ME and Ophelia

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

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As the only way to avoid "another Rwanda"

The collapse of the peace talks between the Sudanese government and rebels from Darfur has prompted comment in newspapers across the world. A report from the BBC says the situation in Darfur has been described as the world's worst humanitarian crisis at present, and papers express concern that things are now likely to get worse.

Some Western papers see UN-authorised intervention as the only way to avoid what they call "another Rwanda"." Read more in the BBC's excellent world news round-up on Sudan.
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Pro-government militia in south Sudan vows to fight for survival:
July 18: Pro-government militia in southern Sudan which could be outlawed under a peace deal aimed at ending more than two decades of conflict has warned it will fight for its survival.
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Sudan sets up groups to probe rapes in Darfur:
Khartoum, under global pressure to end violence in its western provinces, ordered on Saturday that committees of female judges, police officers and legal consultants investigate rape accusations and help victims through criminal cases. Thank you to my reader Clive Summerfield for emailing me the BBC report: "Rape 'a weapon' in Sudan war". I'll post more on this at a later date. Note [insert link] Amnesty International documents rape as tool of war in Darfur and Sudan's ambassador in Lebanon says only 2 cases occurred.

July 19: Darfur documents confirm Sudan's government policy of militia support.
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Sudan militiamen face amputations:
BBC report: Ten members of Sudan's pro-government militia have been sentenced to have a hand and a foot amputated for their role in attacks in Darfur.
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Rebels attacked a relief convoy in Darfur yesterday:
July 21:: Nine Sudanese Soldiers, 29 Rebels Die in Darfur Clash. Nine of the dead were military escorts and the others were rebels. The attack occurred Monday at Ambru in the north of the western province.

The incident was confirmed by Sudan's Humanitarian Affairs Ministry, which didn't give casualty figures, AFP reported. It brought to 109 the number of rebel violations of a cease-fire in force since April, AFP said.
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UK cash pours in for Darfur appeal:
July 21: Donations have flooded in to a UK appeal to help the Sudan humanitarian crisis - raising £2.5m the first night. Some 4,000 phone lines manned by volunteers were jammed from 6.30pm on Tuesday until midnight. The average donation so far has been £44 - the amount needed to feed a family of five for two months.

The appeal, launched by actress Joanna Lumley, aims to help up to one million black Africans who have been driven from their homes in Darfur by Arab militias, allegedly backed by the Sudanese government. Brendan Gormley, chief executive of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), which is organising the appeal, called it "a tremendous response".

Mr Gormley said: "The British public have obviously been touched by the plight of the refugees and have responded by donating generously.

July 21: Blair Blasts Sudan for Ethnic Cleansing in Darfur.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 7/21/2004
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