Monday, October 18

Darfur 'Safer than Iraq'

In what seems to be a preemptive shot across the bow and a slap in the bush administration face the Sudan foriegn minister claims to have a better handle on the situation in Darfur that the Us in Iraq.
Sudan's government has said it has handled the Darfur crisis better than the United States has dealt with Iraq.

Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismael told the BBC that US leaders were trying to use Darfur "immorally" ahead of next month's presidential elections.

He was speaking after a meeting of regional leaders in Libya, at which Sudan hinted it may agree to Darfur having more control over its affairs.

Some 70,000 people have died in Darfur, in what the US says is a "genocide".

Pro-government Arab militias have forced some 1.5 million black African farmers and their families from their homes, after two rebel groups took up arms in February 2003.
The Idea the rove and company would try to weave the narrative of Darfur into the campaign is unfortunate, but put nothing past these guys if they see a political advantage. It would be stupid beyond pale, but who knows exactly the calculus used by the handlers of incurious george.

"This is an African problem - it needs an African solution," he said.

More than 1.5m displaced
About 70,000 dead since February 2003
More at risk from disease, starvation and lack of aid
Arab militias accused of ethnic cleansing
Sudan blames rebels for starting conflict

The African Union hopes to have a 4,500-strong force in place by the end of November, but a lack of funds has delayed the deployment of troops.

About 300 armed Nigerian and Rwandan troops are currently in place.

The United Nations has threatened to impose sanctions on Sudan unless it stops the violence.

Mr Ismael said although the US has deployed more troops and advanced military hardware to Iraq, it has still not been able to disarm dissident forces there.

Credible estimates say that some 14,000 people have died in Iraq since the US-led invasion last year.

Sudan has sent thousands of extra policemen to Darfur but the UN says that attacks on refugees have continued.

Those who have fled their homes say that the security forces worked with the Janjaweed militias to force them from their homes but Sudan has always denied arming the Arab militias.

If the administration had not taken their eye off the real conflict, and properly finished what we started in Afghanistan, Left a Toothless Saddam in place, we may have been able to have a real impact as part of a peace-keeping force and maybe 70,000 would be alive today.