A question to ask over the next month or so.

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To assess the strength and relevance of the United Nations, you only need to look at what it does. There is an article in today's New York Times which might prove to be a good benchmark as it contains a specific promise from Kofi Annan to a Darfur Chief.
Annan Hears Refugees Tell of Sudan War

Tens of thousands of chanting refugees lined the muddy streets of Darfur's largest refugee camp on Saturday to greet Secretary General Kofi Annan of the United Nations, who later listened as women told stories of being raped during the conflict.

Men carried signs saying "We are looking for freedom and justice," and women ululated to welcome Mr. Annan almost 11 months after his first visit to Darfur.

He listened as refugees complained about the police and Arab militias who they said had attacked, killed and raped their families inside the Kalma Camp in Darfur State.

The state has had some of the worst recent violence in a three-year conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and forced two million from their homes, according to United Nations estimates.

"Since we came to this camp, they have killed 56 people," said Suleiman Abka Taha, a local tribal chief.

Mr. Taha, who was speaking in front of government officials, asked Mr. Annan for a guarantee that he would not be detained for what he said. Mr. Annan asked ministers for such a reassurance and received it from Muhammad Yousef Abdalla, Sudan's state minister for humanitarian affairs.
I will excerpt and emphasize that last paragraph:
Mr. Taha... ...asked Mr. Annan for a guarantee that he would not be detained for what he said. Mr. Annan asked ministers for such a reassurance and received it from Muhammad Yousef Abdalla, Sudan's state minister for humanitarian affairs.
Let us look at Mr. Suleiman Abka Taha, a tribal Chief in Darfur and ask where he is once every week. See if he is still living in one month. They will not get him tomorrow, they are medieval and psychotic but they have a feral cleverness. But I bet he will disappear. To look at the history of the UN's actions in this part of the world, read this dispatch from GenocideWatch from August 6, 2004:

One week after the UN Security Council belatedly passed a weak and dilatory resolution in response to the massive human catastrophe unfolding in Darfur, there is good reason to believe that even this exceedingly modest effort is doomed by Security Council politics. Evidently anticipating that he may find it impossible to move the Security Council (particularly veto-wielding China) beyond the essentially hortatory effort of July 30, and that even the largely meaningless "further measures" threatened in the resolution will not be pursued, Secretary General Kofi Annan appears to be preparing to forestall any humanitarian intervention in Darfur that might take place without UN authorization.

No doubt this is justified in Annan's own mind by what he feels is the need to preserve the authority of the UN, even as nothing could more rapidly squander whatever remains of UN moral authority than a failure to intervene in Darfur. Indeed, humanitarian intervention is so clearly long overdue that whatever can be lost in this arena is already very much diminished. Present humanitarian capacity, on the part of UN and nongovernmental humanitarian organizations, is conspicuously and woefully inadequate to present humanitarian need; and even if Khartoum permits deployment of an augmented force of 2,000 African Union troops (an unlikely event), the security needs of the more than 1.3 million internally displaced persons cannot possibly be guaranteed by such a force. Many camps and concentrations of African tribal populations, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, remain utterly at the mercy of the Janjaweed and other armed elements in Darfur.
"President" Bashir also weighs in on this -- remove all fragile objects within your reach before continuing to read:
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said Monday international pressure and military intervention would not solve the problem in the western region of Darfur where Amnesty International has charged that Arab militias, the Janjaweed, committed systematic, mass rapes.

Al-Bashir called for enough time to implement a joint plan with the United Nations to achieve security and stability in the troubled province.

He was speaking during an interview with United Press International at the Presidential Palace in Khartoum.

The Sudanese president appeared calm and refuted accusations that his government failed to solve the deteriorating situation in Darfur. He spoke as the ruling National Congress Party warned against an international military intervention and urged general mobilization for resistance.

Al-Bashir denied any government link with Arab militias, known as Janjaweed, who have been accused of committing atrocities and human rights violations against the African inhabitants of Darfur.
Christ on a Corn Dog! When are people going to wake up and stop enabling these thugs and stop trying to give them equal voices under the misguided idea of multi-culturalism.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on May 28, 2005 11:02 PM.

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