The Darfur Consortium

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Darfur in the News

U.S. and European media

July 14, 2023

Reuters: Kidnappers want $2 mln for Darfur aid workers. Kidnappers of two female aid workers in Sudan's Darfur region have demanded $2 million for their release, but the government is determined not to pay, a minister said on Tuesday. "The kidnappers are asking for $2 million. But our policy is not to pay ransom. We feel that would encourage others to do the same," said state minister for humanitarian affairs Abdel Baqi al-Jailani. The minister said Darfur officials were using local leaders to negotiate with the kidnappers, adding he was still expecting a positive outcome. "Our main priority remains the safety of the two women," he told Reuters.

AFP: McGrady switches jersey numbers to aid Darfur project. Houston Rockets guard Tracy McGrady will switch jersey numbers next season to help raise awareness for his Darfur humanitarian project, the National Basketball Association team said on Monday. McGrady, who along with injured Chinese star centre Yao Ming formed the backbone of Houston's attack, will surrender his No. 1 jersey to new teammate Trevor Ariza, a swingman. McGrady hopes to raise attention for the "3 Points" documentary film that will debut in America later this year, a movie chronicling his 2007 journey to Darfur refugee camps in Chad. The "3 Points" refer to the goals of peace, protection and punishment in Darfur, with McGrady seeking peace and protection for those forced into camps and punishment for those involved in the Darfur violence.

Boston Herald: Fidelity 'genocide' vote set. A Boston-based shareholder group hopes to build on last year's effort to raise awareness about Fidelity mutual funds' investments in companies tied to genocide in Sudan's Darfur region. Shareholders of 13 Fidelity Investments mutual funds have until tomorrow's annual meeting to vote on a question that would require more "socially responsible" investments by the Hub-based mutual fund giant. Fidelity's proxy recommendation reads, "If adopted, this proposal would limit investments by the fund that would be lawful under the laws of the United States. For this reason, the Board of Trustees recommends that you vote against this proposal." "What this says to me is that Fidelity has the same lack of concern for genocide, and the same mark of disdain for what their shareholders want," said Eric Cohen, co-founder of Investors Against Genocide.

Associated Press: Sudan criticizes Obama for calling Darfur genocide. Sudan's government has criticized President Barack Obama for calling the conflict in Darfur a "genocide." Obama made the comment in a speech over the weekend in the African nation of Ghana. There has been a long-running debate over whether to characterize the conflict between Sudan's Arab-led government and ethnic African rebels in Darfur as a genocide. Obama and his predecessor both called it that, but the U.N. never has.

This opinion piece written by DeWayne Wickham was featured in USA Today.

African leaders can't turn blind eye to Sudan crimes.

The message Barack Obama delivered to Africa's leaders during his brief visit to Ghana last week came down to four words of tough love: Get your act together. That, in essence, is what this U.S. president, whom the Ghanaian people greeted like black royalty, said in his address to Ghana's Parliament that was intended for leaders across the continent. The son of a Kenyan father and a white mother from Kansas, Obama has the genetic license to say publicly what no other U.S. president could utter with impunity.

"Africa is not the crude caricature of a continent at perpetual war," Obama said. "But if we are honest, for far too many Africans, conflict is a part of life, as constant as the sun. ... That is why we must stand up to inhumanity in our midst. ... It is the ultimate mark of criminality and cowardice to condemn women to relentless and systematic rape. We must bear witness to the value of every child in Darfur and the dignity of every woman in the Congo."

War crimes at issue

Africa's future, Obama said, is in the hands of Africans. And that, it seems, is a problem because just days before he arrived in Ghana, the African Union, an organization of 53 African countries, circled its wagons around Omar Hassan al-Bashir.

In March, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir, the president of Sudan. He is charged with five crimes against humanity and two counts of war crimes in connection with the genocide of ethnic minorities in the Darfur section of Sudan.

Al-Bashir, the ICC said, is "criminally responsible" for acts of murder, torture, rape and pillage in the 6-year-old civil war that has taken the lives of 300,000 Sudanese. Even so, Ghanaian President John Atta Mills said he and other African leaders will refuse to help the ICC bring al-Bashir to justice while peace talks are underway.

Resolution for Darfur

"We need a lasting solution for Darfur, and the president of Sudan ... is a major part of the solution. So that is why we called for postponement," Mills said, The Voice of America reported.

The ICC, which began operation in 2002, is the court of last resort for war criminals and those who commit crimes against humanity when the suspect can't be brought to justice in the country where the offenses took place.

The African Union's objection to an arrest warrant for al-Bashir highlights the core conflict between people who are working for peace and those who clamor for justice. The African Union believes that as president, al-Bashir can play a key role in its efforts to broker an end to that country's long-running civil war. But after hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and brutalized by al-Bashir's forces, the ICC thinks the world must move quickly to haul him before the international tribunal.

The world's real-life struggle for peace and justice in Sudan and other places where massive crimes have been committed is the focus of a documentary that airs tonight on PBS. The Reckoning is a riveting look at the ICC's efforts to bring to justice the perpetrators of some of the world's worst crimes while those offenses are still taking place.

One of those places is Sudan, home to the continuing violence Obama called "genocide" in his Ghana speech. But the African Union, of which Sudan is a member, opposes treating al-Bashir like a war criminal in the hope that he will change his murderous ways.

And that is a troubling reminder of just how much Africa's future is in the hands of Africans.

DeWayne Wickham writes on Tuesdays for USA TODAY.

he 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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