Sunday, March 04, 2007

Key facts about Darfur

February 26, 2006.

(Reuters) -- The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor will name the first suspects accused of committing war crimes in Sudan's Darfur region on Tuesday.

Here are some facts about the conflict in the Darfur region.

The conflict.
  • Rebels in Sudan's western region of Darfur rose up against the government in February 2003, saying Khartoum discriminated against non-Arab farmers there.
  • Khartoum mobilised proxy Arab militia to help quell the revolt. Some militiamen, known locally as Janjaweed, pillaged and burned villages, and killed civilians. The government has called the Janjaweed outlaws and denied supporting them.
  • Experts have estimated 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million driven from their homes in the region since early 2003, some crossing the border into Chad exacerbating a refugee crisis there.
  • The United Nations calls Darfur one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. The United States says the violence in Darfur amounts to genocide.
Cease-fires:
  • A ceasefire was agreed in Darfur in April 2004 and the African Union eventually sent nearly 7,000 peacekeepers with a mandate to monitor the peace and protect those displaced in the camps. The ceasefire has been violated frequently, with fighting blamed on government troops, rebels and Janjaweed militias.
  • A peace deal in May 2006 was signed by only one of three rebel negotiating factions. The agreement was almost immediately rejected by many people in Darfur who said it did not go far enough in ensuring their security. A new rebel coalition has since formed and renewed hostilities with the government.
Peacekeeping force for Darfur:
  • In August 2006, the U.N Security Council adopted a resolution on deploying a 22,500-strong peacekeeping force in Darfur to replace and absorb African Union forces who have been unable to stem the violence in western Sudan.
  • It invited the consent of Sudan, which has so far refused.
    Then-U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan suggested a hybrid force, which Khartoum also rejected. But Sudan has agreed to allow a "hybrid operation", involving technical U.N. support personnel, to deploy to Darfur to help the AU. It has allowed the first phase of that three-phased deployment to proceed but has balked at phase two, which involves some 3,000 U.N. personnel, as well as equipment.
Source: CNN.

NOTE: Consider the source and the outcome so far. I give them below a failing grade. I call it complicit.

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