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Killing in Sudan

23 February 2005

Last June, openDemocracy published an open letter to world leaders by Gareth Evans of the International Crisis Group, in which he called for the leaders of the G8 richest industrialised countries to act to prevent further deaths in Sudan's eastern region of Darfur.  Two months later, he told openDemocracy that the situation had deteriorated and that action was even more urgent.

A lot of blood has gone under the bridge since then. On the positive side, a peace deal signed early this year that may bring an end to the war in the south Sudan, in which millions have died over the last thirty years.

But today, as if a reminder is needed, Nicolas Kristof and the New York Times publish photographs of dead civilians in Darfur taken by African Union monitors.

Web sites like www.darfurgenocide.org and www.savedarfur.org are trying to galvanize Americans, says Kristof, "but the response has been pathetic".

Someone will correct me if this is wrong, but the situation in Darfur didn't rate a mention in George Bush's speeches in Brussels this week (and if it did, it was pretty low down the agenda).

At one point in an interview with the BBC today, Sudan's ambassador to Britain said that refugees in Darfur had fled to the camps because they preferred being looked after by foreign aid agencies. 

It does get blacker than this, but not often.

Articles on openDemocracy relating to Sudan include:

Accoutantability in Africa: whose problem? by David Mepham
Darfur Journal by Lyndall Stein
America in Africa: plunderer or partner? by Ken Wiwa and Gayle Smith
Who is accountable for Darfur?: an interview with Gareth Evans by Caspar Henderson
Darfur: countdown to catastophe by Stephen Ellis
The United States and international aid: missing the big picture by Anne Richard
Rwanda, Sudan and beyond: lessons from Africa by Caspar Henderson

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