Friday, May 25, 2007

U.N. on the slow move to Darfur

Making minimal headlines (no one really cares about Africa), huge progress has begun in the crisis area of Sudan's Darfur. The saddening lack of enthusiasm from the U.S. government and media show a lack of integrity and thoroughness when it comes to reporting. The U.N. stepping into genocide crisis in Darfur is years too late and will only work results with international support. You can follow news about this at the Coalition for Darfur. On May 23, from Reuters:

U.N. military personnel set to bolster African peacekeepers in Sudan's war-ravaged Darfur need at least three to four months to get in place, a senior African Union officer said on Wednesday. But the officer, speaking on condition of anonymity at the wind-swept AU base at el-Geneina where some of the African Union's roughly 7,000 Darfur peacekeepers are housed in tents, said only a much larger peacekeeping force could ultimately stem violence in Darfur.

The United Nations estimates that about 200,000 people have died and more than 2 million made homeless since ethnic and political conflict flared in Darfur in 2003 when rebel groups took up arms against Khartoum, accusing it of neglect.

Sudan says only 9,000 have died. A 2006 peace deal between the government and one rebel faction has so far failed to halt the violence.

The U.N. reinforcements, about 1,000 of which will be posted at el-Geneina in West Darfur, are due to come as part of a U.N. "heavy support package" of more than 3,000 U.N. military personnel for Darfur that Khartoum agreed to in April.

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