Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Truce Is Talk, Agony Is Real in Darfur War

Lydia Polgreen of the New York Times has published a series of articles since the peace agreement signed between the largest of the Darfur rebel groups and the Sudanese government - all unfortunately pointing to the same thing, that the Truce Is Talk, Agony Is Real in Darfur War.
It took three months for Fatouma Moussa to collect enough firewood to justify a trip to sell it in the market town of Shangil Tobayi, half a day's drive by truck from here. It took just a few moments on Thursday for janjaweed militiamen, making a mockery of the new cease-fire, to steal the $40 she had earned on the trip and rape her.

Speaking barely in a whisper, Ms. Moussa, who is 18, gave a spare account of her ordeal.

"We found janjaweed at Amer Jadid," she said, naming a village just a few miles north of her own. "One woman was killed. I was raped."

Officially, the cease-fire in the Darfur region went into effect last Monday.

That was three days after the government and the largest rebel group signed a broad peace agreement, creating hope for an end to the brutal assaults that have left more than 200,000 dead and have driven two million from their homes, a campaign of government-sponsored terror against non-Arab tribes in Darfur that the Bush administration has called genocide.
There seemed to be a glimmer of hope with the agreement, but now it seems as if it is going in the same direction as the truce signed in 2004 - nowhere. And the genocide continues. I believe that the only thing that will really change what is happening there is persistent, strong U.S. pressure on the Sudanese government - not just to get the various parties to sign an agreement, but to send a strong U.N. force to Darfur with the power and authority to disarm the Janjaweed and the rebel militias. But that would require the 5 permanent members of the U.N. security council all agreeing - and I don't see much hope of that with China on the security council, with its interest in Sudanese oil.

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