the Disillusioned kid: Good News From Sudan?
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Saturday, July 03, 2004

Good News From Sudan?

Interesting developments regarding the situation in Darfur, western Sudan: Reports indicate that the Sudanese Government have pledged to disarm the Janjaweed militias who, with support from Khartoum, have been engaged in the ethnic cleansing of the population in that region and to accept human rights monitors in that area. The promise was secured by UN Secretary General Kofi Anan after discussions with President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and other Sudanese leaders.

While this pledge should be welcomed, scepticism remains the order of the day. A spokeswoman for Human Rights Watch (HRW) told BBC radio, "The Sudanese government has made other promises and rarely honours what it promises to do... it takes a lot more pressure... I doubt they will honour what they've agreed to."

If Khartoum are not serious then the consequences for the population of the region will be serious: The situation has been described as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, not without good reason. Between 10-30,000 people are believed to have been killed by the militias and some 200,000 have been forced to flee to neighbouring Chad (where there is no guarantee they will be safe). Aid agencies have warned of the danger that as many as one million people could die.

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