JUNE 15 - 24, 2009 - REPORTS FROM DARFURI REFUGEE CAMP
President Obama Puts Darfur On Back Burner
Leadership by President Obama regarding the Darfur crisis gets a 1 on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being little to no leadership.
“It is not acceptable to put that many people’s lives at risk,” Obama said about the Darfuris and the expelled humanitarian agencies for the Internally Displaced People of Darfur. “We need to be able to get those humanitarian organizations back on the ground.” ...President Obama
And yet, those agencies that were expelled March 4, 2009 are not "back on the ground" in Sudan.
Talk is useless, President Obama, as long as it reaps no Change We Can Believe In.
The Stop Genocide Now team is on the ground now to send us reports from a Darfuri refugee camp just over the border in Chad. November 2005 was their first trip. This is their eighth trip.
Beginning on June 15th, i-ACT (interactive-activism) will connect you with Darfur refugees through the web for ten consecutive days. Each day delve deeper into the lives of this community by watching videos, viewing photos, reading and commenting on blog posting and taking action to bring peace and justice to Darfur. Being part of i-ACT allows you to develop a personal relationship with Darfuris and inspires us all to continue acting for each individual who has survived the horrors of Darfur. i-ACT will bring you innovative and interactive live programming for World Refugee Day on Thursday June 18th and June 20th. Join us, be i-ACT.
They will be visiting some of the people I talk about in this post
WHEN HUMANS HUMANITY IS INDIFFERENT THE ANSWER ISN'T MORE INDIFFERENCE - Caring is Human
Link to post:
i ACT 8: Day 0 - Travel Day
Day 0 - Paperwork in N'Djamena
i-ACT team members, Gabriel, Katie-Jay, Ian, and Eric travel from the States to Paris and finally arrive in N’Djamena Chad. It will take a few days to get their permits and make it to the eastern capitol, Abeche and then finally to a refugee camp. Watch videos from their preliminary travel and read early reflections of i-ACT8.
Action: World Refugee Day - Saturday June 20, 2009
World Refugee Day (WRD) is a time of celebration. To honor the survivors who were forced fled their homes and sought refuge and safety from violence. To recognize them as part of us. WRD is also a time to reflect on the root causes of mass atrocities and solutions to bring those who were forced to run back home. It should be a day of action, as action is the very best way to honor and celebrate the sorrows and triumphs of humanity by connecting with humanity in the toughest of times.
On Saturday June 20, 2009, World Refugee Day will be celebrated around the world in internally displaced person’s camps and refugee camps throughout the world. This year’s theme is Real People, Real Needs. We ask you can be part of this day and to bring celebration and action into you life.
1. Participate in a live web streaming from Chad refugee camps. Follow our team as they capture the daily life and special WRD events. Ask questions via the live chat, and spread the word via your online social networks. Stay tuned in here for the link!
2. In solidarity with and in honor of the theme, Real People, Real Needs, fast from midnight to midnight for WRD - join here.
3. During the World Refugee Day web streaming, invite a few friends and family to your home to share in the experience. The live streaming and chat offer the opportunity for you to actively deepen the relationship between your community and refugees. Making our very large world personal is part of the long term solution that can create peace, justice and equality.
Links to past trips in descending order:
i-ACT 7: March 23 - Apr 1, 2009
Gabriel, Katie-Jay and Yuen-Lin are heading back to Chad amidst the chaos of humanitarian groups being forced out of Darfur. Join them (and get your friends to join us too!) on their journey back to the camps, to meet new friends, and rejoin old ones. As usual, we will have daily actions which are even more important in these pressing times.
i-ACT 6: August 1 - 11, 2008
Follow Gabriel and Katie-Jay from SGN on their return trip to refugee camps in Eastern Chad to visit with the surviving victims of this genocide and hear their stories. They will there as a part of the Dream for Darfur Switch Over to Darfur program.
June 10 - 22, 2008 Follow Gabriel and Katie-Jay from SGN on their return trip to refugee camps on the Chad - Darfur border to visit with the surviving victims of this genocide and hear their stories. They will be joined by former STAND Leadership Committee members, Scott Warren and Colin O’Brien. Join the community, become an i-ACTivist for Darfur.
Gabriel, Katie-Jay, Joshua and Jeremiah are still in the capital. They were in the hotel while the rebels were attacking the presidential palace and the hotel was caught in the cross fire. They are now evacuated to the French military base. Amidst the chaos they’ve been uploading blog posts and videos. Watch them here »
i-ACT 3: July 10 - 20, 2007
Gabriel returns to the refugee camps on the Chad - Darfur border, this time with Connie and Yuen-Lin. Follow our journey as we visit with the surviving victims of this genocide and hear their stories. Take action to bring positive change to the region so the refugees can return safely to their homes.
i-ACT 2: Dec 21, 2006 - Jan 4, 2007
i-ACT is Interactive Activism:
- We use technology to reject the standard excuse of inaction - ignorance
- We debunk the myth that ordinary people cannot stop genocide
- We replace statistics with names, faces and stories
i-ACT 1: Nov 21 - Dec 10, 2005
Join Gabriel and Chis on i-ACT’s first trip to Chad. For 21 consecutive days, the Genocide Intervention Fund (GIF) and StopGenocideNow.org will webcast the immediacy of the ongoing genocide in Darfur directly from the field with the new awareness campaign i-ACT (Interactive Activism). i-ACT will travel to the Chad/Dafur border and visit refugee camps. Along with technical assistance from volunteers, they will use the power of the Internet to put a face to the mind-numbing numbers of dead, dying and displaced.
On Tuesday June 17 a delegate from Sudan's regime ruling party (NCP)will visit Washington D.C. for talks with the U.S. Administration. On Tuesday June 23rd a conference discussing CPA (Comprehensive Peace Agreement) will be held where a delegate from SPLM (Sudan People Liberation Movement- the Southern Sudan ex-rebels)will discuss CPA with the NCP.
No major Darfuri parties (movements, civil society leaders) are invited.
Provided by Mohamed Suleiman, a US-based Darfuri with a broad network of Darfuri contacts from the Diaspora and from IDP camps in Sudan and refugee camps in Chad. For additional information, visit www.savedarfur.org/section/heroes_archive/octobers_darfur_heroes
Saturday, June 13, 2009Following the contradicting statements from Government of Sudan to the report of U.N. John Holmes on Thursday June 11th, Two of the expelled NGOs mentioned in the report,issued a clarification statements. CARE USA and MERCY Corps of Scotland have issued the following statements:
Response to John Holmes' Statement on Expelled Agencies in Sudan
CARE USA wishes to respond to the statements made by John Holmes, the U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, on Thursday June 11, 2009.
Holmes implied in his statement that CARE USA, which was one of the 13 aid agencies expelled from Sudan in March, would be allowed to return to Sudan. This however is not the case. CARE USA’s registration in Sudan remains void, and CARE USA will not resume operations in North Sudan.
Joint Statement on Registration of Mercy Corps Scotland in Northern Sudan
June 12, 2009
Mercy Corps and Mercy Corps Scotland wish to clarify statements made by John Holmes, the U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, on Thursday 11 June 2009 relating to the return of expelled humanitarian relief agencies to Sudan.
Contrary to Mr Holmes’ comments, Mercy Corps, which was expelled from Northern Sudan in early March 2009, is not resuming operations in Northern Sudan. Mercy Corps Scotland, a UK based charity, has registered to work in Sudan. Mercy Corps Scotland is very pleased that the Government of Sudan has approved and welcomed this registration.
Mercy Corps Scotland is an independently registered organization in Scotland, and will be operating separately in Sudan.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Please read this strange story as it is unfolding between the U.N. and Khartoum regime:
Sudan Denies Some Expelled NGOs Returning
By Margaret Besheer
The United Nations
11 June 2009
Sudan is denying United Nations claims that some aid groups that were expelled from the country in March are being allowed to return by making slight organizational name changes. The groups were kicked out following the International Criminal Court's issuance of an arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes.
U.N. humanitarian chief John Holmes told the Security Council Thursday that during his recent visit to Khartoum, government officials made clear to him both in private and in public that new aid groups and those with new names and logos are welcome in the country.
"Four of the expelled NGOs have taken advantage of this latter flexibility and this week completed initial registration processes in Khartoum," he said.
Holmes said the four organizations are CARE International, Save the Children, Mercy Corps and PADCO.
But Sudan's Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a statement Thursday denying that some of the aid groups kicked out of the country would be allowed to return.
Sudan's U.N. Ambassador Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamad echoed that, telling VOA that those who have been expelled will not be allowed to circumvent the government's order.
"The people put it like we are throwing them from the window and they are coming from the door, or visa-versa. It is not like this. Those that have been expelled are expelled. They are not being allowed to come back. But whoever would like to apply afresh, credentials will be checked and a decision will be taken on a case-by-case basis," he said.
In March, the International Criminal Court at The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Sudan's president on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for atrocities committed in the Darfur region of his country since 2003.
President Bashir responded by kicking out 13 of the largest international aid organizations working in Darfur, as well as revoking the licenses of three national NGOs, leaving more than a million people at risk of insufficient food, water, sanitation and healthcare.
Holmes said Sudanese government efforts to fill the most critical gaps have been inadequate, but have for the moment prevented a secondary humanitarian crisis from erupting. But he warned that the looming rainy season could present new challenges.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009- GoS ( Government of Sudan) Military Airplanes bombed yesterday the town of Furawiyah in North Darfur. The bombing sent civilians fleeing to the mountains. After the bombing, Janjaweed pillaged the town market and looted some stores. This is the second round for this town to be bombed within the last 10 days.
- Gazi Salahudin ( Consultant of AlBashir who took over the Darfur Dossier from Nafi Ali Nafi), has singled out the U.S. Ambassador to U.N. ( Dr. Susan Rice) in a harsh attack in the media. Gazi Salahudin was referring to Dr. Rice's tough stance in the Security council during and after the delivery of the ICC report by the the ICC chief prosecutor. Salahuddin labeled the call of Dr. Rice for a tougher dealing with the Government of Sudan with regard to Darfur, unfortunate and not helpful in advancing relations between U.S.A. and Sudan.
- Some civilians in North Darfur told Radio Dabanga that they were saved from thirst in past days by some units of JEM rebels when they delivered water to these civilians.
No improvement of humanitarian situation in darfur to be reported till today.
From While We Wait Sudan
What's Going On?
Sung by Cyndi Lauper