Still dying in Darfur

Darfur.gifThe mainstream media have lost interest in Darfur.  Even Nicholas Kristof, who has done an outstanding job  writing about this in the New York Times, has been quiet since July. 

Things are not getting any better. A fuel shortage delayed the deployment of Africa Union troops, desperately needed to restore peace.

George Bush and Tony Blair, both of whom have said words to the effect that another Rwanda must not happen on their watch, are doing nothing.

We know what needs to happen.  The International Crisis Group, a respected, independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation, said this on July 6th:

The international community is failing in its responsibility to protect the inhabitants of Darfur, many of whom are still dying or face indefinite displacement from their homes. New thinking and bold action are urgently needed. The consensus to support a rough doubling of the African Union (AU) force to 7,731 troops by the end of September 2005 under the existing mandate is an inadequate response to the crisis. The mandate must be strengthened to prioritise civilian protection, and a force level of at least 12,000 to 15,000 is needed urgently now, not in nearly a year as currently envisaged. 

This requires more courageous thinking by the AU, NATO, the European Union (EU), the UN and the U.S. to get adequate force levels on the ground in Darfur with an appropriate civilian protection mandate as quickly as possible, which in practical terms means within the next two months. Otherwise, security will continue to deteriorate, the hope that displaced inhabitants will ever return home will become even more distant, and prospects for a political settlement will remain dim. 

What are we waiting for? 

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