The Darfur Consortium

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Darfur in the News

U.S. and European media

December 26, 2022

Agence France-Presse: Jordan to build health centre in Darfur. Jordan's King Abdullah II on Thursday ordered the setting up of a health centre in Kas in Sudan's war-torn region of Darfur to serve more than 25,000 people there, an official said. "A military airplane left today (Thursday) for Darfur, carrying equipment to build the medical centre, which will be fully operational in January 2009," Mohammed Aitan, secretary of Jordan's Hashemite Charity Organisation, said in a statement.

Associated Press of Pakistan: Pakistani doctors arrive in Darfur to boost UN-AU force, set up hospital for civilians. The joint African Union%u2011U.N. peacekeeping mission in Sudan's Darfur region got a boost with the arrival of 156 military personnel from Pakistan, including 29 doctors and paramedics, bringing advanced medical expertise and equipment as well as logistics and administrative experts. The mission, known as UNAMID, reported today that the contingent from the Pakistani Level%u2011III Hospital arrived in South Darfur over the weekend and has already broken ground for construction of the hospital there.

New York Times: Pope's Christmas Greeting Focuses on Pursuit of Peace. Pope Benedict XVI called for peace in the Middle East, Darfur and Zimbabwe and stability in other war-torn lands in a particularly politically pointed Christmas greeting to the city and the world. The pope blessed the efforts of "all those who, rather than resigning themselves to the twisted logic of conflict and violence, prefer instead the path of dialogue and negotiation as the means of resolving tensions within each country and finding just and lasting solutions to the conflicts troubling the region." Benedict also turned his attention to Africa, where he is expected to make his first visit in March, traveling to Angola and Cameroon. The pope also prayed for "the men and women of the Democratic Republic of Congo, especially in the war-torn region of Kivu; Darfur, in Sudan; and Somalia, whose interminable sufferings are the tragic consequence of the lack of stability and peace."

The following editorial appeared in today's San Antonio Express-News. 

Eighteen months too long for Darfur

Eighteen months ago, the United Nations Security Council voted to create a joint U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force for the strife-stricken Darfur region of Sudan.

The goal is for that force to have 26,000 soldiers and police.

The mandate for the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur began on Jan. 1, 2008.

Early in the year, however, it became clear that two factors would hamper the full deployment of the peacekeepers.

First, too few countries have offered to supply the manpower or the materiel to equip the UNAMID force. Second, even with the limited support UNAMID has garnered, the government of Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir has continued its pattern of obstruction and obfuscation.

Khartoum has tried everything to keep its policy of ethnic cleansing on track, from opposing UNAMID contingents from non-African countries to blocking deliveries of supplies and equipment for the force.

So the United Nations scaled back its goal of having 80 percent of the UNAMID force deployed before the end of 2008 to only 60 percent.

As the year draws to a close, even that diminished goal won't be met. Only 54 percent of the UNAMID force is expected to be on the ground on Dec. 31 -- about 12,000 peacekeepers for a war zone the size of Texas.

As the conflict in Darfur enters its sixth year, the violence that has taken 300,000 lives and created 2.5 million refugees continues. According to U.N. peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy, violence and insecurity have displaced an additional 100,000 people in the last six months.

Even by U.N. standards, the slow deployment in Darfur is abysmal.

Fifteen Security Council members, including Russia and China, voted unanimously to create UNAMID.

It's past time to ante up the resources and the will to fulfill the force's mission and stop the slaughter of civilians in Darfur.

The following blog entry by Save Darfur Coalition chairwoman Rev. Dr. Gloria White-Hammond appeared on Tuesday in On Faith - a joint project of Newsweek and The Washington Post.  

Darfur Still Needs Saving

For anti-genocide activists whose activism is fueled by our faith, this is a season to reflect on our commitment to "save Darfur" and reignite our faith that our collective efforts will lead to peace and security in Sudan.

Reigniting that faith could be a tall order. Six years into the tragedy, Darfur continues to fester with ongoing killing, rape, destruction and displacement in a nation at war with itself. Sudan is a complex and, tragically, chronic crisis. It is in the face of such complexities that we must summon our most fervent belief that even situations as severely fractured as Sudan can be made whole.

Our faith is not blind, however. Our confidence in the power of persistent faith is inspired by stories from our sacred texts and informed by accounts in our history books.

The New Testament gospel writer, Luke, recounts the parable of the persistent widow who seeks justice from the unrighteous judge. She declares victory when the unrelenting tenacity of the grassroots woman activist eventually wears down the uncaring judge. The passage ends with a rhetorical question. If the insensitive judge eventually responds by doing the right thing, won't the God who is righteous and caring, respond to our advocacy by doing likewise?

The Hebrew Bible is also replete with accounts of activists whose persevering faith led to justice despite oppressive leaders and overwhelming odds. What if Moses had abandoned hope in the face of the hard-hearted Pharaoh? What if Queen Esther, seized with fear, indecision or indifference, failed to petition the king--thereby enabling the extermination of her people?

The power of activism energized by faith is also reflected in the subsequent success of contemporary social movements.

Gandhi devoted thirty years to the arduous struggle for Indian independence. Throughout the years of arrests and imprisonments, he found inspiration in the Hindu Bhagavad-Gita for the movement that would eventually shake India and the British Empire. "When disappointment stares me in the face and all alone I see not one ray of light, I go back to the Bhagavad-Gita. I find a verse here and a verse there, and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming tragedies...."

From the early days of the movement, Gandhi collaborated with Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a devout Muslim. Khan recruited over 100,000 "Red Shirts" and armed these nonviolent activists with "the weapon of the Prophet--patience and righteousness." Khan declared, "No power on earth can stand against it."

Throughout their struggle, Gandhi and Khan embodied the confidence that determined faith coupled with decisive action will tip the scales of justice in favor of the oppressed--sometimes quickly, but more often slowly, painfully slowly.

The same indefatigable faith sustained Nelson Mandela and his fellow freedom fighters through four decades of warfare against legalized racism before the walls of apartheid collapsed and came tumbling down.

Such faith enabled civil rights workers in America to hold fast to the vision of the Hebrew prophet, Amos, for a day when "justice [would] roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream." Activists could only imagine the immense changes wrought in America because of their sacrifices--changes that resulted in the election of the first African American president fifty years later.

February 2009 will usher in Darfur's seventh year of genocide. In the Jewish tradition, the seventh year is the year of jubilee when captives are set free and land is returned to its original owner. We are wise enough to know that the battle to end genocide follows no set timetable; but we are "faith-fueled" enough to believe that jubilee for Darfur and all victims of genocide is well on its way. We resonate to a tune sung by slaves in the 19th century, with words sung by freedom fighters in the 20th century, as we declare at the onset of the 21st century:

"Ain't gonna let nobody turn me around...
I'm gonna keep on a walkin', keep on a talkin', walkin' up the freedom trail."

Rev. Gloria E. White-Hammond, M.D. has been the Co-Pastor of Bethel AME Church in Boston since 1997 and a pediatrician at the South End Community Health Center since 1981, where she recently retired after 26 years. She is the board chairwoman of the Save Darfur Coalition and the co-founder of My Sister's Keeper, a humanitarian women's group that partners with Sudanese women in their efforts toward reconciliation and reconstruction of their communities.

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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