Monday, May 08, 2006


from bad to worse in darfur

this is what happens when 100,000 people run out of food...
KALMA CAMP, Sudan, May 8 -- An African Union official was hacked to death in this vast, squalid camp today after his post, manned by an unarmed team of eight civilian police officers, was overrun and looted by a mob of angry demonstrators.

The discontent bubbled in a concoction of frustrations. Conditions had gotten worse in the past month, and this month, residents will get half as much food because the World Food Program, short of money, was forced to cut aid.
let me make myself clear, that i'm not defending this horrendous, brutal, unprovoked attack on an african union translator. but if something doesn't happen, this is barely the beginning of what we're going to see.
Conditions have deteriorated in Kalma, one of the oldest and largest camps, since the Norwegian Refugee Council, an aid group, was evicted by Sudanese authorities. Government officials claim that the organization was allowing the rebels and criminals to flourish in the camp, but crime has increased since the agency left, people here said.

"We have no food, no safety," said Halima Muhammed Abakar, who has lived here for three desperate years. "Yesterday, four women were raped when they went to get firewood. We are so afraid."

"Since we arrived we don't have any access to food, to water, to any health service," said Sheikh Ahmed Khalil Muhammed, who fled to this camp with 160 families from a village nearby in March. They arrived two days before the Norwegian group was kicked out, and since then they have been living outdoors.

"No one has come to check on us," Mr. Muhammed told Mr. Egeland. "We have become desperate."

If conditions do not improve soon, Mr. Egeland said, "Kalma is a powder keg."
so, what can we do?

1. contact your members of congress, urge full funding of sudanese peace-keepers in the supplemental spending bill, and to speed up the conference committee on the darfur peace and accountability act. info on these bills are on AJWS's website.

2. call the white house comment line, 202-456-6111, and urge bush to continue his efforts in promoting a un darfur mission. the u.s. doesn't plan to send its own soldiers and has asked the governments of china, india, pakistan, egypt and algeria to contribute troops to such a peacekeeping force. bush is sending condi to talk to the un tomorrow


anyone with ideas, please comment below, or at the cross-post at kos.

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