The Darfur Consortium

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Darfur in the News

U.S. and European Media

December 13, 2022

Associated Press: Senate OKs Cutting Investment With Sudan. State and local governments and other institutions could divest Sudan related investments under legislation passed by the Senate late Wednesday despite administration opposition. The bill, designed to pressure Sudan to ease suffering in its Darfur region and sponsored by Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., was approved shortly before midnight under a consent agreement in which no vote was taken. The House passed a similar bill July 31 by a 418-1 vote. Dodd said his version will now go to the House for consideration. The administration argues the legislation would infringe on a president's constitutional power to establish and execute U.S. foreign policy. A letter from the Justice Department to the Senate Democratic and Republican leaders suggested the courts might become involved in knocking down a provision that would give congressional authorization for state and local governments' divestment schemes. The letter was circulated in November by the Save Darfur Coalition. Dated Oct. 26, the letter was the second within a week from the administration, following by four days a similar document from the State Department that made some of the same arguments on constitutional and foreign policy grounds rather than legal. The Sudan legislation would punish U.S. or foreign entities for investing in Sudan while militias aligned with President Omar al-Bashir's government wage a terror campaign in the arid Darfur region of western Sudan. ''This legislation empowers Americans to exercise their rights as investors, taxpayers, and pensioners to divest from businesses directly contributing to the violence and misery of hundreds of thousands of innocent Darfuris,'' said Dodd, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

Reuters: Clooney And Cheadle Get Peace Award For Darfur. Hollywood actors George Clooney and Don Cheadle received an award from Nobel peace prize laureates on Thursday for their campaign to help the people of Sudan's Darfur region after 4-1/2 years of war. Together with Brad Pitt, Clooney and Cheadle -- co-stars in "Ocean's Thirteen" -- have used their celebrity status to raise money for refugees through their "Not On Our Watch" charity, and make sure Darfur's "continuing carnage" is not forgotten. "Don and I... stand here before you as failures," Clooney said, comparing his efforts to the achievements of the Nobel laureates attending the Peace Summit Award ceremony in Rome, including former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and the Dalai Lama. "The simple truth is that when it comes to the atrocities in Darfur those people are not better off now than they were years ago. The murders continue, the rapes continue and some two and a half million refugees are yet to go home," he said. "Some day this will all end, and whether all of us succeed or not it will end some day. And when they write about this, the question will be asked: where was the rest of the world? And the answer will be: it just wasn't a priority." Earlier this year Clooney, Cheadle and Pitt raised $10 million for Darfur at the Cannes film festival. Clooney and Cheadle also feature in a recently released documentary on the conflict, "Darfur Now."

The following editorial appeared in today's Los Angeles Times.

Helicopters for Darfur
Countries that pay lip service to the humanitarian crisis aren't sending the aircraft to help. Do they care?

Is there a world helicopter shortage that nobody told us about? United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has spent the past few months asking governments in every potential helicopter contributing country to lend aircraft for a prospective peacekeeping mission in Sudan's Darfur region, but it seems that not one can be spared to help resolve the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Diplomats are often frustrated by the intransigence of the Sudanese regime, which for years has been blocking attempts to put foreign troops into Darfur to stop the slaughter and displacement of millions of villagers by an assortment of militias, rebel groups and Sudanese government soldiers. Yet the nations that pretend to care deeply about Darfur continually prove to Sudan's leaders in Khartoum that their resolve is paper-thin. The helicopter fiasco is a case in point.

In July, the U.N. Security Council finally agreed to send 26,000 peacekeepers to Darfur, a force that is slated to start deploying in January. Khartoum, however, is insisting that no non-African troops will be allowed and demanding absurd restrictions such as advance notice on all troop movements and the ability to shut off the blue helmets' communication systems. That's only to be expected from Khartoum; far more disheartening is the international community's response to Ban's appeal. The mission will be severely hampered, if not crippled, without the two dozen helicopters needed to patrol the vast countryside.

The United States has a readyexcuse -- its whirlybirds are tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan (though it has plenty sitting at bases here at home). Nations with no excuse at all include Britain, France and Germany, whose leaders have expressed grave concern about the situation in Darfur and which together possess thousands of helicopters; Britain can't argue that it's overextended, given that it's pulling out of Iraq.

The stinginess over helicopters, of course, is only part of the problem. European countries refuse to impose targeted sanctions against Sudan like those approved by the United States. The international community has successfully pressured China to use its considerable influence on Khartoum, but that pressure is sporadic and easy for Beijing to shrug off. Efforts by the International Criminal Court to try Sudanese officials for war crimes have been rebuffed by Khartoum with no response from the United Nations. It's no wonder Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir doesn't take international demands seriously; there are no consequences to his stonewalling.

If world leaders truly don't care about the ongoing genocide in Darfur, they should stop claiming that they do. So to the likes of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown: Put your choppers where your mouth is.


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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