Sudanese government now arresting aid workers for reporting on Darfur crisis - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-31-2005, 07:11 AM   #1
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
sulawesigirl4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Virginia
Posts: 7,416
Local Time: 04:26 PM
Normal Sudanese government now arresting aid workers for reporting on Darfur crisis

I heard about the initial arrest of the director of MSF in Sudan yesterday but it was only today I read that it didn't stop there. This is really a sad commentary on how low the Sudanese government is willing to stoop to sabatoge those who are trying to help their people.

Quote:
Darfur: Arrest War Criminals, Not Aid Workers

(London, May 31, 2005) Donor governments and the United Nations must condemn the Sudanese government's arbitrary arrest and intimidation of aid workers, Human Rights Watch said today. The Sudanese government should drop charges against all aid workers, including the head of Médecins Sans Frontières in Khartoum, Paul Foreman, who was arrested yesterday and released on bail. (London, May 31, 2005) Donor governments and the United Nations must condemn the Sudanese government's arbitrary arrest and intimidation of aid workers, Human Rights Watch said today. The Sudanese government should drop charges against all aid workers, including the head of Médecins Sans Frontières in Khartoum, Paul Foreman, who was arrested yesterday and released on bail. The Sudanese authorities detained a second Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) staff member in Nyala, South Darfur, early this morning. Foreman's arrest followed escalating public threats against MSF in the Sudanese media over the past few weeks. Sudanese authorities claim that an MSF report on rape published on March 8 violated Sudanese law and that the report is "false." The precise charges against MSF are unclear but-according to an article in the Khartoum-based pro-government newspaper Al-Ra'i al-Aam include spying, provision of false information and disturbing the peace.

The government concluded that the report was false, according to Sudan's Humanitarian Aid Commission, when MSF did not respond to government demands to produce the evidence of rapes. MSF's report stated that the organization had treated more than 500 women and girls in Darfur in a period of four and a half months, and it called on local authorities to do more to stop the abuses. The government sought names and other details, in violation of the doctor-patient privilege.

In addition to the MSF staff, more than twenty aid workers have been arbitrarily arrested, detained or threatened with arrest in the past six months in Darfur, according to Human Rights Watch research. International media are increasingly being denied visas to the region.

"It's appalling that instead of arresting the people who have burned hundreds of villages and attacked thousands of women and girls, the Sudanese government is detaining aid workers," said Peter Takirambudde, Africa director for Human Rights Watch. "This is a perfect illustration of how far the Sudanese government is prepared to go to silence criticism and deny its own responsibility for massive atrocities in Darfur."

Widespread rape committed by government-backed Janjaweed militias and Sudanese troops in Darfur has been consistently documented by the United Nations, the A.U. mission monitoring ceasefire violations in Darfur, human rights groups including Human Rights Watch, the media and other fact-finding missions visiting the region. It is impossible to estimate the number of women and girls who have been subjected to sexual violence, particularly given the stigma attached to the crime, but it is likely that hundreds if not thousands of women and girls have been raped over the past two years.

"This attack on the bearer of bad news is another assault on free speech," said Takirambudde. "Under its peace accord with the southern rebels, the government is supposed to have restored all civil and political rights. There is no conceivable security or military reason for preventing publication of this kind of public health information."

The Sudanese government established committees on rape in mid-2004 to investigate the claims in each state. However, according to Human Rights Watch interviews in Khartoum with members of these committees, the methodology used was a review of pre-existing police reports and public meetings at internally displaced persons camps. After submission of an initial report, no further work was done by these committees. Although largely a whitewash, the final report by the Sudanese government-appointed National Commission of Inquiry did acknowledge that there were cases of rape in Darfur.

Given their distrust of most national government institutions, and the shame attached to rape, most displaced women and girls do not report the crime to the police, and certainly did not report sexual attacks at any public meetings. The victims instead sought medical treatment from foreign medical organizations such as MSF, with assurances of confidentiality.

Until recently, Sudanese law required rape victims to file a "Form 8" with the police prior to receiving medical treatment in a public facility. Despite assurances from the Sudanese Ministry of Justice in late-2004 that the requirement for the Form 8 had been withdrawn, reports continued in this year that authorities in many states still require this from rape victims. Nongovernmental health and human rights organizations have protested that this deters women and girls from seeking medical help as needed. "The United Nations, the African Union and donor governments need to draw the line here and ensure that the intimidation stops and that aid workers and rape victims are protected," Takirambudde said. "If this harassment continues, the lives of millions of Sudanese who depend on aid will be put at even greater risk."

More than two million people among Darfur's population of six million have been forced from their homes by widespread bombing, burning and other atrocities committed by Sudanese government forces and allied militias starting in 2003, initially part of a government effort to combat two rebel groups in Darfur.

The majority of internally displaced, formerly farming families, are confined to camps in Darfur which they are unable to leave for fear of further attack, including rape and sexual violence. They are entirely dependent on the humanitarian aid provided by the United Nations and nongovernmental organizations such as MSF. Apart from those displaced, more than a million other residents of Darfur are partially dependent on food aid due to the collapsed economy and trade resulting from the forced displacement of farmers and continuing high levels of insecurity
__________________

__________________
"I can't change the world, but I can change the world in me." - Bono

sulawesigirl4 is offline  
Old 05-31-2005, 08:09 AM   #2
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
dandy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: styrofoam peanut commune
Posts: 4,310
Local Time: 06:26 PM
thanks for posting this, sula.

i've been keeping my eye on this situation, and it is seemingly hopeless. the country is in the midst of the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet, and yet the government steadfastly and violently refuses any form of aid.

i think this is a direct response to the ICC referral--Khartoum has made it clear that it does not want any form of foreign intervention--humanitarian or otherwise. they just want to be left alone so they can kill off the African Muslim population. it looks like they just might succeed, seeing that the west would rather discuss whether or not it's genocide instead of taking any genuine action.

__________________

__________________
dandy is offline  
Old 05-31-2005, 09:56 AM   #3
Blue Crack Addict
 
verte76's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: hoping for changes
Posts: 23,331
Local Time: 09:26 PM
This is disgusting. I'm really angry that the government won't do anything.
__________________
verte76 is offline  
Old 05-31-2005, 04:08 PM   #4
Blue Crack Addict
 
MrsSpringsteen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 24,974
Local Time: 04:26 PM



Thanks for posting this
__________________
MrsSpringsteen is offline  
Old 05-31-2005, 05:51 PM   #5
New Yorker
 
Sherry Darling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,857
Local Time: 05:26 PM
Meanwhile, Bush has been quietly pressuring Congress to take the word "genocide" OUT of their resoution condemning the violence there.

__________________
Sherry Darling is offline  
Old 05-31-2005, 06:10 PM   #6
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 07:26 AM
Really? can you give me an article? I thought that it was China and France who pushed for the UN resolutions to not mention the G word (remember oil is thicker than blood). I have been unable to find reference to Bush pushing the same lines in Congress.

Can somebody also clarify about the genocide, I was under the impression that it was the Janjaweed Arab militia killing off Black Africans of whatever faith, not exclusively Muslim.

It is one thing to condemn violence, because condemnation requires no action, it is quite another to stop it. An African Union force with support from Europe could halt the bloodshed, but they won't get such a thing off the ground because of the more lucrative deals found with Khartom.
__________________
A_Wanderer is offline  
Old 05-31-2005, 07:32 PM   #7
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
VertigoGal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: I'm never alone (I'm alone all the time)
Posts: 9,860
Local Time: 04:26 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
This is disgusting. I'm really angry that the government won't do anything.
Yeah. And even if our military is too tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan, where are the French, German, Spanish, Canadian forces? Where is the EU? It disgusts me.

A_Wanderer, unless I'm wrong, aren't there about 2000 AU "peacekeepers" in there? Not that it's anywhere near enough.
__________________
VertigoGal is offline  
Old 05-31-2005, 07:37 PM   #8
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 07:26 AM
They are there monitoring the situation, but nowhere near enough and there is not enough support for them

We do not need to put western peacekeepers on the ground, augmenting an African force with intelligence and air support could do the job.
__________________
A_Wanderer is offline  
Old 05-31-2005, 07:45 PM   #9
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
VertigoGal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: I'm never alone (I'm alone all the time)
Posts: 9,860
Local Time: 04:26 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
They are there monitoring the situation, but nowhere near enough and there is not enough support for them

We do not need to put western peacekeepers on the ground, augmenting an African force with intelligence and air support could do the job.
You're probably right. So why have so few AU forces been sent in? You mentioned lucrative deals- what are you talking about?
__________________
VertigoGal is offline  
Old 05-31-2005, 07:57 PM   #10
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 07:26 AM
Well in the UN at least China and a few other nations have a vested interest in doing petroleum deals with the Sudanese regime. In a sort of quid pro quo they will obfuscate any UN resolutions, ensuring that no direct action is taken, only mild criticisms followed by more critical resolutions.

AU forces are low in number, they agreed to up the numbers but only by next year, the capacity to prevent the killings simply is not there. Without a UN blanket most nations have no interest in getting seriously involved.

Buerocrats talk while people die, same as it ever was.
__________________
A_Wanderer is offline  
Old 06-01-2005, 05:09 AM   #11
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
dandy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: styrofoam peanut commune
Posts: 4,310
Local Time: 06:26 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer

Can somebody also clarify about the genocide, I was under the impression that it was the Janjaweed Arab militia killing off Black Africans of whatever faith, not exclusively Muslim.
my bad. i've been working on a project about darfur, where the majority of the black population is muslim, and that's what i was thinking of when i posted above. the black population in the south is christian and animist, so yes, you're right, the genocide is against the black/African population as a whole.

thanks for pointing that out.
__________________
dandy is offline  
Old 06-01-2005, 05:33 AM   #12
New Yorker
 
Sherry Darling's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,857
Local Time: 05:26 PM
A-wanderer, I'm trying to recall where I read that. I believe it was NPR--let me see what I can find.
__________________
Sherry Darling is offline  
Old 06-01-2005, 06:24 AM   #13
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 07:26 AM
I did dig up things on an intelligence partnership, but that goes way back (like when they offered to hand Bin Laden over while he was in the country), I have seen this administration push for a harder line against Sudan in the UN as well as the description of it as Genocide by former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
__________________
A_Wanderer is offline  
Old 06-01-2005, 07:43 AM   #14
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
dandy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: styrofoam peanut commune
Posts: 4,310
Local Time: 06:26 PM
the US administration put forward a hardline stance on the situation in Darfur being genocide last year, but since Colin Powell left, the administration has been backing away from that claim. The Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick visited Darfur in April, and he was clearly back-pedalling from the genocide label, see Eric Reeves' article:

Quote:
Comments made during a recent trip to Sudan by US Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick suggest a significant effort is underway by the Bush administration to downplay the catastrophe in Darfur. Not only did Zoellick make a series of comments that fully justify the Financial Times headline of April 15, 2005 (“Zoellick reluctant to describe Darfur violence as genocide”), but he offered a disturbingly, indeed untenably low estimate of human mortality in Darfur over the past 26 months of conflict. Zoellick also endorsed a level of troop strength for intervention in Darfur that clearly cannot address in adequate fashion any of the security issues defining the crisis; nor has Zoellick or the US State Department explicitly called for a peacekeeping mandate for forces operating in Darfur.
there's another article on that site that shows that Condolezza Rice also has been shying away from the genocide label.
__________________

__________________
dandy is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com