September 16, 2004
'IT'S GENOCIDE. PERIOD.' NO
EXCUSE FOR 'INACTION'
** 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
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
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
BRITAIN: "The Killing
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
"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
"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
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
"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
"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."
"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."
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"
center-left Irish Times stated (9/9):
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
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.”
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
"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."
"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
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
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"
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."
"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."
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
"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'."
"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
SOUTH AFRICA: 'East Africa Keen To Keep Peace in
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
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
"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
"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
"Aid Groups In Darfur Face Critical Stage
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
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.
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
Victor Dike, head of the Center for Social
Justice and Human Development stated in
the independent Vanguard (Internet version, 9/14)
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
"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."
"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
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
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."
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."