Friday, April 08, 2005

Less Talk, More Action on Darfur

Today the United Nations has issued more demands to the Sudanese government. Reuters reports:

The United Nations human rights investigator for Sudan has demanded that the government disarm militia who continue to kill and rape civilians in Darfur, warning of a "time bomb" that could explode.

But even as the UN steps up demands, its UN World Food Program has announced that due to drastic funding shortfalls, it will have to severely cut rations to one million refugees in Darfur.

What is the U.S. up to? The New York Times reports that Undersecretary of State Robert Zoellick will be traveling to the region next week.

The State Department says Mr. Zoellick is going so he can show that the administration takes the problems in Darfur seriously. The department says Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice counts the problems among her top concerns.

So, there’s lots of talk, but will it work? Ms. Rice can answer that. According to the same New York Times report:

Ms. Rice did not hold out much hope that the administration's strategy would accomplish a great deal. The Sudanese leaders, she said, "have learned that much of what we consider terribly wrong, they can get away with."

We absolutely must stop letting them get away with it. Zoellick should use his visit to rally international support behind stopping the genocide by whatever means.

NOTE: Meanwhile, the United States is committing $1.4 billion in aid for reconstruction in the southern part of Sudan where a 20 year conflict with rebel forces recently ended. While this is admirable, it is vital to note that the conflict in southern Sudan is completely unrelated to the genocide in Darfur.


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