The Darfur Consortium

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Darfur in the News

U.S. and European Media

December 5 , 2007

Agence France Presse: ICC to open two new Darfur investigations: prosecutor. The International Criminal Court will open two new investigations into crimes committed in Sudan's Darfur region next year, the ICC prosecutor said in a speech made public Tuesday. In an address Friday to the court's assembly of state parties, made public only Tuesday, prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo announced his office was looking into new cases in Darfur centering on crimes targetting refugee camps and attacks on peacekeepers and aid workers. "We will seek to identify which individuals bear the greatest responsibility for the ongoing crimes committed against the persons displaced; we will also seek to identify which individuals bear the greatest responsibility for attacks against peacekeepers -- such as happened in Haskanita -- and humanitarian personnel," the prosecutor said. In Haskanita in September armed men overran African Union peacekeepers and killed 10 soldiers. In the "ongoing crimes" against the 2.5 million displaced persons Moreno Ocampo identifies Sudanese minister Ahmed Haroun, already wanted by the court for other war crimes in Darfur as a "key actor". "Ahmed Haroun is controlling the victims inside the camps, controlling their access to food, humanitarian aid, and security; attacks against the civilians and the displaced in particular take upon multiple forms; women are raped; emerging local leaders are targeted; displaced are surrounded by hostile forces," the prosecutor said.

Reuters: Britain Calls For More Commitment to Darfur. Britain criticized a lack of action by the international community on Darfur on Wednesday and said unless political will was strong, peace prospects were slim in the western Sudanese region. Africa Minister Mark Malloch Brown said Britain was fully engaged in trying to bring an end to the conflict which experts say has killed hundreds of thousands people and uprooted 2.5 million, but other nations are not committed enough. "We've got to make this plan work," Malloch Brown said of a United Nations proposal to send a joint U.N.-African Union force of 26,000 to replace a struggling AU mission which has so far failed to stem the violence in Darfur. "It's the right plan. It just needs an awful lot of sustained political will to make it work," he told BBC radio. "And we do feel a bit lonely out there. We're very engaged, but we don't see quite as much commitment from all governments on this." Malloch Brown said Britain had been unable to provide any helicopters because of its military commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, but said London had provided 75 million pounds ($155 million) to keep the interim peacekeeping force in place and would pay 8 percent of the cost of the U.N.-AU mission. Malloch Brown said he now hoped the force would be deployed from early 2008. He described it as a "rolling deployment" that would "run through at least the first six months of next year."

Washington Post: Group Urges Swift Dispatch of U.N.-African Force to Darfur. Thirteen former world leaders and present-day activists led by Nelson Mandela called yesterday for the swift supplying and dispatch of a 26,000-member U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force to bring security to the western Sudanese region of Darfur and end the killing, rape and pillaging there. The group, which calls itself the Elders, includes former president Jimmy Carter, former U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan, Bangladeshi microfinance pioneer Muhammad Yunus, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mandela's wife, Graca Machel. It tries to use its members' collective prestige and moral authority to help solve global conflicts. Speaking to reporters in a conference call from Beijing, Carter said Sudan must drop its resistance to the inclusion of non-African soldiers in the joint force proposed for Darfur and take aid from whatever country offers it. "Sudan said it would accept assistance from China and Bangladesh, however not from Norway and Nepal," Carter said. "Absent has been united pressure from the powers to make sure the government of Sudan is flexible in accepting any kind of offer for a service it cannot provide by itself," he added. Machel, speaking by telephone from Mozambique, said she was particularly struck by the "stories of physical violence against girls, mothers" in Darfur. "Rape has become a norm," she said. "The government of Sudan does not seem to understand the gravity of the reality of these women." Machel added: "The very basic rights and dignity of these women are being violated. . . . We are also worried about the safety of humanitarian organizations tending to them."

Reuters: Sudan Forces Killed 100s Of Civilians In Darfur: U.N. Sudanese forces and allied militia have killed several hundred civilians in ground attacks and aerial bombardments on villages in Darfur in the past six months, United Nations human rights experts said on Tuesday. Bystanders caught up in clashes between the warring parties have also been tortured, raped and suffered widespread looting in the western region, according to the U.N. experts on Darfur. Their 106-page report calls on the Khartoum government to protect civilians in Darfur and investigate all crimes. It is to be presented next week to the U.N. Human Rights Council. "According to United Nations sources, from June 20 to mid-November 2007, at least 15 land and air attacks were made on civilian centers in all three Darfur states by the forces of the government, affiliated militia and the Minni Minawi faction of the Sudanese Liberation Army," the report said. A Reuters tally of casualty figures contained in the report indicated that at least 300 people were killed in about 20 land and air attacks documented by the U.N. in the past six months. In the latest incident, the South Darfur town of Muhajiriya was attacked on October 8 by militiamen with apparent army support, resulting in at least 30 civilian deaths and the torching of up to 100 houses, according to the U.N. report. Attacks by militias on camels, horses and all-terrain vehicles with mounted machine guns in the Bulbul area of South Darfur in late July and early August caused more than 135 deaths, it said. The U.N. Security Council is seeking Sudan's compliance in the deployment of a U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur, to which Khartoum has agreed in principle. Sudan has blamed the United Nations for delays in the deployment.


The Darfur Daily News is a service of the Save Darfur Coalition.  To subscribe to the Daily News, please email [email protected]. For media inquiries, please contact Ashley Roberts at (202) 478-6181, or [email protected].


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