Friday, June 25, 2004


I have been woefully lax in keeping up with the situation in Sudan. Fortunately, Jane at Armies of Liberation is keeping the pressure on. As she rightly points out, there has been no real change in the situation there, despite a bit more acknowledgement from the chattering classes.

One positive development is that Colin Powell will be visiting the Darfur region next week. According to the NY Times:

Mr. Powell has been an outspoken critic of the Sudanese government, which he has accused of ethnic cleansing for having supported attacks against black Africans in the region, creating one of the world's worst calamities.

The Bush administration is currently studying whether the onslaught should be branded a "genocide," which under existing conventions would require aggressive action by the United States and other nations, and American diplomats are seeking further action from the United Nations.

Kofi Annan, the United Nations secretary general, will be in Sudan at the time of Mr. Powell's two-day visit, which will include a tour of the ravaged Darfur region and meetings in the capital.

"The secretary's visit to Sudan is intended to continue to call attention to the dire humanitarian situation in Darfur, to do whatever we can to stop the violence there and to make sure that the needy people of that region are receiving whatever supplies we can get to them,'' said Richard A. Boucher, the State Department spokesman.

The bad news (as noted above) is that Kofi Annan is going as well...

If we were going alone, there might be a chance (although admittedly a slim one) for unilateral US action. As long as we are still trying to work with the UN, expect a lot more talk before anything substantive gets done.

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