August 28, 2006

Time For Council To Move Their Derrières

Take a good, hard look at the way the United Nations, i.e., the international community, deals with ongoing genocide (see below).

Fifty years from now, the UN will probably commemorate it with a Genocide Remembrance Day, although a lot of good that'll do the dead Sudanese.

Watch and remember who fought to stop it, and who did NOT.

The Associated Press  |  August 28, 2006

U.S. Ambassador Says "It Is Time For Action'' To Bring U.N. Troops To Darfur

By Paul Burkhardt, Associated Press Writer

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - U.S. Ambassador John Bolton on Monday urged the Security Council to adopt a resolution transferring peacekeeping operations to U.N. troops, saying the "time for talk is over."

Bolton spoke after the Security Council discussed the handover of peacekeeping from the financially strapped African Union, which says it cannot handle long-term peacekeeping. Sudan, which opposes such a force, refused to send anyone to the meeting.

Since a May peace agreement was reached by the Sudanese government and one of the region's major rebel groups, violence, sexual abuse and displacement of people has increased dramatically, U.N. humanitarian chief Jan Egeland told the council. Egeland cited a report that more than 200 women and girls in one camp have been sexually assaulted in less than two months as one example.

"Our warnings have become a black reality that calls for immediate action," said Egeland.

Bolton said the permanent five members of the Security Council would meet later to work on a resolution that would "make clear" that the transition would occur. He said he wanted a resolution "in the next couple days."

"The time for talk is over. It is time for action. It is time for this council to uphold its responsibility and pass a resolution immediately authorizing the deployment of U.N. forces," Bolton told the Security Council.

"Every day that we delay adds to the tragic loss of life and suffering of the people of the Sudan," Bolton said.

But a U.N. Security Council diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the U.S. efforts for a hasty resolution would face opposition from China, which has traditionally defended Sudan before the council. As a permanent member of the council, China has the power to veto any resolution.

After the meeting, Bolton told reporters that the transition from AU forces to a U.N. force had already been agreed on and that he did not understand why the Sudanese government was opposed to the deployment.

President Omar al-Bashir has said he favors strengthening the African force and deploying Sudanese troops in Darfur - a step human rights groups fear could lead to more rights violations.

Bolton added that it was key to do so while Ghana's U.N. Ambassador Nana Effah-Apenteng holds the council presidency for August because Ghana is a member of the African Union. But Effah-Apenteng was cautious when asked about a new resolution. "Our best option would be to gain cooperation from the Sudanese government," he told reporters.

In a letter circulated last week, al-Bashir asked the Security Council to give him time to bring peace to Darfur and urged it to delay action on transferring peacekeeping duties to the U.N. force.

A senior U.S. diplomat had traveled to Sudan to deliver a message from U.S. President George W. Bush urging Khartoum to drop its objections. But U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer ended her mission to Sudan Monday without meeting with al-Bashir.

After confirming the Sudanese did not show up to Monday's Security Council meeting, Effah-Apenteng told reporters there was still time for diplomatic efforts. "I hope that in the coming days and weeks they will change their minds."

The poorly equipped and funded AU force, whose mandate expires Sept. 30, has failed to bring security to the area which has seen more than 200,000 people killed since February 2003. Even some of the people sent to help those in need have been killed, with nine humanitarian workers killed during the month of July, a record for such a category, Egeland reported.

Bolton said that passing a draft could be achievable in the next few days because there are a "very substantial amount of council members that would vote in favor" of the draft.


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