Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Coalition for Darfur Weekly Update

The Coalition for Darfur has posted its weekly update on the ongoing genocide there and the world's (non)reaction. As always, it is well worth your time, and is available here.


At 12:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...
Fresh aid sought for Darfur work
Some of the world's top diplomats are gathering in Ethiopia to discuss how to address the emergency in Darfur, Sudan.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is chairing Thursday's one-day conference, while senior Nato, EU and US officials will also attend.
They are expected to agree funding for a major expansion of the African Union (AU) peacekeeping force in Darfur.
The conflict in western Sudan has killed more than 180,000 people, while two million have fled their homes.
On Wednesday the head of UN peacekeeping made a plea to the international community to supply the under-equipped AU force with flak jackets, maps, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.
Jean-Marie Guehenno said it was vital the conference in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa came up with funds and equipment.

"If the troops don't have the right equipment, that could jeopardise the mission and that's why it's so vital that in Addis, the countries that have the capability to provide that equipment make the right decision," he said.

The EU and Nato have already said they will provide logistical support for the AU mission.
Mr Guehenno said the AU force had been successful in stabilising areas of Darfur, but that it was not nearly large enough to do a complete job.
There are about 2,200 AU peacekeepers spread over the vast area of Darfur.
A senior AU official told Reuters it would ask the Addis Ababa conference for $460m (£250m) to expand the force more than threefold by September.
The International Crisis Group think tank has urged an expansion to 15,000 troops within 60 days, with an expanded mandate, to enable it to protect the people of Darfur.
Mr Annan is expected to travel from Ethiopia to meet Sudanese leaders in Khartoum and to go from there to Darfur itself.

At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Canada leads as donors pledge $200 million US for Darfur peacekeeping
Anthony Mitchell
Canadian Press
May 26, 2005
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- International donors, led by Canada, pledged an additional $200 million US to fund the African Union peacekeeping operation in Darfur on Thursday.
The Canadian pledge, by far the largest at a conference to raise money to stop the ongoing violence in western Sudan, promised the equivalent of $134 million US.
The added donation, originally announced by Prime Minister Paul Martin earlier this month, is on top of a previous Canadian commitment of about $71 million US to promote peace in Sudan, taking Canada's overall pledge to some $205 million US.

The United States promised most of the rest of the additional money announced Thursday - $50 million - on top of the $95 million already committed by Washington.
The U.S. State Department's senior representative on Sudan, Charles Snyder, said the money was to help end what he called ''acts of genocide.''

Canada has said its aid would go toward helicopters and other military materiel for the African Union forces, as well as humanitarian aid, and reflects what officials in Ottawa say is Canada's increased commitment to helping the trouble-plagued continent. Finance Minister Ralph Goodale announced in March that Canada would double its aid to Africa by 2008-09 from 2003-04 levels.

The African Union has 2,270 troops in western Sudan attempting to stop fighting between rebels and Arab militias, but has plans to increase that number to more than 12,300. The African Union has asked for $723 million US to help finance and equip the Darfur operation, but was $350 million short at the beginning of Thursday's conference.
Britain pledged $12 million US on Thursday and Germany $1.25 million. Other countries made smaller pledges, or offered troops.
The peacekeeping operation is a critical test of international commitment and Africa's resolve to end conflicts in the world's poorest continent, AU Commission Chairman Alpha Oumar Konare said.
''If Sudan were to collapse then the entire continent of Africa, with nine countries bordering Sudan, will also suffer and collapse,'' he told the donors.
AU officials also announced that Darfur peace talks would resume in Abuja, Nigeria, on June 10.
''We are running a race against time,'' said UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who was at the conference along with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and European Union's foreign policy chief, Javier Solana.
''If violence and fear prevent the people of Darfur from planting and growing crops next year, then millions will have to be sustained by an epic relief effort which will stretch international capacity to the maximum,'' Annan said.

The Africa Union is seeking six helicopter gunships, 116 armoured personnel carriers and other equipment to help it deploy more peacekeepers in Darfur, the scene of one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.

De Hoop Scheffer told the conference that NATO was ready to supply airlift capability and training for the AU peacekeepers.
''If you ask for help and we can help, we will help,'' he said. ''But the African Union has to remain in the driving seat.''
Snyder said the violence in Darfur was slowing, but that the only way to end it was to deploy a large AU force supported by NATO.
''The truth is the AU was looking for outside support and when you are looking at support on this kind of scale we need an organization that can do it, such as NATO,'' Snyder told The Associated Press.


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