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Friday, May 28, 2010

OBAMA IS WRONG ABOUT DARFUR, WRONG ABOUT SENDING US OFFICIAL TO BASHIR'S INAUGURATION MAY 27, 2010


President Obama is wrong about Bashir. What happened to the man?

A comment I left at the State Department's facebook page:
www.facebook.com/EngageStateDept

“If we care, the world will care. If we bear witness, the world will know. If we act the world will follow.” Spoken at the first Darfur national USA rally. Said on the mall in Washington, D.C. April 30, 2006 by Senator Barack Obama

My personal opinion is that our sending anyone to the Bashir inauguration is a slap in the face to any Darfuri, any Sudanese who has at one time put faith and hope in the leadership of President Obama.


As an activist for prevention, intervention and ending genocide and acting against regimes who commit it, I am outraged at this administration's lack of engagement regarding Darfur.


President Clinton's regret after office was his lack of engagement regarding the 1994 Rwandan genocide. And one day, it will be on President Obama's short list of regrets.

How can I believe President Obama's beautiful words anymore, when so many of the words he has said over the years about Darfur he has abandoned?

"The United States has a moral obligation anytime you see humanitarian catastrophes..We can't say 'never again' and then allow it to happen again and as President of the United States I don't intend to abandon people or turn a blind eye to slaughter.” BARACK OBAMA

Sandra Hammel
Use Your Voice to Stop Genocide RI
GENOCIDE WILL only STOP WITH US - Our leaders have taught us this



Place: Umsauna, South Darfur. Still picture from live video showing government soldiers (Government of Sudan) beating and torturing innocent civilians, asking them where JEM leaders are located.

After two days of a deadly battle, fighters from the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) managed to claim Umsauna back from the GOS, 5 days ago - the town is now in their full control.

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US defends attending Sudan leader's inauguration

Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is defending its decision to send a representative to the inauguration of Sudan's president, who won re-election despite facing an international arrest warrant for war crimes.

Omar al-Bashir was sworn in Thursday to another five-year term. Among those in attendance was a U.S. foreign service officer.

The State Department notes that the inauguration also was for a vice president, Salva Kiir, from the largest party representing southern Sudan.

Al-Bashir is sought by the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands for allegedly masterminding atrocities in Darfur.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Friday that al-Bashir should cooperate with the court and "should be held accountable."

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rights-groups-condemn-us-decision-attend-bashir-inauguration
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Critically important website and blog:

www.radiodabanga.org

www.whilewewaitsudan.org

Links below are from ionsudan.net

Statement from 183 Darfuris in Diaspora, North America regarding the latest events in Darfur

News: VOA - Washington DC Marchers Protest Darfur Genocide

Darfur rebels and army clash, peace hopes fade

Advocacy: Tell Senators to Keep Up the Pressure for Peace in Sudan

Three Aid Workers Abducted in Darfur

News: Sudan army 'seizes Darfur rebel bastion, kills 108' (AFP)

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Shake Hands with the Devil: UN Attends al-Bashir Inauguration


Source: http://www.dissentmagazine.org/atw.php?id=154

Eric Reeves


May 27, 2010


Mid-April elections saw Sudan’s strongman Omar al-Bashir retain power as president in what was widely regarded as an electoral travesty. Massive fraud occurred in both the census and the registration process leading up to the election; countless abuses at voting centers and with ballot boxes were reported by a wide range of on-the-ground sources; the brutal security services were widely deployed; and al-Bashir’s Khartoum regime made full use of its virtual monopoly on national wealth and power, including broadcast and most print media.


Since the elections, al-Bashir’s regime has dramatically accelerated military actions in Darfur, not only bombing and displacing civilians as well as rebel groups, but further compromising security for the immense humanitarian operation that serves some 4.7 million people in need. At the same time, there has been a sharp crackdown on political dissent in northern Sudan, especially in Khartoum, prompting strong condemnation by numerous human rights groups.


Most ominously, al-Bashir and his security cabal continue to obstruct meaningful progress in resolving key issues in the north/south Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). The CPA is the basis for a southern self-determination referendum scheduled for January 2011, and most agree that delay or abrogation of this key provision of the CPA guarantees renewed war, which will likely engulf much of Sudan.


Al-Bashir has also been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for multiple war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. He may yet be indicted for genocide. Yet his regime has spurned all international efforts to secure justice for the victims of massive atrocity crimes committed in Darfur—even a weak African Union proposal for “hybrid” courts in Sudan, comprising Sudanese and Arab or African jurists. The ICC has received precious little support from signatories to the Rome Statute that created the Court, and is about to suffer another blow—this from the United Nations, which supposedly supports the ICC.


For attending al-Bashir’s May 27 inauguration are both Haile Menkerios of South Africa, head of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), and Ibrahim Gambari of Nigeria, joint head of the African Union/UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). It should be clear—both from Khartoum’s conduct of the elections and subsequent military and security actions—that this UN presence is deeply inappropriate, indeed violates the UN’s own guidelines concerning attendance at ceremonial events involving leaders indicted for atrocity crimes. A UN presence at the al-Bashir inauguration can only work to confer the legitimacy that he so desperately craves. Indeed, legitimacy was the whole purpose of the electoral exercise in the eyes of al-Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP)—the best way to hold off the ICC, and to carry more negotiating leverage into peace negotiations with the Darfur rebels.


Each of these two UN representatives heads an extremely important mission within Sudan—UNMIS is supposedly monitoring implementation of the CPA in southern Sudan, and UNAMID is supposedly providing security in Darfur. Both missions have left many Sudanese in Darfur and the south deeply disaffected, particularly with UNAMID in Darfur. Gambari has already lost the trust of many Darfuri leaders and is perceived as much too close to Khartoum. His attendance at al-Bashir’s inauguration will grate especially harshly upon those Darfuris who resent the disingenuously upbeat accounts he has offered, following a pattern set by his predecessor Rodolphe Adada of Congo.


UNMIS is regarded by many southerners and outside observers as an extravagant and ineffective monitoring mission, which has failed to forestall violence in obvious flashpoints such as Abyei and Malakal. It has too often been timid in its actions and far too limited in conceiving of how to make most effective use of its UN mandate.


It is hardly surprising that the African Union and Arab League will celebrate al-Bashir’s inauguration. Both organizations have long made clear that they stand with Khartoum on issues of international justice and atrocity crimes in Darfur (the same crimes committed in southern Sudan and the Nuba Mountains earlier in the NCP’s tyrannical rule). But that the leaders of both UN missions in Sudan will attend al-Bashir’s inauguration—with full knowledge of the UN leadership in New York—gives the most significant ratification yet to massive electoral fraud by a criminal regime. Their presence will compromise the UN itself in any attempt to bring peace and justice to Sudan.


One UN official has described the presence of Gambari and Menkerios as merely a “diplomatic courtesy.” This seems a perverse virtue to put in the balance with the international justice so desperately needed in Sudan.


[Eric Reeves is author of A Long Day’s Dying: Critical Moments in the Darfur Genocide]


Eric Reeves

Smith College

Northampton, MA 01063


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Repeat post:

Statement from Darfuris in Diaspora, North America

Regarding the latest events in Darfur

May 26, 2010

We, the undersigned Darfuris in Diaspora in North America, would like to express our gravest concern regarding the suffering of our people back home in Darfur. There are numerous indicators that lead us to believe that the international community is no longer diligently seeking a just political solution to the conflict in Darfur.

Today we see the representatives of the institutions of the international community respond to the demands of the regime in Khartoum while Darfuris bleed to death in Darfur. Over a year after General Martin Agwai, the ex- head of UNAMID, said that war in Darfur is over, the Government of Khartoum continues more fierce campaigns of aerial bombings targeting civilians and water wells. Today, following elections described by the U.S. State Department as neither free nor fair, we see delegations from the United Nations, African Union, and Arab League turn a blind eye to the killings in Darfur that were inflicted recently by the Khartoum regime while they flock to Khartoum to celebrate the inauguration of the killer as president of Sudan.

We would like to summarize here in three points the danger of such indifference by the leading players of the international community:

1) The United Nations announced that it will send the two highest ranking of its officials in Sudan to represent at AlBashir’s inaugural ceremonies in Khartoum on the 27th of May. The two top U.N. officials, Haile Menkerios, head of the U.N. Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), and Ibrahim Gambari, joint head of the African Union/U.N. Mission in Darfur (UNAMID, will celebrate with the killer in Khartoum while the blood of our relatives is spilled in Jebel Marrah and Jebel Moon. We, the sons and daughters of those whose blood is spilled there in Darfur, believe that the soft policy of the American Administration towards Sudan sent the wrong signal to the United Nation, African Union, Arab League, and other international bodies.

2) We believe that the first criterion of the international mediators in the Darfur conflict is to be honest brokers. The world witnessed and followed last week the unfolding events of the 19 hours standoff at the N’djamena’s airport in Chad. The leader of the Justice and Equality Movement, Dr. Khalil Ibrahim, was denied entry to the country, yet what was learned later was that the international mediators were pulling strings from Doha, capital of Qatar, to force the head of JEM to sit down for negotiation with the Government of Sudan. The government of Sudan has a great interest in signing meaningless agreements with Darfuri factions. We believe that the mediators are serving, knowingly or not, as tools to the Government of Sudan to suppress the Darfuri cause. In the last seven years we have seen the international mediators press the Darfuri factions to compromise and give up in return for nothing except seeing the suffering of their own people prolonged. Instead, the international mediators should be exerting pressure on the government of Sudan, the root cause of the problem in Darfur. The N’djamena standoff was part of a tactic to force all Darfuri leaders into capitulation. We condemn such acts of those mediators who, through such acts will only make matters worse in Darfur.

3) Albashir is an indicted war criminal. In the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing on May 12th, U.S. Special Envoy Gration testified that the Obama Administration is pursuing "locally owned accountability and reconciliation mechanisms in light of the recommendations made by the African Union's high-level panel on Darfur." In Darfur we have millions of our people who have lost everything, including loved ones, to the genocide. The victims hope for nothing in this life but justice. Darfuris have no trust left in Gration since he uttered the words “remnants of genocide” in his early days on the job. Now we believe that this AU panel on Darfur is nothing more than an effort to let AlBashir off the hook. We will not, as Darfuris, accept any substitute to the ICC as a venue for justice for Darfur crimes.

CC to:

- Honorable Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton.

- Honorable U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan Scott Gration.

- Honorable U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon.

- Honorable The joint AU-UN mediator Djibril Bassolé.

- Office of the Prosecutor, International Criminal Court.


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See Obama's quotes near the beginning of this video
and ask yourself why Obama would send a US official
to the Bashir inauguration May 27, 2010.
Uploaded by ilovemylifesblog

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