United nations, EU, where are you??

Reply Wed 25 Aug, 2004 06:21 pm
Why is this the US's problem?
Why isnt the African Union actually doing something,instead of talking? Its interesting that nobody in Europe or Africa will do anything,but if we do,we are "meddling"
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Reply Thu 26 Aug, 2004 12:49 am
actually it is not the U.S problem, rather the U.N. But the overall world should be help there.
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Reply Thu 26 Aug, 2004 06:32 am
The"overal world" has never acted together for anything.

The U.N. is a reflection of the least common virtue of its member states. Not much to contemplate there.

In view of all the worldwide criticism of the U.S.ntervention to overthrow an obviously aggressive and murderous regime in Iraq, on what basis can anyone seriously suggest that "someone ought to do something about Sudan"?

The relative silence of the European advocates of an International Criminal Court, as well as the supine inaction of the court itself tell the alert observer all that is needed to fully understand the supreme hypocrisy of 'old Europe'.
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Reply Thu 26 Aug, 2004 06:40 am
If you want see what failure looks like, look no further. Come see the building in NYCity called the UN. They ought to turn it into a hotel or something more useful.
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Reply Thu 26 Aug, 2004 07:19 am
georgeob1 wrote:
The"overal world" has never acted together for anything.

I know, we all know it.

The UN should be finally to reform, 59 years after the WWII, there have the winner countries still the right to vote. That's weird.
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Reply Thu 26 Aug, 2004 07:59 am
Perhaps the UN should "be reformed". But how to do it? Aesops mice proposed to but a bell around the cat's neck for warning, but none of the mice volunteered to do the job.

There are proposals under study for the reconstitution of the Security Council, giving greater representation to Germany, Japan, India and perhaps Nigeria or Brazil. Some change of this sort seems likely in the next ten years or so. However the main problem is that the UN itself has produced a largely corrupt and wasteful bureaucracy, and, more seriously, has proven itself largely ineffective in dealing with serious issues. Ths is the result of both internal problems and the lack of common purpose among its members.
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 26 Aug, 2004 08:39 am
georgeob1 wrote:
However the main problem is that the UN itself has produced a largely corrupt and wasteful bureaucracy...

When a corrupct bureaucracy is such a serious problem, it should be such a big problem some countries (and big cities) as well. :wink:

But it seems - like usual, when humans are invilved - some sit in a glasshouse and throw stones as well.

Btw: does anyone have figures, how many UN civil servants and employees are of US-nationality? :wink:
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Reply Thu 26 Aug, 2004 08:53 am
Btw: does anyone have figures, how many UN civil servants and employees are of US-nationality?

Does that matter? If so, why? Corruption is corruption no matter participates in it.

I should note that since the UN's headquarters is in the US it is to be expected that the preponderance of low level positions would be filled by people living there. I would imagine that those world wide functions, not just related to the UN, that are stationed in Europe are predominantly filled by Europeans. I would be surprised if they were not.
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Reply Thu 26 Aug, 2004 09:26 am
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Reply Fri 27 Aug, 2004 03:42 am
the problem goes ahead:

Sudan rebels refuse to disarm as attacks on civilians go on

Prospects for peace in Darfur receded yesterday as Sudanese rebels refused to disarm at talks in Abuja, the Nigerian capital. The Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) said it would not hand over weapons until the government of Sudan disarmed the Janjaweed.

Sitting in Bahai, in a shoddy refugee camp on the border between Chad and Sudan, the SLA seems little more than a group of bored young men making night-time excursions across the border. But the SLA along with the Justice and Equality Movement claim they are the only protection the civilian population in Darfur have against attacks by the Sudanese government and Arab militias.

In turn, the Sudanese military and the Janjaweed say they are fighting these rebels when they carry out their brutal attacks on entire villages.

Khadir Porhalla, an SLA commander, said yesterday: "Why do they want us to give up our guns when the Arabs still have theirs? If we lose our weapons we simply let all black people in Sudan be killed."

The SLA says the Khartoum government has only been willing to attend peace talks since the Janjaweed attacks grabbed the attention of the international community. "We have begged the government to come for talks for months," said Commander Porhalla. "Why do they only come now and demand so much from us and give nothing themselves."

The gridlock in the talks and a failure of both sides to reach an agreement has given the refugee camps in Chad an air of permanency.

Asha Aliya Yahya fled her village of Abugumra carrying her elderly mother on her back five months ago after a Janjaweed attack killed her two sons and grandchildren. She is still grieving, for her children, for her mother who died on the way to the Iridimi refugee camp, for the fertile soil of her village, but she feels the need to build a home in Chad for her remaining 12-year-old daughter.

complete article
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Reply Mon 30 Aug, 2004 01:34 am
and next:

Darfur attacks put deadline to disarm militias in jeopardy

Ceasefire monitors were investigating claims yesterday that Sudanese helicopter gunships attacked a village as a United Nations deadline calling for an end to violence neared.

Sudan has until later today to disarm militias drawn from Arab tribes, or face UN penalties. Yet, a month after the Security Council passed a resolution obliging the government in Khartoum to end the killings in the west of the country, there are still no signs of peace.

The most recent attacks came in the area of Khadjr Abir in west Darfur. Civilians who survived the attacks talk of how they first heard Sudanese aircraft circling overhead, then saw the Janjaweed, as the Arab militia are known, coming over the horizon on camels and horses.

Aid agencies are in no doubt that civilians in Darfur are still being attacked. Lino Bordin, the head of missions for the UN High Commission for Refugees in Chad, said: "These are broken promises from Sudan. They said they would try to resolve the situation somehow, but that is not happening yet."

The government justifies its military presence by saying it still has to control guerrilla groups in Darfur. Rebels say that the government has bombed civilians and is now preparing to launch a final assault on them. Since 4 June, 85 villages have been destroyed and 408 people have been killed.

Hundreds of civilians have crossed the border from Sudan into Chad and aid agencies say thousands more are still hiding in Sudan. People in Darfur are desperate for help. The African Union is keen to solve the problem but few have any confidence in its ability to bring the situation under control.

The village of Um Hashab lies abandoned and in ruins after Thursday's attack, directed at the Sudan Liberation Army, one of two rebel factions waging war against the government in Khartoum. The charred earth, scorched trees and empty huts in the desert settlement show that the 18-month war goes on, despite an 8 April ceasefire.

"Three days ago they came and dropped bombs on my village," said Adam Salim Abu Bakir yesterday. He fled to Zam Zam refugee camp, 12 miles from Al-Fasher, the capital of north Darfur. "It is still burning," he said, walking through ash into the ruins of what he said had been his brother's hut.

An international aid agency operating in Sudan urged the UN Security Council to take tough measures, but it remains unclear what measures can be enforced. A worker with the aid agency, which did not wish to be identified to protect its workers, said: "The ceasefire has not held, and there is still fighting throughout Darfur. Today we have heard chilling reports that villages are still being attacked and burned.

"Armed Janjaweed militias are still present around the camps and continue to harass and terrorise the civilians. Every day, we hear reports that women and girls are being raped, while the government denies the existence of the problem.

"The Council must demonstrate that the last resolution was not simply full of empty threats. A new resolution must implement targeted sanctions immediately on key individuals who have been instrumental in perpetuating the conflict in Darfur."

Talks in Nigeria between Darfur's rebel groups and the Sudanese government adjourned yesterday with the two sides far from agreement.

Ahmed Mohammed Tugod, negotiator for the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebel group, said: "There is a big distance between what we think about improving the humanitarian situation in the camps and what government thinks."

AU mediators are expected to produce a draft compromise agreement when the talks resume today.

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Reply Wed 8 Sep, 2004 03:45 am
a other crisis area:

Annan pushes UN for $1bn expansion of Congo force

The smouldering, bloody conflict that is tearing the heart of Africa apart, leaving an almost-unreported three million dead, is finally to claim the attention of the world.

Discussions are to be held in the UN Security Council today on proposals for the UN mission in Democratic Republic of Congo to be boosted to 24,000 soldiers, creating the biggest peace-keeping operation in the world. If approved, it would cost $1bn (£560m).

The negotiations will focus on a French-drafted resolution expanding the mission from the existing 10,800 troops to curb the ethnic massacres breaking out in the eastern region. The proposal by the UN secretary general Kofi Annan for the urgent increase was prompted by the fall of the town of Bukavu to rebels last June, despite the presence of hundreds of UN soldiers.

The violent military confrontation came close to reigniting the five-year war in DR Congo and triggered accusations that Rwanda was behind the uprising.

The UN force was brought in under the fragile peace process which created a transitional power-sharing government in Kinshasa. But in August, 152 ethnic Tutsi Congolese refugees were massacred at a refugee camp in Gatumba, Burundi. .

Preliminary findings of a UN investigation presented to the security council last Friday claim the massacre was carefully planned and committed by the Burundian rebel group, the Forces for National Liberation (FNL). The UN said the attackers worked with elements of Mai-Mai fighters and Rwandan Hutu rebels, both based in eastern Congo.

There had been fears that Rwanda might track the perpetrators across the border in DR Congo, amid reports that the Interahamwe had helped in the killings. Human Rights Watch also concluded that "the details of the attack show that the FNL was the chief force in the slaughter at Gatumba".

The organisation, which interviewed massacre survivors, called on the Burundi government to ensure a thorough investigation, and explain why the Burundian military did not come to the aid of the refugees.

It also urged the Burundian government, which has issued arrest warrants for two FNL leaders, to arrest and prosecute those guilty of the massacre.

Britain considers a substantial and urgent increase in the numbers of the UN mission in eastern Congo would highlight support for the peace process, although Mr Annan is unlikely to win approval for the requested 23,900 personnel spread throughout DR Congo.

British officials mention the figure of 5,000 to 6,000 extra UN troops for the eastern region immediately. The security council would return to Mr Annan's additional requests later.

Officials say a spate of massacres and renewed unrest since April does not appear to be a planned strategy with the backing of regional patrons, but rather the result of factional fighting between local leaders.

But it is unclear how other members of the UN Security Council react to a demand for more troops when so many are already committed to Iraq.

The humanitarian disaster in Sudan is affecting troop availability, with African soldiers being dispatched to protect ceasefire monitors in Darfur.

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Reply Thu 9 Sep, 2004 08:08 am
While the nations of the world meet and discuss people continue to die. Does anyone care. I doubt it. Is the UN worth the powder to blow it up? I wonder? When has the UN answered the call in time of crisis?

U.S. Drafts Resolution On Sudan Sanctions

By Colum Lynch
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 9, 2004; Page A21

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 8 -- The United States distributed a draft U.N. resolution Wednesday that threatens consideration of sanctions on Sudan's oil industry if Khartoum fails to stem violence in the Darfur region of Sudan or blocks the deployment of thousands of African monitors.

The draft Security Council resolution, which the 15-nation council is to begin debating Thursday, also calls on U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan to establish a commission to investigate and prosecute human rights violators and determine whether their crimes amount to genocide.

The U.S. initiative is designed to ratchet up political pressure on Khartoum to accept a U.N. proposal to expand a small African Union observer mission by creating a force of more than 3,000 African peacekeepers. The mandate of the new force is the subject of Nigerian-sponsored talks between Sudan and Darfur rebels in Abuja, Nigeria.

Senior Security Council ambassadors said the resolution is likely to face intense resistance, particularly from the council's strongest opponents of sanctions, including China and Pakistan, both of which import oil from Sudan. But even European governments, including Britain, believe that the U.S. resolution will have to be watered down to gain broad support in the council, according to a European diplomat. "I think the U.S. approach is what I would call stick-based rather than carrot-based," one council diplomat said. "We feel now is not the time for sanctions."

U.S. officials and human rights advocates charge that Sudanese-sponsored Arab militias have killed tens of thousands of black African civilians in Darfur over the past 18 months and forced more than 1 million from their homes. The U.S. draft expresses "grave concern" over Sudan's failure to "fully comply" with the council's demand that it crack down on the Arab militias.

Although the three-page text credits Khartoum with achieving a "limited improvement" in access for humanitarian aid workers in Darfur, it presents a harsh assessment of the government's commitment to end the suffering in Sudan. And it calls on Annan to brief the council within 30 days on Khartoum's compliance with the council's demands.

In addition, the draft resolution contains a threat of unspecified future sanctions against the government in Khartoum or individual Sudanese officials responsible for backing the militias.
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Reply Fri 10 Sep, 2004 12:08 am
Finally the US called it:
Genocide in Sudan

At last: Colin Powell uses the word the world's human rights bodies have been demanding as US toughens its stance on the slaughter in Sudan

The Bush administration declared for the first time yesterday that genocide was being committed in Darfur, blaming Arab militias and the Islamist government of Sudan for the atrocities. "Genocide may still be occurring," Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, said.

"The situation on the ground must change and change quickly," he said. "There are too many tens of thousands of human beings who are at risk."

America's failure to halt the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 has haunted successive US administrations. Yesterday's declaration was not a commitment to intervene militarily to save lives in Sudan, leaving open the possibility that it was motivated as much by US presidential politics as humanitarian concerns.

Branding the atrocities genocide is important, however, as it carries legal and moral obligations under the Geneva Conventions. The genocide convention orders signatory states ­ including the US and Britain ­ to "prevent and punish" acts of genocide.

Questioned about the change in the American position last night on Channel 4 News, the Foreign Office minister, Chris Mullin, said: "It may well be genocide, and that is why we are supporting Colin Powell's call for the United Nations to investigate urgently. Whatever you call it, there is no doubt that grave crimes against humanity have been committed in Darfur."

Pressed on the genocide label, Mr Mullin said: "We ought not to get too bogged down in words. We shall be supporting Mr Powell's call for an urgent UN investigation. We want to see the toughest resolution possible. We have got to take the other members of the Security Council with us, please bear that in mind, but we will be in the forefront of the debate."

The Janjaweed militia, controlled by the Sudanese government, has been accused of killing 50,000 people in the 18 months that followed a rebellion by black African farmers in Darfur. More than one million people have been forced from their homes.

General Powell told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee: "We concluded that genocide has been committed in Darfur and the government of Sudan and the Janjaweed bear responsibility ­ and genocide may still be occurring."

He acknowledged the responsibilities under the Geneva Conventions on the prevention of genocide, which "to us, at this time, it appears that Sudan has failed to do". Consequently, he said, the UN should fully investigate the killings in Darfur with a view to establishing accountability.

General Powell based his statement on a State Department report by officials who interviewed 1,136 Darfur refugees over a five-week period in Chad. The report revealed a "consistent and widespread pattern of atrocities committed against non-Arab villagers" from the western region of Sudan.

Mr Mullin was asked whether British troops could be deployed to the region. He said: "It is too early to say that yet. We have some British advisers there but it is too early to go down that road. I shall be in Sudan for most of next week, and obviously I shall have a clearer picture then."

Britain and the US hope that the UN Security Council, which is considering a US draft resolution threatening oil sanctions against the Sudanese government, will agree to proposals in the draft for such an international inquiry. Similar commissions were set up after the 1994 Rwanda genocide and the Yugoslav conflict and eventually led to war crimes tribunals.

The European Union has refrained from declaring genocide in Sudan, maintaining that it is for the UN to decide. Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general, has described the Sudanese government's "scorched earth policy" as the world's greatest humanitarian disaster, but has not used the word genocide.

Aid agencies and rights groups expressed concern that the talks at the UN could stall at a time when there is a need for urgent action to resolve the humanitarian crisis. "It's good to see the US recognising the scale of the crisis but words are not enough," said an aid agency with humanitarian workers on the ground in Darfur.

The Sudanese deputy foreign minister, Najeib El-Kheir Abdel Wahab, said: "We don't think this kind of attitude can help the situation. We expect the international community to assist the [African Union peace] process that is taking place in Abuja and not put oil on the fire."

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Reply Fri 10 Sep, 2004 07:42 am
This is the world's failure. Everyone's. More than two decades of slaughter. No one. Including Powell and the US has the right to act surprised or offended. Every country on the planet has complicity here...directly or indirectly. Mock Horror and Theactrical "Surprise" will be the resort of the most guilty Dogs. Place this next to Man on The Moon, The Berlin Wall Fall and other historical achievements to get the full measure of mankind in the last half century.
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Reply Sat 2 Oct, 2004 11:01 pm
One step back:

US 'hyping' Darfur genocide fears

American warnings that Darfur is heading for an apocalyptic humanitarian catastrophe have been widely exaggerated by administration officials, it is alleged by international aid workers in Sudan. Washington's desire for a regime change in Khartoum has biased their reports, it is claimed.

The government's aid agency, USAID, says that between 350,000 and a million people could die in Darfur by the end of the year. Other officials, including Secretary of State Colin Powell, have accused the Sudanese government of presiding over a 'genocide' that could rival those in Bosnia and Rwanda.

But the account has been comprehensively challenged by eyewitness reports from aid workers and by a new food survey of the region. The nutritional survey of Sudan's Darfur region, by the UN World Food Programme, says that although there are still high levels of malnutrition among under-fives in some areas, the crisis is being brought under control.

'It's not disastrous,' said one of those involved in the WFP survey, 'although it certainly was a disaster earlier this year, and if humanitarian assistance declines, this will have very serious negative consequences.'

The UN report appears to confirm food surveys conducted by other agencies in Darfur which also stand in stark contrast to the dire US descriptions of the food crisis.

The most dramatic came from Andrew Natsios, head of USAID, who told UN officials: 'We estimate right now, if we get relief in we'll lose a third of a million people and, if we don't, the death rates could be dramatically higher, approaching a million people.'

A month later, a second senior official, Roger Winter, USAID's assistant administrator, briefed foreign journalists in Washington that an estimated 30,000 people had been killed during the on-going crisis in Darfur, with another 50,000 deaths from malnutrition and disease, largely among the huge populations fleeing the violence. He described the emergency as 'humanitarian disaster of the first magnitude'.

By 9 September Powell was in front of the Congressional Foreign Relations Committee accusing Sudan of 'genocide', a charge rejected by officials of both the European and African Unions and also privately by British officials.

'I've been to a number of camps during my time here,' said one aid worker, 'and if you want to find death, you have to go looking for it. It's easy to find very sick and under-nourished children at the therapeutic feeding centres, but that's the same wherever you go in Africa.'

Another aid worker told The Observer : 'It suited various governments to talk it all up, but they don't seem to have thought about the consequences. I have no idea what Colin Powell's game is, but to call it genocide and then effectively say, "Oh, shucks, but we are not going to do anything about that genocide" undermines the very word "genocide".'

While none of the aid workers and officials interviewed by The Observer denied there was a crisis in Darfur - or that killings, rape and a large-scale displacement of population had taken place - many were puzzled that it had become the focus of such hyperbolic warnings when there were crises of similar magnitude in both northern Uganda and eastern Congo.

Concern about USAID's role as an honest broker in Darfur have been mounting for months, with diplomats as well as aid workers puzzled over its pronouncements and one European diplomat accusing it of 'plucking figures from the air'.

Under the Bush administration, the work of USAID has become increasingly politicised. But over Sudan, in particular, two of its most senior officials have long held strong personal views. Both Natsios, a former vice-president of the Christian charity World Vision, and Winter have long been hostile to the Sudanese government.

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Reply Sat 2 Oct, 2004 11:03 pm
Very important also:


Kenya rape case body exhumed

Forensic science experts in Kenya have exhumed the body of a pregnant teenage girl who allegedly died after being raped by British troops in a remote area of the country nine years ago.

The body of Mantoi Kaunda, 16, will be examined by British and Kenyan pathologists as part of a criminal investigation into claims that British soldiers raped more than 650 Kenyan women over three decades in a region close to Mount Kenya.

The accusations, which date back to the early 1970s, have led to a group action against the Ministry of Defence by the alleged victims, from the Masai and Samburu tribes, who are claiming up to £20m in compensation.

The Kenyan government has set up a parallel criminal investigation into the cases, in a joint enquiry with detectives from the Royal Military Police. Kenyan police were granted a court order last month to dig up Miss Kaunda's body.

Her parents claim their daughter, then six months pregnant, and her younger sister were attacked by two soldiers as they walked home after collecting firewood in 1995. She died from her injuries later that day.

The rape allegations have been dogged by controversy over the accuracy of local police records. The RMP has raised doubts about some records of the alleged attacks, claiming the ink in the police ledgers is too fresh and that some alleged rapes happened when there were no British troops in Kenya.

However, more than 2,000 witnesses and alleged victims have been interviewed, and the police are now studying the data gathered.
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Reply Thu 7 Oct, 2004 10:07 pm
Maybe there will be a good movement for Africa:

Blair's mission on Africa

Tony Blair yesterday proposed a 15,000-strong European Union battle force, including British troops, dedicated to intervening in African conflicts and deployable within 10 days of a political instruction. He said the force should be ready next year.

Mr Blair made the bold proposal just 24 hours after the Iraq Survey Group reported that no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq. The talk of battle plans underlined the fact that despite the controversy over Iraq, Mr Blair has not lost his fervour for human rights-driven military interventions.

The proposal formed part of a wider package to tackle the crisis across Africa, including generous debt and aid proposals designed to take the continent out of its cycle of poverty, disease and instability.

The EU brigade, capable of more rapid deployment than any other multinational force, would intervene with the sanction of the African Union or the UN. The intention is that it would hold the line until an AU or UN force could be assembled.

The force would be broken down into battle groups of 1,500 with bigger countries such as Britain, France, Germany and Poland supplying their own groups and smaller countries contributing to other groups.

Such rapid action in Sudan might have prevented the refugee crisis and killings in Darfur in the west of the country. A 3,000-strong AU force, largely Nigerian, is still weeks from deployment.

The prospect of British troops embarking on another foreign expedition was warily criticised by the Tories. Nicholas Soames, the shadow defence secretary, said: "It is unfortunate that when the government is disbanding regiments and getting rid of manpower and capabilities that it should impose another task on our already overstretched armed forces."

Donald Anderson, Labour chairman of the Commons foreign affairs select committee, said in Morocco, where he will attend today's opening of parliament: "There are dangers because of the fear of raising old colonial hackles again. The best thing we can do is not to intervene as Europeans but to help train African Union forces to take the lead themselves."

Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat deputy leader who recently wrote to the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, suggesting that the EU rapid response units should be sent to Africa, said: "These arrangements would allow for the kind of intervention we could all be in favour of. The tragedy is that they have not been in place for Darfur."

Mr Blair was speaking in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the second session of the Commission for Africa, which is preparing a comprehensive plan on how the G8 industrialised countries and the EU can help Africa next year, which Mr Blair described as the year of decision for Africa.

His speech echoed his original clarion call for humanitarian intervention which he set out in Chicago in 1999.

Downing Street officials are seeking to produce an updated version of the Chicago principles to take into account the post-Iraq world.

Mr Blair, speaking to a hall of leading African politicians and economists, described the drive to restore hope for Africa as "one noble cause worth fighting for" in an era of cynicism and disengagement from the political process.

Explaining his plan for EU battle groups dedicated to the continent, he said: "There will be times when Africa cannot stop a conflict on its own. Then the rest of the interna tional community must be there to help. That is why I want Africa to be the top priority for the EU's new rapidly deployable battle groups and to get them operational initially as soon as possible in 2005."

He added: "These groups would allow the EU to respond to a crisis in Africa in 10 days."

No 10 said the idea had won support inside the EU, where as many as seven battle groups are being formed.

Mr Blair also revealed that Britain will train, directly or indirectly, 20,000 African troops over the next five years.

He said the commission would report in March - ahead of the UK-hosted G8 summit in June. After publication "the time for excuses will be over. The world inside Africa and outside will know just what the problems are, but also the solutions."

The report is likely to call for multilateral debt to be written off, EU food subsidies to end and the international aid budget to double. Africa will be asked to intensify peer group review to stamp out corrup-tion and human rights abuses. Rich countries will be told to stop their citizens laundering money, selling arms and steal ing resources in Africa.

Mr Blair said a recovery for Africa was necessary to keep Europe secure. "We know that poverty and instability lead to weak states which can be havens for terrorists and other criminals," he said.

His visit to one of the world's poorest countries coincided with a strong attack on Europe's aid strategy from the chancellor, Gordon Brown.

Mr Brown said Brussels should spend an extra €1bn (£691m) a year on low-income countries in Africa and Asia, calling it "nonsensical" that the European commission was focusing its financial assistance on relatively rich countries in the Balkans.

The EU aid commissioner, Poul Nielsen, yesterday in Brussels attacked Mr Brown's plans for an international finance facility intended to double aid by $100bn a year by issuing bonds in the capital markets using donor countries' long term funding commitments as collateral. He branded the idea Enron accounting.

But Bob Geldof, one of the 17 members of the Commission for Africa, hit back. He said the IFF proposal was "elegant, timely, simple and necessary".

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Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2004 11:39 pm
Neighbouring country of Sudan, Uganda:

Uganda optimistic for peace, cites rebel flight


0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2004 03:42 pm
Amnesty calls for Sudan arms embargo

Staff and agencies
Tuesday November 16, 2004

Arms dealers based in Britain and several other countries have been involved in the supply of weapons to Sudan in breach of an EU export ban, according to a report published by Amnesty International today.
Amnesty - which is urging the UN to pass a resolution banning weapons exports to all parties in war-torn Sudan - has obtained documents containing evidence of "uncontrolled arms exports" to the Sudanese government.

The government has been accused of supporting militia forces engaged in a campaign of murder and abuse against civilians in the Darfur region.

Amnesty's report - published two days before a UN security council meeting on the Sudan crisis - calls on the British government to crack down on any companies found to be sidestepping the arms embargo.

The human rights group says it has seen Sudanese end user certificates (EUCs) that apparently authorised a Kent-based firm to negotiate on behalf of the Khartoum authorities for the supply of handguns from a Brazilian exporter.

Alleged negotiations also covered the supply of Antonov military aircraft from a Ukrainian arms export company.

The UK's Export Control Act forbids UK nationals and residents from brokering weapons deals to countries - including Sudan - that are subject to an EU arms embargo.

"It is sickening that UK companies may be attempting to profit from people's misery in Sudan by supplying the weapons that are used to kill, maim and drive people from their homes," Stephen Bowen, Amnesty's UK campaigns director, said.

"The Export Control Act was put in place to stop this happening. The UK government must use its powers to clamp down on any UK companies trying to cash in on a conflict that has already claimed thousands of lives."

Today's report, entitled Sudan: Arming the Perpetrators of Grave Abuses in Darfur, also details alleged arms exports involving Ireland, France, Russia and Poland, among others.

It claims that the weapons trade has "fuelled" the killing, rape, torture and forced displacement of more than one million civilians in Darfur since last February.

Sudanese government forces and militia had used the arms for "grave human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity", the report said.

The certificates seen by Amnesty describe the Antonovs supplied by the Ukrainian arms export company Ukrspetsexport as 12 cargo planes and 50 "crop spraying" aircraft.

However, eyewitness evidence suggests the Sudanese air force used Antonov planes to drop "barrel bombs" - boxes filled with metal shrapnel - on villages in Darfur prior to the villages being attacked by the Janjaweed militia, according to the report.

A separate EUS, apparently signed by Sudanese government officials, authorised the same UK firm to negotiate for 5,000 M973 9mm semi-automatic pistols to be supplied by a Brazilian company "for the sole use by the internal drug and law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Sudan".

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