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Jefferson Smith
Many of you no doubt know about the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Sudan, due to an armed conflict between the Arab militias and the black Africans. BBC News has the latest developments in the following story.

The questions for debate are as follows:

Is the international community (including America) doing enough to put a stop to the violence and resulting refugee crisis in Sudan?

How have the War on Terror and the War in Iraq affected our nation's ability to help put an end to this crisis?

What can we as citizens do to help bring attention to and/or alleviate this crisis?
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amf
Is the international community (including America) doing enough to put a stop to the violence and resulting refugee crisis in Sudan?

How have the War on Terror and the War in Iraq affected our nation's ability to help put an end to this crisis?


That fast-busy signal you hear is the world calling up our military. The lines are jammed. Try back again later.

Seriously, the military is going to now involuntarily call up several thousand RETIRED military personnel and ship their butts off to Afghanistan and Iraq. Sudan? Korea? Sorry, call back again later.

What can we as citizens do to help bring attention to and/or alleviate this crisis?

Unless it has the phrase "exporting terrorism" attached to it, the current Administration doesn't want to know from it. And it's not on the USA media's "cheat sheet", so we won't be hearing about it much either, what with the elections coming up and Iraq and Afghanistan and Moore's movie and Spiderman II.....

Sorry, call back again later.
Devils Advocate
QUOTE
Is the international community (including America) doing enough to put a stop to the violence and resulting refugee crisis in Sudan?


Is the international community doing enough to stop the violence? Well if America isn't doing anything than there's probably not much getting done to help the problem. How much does America have to take on before it's painfully obvious that we're spread to thin? Here's an idea, we'll just get rid of every countries name and rename them America, that way we won't have to worry about helping other people out, we'll just be trying to solve our own problems.

QUOTE
How have the War on Terror and the War in Iraq affected our nation's ability to help put an end to this crisis?


Depleted our money, sent our budget into a death spiral, made people tired of having to worry about our military being in conflict trying to solve other peoples problems.

QUOTE
What can we as citizens do to help bring attention to and/or alleviate this crisis?


Join the Peace Corp. or Red Cross and go help, just like enrolling in the military if you promote the war in Iraq. Actions are louder than words. Although it's easier if people bring up problems and let others handel them I guess.
lederuvdapac
QUOTE(Jefferson Smith @ Jun 29 2004, 05:22 PM)
The questions for debate are as follows:

Is the international community (including America) doing enough to put a stop to the violence and resulting refugee crisis in Sudan?

How have the War on Terror and the War in Iraq affected our nation's ability to help put an end to this crisis?

What can we as citizens do to help bring attention to and/or alleviate this crisis?

1) I agree with Devils Advocate here. If there is trouble in the Sudan, ask France or Germany to deal with the damn problem. Hell, we know they have the troops and we definately know they have the corrupt money to fund their operation. I have grown tiresome of the world lookign to the United States to fit the bill for crisis like these. Its weird how if the US does nothing there, then nobody will. When was the last time we have seen another country be at the forefront of relief effort? The world is not doing enough in the Sudan but maybe we shouldnt do anything. We a stretched too thin thanks to our "allies". We must pick our battles and only interfere when serious US interests are involved.

2) Basically both wars have blinded us from the Sudan. Basically there is nothing we can do except ask the UN to send peacekeepers which they probably will not do.

3) Nothing we can do really. Donate to the Red Cross and other charitable organizations. We do not have the resources, plain and simple.

EDIT TO ADD:
Just found this: UN action against Sudan possible

QUOTE
"Depending on what we see on the ground, the council may have to take further steps," Annan said in response to questions about punitive measures against Sudan. "If that government is not able or willing to do it (protect people in Darfur), the international community has to do something about it."


Ok so it looks like the UN may be up to the challenge.
Jefferson Smith
I'm glad to see that this thread has attracted some interest. Allow me to try to give my best answers to my own questions.

Is the international community (including America) doing enough to put a stop to the violence and resulting refugee crisis in Sudan?

I don't think so, although I think that Kofi Annan and Colin Powell are taking steps in the right direction by starting to directly engage the Sudanese government. We already know the consequences of inaction after witnessing the horrors of ethnic war in Rwanda, documented on Frontline's great 1999 episode 'The Triumph of Evil' (the transcript of which can be read here).

When faced with Rwandan civil war in 1994, the world turned a blind eye. As a result, close to a million Tutsi citizens in a country of only seven million were massacred by their Hutu compatriots in the swiftest genocidal spree of the twentieth century. The killing didn't stop until the Tutsi guerrilla army finally overcame their Hutu oppressors and won the war. Not a single nation came to the aid of the civilian Tutsi victims. In fact, within the UN and without, most nations went to great lengths to ignore the massive atrocity unfolding before their eyes. President Bill Clinton visited Rwanda in 1998 to offer an apology for America's inaction during the crisis. Some may dispute the sincerity of Clinton's apology, but its implications were undeniable: some action, diplomatic or otherwise, should have been taken to demonstrate the world's opposition to this mass killing.

Although there are differences between the two crises, the parallels between Rwanda and Sudan are alarming. The origins of the Sudanese struggle were cited on Nightline in mid-June, and allusions were made on the show to the Rwandan saga. In each case, an oppressed minority rose up to demand more political power from their government. In each case, the resulting conflict escalated with little or no intervention from the outside world. Thousands of innocent people have been killed in Sudan by the government-allied Janjaweed militias, and a million more are now homeless refugees in the country's Darfur province. The Sudanese death toll has not yet come close to the Rwandan number, but it continues to rise even during a declared ceasefire. Even over the past week, with Powell and Annan threatening the Sudanese government with UN resolutions, the same linguistic gymnastics are being performed to avoid the term 'genocide,' which, if used, would force the UN at least to take substantive action. Yes, the path we travel today is eerily similar to the path to Rwandan disaster.

Debate has raged over the justification for Bill Clinton's 1999 military campaign to stop ethnic violence in Kosovo. Such debate is valid (I myself am not sure that the bombing was the right course of action), but it is too far off-topic to discuss in-depth on this thread. What is relevent about it is that in that case, the United States saw a developing calamity and acted in some decisive manner to stop a horrific act of violence and hatred. We can look at this page in history and point to a course of action, however misguided, that was eventually successful in stopping the killing.

One of the many justifications given by the Bush Administration for the invasion of Iraq was that Saddam had killed tens of thousands of his own people over the course of thirty years' rule. If you agree with this argument (and no other major reason for war has yet been proven true), then it is only consistent to agree that the Sudanese government must be held accountable for its actions.

I hope that in the case of Sudan, the United States and the United Nations act together with resolve to pursue peace and justice in Darfur. Our first efforts must of course be on a diplomatic front. If threats of sanctions and other forms of diplomatic pressure fail to convince the government to call on the Arab militias to halt their actions, then military intervention under the auspices of the UN must be considered carefully. And history teaches us that such consideration must be quick - the Rwandan genocide lasted a mere 100 days. I agree with lederuvdapac that if Sudan is allowed to descend further into crisis, France and Germany will have blood on their hands. But their idleness would not absolve us of responsibility to act when we witness wrongs being committed on such a massive scale. Our hands won't be clean, either.

How have the War on Terror and the War in Iraq affected our nation's ability to help put an end to this crisis?

I believe all of you have offered the same basic answer to this question. The American military, stretched too thin with operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, cannot shoulder the further burden of a full-scale military intervention in Sudan. No argument here, although military action needed in Sudan would likely be on a much smaller scale than Afghanistan or Iraq, with aid coming from more foreign nations if we did our job right on the diplomatic front. But another factor, overlooked until now, may complicate matters further.

Sudan is a nation governed by Arabs. The Sudanese government sheltered Osama bin Laden and the nascent Al Qaeda before the terrorist group was forced to move on to Afghanistan. The Sudanese Arabs identify themselves strongly with their Arab brethren across the Middle East. They consider themselves superior to the black Africans they persecute, and many still keep their black fellow Sudanese as household slaves.

Throughout the War on Terror, the United States government has been accused of waging a War on Islam. Our attack on Iraq and our support for Israel (seen by the Arab world as biased against the Palestinian cause), have given further fuel, justified or not, to these charges, focusing them more precisely on the Arab population in particular.

The Sudanese conflagration will no doubt be seen by many Arabs as an Arab affair, between them and the non-Arab Sudanese. The black Africans of Darfur fired the first shots in this conflict, they can say, and the Janjaweed are merely protecting Arab interests (the government isn't even overtly supporting them). If America were to lead an intervention at this point, coming out of a war that toppled an Arab leader after that leader posed no proven threat to American security, Arab extremists would be able to point to such action as even more proof that we are out to wipe out the Arab nations of the world. And our War on Terror, already hampered immeasurably by the War in Iraq and its resultant instability, would only be set back further.

I think that it is still possible, although more difficult, for the United States to push for a solution in the United Nations, and I think the world could and should get behind this if we pursue the correct diplomatic course of action. But I think it's ironic that, had we not bulldozed into a nation last year on the pretext that atrocities had long ago been committed there, we might have had the credibility and the moral authority to lead the world in standing up to a brutal atrocity happening today.

What can we as citizens do to help bring attention to and/or alleviate this crisis?

Some of you have suggested joining or donating to the Peace Corps or the Red Cross. I agree that this is an idea, and I regret, with a somewhat guilty conscience, that I don't have the resources to do either. But such action would only be constructive to healing those already damaged by the Sudanese conflict. Token Red Cross support in a war-torn nation like Sudan is like a hospital Emergency Room in a gang-ridden neighborhood with no police: wounds may be bound, but new blood will surely flow.

Sadly, I have no real answer to this question myself, other than to contact our elected officials with our concerns. I would love to hear more ideas, ones which we regular people may use to help ease the Sudanese plight.

I posted this particular question in an effort to create constructive debate. I have passionate views about many issues, but little knowledge about how an average citizen, with a full-time job and a family, can be an instrument of change in this country. I plan to include these types of questions with all new topics I offer, because I think that the value of these debates will double if we encourage and instruct each other on how to act on our beliefs. So if anyone has any new ideas, I'm all ears!
nebraska29
QUOTE(amf @ Jun 29 2004, 10:09 PM)

That fast-busy signal you hear is the world calling up our military.  The lines are jammed.  Try back again later.

Seriously, the military is going to now involuntarily call up several thousand RETIRED military personnel and ship their butts off to Afghanistan and Iraq.  Sudan?  Korea?  Sorry, call back again later.

Right you are about that amf. I believe that this is where our allies need to pick up the slack. I've been very sympathetic to European, and in particular, French reticence in getting involved in international affairs. But I believe that this is something that is their problem and responsibility to take care of. A lot of African nations are former European colonies that have close ties to their former colonizers. I believe that we need to offer financial incentives(i.e.-open markets, etc) in order to get them involved. We don't want the Sudan to turn into another Somalia or Yemen. ermm.gif If that's allowed to happen, we'll be there too! us.gif I have a hard time believing that out of thirty some European nations, not one could take this thing on.
Jefferson Smith
In response to nebraska29:

QUOTE
I've been very sympathetic to European, and in particular, French reticence in getting involved in international affairs. But I believe that this is something that is their problem and responsibility to take care of. A lot of African nations are former European colonies that have close ties to their former colonizers. [...]  I have a hard time believing that out of thirty some European nations, not one could take this thing on.


France, Belgium and other European nations did indeed colonize Africa in the last few centuries. But not Sudan. That country was administered jointly by Britain and Egypt between 1899 and 1955 (according to this site). And while instability has been an issue since even before those countries departed peacefully, the problems that have arisen today are a result of internal clashes of culture between the indigenous peoples, unrelated to the conquest and abandonment of a Western nation.

This is a humanitarian crisis, with over a million lives at stake. When George W. Bush saw the need for action in Iraq, did he tell the British to take the lead? After all, weren't the British the last foreign power in Iraq, and didn't the British define the Iraqi borders we know today? We led the 'coalition of the willing' into Iraq under the rationalization, however insincere, that America must act in a prominent role as an unwavering foe of tyranny and oppression. Some world power must take responsibility for what's going on in Darfur. It isn't fair that we must once again be that power; but it is even more unfair that the citizens of Darfur should be left on their own, to be slaughtered or displaced by tormenting thugs.

I recognize that we can't go into every country on the planet (North Korea, for example, is not an option because of political realities in the region). But the world will once again look back with shame at this moment in our history, if we don't take some definitive action to stop a genuine catastrophe.
Looms
QUOTE(Jefferson Smith @ Jul 2 2004, 06:46 PM)
Some world power must take responsibility for what's going on in Darfur.  It isn't fair that we must once again be that power; but it is even more unfair that the citizens of Darfur should be left on their own, to be slaughtered or displaced by tormenting thugs.

And WHY exactly does some world power have to get involved? Let's see, the Sudanese deal with a Sudanese problem, and non-Sudanese stay out of it. Yup, sounds perfectly fair to me. Why do we have to get involved? I personally don't care about Sudan. Why should my tax dollars be used for it? The people that do care about Sudan can volunteer their money to charity. Why should members of our military, who volunteered to give their life for their country have their life sacrificed for someone else's country?

We didn't get involved in Rwanda, and a million Tutsi died. How many Americans died? NONE. Sounds good to me. We got involved in Bosnia that was a mistake, Iraq was a mistake as well. America should worry about American problems.
DreamPipEr
Jefferson- I remember seeing that PBS piece a few wks ago. I remember the lady saying something about a concern in disturbing the very fragile peace agreement between the North and South of Sudan. It certainly has to be considered in how to handle this appropriately.

Is the international community (including America) doing enough to put a stop to the violence and resulting refugee crisis in Sudan?

How have the War on Terror and the War in Iraq affected our nation's ability to help put an end to this crisis?

What can we as citizens do to help bring attention to and/or alleviate this crisis?


The WOT and Iraq most certainly affects America's ability to do much of anything else right now. There are, though, other nations that do not have their hands tied that could put their best foot forward. Let the UN try to sort this out. I would say the US should be supportive and they can also apply pressure (which they are) to the Northern dictator.

For those inclined to help I think one could start with Food for the Hungry. If you click on their donate link they also show ways to get involved, like volunteering (I bet they wouldn't mind some fund raisers). I would also like to point out that I never met a dollar bill that a charity didn't like, so I would think that any $ amount would be appreciated.

edit to add: I thought about the ways to help a little more and there are a few other approaches one can take (and this can be applied to any type of charity), go to your HR Director and see if he/she would be willing to do a company contribution and or match program. College kids can try to coordinate a fund raising drive through ( I think) their campus life department. Anyone can a do a car wash, etc.
Amlord
Is the international community (including America) doing enough to put a stop to the violence and resulting refugee crisis in Sudan?

Not surprisingly, the UN is paralyzed when it comes to this situation (as they were in East Timor, Rwanda, and pretty much every other incident of genocide).

Although the UN itself labels the Sudan "the world's worst humanitarian crisis", it has not acted. The US says that one million lives are at stake. The UN responds by saying:

QUOTE(CNN article)
In Khartoum the spokesman for the U.N. World Food Programme, Marcus Prior, said it was premature to make such predictions.

"We believe it is too early to start talking in such bold terms," he told Reuters, in response to Natsios' warning.

But he added: "What is clear is hundreds of thousands of lives are at risk. Unless we and the rest of the humanitarian community working in Darfur are properly resourced as soon as possible, we will have a humanitarian catastrophe on our hands."


I guess we should split hairs over the difference between a million and "hundreds of thousands" of lives wacko.gif .

What is the US doing?
QUOTE
The United States has provided more than $100 million in aid since last year for Darfur and expects to spend about $170 million more by the end of 2005, Natsios said.

Washington says it is assessing whether the militias are responsible for genocide, a label that would legally oblige the United States to act to prevent such violence.

The United States already has an array of its own sanctions against Sudan and could freeze assets of individual officials.


What is the UN doing?
QUOTE
WFP (UN's World Food Program), which provides much of the relief food to Darfur, has a 68 percent shortfall in funding for its needs in the region until the end of this year, he said.


Maybe the UN really misses Saddam's money? ermm.gif

If the US doesn't do anything, it is clear that nothing will be done. What has been done so far has largely been the US's doing (sanctions, $100 million in aid, pressing to label the conflict a genocide which would force UN action).

The US is busy, of course, as amf so sarcastically points out mad.gif . I guess he believes we should hold our military in reserve for humanitarian missions.

This is a perfect example of where international peacekeepers would be a great help. Every time I think of the UN, I envision the Galactic Republic from Star Wars I (The Phantom Menace). "It is clear to me that the Republic no longer functions" was Queen Amadala's response when she went there seeking protection from an invader. The UN will not act without discussing everything in a committee. The UN is becoming increasingly worthless, even for things at which it has a decent track record.

How have the War on Terror and the War in Iraq affected our nation's ability to help put an end to this crisis?
Certainly the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan have our troops tied up. A huge contingent is not needed here. A few thousand troops would calm the situation, in all likelihood. Unfortunately, our friends at the UN cannot be troubled with such matters (apparently). Maybe once the refugee situation becomes international they will act? Who knows?

Is the international community so dependent upon the US, not only for troops, but for leadership? I submit that it is. This is just the latest example.

What can we as citizens do to help bring attention to and/or alleviate this crisis?
As others have said, charities are the best bet. Whether the US or UN intervenes, such groups will need the funds to deal with the inevitable refugee crisis.

As far as pressuring the US government, I think it is evident that they are aware of the problem and are trying to motivate the UN to act. Acting alone is clearly not in the US's national interest. Acting as part of the international community is. Isn't that what the detractors of the conflict in Iraq have been saying? zipped.gif
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nebraska29
QUOTE(Looms @ Jul 2 2004, 06:39 PM)
And WHY exactly does some world power have to get involved? Let's see, the Sudanese  deal with a Sudanese problem, and non-Sudanese stay out of it. Yup, sounds perfectly fair to me. Why do we have to get involved? I personally don't care about Sudan. Why should my tax dollars be used for it? The people that do care about Sudan can volunteer their money to charity. Why should members of our military, who volunteered to give their life for their country have their life sacrificed for someone else's country?

Good point Looms, and while we're at it, let's send in forces to Yemen.

QUOTE
A number of prominent scholars in Sa’adah governorate released a statement last week in which they pleaded with President Saleh to prevent more bloodshed by stopping military forces in Sa’adah from attacking Shi’ite cleric Hussein al-Hothi and his followers. They also demanded action to lift the siege of citizens of the area and help the area recover from the devastating impact that resulted from the use of military power to crush the hideouts of the cleric.
“After extensive discussions, consultations, and after realizing the horrendous conditions that resulted from the ongoing confrontations in Sa’adah, we, the scholars and clerics who signed this statement, have come to conclude that all this bloodshed, destruction of homes, and assaults on people are truly regrettable and fill us with sorrow.”

http://yementimes.com/article.shtml?i=751&p=front&a=1

Yemen people +Yemen problems=American involvement wink.gif
overlandsailor
QUOTE
I believe that we need to offer financial incentives(i.e.-open markets, etc) in order to get them involved.


So, we can't count on Europeans to do what's right in the world (which we have seen before) and we suggest that America has to bribe these countries to get them to act on a continent that they once controlled?

You don't think the Europeans will act on this simply because it is the right thing to do? you're generally right. Europe has a long history of only acting for the Good of Europe and more to the point, each country only acting for their own individual good. Occasionally, Europe steps out of the Isolationist box when it comes to world affairs, but usually they expect others to do it.

I know what we could do. We could send them a bill. A bill for all the interventions we have had to do in the past because they would not. We could attach a note saying Take care of Sudan and we'll call this even.
Jefferson Smith
First, some good news: Sudanese Troops to Quell Darfur Violence

It appears that Kofi Annan and Colin Powell, working together to apply pressure on the Sudanese government, have now made a breakthrough toward ending this crisis. The victims of the Janjaweed in Darfur aren't out of the woods yet, but President el-Bashir's pledge to rein in the Janjaweed is evidence that he knows the heat is on him. This from the Boston Globe:

QUOTE
According to recent testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by John Prendergast of the International Crisis group, the Sudanese government has a 15-year track record of curbing genocidal activity, but only when it becomes the source of public condemnation and exposure.


It seems to me as I read more current news on the topic that our government and the UN recognize the best way out of this situation. America, at least, also sees the need to nip this in the bud before the problem in Darfur drags down the peace accord ending Sudan's other civil war between the Muslim Northerners and the Southern Christians (overlooked by all of us until brought up by DreamPipEr). This again from the Boston Globe:

QUOTE
The crisis in Darfur threatens to undermine the North-South accord and return Sudan into an anarchic harbor for terrorists. There is no excuse for not working as fast as possible to end the humanitarian crisis in Darfur and stabilizing a country that is a known haven for terrorism. We will not only save thousands of lives in Darfur, but possibly lives here as well.


Now that we've seen the link between this crisis to the broader War on Terror, which we are fighting to save American lives, don't some of you begin to think it might be in our interest to set things straight in Darfur? If you are by nature an isolationist, this thread won't change your mind. But I believe that many of you, like myself, look at international affairs on a case-by-case basis to decide which problems require American influence to solve.

When I considered action against Saddam Hussein in Iraq, I came to the conclusion that there was no proof of either his ties to terrorists or his possession of WMDs. Saddam's dictatorship over his people was not enough for me to support invading that country and bringing more suffering onto the Iraqis in order to save them. Looms and I are in agreement that American domestic issues should have taken priority over our beef with Saddam.

But now when I consider action in Sudan, I note that people are being displaced, raped and killed on a much larger scale than was happening in Iraq at the time of our invasion. I also note that Sudan has already proven to be a shelter for Al Qaeda in the past, and can be again if it spirals down into the morass of two competing civil wars. This crisis has surpassed a quota of acceptability in my mind, to a far greater extent than did the Iraq situation.

Having said that, I must stress that I believe that military action should be an absolute last resort. Not only am I naturally inclined to peaceful solutions in international affairs, I have already stated on a previous post (July 2, 03:46pm) that American military intervention in Sudan would become another talking point in the Islamic extremist indictment against us. Even if force has to be used (and it might not be a real option, even if diplomacy fails us), it should not take the form of some invasion. The disarmament of a militia that supposedly isn't even acting on the government's behalf would not and should not entail toppling the government itself. Focused action against the Janjaweed wouldn't require vast numbers of troops, especially if troops were sent in by several nations.

But I digress. The good news, as mentioned above, is that America and the UN are now acting together in halting the Sudanese conflict. I see that may have jumped the gun in saying we weren't doing enough, since so far I can see no better way we could have gained President el-Bashir's cooperation. We'll see if this progress continues. I hope it does, and if it does, I will join you all in saying that we did enough, and that the European powers were of no help. And I will say that, in this case, the Bush Administration made sound foreign policy decisions to promote peace in a troubled region without alienating our allies or angering our enemies. We'll see . . .
ashvinvk
Is the international community (including America) doing enough to put a stop to the violence and resulting refugee crisis in Sudan?
Is this a trick question? Because if we were, it would not be happening. But we're not.
The truth is: No one cares to care anymore. Everyone has internal politics and other "more important" things to deal with and no one is going to help this orphanated and divided nation. With African nations, its the former "owner" of the land that usually comes to its aid. i.e. France for the Ivory Coast and UK for Sierra Leone. America helped the Christians of Sudan, but no other nation has ever helped the dark-skinned and Muslim populations of Sudan.

How have the War on Terror and the War in Iraq affected our nation's ability to help put an end to this crisis?
Deeply. We would be there now with UN in the lead, as we would not be "against them" nor either of us depleted our resources. The world is tired. Americans are sick of the other side, be it liberal or conservative. Time has passed us. Face it. There is nothing we can pragmatically do. If the UN and its supporters want to take a shot at it, fine. But its too late. You can only save a few more lives... but Sudan and sub-Saharan Africa is truly a lost case.

What can we as citizens do to help bring attention to and/or alleviate this crisis?
Protests, as we found, don't help, if no one listens. I can no longer think of anything practical and sane that we could pull to get our bureaucracies and inefficient lumbering governments to take action there.

We must wait to pull out of Iraq. Then you can bet, we won't be doing anything half as stupid (but thats not saying much) for a long time.
bucket
The US gives more aid than any other nation to the Sudan crisis..coming in second is the UK.
I think the US... if that is what you meant by we... is doing as much as she can do right now. The US govt has been giving this issue a lot of attention and it is without question on the top of their list right now in the UN. Yet remember if we don't follow the guidelines we will be considered imperialist and acting in an illegal manner. Currently the guidelines are set up to just chat about it all, study data of the dead, argue over what substantiates a genocide, send peacekeepers to help add to the rape counts and ask for money that never seems to get to those who need it.

There are MANY others who have a far greater responsibility to this nation's crisis than the US. For one Arab nations who have given hardly anything in aid or attentions ..Sudan is a member of the Arab league and has been since the 1950s she is also considered part of the Arab World...yet not a peep from the Arab world.

Canadian corps have spent millions of dollars in the last few yrs to upgrade the Sudanese oil pipelines bringing Sudan's oil production up to competitive rates..which in return has placed millions of dollars in the pockets of the Sudanese govt who is now being accused of genocide. Is there even an open and honest dialogue about this situation in Canada? And Canada's role?

Finally European nations..but only a select few as I feel many are giving this their highest attentions...but again it seems to be those who I would have felt had the least amount of personal gain. France who is a pretty substantial trade partner and who also has oil interests in Sudan has done very little...but she has time to thwart US attempts to bring forth UN sanctions.


To top it all off there are accusations that UN money and aid funds have been misused and unaccounted for.

This is just a sad reminder of our failures and promises made as an international body that Rwanda would never happen again..just wasted words that never rise beyond that flying blue flag.

As for this comment...
QUOTE
America helped the Christians of Sudan, but no other nation has ever helped the dark-skinned and Muslim populations of Sudan.

huh? ..it is Muslim Sudanese who are raping and killing dark skinned Africans. This is ethnic cleansing. You should have a read over some of the testimonies of survivors of Darfur.
Do you have any idea how much help and assistance has gone to this nation and to the Muslim govt itself in the past few yrs..MILLIONS..and look what they have decided to do once they got a little spending cash.
loreng59
QUOTE
  Is the international community (including America) doing enough to put a stop to the violence and resulting refugee crisis in Sudan?
Of course not, the Sudanese government still exists. If we were doing enough the leaders of Sudan would have been hung already.


QUOTE
How have the War on Terror and the War in Iraq affected our nation's ability to help put an end to this crisis?
Hell yes, we have no forces left to handle this disaster.

QUOTE
What can we as citizens do to help bring attention to and/or alleviate this crisis?
Write to congress, demand we end all aid to to Africa without any change
Mustang
We not only can't afford, but we are simply unable to to intervene and resolve this crisis. As are most other potential responders. Sudan's Darfur crisis is particularly awful, but the operating environment in the crisis area is also extremely prohibitive to launching a rapid, effective humanitarian response.

As many of the refugees are huddling across the border in Chad, you could perhaps use the initial stages of Operation Provide Comfort as a comparison. That was a truly massive effort - and it succeeded because we had pre-existing military bases in Turkey from which to stage from to help the Kurds. And northern Iraq - in comparison to Darfur, Sudan - was relatively developed, with highways and towns that greatly supported the resettlement effort as we transitioned from helping the refugees survive in camps along the border region, to moving them back to where they were living before the crisis. Not to mention the fact that the Iraqi regime did not interfere with humanitarian operations in any significant manner and ended ceding a virtual statelet to the Kurds in the north. Finally, do not forget that we were directly involved on the ground in that resettlement effort up until August of 1996 - dating from an initial intervention in April 1991.

Lacking any sort of infrastructure that would facilitate the movement of aid, and seeing as how the country is still very unstable with continuing factional violence and a central government - however weak - that refuses to accept the necessity for intervention, Sudan is definitely not worth the cost of a serious attempt, IMHO.

We would probably lend significant logistics support to an intervention that was carried out by member states of the African Union, which would definitely be perceived as a more legitimate intervention - but that shows no sign of getting off the ground anytime soon. The UN, yet again, has shown that it is great at coming up with plans of action, but not so great at actually putting them into action.

From USAID, here's the US Strategic Plan for Sudan: 2004 - 2006, which addresses our official POV on aid and assistance.

A good briefing paper on the Sudanese government's involvement with the Janjaweed.

Awful situation, needing some sort of intervention? Yes. Worth putting our boots on the ground? A resounding NO.
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