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22 May 2006

Responsibility to Protect Engaging Civil Society


Email: [email protected]

In this issue:

Part I:
The most recent analysis and news articles on the situation in Darfur and Chad

1. Darfur's Fleeting Moment (includes R2P reference)

2. Nicholas Kristoff of The New York Times and John Prendergast of the International Crisis Group discuss the continuing genocide crisis in Sudanese region of Darfur in Africa





Part II: 2006 Timeline of events in the international community related to the crisis in Darfur, including important references to R2P. News articles and resources follow the timeline.

Part I. Recent Articles on the Current Situation in Darfur, Sudan and Chad

1. Darfur's Fleeting Moment

The New York Times
By Anthony Lake and Francis Fukuyama.
21 May 2006

FOR three years, despite the official rhetoric and the growing public support for bold international action to end the first genocide of the 21st century, Darfur has largely remained a neglected tragedy.

With the signing of a peace agreement in Nigeria on May 5, Darfur faces a new and more hopeful prospect

If the piece of paper signed in Nigeria does not quickly produce tangible progress toward peace, including protection for Darfur's people from both the government-backed janjaweed militia and the rebels, more than diplomatic momentum will be lost

Last Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution supporting the peace agreement and created a team to prepare for a peacekeeping mission that will take over from the African Union force in Darfur.

To seize the moment, the Bush administration should give the government of Sudan a brief time in which to accept such a [UN peacekeeping] force. Sudan has said it would do so once there was a peace agreement, but has waffled in recent statements

Mr. Bush should also now get ready the logistics, intelligence and headquarters assistance that the United States could provide to such a force. Showing we are prepared to act quickly should help persuade the United Nations to move smartly itself.

President Bush could join President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria, who was instrumental in pushing through the peace agreement, in personally soliciting pledges of troops for a United Nations force. While NATO itself will not be accepted by the Sudanese government, why not include alliance members in a United Nations operation?

And Washington should make it clear that if Sudan refuses to accept a United Nations force, we will press NATO to act even without the consent of the Sudanese government -- including a no-flight zone to ground the Sudanese aircraft that have provided support to the murderous janjaweed. And we would bring further sanctions to bear.

Beyond multilateral sanctions, the United States could work with countries where Sudanese officials have assets or hope to travel to impose penalties on them.

As the needs grow, money to meet them has dwindled. The World Food Program is halving daily rations to Darfurian refugees to a dangerous 1,050 calories a day. Unicef is being forced to scale back its operations The president has asked Congress to increase food aid to Sudan by $225 million. That request must be put on a fast track.

And the many Americans who have voiced their outrage at the dithering of the international community should and can act as well as speak -- by contributing to humanitarian organizations like UNICEF, the International Rescue Committee and Doctors Without Borders.

At the United Nations World Summit meeting last September, the United States and other participating governments agreed that the international community has a responsibility to protect innocent civilians when a government is unwilling or unable to do so. In a letter organized by the Stanford chapter of Students Taking Action Now: Darfur and personally delivered to one of the president's aides last month, we, along with 16 of our colleagues, called on President Bush and Secretary Rice to lead the international community in honoring this pledge

Anthony Lake, a professor at Georgetown, was a national security adviser to President Bill Clinton. Francis Fukuyama, a professor of international political economy at Johns Hopkins, is the author of ''America at the Crossroads.''

Full text:

Other Editorials following the Security Council Resolution:

Peace in Darfur is Closer at Hand
, The Nation, Bangkok, Thailand

Dithering Through Death, The New York Times, New York, US (subscription only)

Shashi Tharoor, Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information responds to criticisms of UN action in a letter to the Editor

2. Nicholas Kristoff of The New York Times and John Prendergast of the International Crisis Group discuss the continuing genocide crisis in Sudanese region of Darfur in Africa

National Public Radio, Fresh Air (US)

Anchor Terry Gross

18 May 2006

Nicholas Kristof and John Prendergast are joining us today. Kristof is a columnist for The New York Times. He won a Pulitzer Prize this year for his, quote, "graphic, deeply reported columns that at personal risk focused attention on genocide in Darfur and gave voice to the voiceless in other parts of the world," unquote. Kristof made his sixth trip to Darfur in March. John Prendergast is a senior adviser at the International Crisis Group. He's been working on conflict resolution in Africa for over 20 years. He worked in the White House and the State Department in the Clinton administration and has worked for a variety of NGOs and think tanks in Africa and the US. Prendergast has made many trips to Sudan, three in the past two years.

GROSS: But UN peacekeeping force would be there to enforce the peace agreement, but what's really the status of the peace agreement now?

Mr. PRENDERGAST: there's only one of the three factions of the various rebel movements has signed this deal. The deal is a very imperfect one. It's got a lot of problems with implementation and in the concessions that were wrung out of the government being very inadequate. the two remaining factions of the rebels are saying have till the end of the month to sign it. The mediators don't appear to be interested in reopening the negotiations to actually change anything. But the rebels are saying, the two factions are saying, `Well, you're going to have to because otherwise we're not going to sign.'

GROSS: Nicholas Kristof, you recently in one of your columns called the UN a wimp when it comes to Darfur. What are your thoughts on how effective UN peacekeepers would be if they are in fact dispatched there?

Mr. NICHOLAS KRISTOF: there would be problems, I'm sure, but they would be infinitely better than nothing or than the African Union force. And the AU force is poorly equipped, it's hopelessly outgunned by the Janjaweed. But even that tiny force, 7,000 people total and 5,000 with guns, has made a huge difference in the places they go. And if you had a robust UN force with a decent mandate and well armed and mobile, you know, that would make a difference both on the ground in providing security and in sending a warning to the Sudanese government that it needs to rein in the Janjaweed

GROSS: Why did you call the UN a wimp?

Mr. KRISTOF: Because the UN has been very diplomatic in the way it has gone about this. And so we have endless discussions in the Security Council and endless expressions of concern by officials, and yet on the ground, we have a genocide that just gets worse and worse and worse. And the UN hasn't, and UN officials as well, haven't, I think, adequately stepped up to the plate and acknowledged this to be what it is which is a huge affront to human civilization. it's incumbent on the UN to kind of step out of its ordinary paradigm and show a little more urgency. And that is what, three years into this, it has not done.

GROSS: John Prendergast, what are the odds, do you think that the government of Sudan will accept UN peacekeepers?

Mr. PRENDERGAST: I think eventually they will accede to the deployment of UN force. They want a few things either in writing or understand in principle before that happens. First, they like the African Union force there because it's an ineffectual force... because they still have an agenda that they're undertaking which is to destroy any roots of the rebellion, to support the changed demographic dynamic that has occurred as a result of the ethnic cleansing in the context of the genocide. And so they don't want a very effective UN mission, so they're going to fight every aspect of it so that it is a limited mandate and the least number of troops with the least amount of firepower. And I think that you're going to see that.

The second thing, which they'll never say publicly, but what they really are aiming at when they oppose the UN so vociferously, is they simply don't want the UN force to act as a Trojan horse to eventually execute any potential indictments that the International Criminal Court might hand down in the context of its investigation of the crimes against humanity that have been committed principally by or at the orders, at the behest of and the orders of senior government of Sudan officials... ()

Audio excerpts:

A longer excerpt of this interview is available:


US Fed News: Voice of America

By Dan Robinson

18 May 2006

U.S. officials say implementing the Darfur peace agreement requires sustained international attention to Sudan in coming months. A congressional hearing examined prospects for peace in the Darfur region.

Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer calls the accord an important step toward a peaceful, democratic and secure future for the people of Darfur. But she says its effectiveness will depend, among other things, on a strong mandate for a future United Nations force, allowing it to protect people at risk of attack.

"All of the past Security Council resolutions on Sudan have been under Chapter 7, and Resolution 16-79 is also a Chapter 7 that would give that robust mandate to protect civilians. That would be the intent of [the] U.N. peacekeeping mission there." ()

Congressman Ed Royce:

"We have to be thinking about the repercussions for non-compliance with the terms of the Darfur peace agreement," said Congressman Royce. "And we have to think about who is going to be the guarantor, and what enforcement mechanisms will the guarantor have at its disposal."

In separate testimony, Lloyd Pierson of the U.S. Agency for International Development, provided an update on the continuing precarious situation on the ground:

"Humanitarian operations in Darfur have been inhibited by ongoing violence and government obstructionism," said Lloyd Pierson. "Factional fighting, banditry and lawlessness all put the flow of assistance in jeopardy, and humanitarian organizations are increasingly targets of attacks." ()

The Bush administration, [Assistant Secretary Fraze] adds, remains committed to providing food and other assistance, as steps proceed toward establishing a robust U.N. peackeeping operation to protect civilians, and allow displaced persons to return home [with short-term help from what she calls NATO enablers.]

The Darfur agreement requires the government of Sudan to present a plan for disarming Arab militia known as janjaweed, leading to complete verifiable disarmament by next October.

Robinson report:


Fed News Service (US)

17 May 2006

QUESTION: My first question is about the UN [Security Council] resolution [requesting that a UN assessment team be sent to Darfur] that we saw yesterday. How happy were you with the final draft?

DEPUTY SECRETARY ZOELLICK: Well, I think the resolution is a good step and I think it builds on something yesterday, or the day before, that was equally important which is the statement by the African Union Peace and Security Council. Together what those two positions represent is the coming together of Africa and the coming together of the international community to emphasis the importance of the Abuja Peace Accord and the follow-up. The key now is the follow-up

Just to give you a flavor, one, we need to get more food into Darfur. The World Food Program announced about the time that we were concluding the agreement that the were going to have to cut rations for people in Darfur So President Bush announced that even though we have already provided 85% of the food that we will provide more and will use some ships at sea. I think the European Union has come in with an initial contribution

An equally important issue is including security on the ground. Yes, we have an agreement and the terms are such that it creates the right incentives for people to be mobilized, the Janjaweed , and eventually integrate rebel forces. But you still have a very dangerous situation. So anything that can be done to strengthen the current AMIS of the African Union forces is important. We have been in touch with the Rwandans who were considering perhaps adding some troops. It is one of the reasons why President Bush has encouraged NATO to try to help in a planning sense

Third, and this is what relates to the resolution, you want to get the UN forces in as quickly as you can. But one has to recognize that it is still going to take time to assemble those forces and get them into place. And then what is equally as important is trying to encourage all the different rebel groups to participate in this. That is what the African Union is trying to do this week. And get the government to follow through on its obligations One always has to keep in mind that two million people that are struggling in these camps. And, even today I heard that some of the NGOs are pulling out of some areas because they are concerned about some of the on-going risks and violence ()

QUESTION: About demobilization and disarming obligations, the Janjaweed and other militia, who will monitor it and how confident are you that this can be done effectively enough to bring peace to Sudan?

DEPUTY SECRETARY ZOELLICK: The government of Sudan has the obligation to neutralize and disarm its forces. But the agreement didn't have a specification of how; it said that the government is suppose to develop a plan within 37 days. What we worked in our discussions with the movements to proceed to build their confidence which is to include a series of provisions that the government plan had to incorporate, including dealing with their heavier arms and sort of then how they would use some of their time phases to do the integration That is to be verified by the African Union. And then, third, there is an incentive which is that the rebel forces don't have to start move to their assembly areas until the government has taken its step and the African Union has verified it. So if the government wants to bring the rebels to peace, it has to take this step and the African Union has to monitor it

It is a very dangerous place. The Janjaweed have been very, very violent. They have been used as a counter-insurgency force, but some of them also reflect various tribal groups and conflicts. A lot of these people, you know, everybody is armed and you have conflicts between people who have herders and those who have been settled agriculturists. So that is one reason why it is important to complement the agreement with an international force to try to help keep the peace. But I think the sad reality is that, you know, the violence isn't finished. There is a chance to end. There is a chance to bring peace, but it still remains a very dangerous and fragile environment.

Full text unavailable; for a longer excerpt of this interview visit:



By Nic Robertson
17 May 2006

N'DJAMENA, Chad -- Children as young as 13 are being forced into combat by Sudanese rebels who take the youngsters from squalid refugee camps in neighboring Chad, CNN has learned.

In some cases, Chadian guards look the other way as rebels make children join their ranks, local people say ()

Refugees and U.N. officials say they fear that the janjaweed militias will attack the camps in revenge for the rebel recruitment.

The Arab janjaweed, blamed for displacing huge numbers of mostly black African Sudanese, are striking deeper and deeper into Chad, leaving a bloody trail as residents defend themselves with only bows and arrows.()

Two months ago, about 100 Sudanese rebels came into the camps, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) from the Chad-Sudan border, and seized about 4,000 young men, according to Jamal, the camp leader.()

Bows and arrows

The Chadian government faces the task of protecting the refugees, but local security officials have trouble protecting their own people, let alone the Darfur refugees.

that his men had few resources to combat the attacks -- no cars or pickup trucks, just six motorcycles.

And they have no guns, [one security official] said -- Chadian rebels stole all the government-issued guns during a coup attempt a month ago. Villagers have been left to protect themselves with bows and arrows.()

Minni Minnawi, the commander of the Sudanese Liberation Army -- which recently signed the peace deal with the Sudanese government -- denied that his men were using the camps for recruitment Instead, he blamed members of two smaller rebel groups that did not sign the agreement, including one splinter group of the Sudanese Liberation Army.

The United Nations is fighting the recruitment on two fronts -- telling the refugees not to take part and notifying the Chadian government that it must keep rebels away from the refugees.

But those calls may be too late. Katouma Osman told CNN her son was recruited -- with her blessing. And she's encouraging other young men to go, too, she said.

"We lost everything in Darfur," she said. "My parents, brothers and sisters. We have to defend Sudan."

(Watch children tell how they were coerced into combat -- 9:35)

Full text:

PART II: DARFUR 2006 TIMELINE Followed by Articles and Resources


- Violence continues, and thousands of Darfur refugees are crammed into camps in eastern Chad.

- Bush calls for a UN peacekeeping force to be backed up by NATO troops, but Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir refuses.

- In early April, Chadian rebels seeking to overthrow Deby almost reach the capital Ndjamena. Deby blames Sudan for supporting them, and breaks off diplomatic relations. (early-2006 from Agence-France Press)

25 April: UN Security Council imposes sanctions on four individuals considered a threat to Darfur; UN Security Council President issues a presidential statement on Darfur.

28 April: UN Security Council adopts Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict resolution, including an endorsement of the Responsibility to Protect.

More Information and the resolution:

28 April: World Food Programme announces it will cut food rations to refugees in half.

01 May: Day of protests around the world for action in Darfur.

06 May: Sudanese Government and Sudanese Liberation Movement sign peace-agreement in Abuja.

09 May: Darfur refugees riot and call on the UN to intervene.

11 May: United States Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice addresses the UN Security Council on Darfur, including a reference to Responsibility to Protect; presents draft resolution on Darfur under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

UN considers Chad protection force.

16 May: UN Security Council passes resolution on Darfur under Chapter VII.

22 May: Sudan elcomes UN envoys (Special Envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, and Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hdi Annabi) dispatched to assess the situation in Darfur for UN peacekeepers.

PART II Contd: Darfur Timeline Articles (in reverse chronological order)

1. Sudan welcomes UN officials sent for talks on Darfur force UN mission

UN News Service

22 May 2006

The United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) said the countrys Government welcomed the upcoming visit of two UN envoys, who are headed to Khartoum for talks on a planned UN force to take over from the African Union operation following a peace agreement earlier this month

A UN spokesman in New York said today that the Sudanese Government has still not consented to the deployment of an assessment team to Darfur.

The Secretary-Generals Special Envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, and the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hdi Annabi, were dispatched to the Sudanese capital for intensified talks on the issue after the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on 16 May under Chapter VII of the Charter, which allows for enforcement measures, calling for such a team to be deployed within a week.()

Meanwhile, the Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Sudan, Jan Pronk, pressed local government and community leaders to close their ranks behind the two-week-old pact during a recent trip to Darfur

Mr. Pronk agreed to hold regular meetings between UNMIS and local government leaders in West Darfur, as part of ongoing efforts to explain the Darfur Peace Agreement. ()

During a series of similar gatherings, almost all internally displaced persons (IDPs) pleaded to Mr. Pronk for immediate protection by UN peacekeeping forces and for more food rations and other relief supplies. Women and children all echoed the demands of male IDPs for rapid protection by UN troops against attacks by the Janjaweed militia and for better foodstuff and other necessities

Full text:

2. Security Council Unanimously Adopts Resolution Paving Way for UN Force in Darfur

UN News Service
16 May 2006

The Security Council unanimously adopt[ed] a resolution calling for the deployment on the ground of a joint UN-Africa Union (AU) assessment team within one week to lay the groundwork for [a robust United Nations peacekeeping force in Sudan's war-torn Darfur region], which would take over from the AU mission (AMIS) now monitoring the area.

The Council called on all parties to the Darfur Peace Agreement signed earlier this month by the Sudanese Government and the largest rebel force in the region to "work with the African Union, the United Nations, regional and international organizations and Member States to accelerate the transition to a United Nations operation."

The resolution also called on those rebel groups that have not yet signed the Agreement to do so without delay.

Adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which allows for enforcement measures, the resolution expressed the Council's intention to consider a travel ban and assets freeze against any individual or group that violates or blocks implementation of the Agreement

Under the resolution, Secretary-General Kofi Annan would submit recommendations to the Council within one week of the assessment team's return on all relevant issues, including force requirements and cost estimates, for a UN operation. ()

[Mr. Annan's Special Representative for Sudan, Jan] Pronk, will leave tomorrow for Darfur to continue his efforts to widen the circle of support for the pact

During his three-day visit, Mr. Pronk will meet AMIS commanders, as well as the Wali, or governor, of West Darfur and local representatives of civil society and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Full text:

Read the Security Council Resolution here:



11 May 2006

The U.S. Department of State issued the following transcript of remarks by the U.S. Secretary of State:

SECRETARY RICE: Mr. Secretary General, Mr. President, fellow Ministers, members of the Security Council, I would like to thank all of you for responding to the call for this meeting and convening a special session of this body on such short notice. The Darfur Peace Agreement, signed just days ago in Abuja, represents an historic opportunity for the people of Darfur to secure real peace and lasting justice. The United Nations has a vital role to play at this hopeful moment and the United States urges the Security Council to quickly pass the resolution that we circulated yesterday.

I have visited Darfur. I have seen the unspeakable suffering The United States has characterized this wanton campaign of violence as genocide and yesterday President Bush reaffirmed that judgment.

With the signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement, we are now - we really have an opportunity to help end the long nightmare that has befallen the people of Darfur. The source of the conflict in Darfur is a political problem, as old as Sudan itself. Historically, the Government of Khartoum has not been able to rule all of its citizens justly

In this way, the Darfur agreement is a worthy complement to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement
The Darfur Peace Agreement is the foundation on which to begin building a future of freedom, security and opportunity for the people of Darfur. Each of the parties has pledged to cooperate in meeting its unique and important obligations, from disarming and demobilizing militias, to building an inclusive political process, to sharing wealth and generation development in Darfur.

Most importantly, the agreement sets out a path that can return the people of Darfur to their homes. It is now vital for all of Sudan's neighbors to support this peace agreement as well. In addition, the international community must insist that all parties remain accountable and that the agreement is completely and verifiably implemented. It is now more important than ever to have a strong United Nations effort to ensure that the agreement's detailed timelines are monitored and enforced. The accord clearly states that neutral peacekeepers have an essential role to play in this process.

This is an extremely difficult job and the AU troops have performed admirably. Recognizing this, the African Union expressed its desire on March 10th to transition its mission in Sudan to a larger UN-led force that can do more to protect the people of Darfur.

Just as UN peacekeepers play a central role in helping to implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between North and South, we now need a UN peacekeeping force to help implement the Darfur peace agreement ()

Today, I call upon all nations to do their part to help the World Food Program feed and care for the people of Darfur

This is a time of testing for the international community, especially for the United Nations. The plight of the people of Darfur stirs the conscience of all human beingsThis is a challenge for the entire community of nations and it is one that cannot be taken lightly.

If the idea of an international community is to mean anything, if the founding principles of the United Nations are to be more than just dreams, and if the notion of our responsibility to protect the weakest and the most powerless among us is ever to be more than just an empty promise, then the Security Council must act

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

(Link to full text unavailable)



11 May 2006

The UN wants to raise a force to protect civilians and refugees in Chad from attacks by armed groups spilling over from Darfur, an official has said.

Kingsley Amaning, humanitarian co-ordinator for the UN in Chad, said: "We have a seriously deteriorating security situation in Chad and the government's capacity is also diminishing in terms of security response.

"Therefore, along with the [Chadian] government, we are looking at the possibility of putting in place an expatriate, international force that will support government efforts to provide security in the areas where we are operating." ()

Chad army ineffective

"It's very clear that Chad has limitations with its present armed forces being small and its police force being even smaller, and that's why ... we are looking at other methods to try to protect the civilian, refugee and displaced populations," Egeland said. ()

Full text:


The New York Times

By Lydia Polgreen

9 May 2006

KALMA CAMP, Sudan, May 8 An African Union interpreter was hacked to death on Monday in this vast, squalid camp by a mob of angry demonstrators within hours of a visit from the top United Nations aid official.

The United Nations evacuated aid workers and journalists from the camp when a huge demonstration calling for rapid international intervention in

If conditions do not improve soon, Mr. Egeland said, "Kalma is a powder keg."

Full text:

Related article:

6. Darfur Parties Seal Peace Deal

This Day (Lagos)
By Josephine Lohor
6 May 2006

After two years and one month of negotiations in the nation's capital, Abuja, a peace deal has finally been signed between the largest rebel movement - the Sudanese Liberation Movement (SLM) - A faction led by Minni Minawi and the Sudanese government

A twist was, however, added to the drama at the signing when towards the end of the ceremony, a splinter group from the Abdulwaheed Al-Nur faction of the SLM led by Dr Abdulrahman Musa opted out of the peace deal

The signing was delayed by mediators led by President Olusegun Obasanjo, African Union chairman, Sasso Nguesso, American Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick, UK Minister for International Development Hilary Benn, representatives of Canada, EU, France, Arab League, UN, Netherlands, Norway, Egypt, Italy and Libya as they tried to get the two factions led by Al-Nur and the Justice and Equity Movement (JEM) to sign the dotted lines.

The rebel factional movements posted no deal, alleging that the agreement was skewed in favour of the Sudanese government and therefore does not protect their interests.()

President Obasanjo, as chairman of the negotiations made personal commitments and efforts, holding consultations and presiding over group meetings geared towards getting a deal signed

He warned that unless there is the "right spirit, the right attitude and the right disposition, this document will not be worth the paper it is written. This is what should guide the implementation of this agreement. Those who feel unable to sign today, we will continue to appeal to them, to address them to see reason why they need to sign on behalf of the people they claim to lead." ()

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7. Divisions Cast Aside in Cry for Darfur; Mall Rally Highlights Growing Concern

The Washington Post

By Sudarsan Raghavan

1 May 2006 Monday

Clutching signs that read "Never Again," thousands of protesters from across religious and political divides descended on the Mall yesterday along with celebrities and politicians to urge President Bush to take stronger measures to end the violence in Sudan's Darfur region that the United States has labeled genocide.

They wore skullcaps, turbans, headscarves, yarmulkes, baseball hats and bandanas. There were pastors, rabbis, imams, youths from churches and youths from synagogues. They cried out phrases in Arabic and held signs in Hebrew. But on this day, they said, they didn't come out as Jews or Muslims, Christians or Sikhs, Republicans or Democrats.

They came out as one, they said, to demand that the Bush administration place additional sanctions on Sudan and push harder for a multinational peacekeeping force to be sent to Darfur.

By Washington standards, where protests often draw more than 100,000 people, yesterday's rally -- estimated by organizers at between 10,000 and 15,000 -- was not huge. Yet the Rally to Stop Genocide appeared to be distinctive for being one of the more diverse rallies the capital has seen in years. Most demonstrations attract fairly homogenous crowds, who often share political, religious and ethnic makeup

Speaking later before the crowd, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said: "Paralysis in the face of genocide is wrong. . . . If we care, the world will care."

Lawrence B. Mogga, a former Sudanese diplomat who was forced to flee his country, stared at the crowd from his perch backstage and said: "I have never seen this type of organizational arrangement. I think this is the first of its kind."

Yesterday's rally, along with protests planned in 17 other cities, was the largest public outcry for Darfur since the conflict began three years ago. It underscores growing public support across the nation to end the bloodshed

In recent months, universities, states and municipalities have divested some of their investments from companies doing business with Sudan. Last month, Providence, R.I., became the first city to stop investing in Sudan. There are divestment campaigns underway at the University of Maryland and the University of Virginia. And Maryland is considering a formal request by Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele (R) to have the state's pension plan divest billions of dollars from firms with ties to Sudan.

.The speakers' podium was thick with the sweep of history, as survivors of the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide and the ethnic conflict in Bosnia drew parallels to Darfur. ()

Staff writers Lisa Rein, Karlyn Barker, Hamil R. Harris and Aruna Jain contributed to this report.

Full text unavailable

Related article:

8. U.N. Security Council affirms international responsibility to protect civilians from genocide

The Associated Press

By Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press Writer
29 April 2006

The U.N. Security Council affirmed for the first time Friday that the international community has a responsibility to protect civilians from genocide, war crimes and ethnic cleansing when national governments fail to do so.

A resolution was unanimously approved by the 15-nation council

Britain's U.N. Ambassador Emry Jones Parry, who has been pressing for adoption of the resolution since November, said he was pleased that the Security Council had for the first time referred to the concept of the responsibility to protect in a resolution

Security Council resolutions are legally binding so the inclusion of the international community's responsibility to protect civilians from atrocities gives the world leaders' agreement added clout.

Oxfam International called it a historic resolution and an important moment for the protection of millions of people caught in violent and deadly conflicts.

"The Security Council has today said that in the 21st century, the world will not tolerate genocide or crimes against humanity," said Nicola Reindorp, who heads Oxfam's New York office. "It is a landmark resolution that, if implemented effectively, should save countless lives."

At the September meeting, the 191 U.N. member states agreed that when national governments cannot protect their citizens from crimes against humanity and similar atrocities, the international community has a responsibility to step in and protect civilians being targeted.

The resolution adopted Friday reaffirms the paragraphs in the final summit document adopted by world leaders "regarding the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity."

Russia, China and Algeria initially opposed the inclusion of collective responsibility when the resolution was first proposed last year. But Algeria's two-year term on the Security Council ended on Dec. 31 and supporters were able to overcome the objections of Moscow and Beijing, diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the negotiations...

Full text:

9. U.N. Talks But Won't Act On Genocide, Say Activists

Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)
By Thalif Deen
28 April 2006, post 1 May 2006

The 15-member U.N. Security Council, which has shown a reluctance to penalise those accused of war crimes in conflict-ridden Darfur in Sudan, unanimously adopted a resolution Friday to protect civilians in armed conflicts.

The resolution, which condemns the deliberate targeting of civilians, was a follow-up to an agreement reached by over 150 world leaders at last September's U.N. summit in New York.

The international charity Oxfam described the resolution as "historic", pointing out that if it is implemented effectively, "it should save countless lives." ()

As with all Security Council resolutions, [Nicola Reindorp, head of Oxfam International's New York Office] pointed out, "This resolution will only protect people if U.N. member states turn their words into actions."

Ann-Louise Colgan, director for policy analysis and communications at the Washington-based Africa Action, said Friday's resolution affirming the international responsibility to protect civilians from genocide and other such crimes "marks an important commitment to stand up for vulnerable people in conflict situations around the world".

"But this principle must be put into practice in Darfur, Sudan, if it is to have real credibility and impact," Colgan told IPS.

As crimes against humanity continue to be perpetrated against the people of Darfur, the international community must assert its responsibility to protect these people and must deploy a U.N. peacekeeping force to the region as soon as possible, she added

But the Council has so far been slow to take action -- primarily because of resistance by two veto-wielding permanent members, namely Russia and China, who claim they do not want to jeopardise the current peace negotiations.

In a statement issued Friday, Oxfam said this was the first resolution approved by the Security Council to include the World Summit agreement on "the collective responsibility to protect".

The commitment establishes a joint understanding among all governments on their responsibilities for the protection of civilians at the national and international level, Oxfam added.

"The Summit agreement and Security Council resolution affirm that national governments have the primary responsibility to protect their civilians from genocide, crimes against humanity and other similar atrocities," the statement said.

Oxfam also said that the international community has the obligation to support these efforts and prevent such crimes, and if national governments fail to protect their people, the international community must act.

According to the resolution, "the deliberate targeting of civilians and other protected persons, and the commission of systematic, flagrant and widespread violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in situations of armed conflict, may constitute a threat to international peace and security".

And the Security Council reaffirms "its readiness to consider such situations and, where necessary, to adopt appropriate steps".()

Full text: WFP) to make drastic cuts in food rations as from May, the agency announced today. ()

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11. Darfur: UN Council imposes sanctions on four individuals, urges peace accord

UN News Service

25 April 2006

[The] United Nations Security Council today

In December, 2005, the Council imposed an arms embargo on Sudan and paved the way for targeted sanctions against individuals. ()

Today, the representatives of the three countries that abstained from voting on sanctions China, the Russian Federation and Qatar said that the measures would have a negative impact on the Abuja peace negotiations

In a third action on the region today, the Council echoed Secretary-General Kofi Annan's previously expressed deep concerns over the instability along Chad's border with Sudan and over the situation of refugees from Darfur and the Central African Republic as well as internally displaced persons in Chad...

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