'' about Rwanda, while 800,000 people, mainly Tutsis, died. Now, in this case, the U.S. leads the way. The use of the word 'genocide' is more important than it might seem, because under the Geneva Conventions, when a government identifies a 'genocide,' it can call on all signatory states to begin to take action.... Even the U.S. quickly called on 'the international community' - translation: 'somebody else' - to take the lead.... In truth, nobody wants to invest the political capital, the money, and the military and logistical resources it would take to reverse, or even just arrest, the massive injustice of Darfur.  Canada intends to contribute $20 million to peacekeeping efforts, when more vigour is clearly called for. Never again...except when the case is far away and awkward."


"Call It Genocide"


The centrist Winnipeg Free Press commented (9/10): "The 30-day deadline for disarming the Sudanese militias given to the government in Khartoum passed a week ago....  In some places...public outrage and government anger with Sudan are growing. The United States in particular has intensified its efforts to organize international action against Khartoum. At the United Nations yesterday Washington introduced a draft proposal that would set in motion economic reprisals, including an embargo on Sudanese oil exports. This will be a difficult sell.... For the first time, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell Thursday described what is happening in Darfur as genocide. Mr. Powell pointed out that an American depiction of the slaughter in Sudan as genocide will not itself improve the situation.... There is not only an international convention against genocide, but a requirement for the United Nations to intervene militarily when genocide is identified for what it is.In the absence of diplomatic progress and in the face of the continuing slaughter in Sudan, that may be the only hope for the people of Darfur. "


"West Should Heed U.S. Call On Sudan"


The leading Globe and Mail stressed (9/10): "With its heavy historic, moral and legal freight, genocide is not a word to be tossed around lightly, especially by a senior government official. It refers to the most heinous of crimes under international law -- the mass slaughter of people on national, ethnic, religious or racial grounds - and demands a strong and unequivocal response from the international community. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell issued just such a call yesterday, after concluding that the atrocities committed in the Darfur region of western Sudan do indeed amount to genocide. It is a call that should be heeded.... The next step is a U.S.-sponsored resolution calling on the United Nations Security Council to conduct a thorough investigation of its own and paving the way for tough sanctions, including a possible oil embargo, and potential military intervention. Various plausible reasons have been advanced for Mr. Powell's firm line on Sudan. The Bush administration may be eager to show that it is not only oil-rich Iraq and global terrorism that engage its attention outside the United States. Or, perhaps the Secretary of State is simply determined to leave his personal mark on one small part of the world before leaving office. It may be an election-year effort not to repeat the shameful experience of Rwanda a decade ago. Or maybe, just maybe, it is because it happens to be the right thing to do. Regardless, Mr. Powell's unequivocal denunciation of the Khartoum government stands in sharp contrast to the dithering of some other western governments.... The Sudanese government failed to meet a Security Council deadline to disarm the marauding militias and safeguard Darfur's civilian population, insisting that it needs more time.... But there is no indication Khartoum will accept the larger intervention, even if all the troops are African. And that's partly because it remains confident the Security Council will impose no new sanctions."


"Time For Real Action In Suffering Sudan"


The leading Globe and Mail opined (8/31): "The United Nations Security Council has given the Sudanese government more than enough time to demonstrate that it takes seriously world concerns about the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. Yet even as a UN-imposed deadline for Khartoum to disarm the marauding Arab militias and safeguard Darfur's civilian population ran out yesterday, ceasefire monitors confirmed that government forces and militias had launched new attacks. By now it should be painfully clear to China and other nations vehemently opposed to military intervention or economic sanctions that diplomatic pressure alone is not doing the job and that deadlines accompanied only by vague threats of unspecified action are meaningless.... For its part, the United Nations should target Sudan's vital oil industry for an embargo if Khartoum remains recalcitrant. Oil fuels the military activities of the government, which is already blacklisted in the West for its past sponsorship of terrorism."


VENEZUELA:  "Darfur's Hell"


Analyst Edmundo Gonzáles Urrutia commented in leading liberal daily El Nacional (8/31): "The developments of this crisis have raised the dilemmas regarding the limits of the international humanitarian actions as well as not less thorny debate between sovereignty and the humanitarian intervention.  It would seem like a contradiction - and even a sad irony - that after ten years of the genocide in Rwanda, and when the international community is about to condemn such abominable tragedy once again, with the hope that similar situations are not repeated, we are being threatened again with another catastrophe of unpredictable humanitarian consequences." 



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