Daily Darfur

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Daily Darfur

Jan Egeland says "people are getting away with mass murder" and that far more than 70,000 have died in Darfur (the number often cited in news accounts) but nobody knows just how many
Egeland said the old figure of 70,000 dead from last March to the late summer was unhelpful. "Is it three times that? Is it five times that? I don't know but it is several times the number of the 70,000 that have died altogether," he said.
He also says the world is not doing enough to stop the violence
"If you move beyond the camps, the killing continues," Egeland said. "Women are systematically abused and raped.

"I told the government at the highest levels that there was a situation totally out of control and is not being stopped," he said.

The main bulwark against atrocities is an African Union monitoring force of some 2,000 troops, who Egeland called "courageous" in stopping atrocities.

But he asked why it took 10 months to get such a small number on the ground when there were 10,000 humanitarian workers in Darfur.

"And those (troops) could have been there last summer if we had been able to deploy tsunami-style," he said. "There are many countries in Africa that could give more forces, quicker. What we need is more forces on the ground."
Aid groups are reporting a dramatic increase in polio infections in Darfur.

The Washington Post has this editorial
IT'S BEEN A YEAR since the world woke up to the mass killings in the Darfur region of Sudan, and six months since the Bush administration termed them "genocide." Revulsion at the death toll, which stands at an estimated 300,000, has produced a humanitarian relief effort and the deployment of 1,900 armed cease-fire monitors by the African Union; both responses have saved lives. But Darfur's people still live in fear of rape, murder and starvation; perhaps 10,000 of them die monthly. And the worst of it all is the low-tech nature of this butchery. Sudan's government has armed a primitive militia that goes about on horses and camels; the government has supported the militia with rudimentary airpower, which NATO could cripple easily. So many lives could be saved with relatively little Western effort. But the killing continues.
The World Food Program has issued its "Weekly Situation Report on Darfur."

A Reuters poll of experts reveals that Darfur is listed as one of the world's three biggest "forgotten emergencies."

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