US SENATOR OBAMA CARED ABOUT DARFUR ~ PRESIDENT OBAMA NEGLECTS DARFURIS
A speech from the 2006 Rally for Darfur in Washington, D.C.
Million-Voices-Rally-Washington-D-C ~ Barack Obama, Elie Wiesel, Nancy Pelosi, George Clooney and others speak at the Rally for Darfur April 30, 2006 There is no embed for the video, only the link to the video. It is worth listening to. Hear Senator Obama take a stand that he hasn't taken since being President.
Amnesty calls on Sudan to tackle human rights abuses ahead of referendum
Source: Sudan Tribune
January 7, 2011 (NAIROBI) – Sudan must refrain from ramping up military attacks in Darfur and guard against human rights violations during and after the referendum on south Sudan’s independence, which is due to begin on Sunday, Amnesty International has demanded.
The vote on south Sudan independence is the final stipulation of the 2005’s peace deal that ended nearly two decades of civil war between north and south Sudan. South Sudan is largely expected to opt for secession.
The global human rights watchdog on Friday accused the Sudanese government of taking advantage of the fact that the world’s attention has shifted to south Sudan referendum to step up military operations in Darfur region.
According to Amnesty, more than 20,000 people were displaced in December last year by a spate of largely unreported attacks by government forces in several areas in Darfur region, including Dar Al Salam, Shangil Tobaya and Khor Abeche camps in north and south Darfur.
The conflict in Sudan’s western region of Darfur rumbles on despite numerous international efforts to broker a peace agreement between the Sudanese government and increasingly factionalized rebel groups.
In a media briefing received by Sudan Tribune on Friday, Amnesty said that the International Community had turned a blind eye on these attacks as its attention shifts towards south Sudan referendum.
Separately, Amnesty said that members of Sudan’s National Security and Intelligence Services are still abusing their massive powers, noting the arrest last November of 11 Darfuri activists who are still held in detention without charges or trial.
Amnesty further warned that the persecution of ethnic monitories in the north may increase during and after the referendum. It also noted that women in north Sudan still face “cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment” under the Public Order Law which sanctions flogging and arrest of women on the basis of their clothing and public behavior.
On the north-south issue, Amnesty warned against the implosive nature of the citizenship issue, saying that failure to reach an agreement on the issue of citizenship could lead to “mass displacements, various human rights violations and the separation of families in both the north and south.”
North and south Sudan remain deadlocked over a host of post referendum arrangements, most notably is the issue of citizenship and the status of the contested oil-producing area of Abyei.
Amnesty called on the north and the south to allow people to choose which citizenship they wish to obtain, noting that the conditions for obtaining citizenship must not discriminate on the basis of birth, ethnic origin, religion, gender, marital status or similar other factors.
The organization also called on the authorities in the north and the south to tackle human rights violations effectively during the referendum and to instruct law-enforcement bodies to protect people from intimidation and harassment as a result of their choices in the referendum.
"...Gration said last month that one crucial effort was to determine the future status of Abyei, a disputed, oil-rich region that will not be voting next week because of disagreements over voter eligibility and logistical delays. If the country splits, the north and the south could both claim ownership of Abyei, turning the region into a potential flashpoint for renewed conflict.
"We are working with both sides to calm the rhetoric and put a plan in place that will give both sides reassurances," Gration said about the Abyei situation. "This is probably not a situation where either side will be happy. We're looking for a solution that leaves both sides angry but neither side mad."
If the South Sudan government wants to start its new era with a war that will be the case if it harbors Darfur movements, said the Sudanese official in a press briefing in Khartoum with the visiting Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa.
“We want the South to have a healthy start, safe and stable and we do not want it to be a party to what is going on between the government and the Darfur movements,” Karti further said.
The minister pointed out to government allegations that the southern Sudan ruling SPLM harbors Darfur rebels groups and supports them with logistics and weapons. Since last November, Sudanese warplanes also bombed different areas in southern Sudan saying they hit Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) fighters.
Minni Minnawi, the sole signatory of Darfur Peace Agreement and former Senior Presidential Assistant is now based in Juba. His forces clashed with the Sudanese army recently in different areas in Darfur and he is considered as “legitimate target” by Khartoum.
The government says JEM rebels are now trained by the southern Sudan army SPLA and Ugandan army, but the rebels and Juba denied the allegations.
Southern Sudanese are expected to vote for secession in a referendum on self-determination scheduled to be held on 9 January. The ruling party in the semi-autonomous region called to vote for separation accusing the National Congress Party (NCP) of not making unity attractive.
Karti stressed that the self-determination right aims to realize peace and not war he also said that his government will respect the outcome of the vote.
Officials from the ruling NCP to begin by President Omer Al-Bashir repeated pledges today that Khartoum will respect the result of the referendum which is expected to be widely in favor of secession.
The visiting Amr Moussa said the Arab League said there was no indication that north and south would return to war.
“I don’t see any indication that the parties have the willingness to go back to war,” Moussa said, adding “What is going on between them is far away from war. There is a political good will.”
The Arab League chief who will dispatch some 87 observers to monitor the referendum said the regional organization will “respect the result of the referendum and what the voters decide,” he said.
Related posts ~
- Sudan’s FM warns of war with Juba over Darfur rebels
- Sudan’s spy chief demands Juba to arrest Darfur rebels in Southern Sudan
- South Sudan army denies supporting Darfur rebels
- Khartoum’s army bomb South Sudan, targeting Darfur rebels
- JEM rebels deny accusations of being supported by South Sudan
our humanity in the balance