Monday, May 12, 2008

Darfur update...

Are there any doubts remaining about whether or not the regime of Omar Al-Bashir, the Sudanese President, is actually looking for a peaceful solution to the conflict in Darfur?

From AP:

The peacekeeping force in Darfur said Tuesday it was still trying to evacuate those wounded in airstrikes two days earlier that an aid group reported left 12 people dead, including six children.

The U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan, Ameerah Haq, called for immediate access to the wounded.

"I am deeply perturbed by the reported bombings of a school, water installations and a market where civilians, especially women and children are present," she said in a statement.

Gen. Martin Luther Agwai, commander of the joint African Union-UN peacekeeping mission, said the bombings were "unacceptable acts against civilians" and said recent Darfur violence reflected a "total lack of commitment" by the government and the rebel groups to the peace process.

U.S.-based Darfur Diaries said six children, ages 4 to 11, were killed in an airstrike Sunday on a school it funds in the village of Shegeg Karo in North Darfur. Six more people were killed when the village's market area was bombed.

Residents reported that a Sudanese government aircraft hovered over the area for some time before repeatedly bombing it, the aid group said.

At the same time, Bashir's government is facing an unprecedented threat from ethnic African rebels, who just recently mounted an assault on the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. Unfortunately, this will only give the Sudanese government another opportunity to continue its scorched earth policy in Darfur.

From Reuters:

Sudanese forces hunted for suspected Darfur rebels in Khartoum on Monday after an unprecedented rebel attack at the weekend and detained Islamist opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi before releasing him.

Bursts of gunfire kept Khartoum on edge. It was the first time fighting had reached the capital in decades of conflict between the traditionally Arab-dominated central government and rebels from far-flung regions in the oil-producing country.

Darfur rebel leader Khalil Ibrahim told Reuters he would keep up attacks until President Omar Hassan al-Bashir's government fell. About 65 people were believed to have been killed in the attack that began on Saturday.

As we head into an election year and news of the economy and rising oil prices take center stage, the Darfur Genocide may very well be disappearing from view. For those of us who still care, we must do everything to make sure the voices of Darfur's victims do not go unheard...because this is far from over. Peace in Darfur will never be possible if the Sudanese government is not revealed for the murderous force that it is.

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