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New York Times article by George on Darfur 02.26.15

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New York Times article by George on Darfur 02.26.15

Post by party animal - not! on Wed Feb 25 2015, 13:13

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Re: New York Times article by George on Darfur 02.26.15

Post by annemarie on Wed Feb 25 2015, 13:23

This is so awful money speaks and people don't matter.

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Re: New York Times article by George on Darfur 02.26.15

Post by party animal - not! on Wed Feb 25 2015, 14:19

'Twas ever thus in so many cases, Annemarie. I cannot imagine how angry it must make all those people who are trying to help those who cannot help themselves.

It's a great article with an excellent analysis and timeline of the situation. 

It's really unfortunate (understatement!) that as I understand it the African Union of countries have pledged not to indict any fellow member, which makes the ICC's case a million times more difficult if not impossible.

Just had a quick look at Ryan Boyette's twitter page from the Nuba Mountains. His Nibs and John Prenderghast managed to cross the border and see him a while ago. So pleased to see he is still there and posting......

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Re: New York Times article by George on Darfur 02.26.15

Post by Joanna on Wed Feb 25 2015, 14:28

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George Clooney on Sudan’s Rape of Darfur
By GEORGE CLOONEY, JOHN PRENDERGAST and AKSHAYA KUMARFEB. 25, 2015

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CreditMitch Blunt
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In the early 2000s, a brutal conflict in western Sudanbetween the government and rebels led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Darfuris, with millions displaced as refugees. In 2004, the United States declared Sudan’s actions a genocide.
After that spike in attention and concern, the world has largely forgotten about Darfur. Unfortunately, the government of Sudan has not.
Because Sudan’s governmentroutinely blocks journalists from going into the Darfur region and severely restricts access for humanitarian workers, any window into life there is limited. The government has hammered the joint peacekeeping mission of the United Nations and African Union into silence about human rights concerns by shutting downthe United Nations human rights office in the capital, Khartoum, hampering investigators of alleged human rights abuses and pressuring the peacekeeping force to withdraw.
Just last week, the regime reportedly convinced the peacekeeping mission to pull out of areas it says are stable, hoping no one takes a closer look. As a result, mass atrocities continue to occur in Darfur with no external witness. This is also the case in Blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains, two southern regions devastated by the government’s scorched-earth tactics.
Every once in a while, however, a sliver of evidence emerges. In recent years, citizen journalists and human rights defenders from Darfur and the Nuba Mountains have smuggled out videos showing bombing raids and burning villages. Images captured by our Satellite Sentinel Project confirmed the systematic burning and barrel bombing of at least half a dozen villages in Darfur’s eastern Jebel Marra area last year.
To avoid scrutiny, the government has spent millions of dollars provided by Qatar to set up “model villages,” where it encourages Darfuris displaced by violence to settle. Human Rights Watch recently documented a chilling incident of mass rape at one of these villages, Tabit.
After collecting more than 130 eyewitness and survivor testimonies over the phone, its researchers concluded that at least 221 women had been raped by soldiers of the Sudanese Army over a 36-hour period last October. The peacekeepers’ attempts to investigate this incident were obstructed by the government, which allowed them into the town briefly for interviews that were conducted in a climate of intimidation. A leaked memo from the peacekeeping mission shows that Sudanese troops listened in on and even recorded many of the interviews. Since then, the people of Tabit have had their freedom of movement severely curtailed.
The army had controlled the town since 2011, with a base on the outskirts, and was not trying to drive the population from their homes to gain territory. The sexual violence has no military objective; rather, it is a tactic of social control, ethnic domination and demographic change. Acting with impunity, government forces victimize the entire community. Racial subordination is also an underlying message, as non-Arab groups are singled out for abuse.
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Human rights courts around the world have found that rapes by army officials or police officers can constitute torture. When issuing its findings about crimes committed in a similar situation in Bosnia, the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia determined that the rapes of women at two camps were acts of torture since sexual violence was used as an instrument of terror. The mass rapes in Tabit follow the same pattern.
During our own visits to Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and refugee camps in neighboring countries, we have heard story after story like those from Tabit. These “torture rapes” are just one tool in Sudan’s criminal arsenal, which also includes aerial bombing of hospitalsand agricultural fields, burning of villages and the denial of food aid.
Over time, international outrage has shifted away from Darfur. When change doesn’t come fast enough, attention spans are short — especially for places that appear to have no strategic importance. In the last two years, however, Darfur became important to the Sudanese government when major gold reserves were discovered in North Darfur, the region that includes Tabit.
When South Sudan won its independence in 2011, the part of Sudan left behind lost its biggest source of foreign exchange earnings: oil revenues. So gold has become the new oil for Sudan.
According to the International Monetary Fund, gold sales earned Sudan $1.17 billion last year. Much of that gold is coming from Darfur and other conflict zones. The government has attempted to consolidate its control over the country’s gold mines in part by violent ethnic cleansing.
Unfortunately, the United Nations Security Council is too divided to respond with action to the crimes being committed in Darfur and other parts of Sudan. Russia and China, which have commercial links to Khartoum through arms sales and oil deals, are unwilling to apply pressure that might alter the calculations of the Khartoum government. But that doesn’t mean the international community is without leverage.
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First, international banks, gold refiners and associations like the Dubai Multi Commodities Center and the London Bullion Market Association should raise alerts for Sudanese gold and initiate audits to trace it all to its mine of origin to ensure that purchases are not fueling war crimes in Darfur. The gold industry has already adopted a similar approach to suppliers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Second, the international community has imposed sanctions unevenly and without sufficient enforcement to have a significant impact. The United States and other countries should expand sanctions and step up enforcement to pressure Sudan to observe human rights and to negotiate for peace. Most important, the next wave of American sanctions should target the facilitators, including Sudanese and international banks, that do business with the regime either directly or through partners.
The “torture rapes” in Tabit are a reminder to the world that the same conditions that led the United States’declaration of genocide in Darfur are still firmly in place, with devastating human consequences. We must not forget the survivors, and we must impose deterrent costs on the orchestrators and their enablers.

George Clooney, an actor and film producer, and John Prendergast are the founders of the Satellite Sentinel Project. Mr. Prendergast is also the founding director of the Enough Project, where Akshaya Kumar is a policy analyst.
A version of this op-ed appears in print on February 26, 2015, in The International New York Times. [url=https://s100.copyright.com/AppDispatchServlet?contentID=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2015%2F02%2F26%2Fopinion%2Fgeorge-clooney-on-sudans-rape-of-darfur.html&publisherName=The+New+York+Times&publication=nytimes.com&token=&orderBeanReset=true&postType=&wordCount=988&title=George+Clooney+on+Sudan%E2%80%99s+Rape+of+Darfur&publicationDate=February+25%2C+2015&author=By George Clooney, John Prendergast and Akshaya Kumar]Order Reprints[/url]| Today's Paper|Subscribe

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Re: New York Times article by George on Darfur 02.26.15

Post by Donnamarie on Wed Feb 25 2015, 14:32

Thanks PAN.  Yea annemarie this is awful.  There are soooo many atrocities occurring all over the world and I think Darfur has gotten overshadowed over the last few years.  So glad George is reminding us that Darfur is still in dire straits and there is much that still needs to be done to eradicate the marginalizing of these people.  I'm actually glad George's name is part of the headline of this piece. Get more people to read it.

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Re: New York Times article by George on Darfur 02.26.15

Post by LizzyNY on Wed Feb 25 2015, 15:13

I think everyone's been so concerned with the rise of ISIS, as it represents a more immediate and global threat, that conflicts like Darfur got put on the back burner. It's unfortunate, because conflicts like Darfur are more likely to be affected by traditional political and economic tactics, whereas the situation with ISIS is much more complex and will be much harder to resolve.

What seems to me to be needed in both situations is the will of the international community to do what is right instead of what is politically expedient or financially rewarding for the elite.

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Re: New York Times article by George on Darfur 02.26.15

Post by MeganMorris on Thu Feb 26 2015, 06:58

Good op-ed. With so many conflicts and catastrophes, agencies like the UNHCR, are having trouble responding. They were not created for this and don't have the resources to respond, unless countries start to, at least, fulfill their monetary promises.

The rising of  ISIS is a problem, but the bigger problem is the war in Syria, itself. And the consequences it has in the whole region. The displacement of Syrians, now Iraquies etc is a huge burden in countries like Jordan etc. If those countries collapse,  the region and the rest of the world are f*cked.

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Re: New York Times article by George on Darfur 02.26.15

Post by annemarie on Thu Feb 26 2015, 12:10

I just don't believe one should take precedence over the other, the world is huge if we all join forces this horror can be stopped. I feel it still just comes down to money.

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Re: New York Times article by George on Darfur 02.26.15

Post by MeganMorris on Thu Feb 26 2015, 17:26

Of course not. Unfortunately sometimes it feels that away, but I think mostly it seems that away because it's like the media can only take one conflict, catastrophe etc at the time. And quickly move for one to another forgetting the one before.

Fortunately agencies, ONGs etc continue in the ground and try to to help in some away.

I think many of these continue conflicts and the crimes committed are because of impunity that reins. These rulers, military etc know that nothing will happen to them. That is why ICC would be so important. Unfortunately when countries like the US don't sign to it ,makes it harder for it to have all it's potencial. Sudan also didn't sign.

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Re: New York Times article by George on Darfur 02.26.15

Post by party animal - not! on Wed Mar 11 2015, 13:27

The ICC today has formally requested the UN to act. A good try

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Since the African Union of Presidents have an agreement not to indict their own this may be the only chance............

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Re: New York Times article by George on Darfur 02.26.15

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