Wednesday, November 29, 2006

We Are All Keepers of Justice...We All Have a Voice

Post 6

The next person to share on the conference call, I jotted down words like “Senior International Coordinator, Assistant Secretary General, Led Peacekeeping talks regarding Haiti, worked with the diplomatic core and with the peacekeeping efforts in Kosovo”. A man on the conference call that I only know as Larry, (sorry, they talked fast), who obviously is extremely well-versed in this subject said it is vital that “we the people” do keep up the sustained effort to pressure our elected politicians to make this a priority. Not what it has proven to be – a talking point after the two national rallies we have had. (That last sentence is mine, not his.) He said we get an A for effort, but the only thing that counts is the grade we get for achievement.

They met in Gambia with 40 African countries’ NGOs (non-profit organizations) who have high government access and with proximity to afford a difference although they are poor and weakened by that fact.

Germany, France, Italy and Spain lag behind the attention given to this right to live in which Britain, Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands get a better report card. The African Union (the only troops on the ground in this region who are, in name, on the other side of genocide have continuously asked NATO to help out and support its operation in Darfur. The middle eastern countries were said to be a “challenge because of our credibility weakness” in this area of the world. And that we have an “image problem” to overcome in order to have any “credibility and have legitimate” persuasive abilities to ask them to support stopping this genocide’s progress. The U.N. 1706 initiative for Darfuri’s protection doesn’t require Sudan’s President Omar al-Beshir’s invitation to act on behalf of human and moral principle.

The talk of a hybrid force continues, one which would marry the African Union forces with United Nations forces, officers, equipment and funding. And most important a mandate beyond standing on the ground with paper and pencil recording the victims stories, which has been and is the African Union’s mandate all along. Andrew S. Natsios, the U.S. Special Darfur Envoy, spoke of the possible deal made with al-Beshir, but this afternoon al-Beshir made it clear he would have nothing to do with such a deal.

Financial divestment was raised by Mia Farrow. And echoed by Larry (the man I have no last name for). The China/Sudan partnership is a real obstacle and only emboldens al-Beshir’s resolve and stance. China like the rest of the world, makes decision based on “green stuff”. And Sudan’s oil is a hot commodity. Mia raised the point that Sudan trades on our U.S. stock exchange, making us funders of the genocide. “It’s not business as usual” - I believe it was Mia who said this. The international community’s flexing of power via financial freedoms and divestment makes sense.
Borrowing from an article, “Divest from Sudan to Help Darfur” ,by Daniel Millenson , “If big institutional investors, like state and local pension funds and university endowments, join in a divestment campaign that targets the honey-pot companies that sustain the regime, they may be able to produce results for Darfur where mere indignation has so far failed.”

The weekend of December 8, 9 and 10 has been designated as “Darfur Weekend of Prayer and Action”. You can go to www.savedarfur.org/faith to see what to do to participate and make your voice be useful. In Washington, D.C. there are activities that are planned to take place at the Sudanese Embassy. December 10 is designated as the 2nd Global Day for Darfur.

Continued on next post



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