RE: Stop the Slaughter in Darfur

Friday, April 28, 2006

RE: Stop the Slaughter in Darfur

Following up on Frederick's post, there has been a huge increase in coverage of Darfur, mainly because George Clooney and his father recently snuck in there and are now calling attention to the crisis.

But this has been going on for three years, and one has to wonder if it all might not be too little, too late
WFP Halves Rations Due to Funding Shortage

The United Nations said on Friday it would cut food rations for more than 6 million people in Sudan, half of them in Darfur, due to a severe lack of funds.

Many donor countries appear to have tired of the long-term conflict in Darfur, despite signs that malnutrition is again on the rise among people living in squalid camps, the United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) said.

WFP said it was halving food aid from the minimum daily requirement of 2,100 calories to 1,050 calories as of May.

"This is one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. Haven't the people of Darfur suffered enough? Aren't we adding insult to injury?" WFP executive director James Morris said.

UN Threatens to Suspend Aid

The United Nations threatened on Friday to suspend relief operations in parts of Sudan's war-ravaged Darfur region because of continued attacks against aid workers by rebel fighters.

The UN blames the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), the armed wing of the Sudan Liberation Movement, the main rebel group in the region, for a spate of attacks in north Darfur.

"Several reports indicate that many of these attacks have been waged by SLA factions. Armed robbery and hijackings have endangered humanitarian workers assisting over 450 000 vulnerable people living in the area," it said in a statement.

It added that the UN has "credible information" that armed groups have also commandeered vehicles for military purposes, something it said is "unacceptable and contrary to international humanitarian law".

"Unless these attacks and harassment stop immediately, the UN and its partners will be obliged to suspend all relief assistance to this particular area till effective safety for humanitarian personnel and assets are guaranteed."

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