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Old 04-11-2007, 04:52 PM   #1
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Darfur crisis on Google Earth

The United States Holocaust Memorial has created some plugin for Google Earth showing the destroyed villages and refugee camps and providing the viewer with some information about what's going on there.

You can download Google Earth and the plugin from their website:
http://www.ushmm.org/googleearth/



Red is totally destroyed, and yellow partly destroyed. Blue is a refugee camp.
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Old 04-11-2007, 05:14 PM   #2
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I don't even want to look, its way too sad.
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Old 04-11-2007, 05:16 PM   #3
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very informative, and sad.

dbs
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Old 04-11-2007, 05:48 PM   #4
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That's so sad.
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Old 04-11-2007, 05:51 PM   #5
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Thanks for posting this Vincent. Sunday is Holocaust Remembrance Day and both USHMM and Save Darfur have been working with organizations around the country to provide resources for them to focus their activities for that day on citizen action on Darfur. Unfortunately Save Darfur won't be having a major national event this time around, but in the two weeks between Yom haShoah and the end of April there will be lots of events at various locations around the country; US posters can check here to see what may be taking place in their area. Both sites have lots of informational resources (helpful for schools, churches, synagogues, and other community-based organizations especially) and updates on political action campaigns.

Meanwhile, on the political front...
Quote:
U.S. Sends (Another) Warning on Darfur

By HELENE COOPER
New York Times, April 11


WASHINGTON — While the Bush administration is dispatching another top envoy — this time Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte — to deliver another strong message to the Sudanese government about the killing in the Darfur region, critics say the diplomacy is allowing Sudan to play for time as the death toll mounts. The administration has been trying to come up with a way to make good on repeated threats that the United States will hold President Omar Hassan al-Bashir accountable for the violence in Darfur, where 200,000 people have been killed and more than 2.5 million displaced. But even now, Democrats are demanding a plan to address the Darfur crisis, and suggesting their own proposals, including one to impose a no-flight zone over Darfur, and another to authorize American states to divest from foreign companies invested in Sudan.

Bush administration officials said last month that they were fed up and ready to impose new sanctions against Sudan, including restrictions on companies that do business there in American dollars. [For example click here. --y.] Andrew S. Natsios, the United States special envoy to Sudan, told members of Congress that the administration was also considering travel bans on some Sudanese officials, and confiscating the savings accounts of Sudanese politicians connected with the government-backed Arab militias, called the janjaweed.

So far, Mr. Bashir has yet to yield in response to a demand from the United States that Sudan permit a United Nations peacekeeping force to help beleaguered African Union troops stop the militias from raping and killing unarmed civilians.

Administration officials said that an angry President Bush personally ordered up the new sanctions. It was Mr. Bush who told the General Assembly last fall that the credibility of the United Nations was at stake in Darfur. But after hearing from United Nations envoys that the organization wants more time for diplomacy, the State Department said last week that Mr. Negroponte was heading to Sudan. Administration officials have billed the trip as one last chance to try to get Mr. Bashir to allow a United Nations peacekeeping force.

It remains unclear what Mr. Negroponte can accomplish that a succession of administration officials to Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, could not. Gayle Smith, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, said Mr. Bashir was stalling. “If Khartoum is true to form, the government will offer something that sounds real but means nothing in order to buy more time,” said Ms. Smith, an Africa adviser to former President Bill Clinton. “How many bites of the apple does Khartoum get? There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that Khartoum is calculating on the fact that when we say, ‘this is it,’ we don’t mean it.”

Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democrat of Delaware, has summoned Mr. Natsios to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for a hearing on Wednesday. The news release on the hearing includes a derisive heading. “Topic: Darfur,” it says. “A ‘Plan B’ to Stop Genocide?” State Department officials last year threatened an unspecified “Plan B” by Jan. 1 if Mr. Bashir did not agree to the U.N. force, but “Plan B” has yet to materialize. Administration officials say their own version of Plan B would include the United States travel ban and financial sanctions. In addition, the United States and Britain will try to push the United Nations Security Council into imposing sanctions against Sudan. So far, the United Nations has proved more recalcitrant on cracking down on Mr. Bashir, in part because China, which has extensive business ties to Sudan and generally dislikes the use of sanctions, has blocked multilateral action.

American and British officials say that they are now getting close to trying to force the issue at the Security Council, and may try to push for a vote. Britain has now taken over the chairmanship of the Security Council from South Africa, and the United States is next in line after Britain. But Bush administration officials have promised action before and come up short. On Aug. 31 last year, Jendayi Frazer, the State Department’s top Africa official, after meeting with Sudanese government officials, said she was “very confident that ultimately they will accept” the international peacekeeping force. Two weeks later, on Sept. 19, President Bush gave his speech at the General Assembly. “If the Sudanese government does not approve the peacekeeping force quickly, the U.N. must act,” he said. A week later, in a speech, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that if the Sudanese government “continues waging war against its own citizens, challenging the African Union, undermining the peacekeeping force, and threatening the international community, then the regime in Khartoum will be held responsible, and it alone will bear the consequences of its actions.”

Now, more than six months later, there is still no United Nations peacekeeping force in Darfur.

Sudan’s government says the violence has been exaggerated for political reasons. In agreements signed last year in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Abuja, Nigeria, Mr. Bashir appeared to accept the deployment of United Nations troops, only to back away. The same thing happened this year; Mr. Bashir agreed to an interim “heavy support” package of 3,000 well-equipped military police officers along with aviation and logistics support. But then, in a long letter to Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, on March 9, Mr. Bashir asked to reopen that agreement. Mr. Ban protested that the Sudanese president was reneging, and Western officials said any reworking of the pact would delay a peacekeeping force until the start of 2008.

Congressional Democrats, backed by some Republicans, have introduced a flurry of bills. In one proposal, Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, introduced a bill in March that would authorize states to divest from foreign companies invested in Sudan. Several states have passed such laws, but a federal judge in February struck down an Illinois law as unconstitutional.
How can a citizen of a free country not pay attention? How can anyone, anywhere not feel outraged? How can a person, whether religious or secular, not be moved by compassion? And above all, how can anyone who remembers remain silent?

It happened in Cambodia, then in former Yugoslavia, and in Rwanda, now in Sudan. Asia, Europe, Africa: Three continents have become prisons, killing fields and cemeteries for countless innocent, defenseless populations. Will the plague be allowed to spread?


Lo taamod al dam reakha [Lev. 19:16] is a Biblical commandment. “Thou shall not stand idly by the shedding of the blood of thy fellow man.”...Not to assist Sudan’s victims today would for me be unworthy of what I have learned from my teachers, my ancestors and my friends, namely that God alone is alone: His creatures must not be.

What pains and hurts me most now is the simultaneity of events. While we sit here and discuss how to behave morally, both individually and collectively, over there, in Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan, human beings kill and die. Should the Sudanese victims feel abandoned and neglected, it would be our fault--and perhaps our guilt.

--Elie Wiesel
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Old 04-11-2007, 05:57 PM   #6
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Nothing will get done here, like nothing was done in any of the other places Wiesel talks about until it was too late and hundreds of thousands have died. Then what we'll do is issue out some indictments and probably send a handful of Sudanese to the ICC (unless they set up an indepenent tribunal - unlikely). Then we'll write articles about justice and how the victims are finally getting their say. Which is all bullshit - nobody needs justice 20 years after the fact, they need justice today. But we all need to make ourselves feel better at night so we toss this word around when no such thing exists.

Lather, rinse, repeat.
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Old 04-11-2007, 06:24 PM   #7
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I agree anitram. As much as I wish that there will be action to help those people, we as humans have failed to help in the past and will continue to fail.
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Old 04-11-2007, 11:56 PM   #8
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Oh! It just makes me so ANGRY. Why does our world continue to be ruled by money? How DARE china act like this and block things purely based on their economic ties. I know that China doesn't exactly have a good track record when it comes to valuing human life (we can put that one child policy under that umbrella as well ill concieved bullshit!)

And WHY are we still fighting, and killing and dying in Iraq, WHY are we still fucking THERE, we've made such a mess, we keep flogging a dead horse, the US and its allies are confused, and remourseful and embaressed, and know they're into it too deep to just pull out - we fucked it....we screwed up so bad, and right now OTHER countries are paying for it, because the spotlight is continuely off them and their way more terrifying and important probelsm, and still stuck firmly on Iraq and the problems that WE caused.

How can anyone sit by and ignore mass murders, in the fae of economic game. Where is your heart? Where is your compassion?
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Old 04-12-2007, 12:00 AM   #9
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sorry for all the spelling mistakes - it was just spilling forth

Also, now that China sticks its nose in, every backs the fuck off, because no one wants to upset China because of THEIR massive consumerism economic ties with their contry, and also their massive red army and they whey and go whenever needs. Welcome the new superpower of the 21st century. I feel it's going to be a bumpy ride....
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Old 04-12-2007, 12:35 AM   #10
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It's not just a question of 'backing off', they have veto power over UN Security Council decisions.
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Old 04-12-2007, 03:54 AM   #11
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Just on a slightly positive note - outstanding use of the technology.
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Old 04-18-2007, 08:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Sudan Flying Arms to Darfur Using Warplanes Disguised as UN Planes: UN Report

By WARREN HOGE
New York Times, April 18


UNITED NATIONS — A confidential United Nations report says the government of Sudan is flying arms and heavy military equipment into Darfur in violation of Security Council resolutions and painting Sudanese military planes white to disguise them as UN or African Union aircraft.

In one case, illustrated with close-up pictures, the report says “U.N.” has been stenciled onto the wing of a whitewashed Sudanese armed forces plane parked on a military apron at a Darfur airport. Bombs guarded by uniformed soldiers are laid out in rows by its side. The report says that, contrary to the Sudanese government’s earlier denials to UN investigators, the freshly painted planes are being operated out of all three of Darfur’s principal airports and used for aerial surveillance and bombardments of villages, in addition to the transportation of cargo.

The report was compiled by a five-person panel responsible for helping the Council’s sanctions committee monitor compliance with resolutions on Darfur, the war-ravaged region in Sudan. It was made available by a diplomat from one of the 15 Council nations, which believes that the findings ought to be made public.

More than 200,000 people have died in Darfur and 2.3 million have been uprooted from their homes, largely by repeated attacks from Arab militias supported and equipped by the Sudanese government.

But while the report focuses much of its attention on the government, it says that rebel groups were also guilty of violating Council resolutions, peace treaty agreements and humanitarian standards. It recommends a tightening of the arms embargo imposed by the Security Council and other restrictions on activities involving illicit weapons, regardless of who is responsible. The report covers recent conduct, from September 2006 to March 12 2007, and emerged a day after Sudan announced it was dropping its objections to large-scale UN assistance to the overwhelmed African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur. Sudan said Monday that it would agree to a force of 3000 military police officers, along with six attack helicopters and other aviation and logistics support. Left uncertain was whether Sudan would drop its longstanding resistance to a proposed 21,000-member joint African Union-United Nations force, to replace the 7000-member African Union force that has said it cannot curb the violence there.

Sudan signaled its willingness to accept the interim force at a moment when at least two countries on the Security Council, Britain and the United States, were threatening tough new sanctions because of Sudan’s stalling tactics. Diplomats say those measures include further curtailing the flow of illegal arms, broadening sanctions against individuals who undermine the peace process and imposing a no-fly zone that would put an end to the government’s aerial campaign against its citizens. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon asked Council members last week to hold off consideration of further sanctions, to give diplomacy a chance to proceed. But on Monday, Margaret Beckett, the British foreign secretary, and Alejandro D. Wolff, the acting American ambassador, held out the possibility that tougher measures might have to be adopted at some point. Mr. Wolff expressed doubts about whether Sudan would carry out the agreement announced Monday, adding that he sensed a rising frustration and a diminished tolerance toward Sudan among Council members that could cause them to “consider the need for other measures.”

In the past, China has objected to tough actions against Sudan, and in a closed meeting about Darfur on Monday, China was adamant that talk of sanctions would set back the peace process and lessen the chances of Sudanese compliance with the Council.

The panel report said the Sudanese government had done little to disband armed groups, in particular the government-supported janjaweed militias, which the report said still carried out attacks on civilians across Darfur. It described a night attack by men wearing Sudanese armed forces uniforms and traveling in 60 Land Cruisers mounted with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns to a village that they burned. A 105-year-old man was burned alive and three girls were abducted, raped and sent home naked, the report said.

Sudanese officials also were not enforcing the travel ban and assets freeze imposed on four individuals accused of war crimes — a Sudanese Air Force officer, an Arab militia leader and two rebel commanders — last year by the Security Council, it said. “The panel believes that any undue delay in the implementation of the resolution could embolden the designated individuals to carry on their acts and could also encourage others to commit violations without any fear of sanctions from the United Nations,” the report said.

The report said that the Sudanese government was shipping small-caliber weapons, heavy weapons, artillery pieces, ammunition and other military equipment into Darfur on cargo planes, using airports at El Geneina, Nyala and El Fasher. It reported that one of the planes crash-landed on Feb. 24 during a trip from Khartoum to El Geneina, and Sudanese Army officials guarded it on the ground for a week while soldiers unloaded howitzers and up to 50 wooden boxes painted in olive drab that, the panel suspected, contained arms and ammunition. On the painting of the planes, the report said, “The panel believes the use of white aircraft by the government of the Sudan constitutes a deliberate attempt to conceal the identity of these aircraft.”

The panel said that the government was refusing to give advance word, as it was directed to do by the Council, of any introduction of weapons and related equipment into Darfur. When challenged to explain its action, the government said “it does not feel obliged to request permission in advance from the Security Council,” the report said. The report said various rebel groups fighting the government were also illegally shipping weapons, regularly violating border controls between Sudan and Chad, extending lawlessness in the immediate region and attacking peacekeepers and aid workers. “Organized crime and acts of banditry have now become a source of livelihood for the many groups operating in Darfur and in other neighboring states,” it said.

It said that in addition to jeopardizing the work of the UN and the African Union by disguising its aircraft, the government was permitting and sometimes aiding attacks and harassment of people representing the two organizations. “The prevailing insecurity in Darfur and the raised level of harassment of humanitarian personnel have conspired to seriously curtail humanitarian operations through Darfur,” the report said.
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Old 04-19-2007, 05:15 PM   #13
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By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press WriterThu Apr 19

Children in Darfur are enduring "unspeakable acts of violence and abuse" from killing and rape to abduction, torture and recruitment as fighters in the escalating four-year conflict in Sudan's vast western region, a report said.

The Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict report released Wednesday accused the Sudanese government of "apparent deliberate efforts ... to suppress information and prevent agencies from collecting and disseminating details on attacks against children and their protection needs, particularly in Darfur" and eastern Sudan.

The report said humanitarian agencies have documented cases of armed groups shooting, mutilating and torturing children, abducting and gang-raping girls, and recruiting and using youngsters as combatants.

While the Sudanese armed forces continue to deny the presence of children in their units, the Watchlist said representatives acknowledge that children from other armed groups have recently been incorporated into the government's military forces.

Reports indicate that most armed groups in Sudan, including government-backed Arab militias known as the janjaweed and the two largest rebel groups in Darfur, the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudan Liberation Army, "recruit and use children."

In addition to killings and maimings by armed groups, it said, "Sudanese girls have been trafficked within and out of Sudan to serve as commercial sexual workers while others have been trafficked to work as domestic servants."

Kathleen Hunt, who chairs The Watchlist steering committee, said the report documents "dozens of continued and pervasive violations against children by all armed forces and groups operating in Sudan and urges that immediate action be taken to protect Sudanese children."

The report, entitled Sudan's Children at a Crossroads, "confirms that children in Sudan continue to endure some of the most inhumane treatment found anywhere in the world," Hunt said.

Despite the January 2005 peace agreement that ended a 21-year civil war between Sudan's mostly Muslim north and the Christian and animist south, and recent signs of a possible strengthening of the African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur, "Sudanese children are not faring any better than they were four years ago," Hunt said.

That's when the Watchlist published its first comprehensive report on Sudan and when ethnically African rebels in Darfur rose up against the Arab dominated central government. Since then, more than 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million made refugees.

While children in the south are enjoying increased protection and access to services, those in Darfur and other areas of Sudan are enduring unspeakable acts of violence and abuse," the report said.

But the report said "southern Sudan continues to have the lowest school enrollment rates in the world at an estimated 25 percent for children." Darfur's few schools and education facilities face widespread shortages of teachers and textbooks, and "schools, students and teachers in Darfur have been attacked by various groups," it said.

The Watchlist steering committee includes Care International, the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, Norwegian Refugee Council, International Save the Children Alliance, Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, and World Vision Canada.
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Old 04-20-2007, 09:15 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by trevster2k
I agree anitram. As much as I wish that there will be action to help those people, we as humans have failed to help in the past and will continue to fail.

As long as everybody has that sort of fatalist attitude then yes. I'm not saying we're ever going to all be happy-clappy but we are so focused on being entertained or distracted that we never pay attention....
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Old 05-30-2007, 05:47 PM   #15
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How come this wasn't covered in the Press:

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp...c=Worldupdates

Oh snap! because Bush was trying to do a good thing.

dbs
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