Meditation Focus #110
Bringing Peace, Sanity and Humanitarian Assistance to Darfur
What follows is the 110th Meditation Focus suggested for the 2 weeks beginning Sunday, May 9, 2004.
BRINGING PEACE, SANITY AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO DARFUR
2. Meditation times
3. More information related to this Meditation Focus
4. World Peace Prayer Ceremony in Mt. Fuji, Japan, Sunday, May 9th 11:00am - 1:00pm
Sudan, the largest country on the African continent has witnessed civil war for more than half a century. The current crisis in Sudans western province Darfur erupted in early 2003. Two major populations inhabit Darfur: indigenous non-Arab or African peoples and peoples of Arab descent. Due to the conflict and atrocities, between 700.000 and 900.000 people have taken refuge in the borderland of Sudan and Chad. At least 10,000 people have been killed in Darfur since war broke out there. The United Nations have referred to the conflict as one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, and said at least $140 million is needed for a massive and immediate humanitarian response. The Sudanese government has been clearing out villages of African Zaghawa, Masaalit, and Fur communities in Darfur since February 2003 in a fierce campaign of ethnic cleansing. Government soldiers and Arab nomad militia, called janjaweed, frequently surrounded groups of villages, often encircling them with trenches. In the first phase of the coordinated attacks, government air forces using Russian-built MiG and Antonov jets and attack helicopters, bomb the villages. In the second phase, the soldiers and militia move into the villages to loot, burn, kill, rape, and abduct. Bodies are left out in the open or thrown into the trenches. In Jijira Adi Abbe village alone, 267 civilians were killed in such an attack.
Apart from the one million displaced within Sudan, a further two million people are thought to be affected by the year-old conflict, which has interfered with the planting of crops, reduced access to markets and basic services, and left civilians vulnerable to violent attack. Thousands of homes have been destroyed, along with the crops and livestock people need to survive. Aid is needed immediately: once seasonal rains begin in June, roads to reach people in need will become impassable for up to three months. The crisis comes as Sudan moves closer to a delicate, internationally brokered peace in a 21-year civil war that broadly pits the Muslim north against the Christian and animist south and has killed two million people. Negotiators have resolved most issues in resolving the conflict, a rebel spokesman, Yasir Arman, said yesterday. Darfur, whose conflict is separate, is almost completely Muslim.
Please dedicate your prayers and meditations, as guided by Spirit, in the coming two weeks, and especially in synchronous attunement at the usual time this Sunday and the following one, to contribute in bringing peace, sanity and humanitarian assistance to Darfur, Sudan so as to quickly alleviate the torments endured by its population and prevent further acts of violence in this whole region. May the spiritual winds of change now blowing around the world also touch the heart of every human being in this part of the world and make untenable any thought of inhumane treatment against another human being. May the spirit of Love, Compassion and true Brotherhood flourishes in every soul, not only in Sudan but in every other part of this planet so that a growing sense of Unity pervades every thought, word and deed of every living being on Earth, for the Highest Good of All.
This whole Meditation Focus has been archived for your convenience at http://www.aei.ca/~cep/MeditationFocus110.htm
"While it is true that the extremes of duality there have been reached and the pendulum is swinging back to the balance wherein all is reconciled, a large measure of duality still is rampantto wit, the forces waging wars vs. the forces urging peace. The more the combined on- and off-planet light forces effort to manifest the changes Earth needs, the more the dark forces effort to prevent this.
"Do not feel discouraged by this! Victory of the light is assured! It is axiomatic that the more light prevailing, the more darkness it exposes, and once exposed to light, dark activities no longer can be hidden. Karmic balancing of Earth herself and each soul living there is happening at unprecedented speed. Consider the millennia of your worlds history when darkness reigned almost without opposition as compared to how rapidly the light has been exposing this control during just your past half century. It is the speed of this progress that underlies both your impatience and your incentive to get rid of all darkness right now, and that same speed is motivating that desperate force to make what it knows is its do-or-die stand. That stand is the LAST and it is steadily crumbling."
- Matthew Ward
To review the whole 8-page message received from Matthew Ward through his mother, here on Earth, on May 7, 2004, please go at http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2004/Matthew-May-7-2004.htm
"Whatever we pay attention to, read, worry about, feel strongly about, write about, get energetically charged about, we attract to us like a magnet. It does not matter WHAT it is or whether it is good or bad for us. We just get MORE of it. So when we resist war or protest war, guess what, we get more of the same. When we are FOR peace and read about peace and love, we get more of that. This liquid love thing is a bit like that kids game with the magnet and the filings under a plastic cover... to make the man have a beard or a mustache... The magnet of our energy and attention brings the darkness or the light... it is our choice. And when enough of us see only the light and only the love and pay attention only to that, we will ALL experience only the liquid love of the truth of this divine creation."
- Kalama Hawkrider email@example.com> --Read more on "Liquid Love" at http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/Archives2004/MiscelSubjects205.htm
2. MEDITATION TIMES
i) Global Meditation Day: Sunday at 16:00 Universal Time (GMT) or at noon local time. Suggested duration: 30 minutes. Please dedicate the last few minutes of your Sunday meditation to the healing of the Earth as a whole. See the Earth as healthy and vibrant with life, and experience the healing of all relations as we awaken globally to the sacredness of all Life and to our underlying unity with All That Is.
ii) Golden Moment of At-Onement: Daily, at the top of any hour, or whenever it better suits you.
These times below are currently corresponding to 16:00 Universal Time/GMT:
Honolulu 6:00 AM -- Anchorage * 8:00 AM -- Los Angeles * 9:00 AM -- Mexico City, San Salvador & Denver * 10:00 AM -- Houston * & Chicago * 11:00 AM -- Santo Domingo, La Paz, Caracas, New York *, Toronto *. Montreal *, Asuncion & Santiago 12:00 AM -- Halifax *, Rio de Janeiro & Montevideo 1:00 PM -- Reykjavik & Casablanca 4 PM -- Lagos, Algiers, London *, Dublin * & Lisbon * 5:00 PM -- Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Geneva *, Rome *, Berlin *, Paris * & Madrid * 6:00 PM -- Ankara *, Athens *, Helsinki * & Istanbul * & Nairobi 7:00 PM -- Baghdad *, Moscow * 8:00 PM -- Tehran * 8:30 PM -- Islamabad 9:00 PM -- Calcutta & New Delhi 9:30 PM -- Dhaka 10:00 PM -- Rangoon 10:30 PM -- Hanoi, Bangkok & Jakarta 11:00 PM -- Hong Kong, Perth, Beijing & Kuala Lumpur +12:00 PM -- Seoul & Tokyo +1:00 AM -- Brisbane, Canberra & Melbourne +2:00 AM -- Wellington +4:00 AM
+ means the place is one day ahead of Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time.
* means the place is observing daylight saving time (DST) at the moment.
You may also check at http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/full.html to find your current corresponding local time if a closeby city is not listed above.
3. MORE INFORMATION RELATED TO THIS MEDITATION FOCUS
This complement of information may help you to better understand the various aspects pertaining to the summary description of the subject of this Meditation Focus. It is recommended to view this information from a positive perspective, and not allow the details to tinge the positive vision we wish to hold in meditation. Since what we focus on grows, the more positive our mind-set, the more successful we will be in manifesting a vision of peace and healing. This complementary information is provided so that a greater knowledge of what needs healing and peace-nurturing vibrations may assist us to have an in-depth understanding of what is at stake and thus achieve a greater collective effectiveness.
Sudan: Government Commits Ethnic Cleansing in Darfur
(New York, May 7, 2004) The Sudanese government is responsible for ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity in the western region of Darfur, Human Rights Watch said in a new report (http://hrw.org/reports/2004/sudan0504/) released today. The U.N. Security Council, scheduled today to be briefed on Darfur, should take measures to reverse this ethnic cleansing by creating conditions for the safe return of more than one million people already displaced.
Human Rights Watch called on the Security Council to strongly condemn the actions of the Sudanese government and demand that it disarm, disband and withdraw the Arab militias that engage in ethnic cleansing, frequently in conjunction with government forces. Two U.N. missions that have recently returned from Darfur will address the Security Council today on the human rights causes as well as humanitarian consequences of the conflict.
The 77-page report, Darfur Destroyed: Ethnic Cleansing by Government and Militia Forces in Western Sudan, documents how Sudanese government forces have overseen and directly participated in massacres, summary executions of civilians, burnings of towns and villages, and the forcible depopulation of wide swathes of land long-inhabited by the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups.
There can be no doubt about the Sudanese governments culpability in crimes against humanity in Darfur, said Peter Takirambudde, executive director of the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch. The U.N. Security Council must not ignore the brutal facts.
The Human Rights Watch report also documents how Janjaweed Arab militiaswhose members are Muslimhave destroyed mosques, killed Muslim religious leaders and desecrated Korans belonging to their enemies.
Human Rights Watch spent 25 days in West Darfur and the vicinity, documenting abuses in rural areas that were previously populated by Masalit and Fur communities. Since August, wide swathes of their homelands, among the most fertile in the region, have been burned and depopulated. With rare exceptions, the countryside has now been emptied of its original Masalit and Fur inhabitants.
Villages have been torched not randomly, but systematically often not once, but twice. Livestock, food stores, wells and pumps, blankets and clothing have all been looted or destroyed.
The occupation of burned and abandoned villages by uncontrolled Janjaweed has driven civilians into camps and settlements outside the larger towns. But the Human Rights Watch report documents how even in these camps, the Janjaweed kill, rape and pillage with impunity. They sometimes steal what few emergency relief items have reached the displaced populations.
For months, the Sudanese government has restricted international media access to Darfur and has limited reports about the conflict in the national press. Recently, the government has allowed minimal access to the region for international humanitarian agencies but has still failed to provide the necessary protection and assistance to displaced civilians.
The humanitarian emergency in Darfur is immense, said Takirambudde. But a human rights crisis lies behind it. The Security Council must demand that the Sudanese government take immediate steps to reverse ethnic cleansing in Darfur.
Darfur in Flames: Atrocities in Western Sudan
April 2, 2004
Militias backed by the government of Sudan are committing crimes against humanity in Darfur, western Sudan, in response to a year-long insurgency. The past three months of escalating violence threaten to turn the current human rights and humanitarian crisis into a man-made famine and humanitarian catastrophe.
Using indiscriminate aerial bombardment, militia and army raiding, and denial of humanitarian assistance the government of Sudan and allied Arab militia, called janjaweed, are implementing a strategy of ethnic-based murder, rape and forcible displacement of civilians in Darfur as well as attacking the rebels.
The African or non-Arab Fur, Masaalit, and Zaghawa communities, from which the rebels are drawn, have been the main targets of this campaign of terror by the government. Almost one million Darfurian civilians have been forced to flee their homes in the past fourteen months and many have lost family members, livestock and all other assets.
The janjaweed militias are drawn from Arab nomadic groups. Their armed encroachment on African Zaghawa, Masaalit and Fur pastures and livestock in past years resulted in local armed self-defense measures by the targeted communities when they realized the government would not protect them. Instead of quelling the friction, the Sudanese government has increased its backing for the Arabs. Khartoum has recruited over 20,000 janjaweed which it pays, arms, uniforms, and with which it conducts joint operations, using the militias as a counterinsurgency force.
While many of the abuses are committed by the janjaweed, the Sudanese government is complicit in these abuses and holds the highest degree of responsibility for pursuing a military policy that has resulted in the commission of crimes against humanity.
The two rebel groups in Darfurthe Sudan Liberation Army/Movement (SLA/M) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM)claim that they seek redress of decades of grievances over perceived political marginalization, socio-economic neglect, and discrimination towards African Darfurians by successive federal governments in Khartoum. In reaction to the insurgency, government forces and allied Arab militias are implementing a scorched earth campaign that has depopulated and burned hundreds of villages across the region, seeking to destroy any potential support base for the rebels.
More than 110,000 Zaghawa and Masaalit have fled across the border into neighboring Chad and at least 750,000 people, many of them Fur, remain displaced within Darfur, constantly vulnerable to attacks by predatory militia who rape, assault, abduct and kill civilians with full impunity. Attacks are on-going and the number of displaced persons grows by the day.
Amid increasing national and international awareness of the abuses taking place in Darfur, the government of Sudan has denied the existence of this situation and refused to provide protection or assistance to the affected population of Darfur. Despite warnings from the international community, led by the United Nations, that the Sudanese government must take immediate steps to end the abuses and provide security to the targeted villages and persons already displaced, the governments forces continue to recruit new militia members, displace civilians, and burn villages.
The governments recruiting, arming and otherwise backing bands of janjaweed militia has built on and drastically escalated ethnic polarization in Darfur. The janjaweed are encouraged by their freedom and impunity to loot, rape, pillage, and to occupy the lands vacated after attacks, and have even launched cross-border attacks into Chad, which is currently hosting more than 110,000 refugees from Darfur. Chad, itself home to Zaghawa, Masaalit, and Arab ethnic groups currently involved in the Darfur conflict, is receiving the spillover of a conflict believed, by its victims, to be a campaign to destroy them based on their ethnic and racial origin.
The strategy pursued by the government of Sudan now risks destabilizing the region and the ongoing peace talks aimed at ending more than twenty years of war in the southwhere the same government strategies of massive forced displacement, scorched earth campaigns, and arming militias have repressed the southern population beyond endurance.
If abuses do not end immediately, the human rights and humanitarian consequences in Darfur, already appalling, will worsen. Food security, always precarious in Darfur, is already seriously affected by the events, and with more than 750,000 persons internally displacedthe bulk of the regions farming communitythis years harvest will sorely decline. There are increasing signs that Darfur could face a man-made famine if no intervention takes place, adding thousands of lives of men, women and children to the unknown number of victims the government of Sudan has already destroyed.
COMPLETE REPORT AT http://www.hrw.org/reports/2004/sudan0404/
Q & A: Crisis in Darfur
May 5, 2004
What is happening in Darfur?
In early 2003, an armed conflict started between an alliance of the Sudanese government forces and ethnic Arab militia and two non-Arab African rebel groups called the Sudanese Liberation Army/Movement (SLA/SLM) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). Instead of fighting the rebels, the government forces have waged a systematic campaign against unarmed civilians belonging to the same ethnic groups as the rebel groups mainly the Fur, Masaalit and Zaghawa.
What is the ethnic and religious composition of Sudan?
Ethnically, Arabs make up 39 percent and Africans 61 percent. Religiously, Muslims make up 70 percent and the rest are Christians and traditional believers. The central government has been dominated by Arabs and Muslims since the countrys independence in 1956.
What are the ethnic divisions in Darfur?
Many different ethnic groups inhabit Darfur, including different groups of Arab and African ethnicity who have lived peacefully side by side in the past. The majority is non-Arabic farmers of African origin. Among them, the largest ethnic group is the Fur.
The Arab groups have complained of political marginalization by the Fur. The Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa complain of political marginalization by the Sudanese government. Since the current government took power through a military coup in 1989, it has changed administrative systems and taken other measures that are perceived to be supporting the political and economic cause of the Arab ethnic groups.
What are the religious dimensions of the conflict in Darfur?
There is no religious conflict. Almost all Darfurians are Muslims. There have been incidents, however, of government forces and Arab militias desecrating mosques, killing imams and others seeking refuge inside mosques, and desecrating the Koran while attacking Africans.
What are the economic causes of the war?
Darfur is a very poor region almost entirely dedicated to subsistence agriculture and livestock herding for domestic and export purposes. The settled Fur and other African population have farmed the most fertile parts of central Darfur for generations, usually producing a surplus. Northern Darfur is an area impacted by desertification. For years, mostly Arab nomads from this areawho take their livestock from the dry north to better water and grazing lands in the south every springhave been moving into southern Darfur earlier and earlier. This has brought them into conflict with the farmers, whose crops have been trampled on and consumed by herds of camels or cattle. Some of the African communities resorted to self-defense groups in the 1990s to protect their crops, homes, and families from increasing incursions by the Arab camel- or horse-mounted raiders, many of whom have also been armed over the past decades.
Is this another African case of ancient tribal hatreds?
As late as two years ago, Darfurians did not identify themselves as Africans or Arabs. They referred to themselves as Sudanese and secondarily as westerners or Darfurians. Only recently, with the government waging war against the African communities, have the affected Darfurians called themselves Africans. While ethnic tensions have certainly increased in Darfur due to the current conflict, this is a result of the governments political and military policy of manipulating ethnicity and using ethnic Arab militias to fight the rebels.
Who are the janjaweed?
The janjaweed are Arab militia in Darfur. The term janjaweed has many suggested definitions; in past decades Darfurians used it to refer to bandits or highwaymen on the margins of society. The government has recruited and armed an estimated 20,000 militia. These militia members are mostly from some nomadic Arab ethnic groups in Darfur and Chad.
What is the evidence for government-militia cooperation and coordination?
According to numerous witness accounts, the janjaweed and the Sudanese armed forces usually attack together in coordinated fashion. Often the Sudanese air force bombs a village, using Antonovs, MiGs, and/or attack helicopters, then a joint force of janjaweed and government army attacks the village. The janjaweed also wear green khaki uniforms similar or identical to those of the Sudanese government army, except that the patch worn on the chest or sleeve may have a horseman. The janjaweed officers sometimes arrive at the scene of an attack in an army Land Cruiser. They use satellite phones said to be issued by the government. The janjaweed also have offices in the main government-controlled towns and are paid and recruited by the government.
Why would the Sudanese government organize these militias?
Many of the members of the Sudanese armed forces are from Darfur, so the government may have been reluctant to use those troops in a conflict in their own region. In addition, the government of Sudan has often used militias as proxy forces. The use of militias provides the government with deniability; it claims, as it has in the south, that it cannot control the militias. There is no evidence, however, that it has actually attempted to do so. The militias allow the Sudanese government to have a large armed force at its disposal that will serve loyally as a counterinsurgency force, as the militias stand to benefit financially (loot and land) from their participation in the fighting.
Who assists the Sudanese government?
The Sudanese government buys and receives military supplies from several countries, including China, Russia, Belorus and others. Sudans government revenues have increased substantially since it began exporting oil in August 2001. As a result, Sudan has been able to purchase additional attack helicopters, MiGs, and other material. These new weapons and aircraft have been shifted from the 20-year war in the south to Darfur after October 2002, when a ceasefire in the south reached
Do Janjaweed target civilians?
Janjaweed rarely engage the rebel forces. In the majority of their attacks they loot, burn and plunder civilian villages and kill villagers they find. The militia members enjoy complete immunity from government prosecution for the criminal acts they commit, although these activities are a crime bearing the death or other grave penalties under sharia or Islamic law as applied in Darfur.
Why are government and janjaweed forces displacing people from their homes?
Members of the targeted ethnic groupsthe Fur, Masalit, and Zaghawabelieve the government is waging a campaign to resettle the lands of the African population in Darfur with Arabs. Some observers believe the displacement is part of a military strategy to destroy any possible support base for rebel groups.
Who are the rebels in Darfur?
There are two rebel groups: the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A), and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). The rebels come mostly from the African ethnic groups -- the Fur, Masaalit, and Zaghawa. Both rebel groups were created in early 2003 in response to the perceived political marginalization of their communities, the governments lack of response to chronic underdevelopment and discrimination, and mounting government and militia violence against their communities. The two groups initially clashed with each other but soon reached an apparent state of cooperation.
Who assists the rebels?
The SLM/A was initially provided some support in the form of training and possibly arms by the southern rebel group, the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), which is now negotiating an end to the southern 20-year conflict with the Sudanese government. It seems that the SLM/A is no longer receiving this assistance. The Sudanese government claims that the Eritrean government provides assistance for the SLM/A. The JEM includes members or former members of Turabis political party, the (Islamist) Popular National Congress.
Whats happening politically in Sudan behind the scenes?
Darfurians are in the National Assembly but the National Assembly is not powerful. Their efforts to encourage the government to negotiate in good faith with the rebels have come to naught. The current government is headed by the National Congress party (NC) and rules as a virtual one-party state. It has replaced many secular Sudanese in government with government, especially the military.
Isnt there another war going on in Sudan? How does this war in the west relate to the other war?
The war in the south lasted from 1955 until 1972, when it was settled with an autonomy agreement for the south. It flared up again in 1983 when that autonomy agreement was revoked by the government. Peace negotiations under the auspices of the Inter Governmental Development Authority (IGAD), an East African inter-governmental group, have been going on in earnest since June 2002 in Kenya. A peace agreement may be signed within several months.
Isnt there a ceasefire in Darfur now?
Following mounting international pressure, the Sudanese government and the two rebel groups entered into a ceasefire agreement with the assistance of the Chadian government and the African Union in Ndjemena, Chad, on April 8, 2004. It took effect on April 11 and is to last until May 26. The agreement, however, does not address the underlying political problems, and attacks on civilians have continued to be reported since the ceasefire was signed.
How would the attacks affect harvest in the coming months?
These government and janjaweed forces have decimated the agricultural base of Darfur by attacking and displacing the Fur and others who have been farming the most productive areas for generations. Unless many of the displaced immediately return to their homes and lands and receive sufficient seeds and tools, a virtual impossibility given the continuing presence of militias in many of these areas, there will be a large shortfallif not total failure--in agricultural production. This means that at least a million people will be totally dependent on food assistance for at least the next eighteen months until the next harvest in October 2005.
What are the concerns for humanitarian aid?
As it stands, almost a million people require urgent humanitarian assistancehealth care, nutritional support, shelter, clean water and above all protection from continuing attacks. A few international humanitarian agencies are working in Darfur, but the amount of aid so far is far from sufficient.
How long would it take for food aid to reach Darfurians?
It takes approximately four months from the date of payment for the relief food to reach the intended beneficiaries, barring logistical problems of transport during the rainy season and diversion of food by armed groups.
How has the Sudanese government cooperated with food aid?
During the 20-year conflict in the south, the Sudanese government sorely tried the patience of the international relief community by erecting an elaborate scheme of regulations that choked off relief. In 1988 its delays and deliberate neglect to deliver relief during a famine cost the lives of approximately 250,000 people. So far, the Sudanese government has not shown much improvement in its response in Darfur.
How would the upcoming rainy season affect food delivery?
The roads in Darfur will be impassible or extremely difficult to traverse once the rains start in June, and food deliveries on these roads will be erratic. The rail lines to Darfur are in poor condition and only reach as far as Nyala, South Darfur. There is no pre-existing relief infrastructure in Darfur such as in the south, where pilots are familiar with landmarks and there are many delivery points, airstrips, and now roads.
How many people are affected by this crisis?
Darfurs population is estimated at five or six million; a census has not been taken for many years. The majority of the population is African. Estimates of the affected range from one to two million, about 12 percent to 33 percent of the population of Darfur.
How many people are still in Darfur?
About a million people have been forced from their homes. About 120,000 are believed to be in Chad as refugees. There may be three to four million people in Darfur who have not been hit directly by the crisis, but even people who have remained in their homes in the larger towns are affected because huge numbers of displaced people have come in and sometimes stretch the resources of family members or other kin. Most of the displaced are staying inside Sudan and Darfur.
What is the international community doing about Darfur?
So far, not nearly enough. Several U.N. officials have made strong statements denouncing the governments abuses in Darfur, but there has been little real public pressure to stop them. When the U.N. Security Council considered the situation in early April, all they issued was a fairly tepid statement of concern at the humanitarian crisis.
How can the violence in Darfur be stopped?
The government and the two rebel groups agreed to a humanitarian ceasefire on April 8, 2004. This is not enough to stop the violence however. The janjaweed militias continue to terrorize the displaced civilians even once they have fled into government-controlled areas. The government of Sudan must be forced to disarm and dismantle these groups, arrest those responsible for abuses and return the others to their places of origin and vacate the land they have recently occupied by military force.
In the long term, ethnic reconciliation, compensation, and justice will be essential, and possibly agreement on land use. There must be impartial administration of justice. When the abusers are investigated and punished for their attacks on civilians and civilian property, the violence will be stopped.
What is the likelihood of an international peacekeeping force?
A role in ceasefire monitoring is envisioned for the United Nations after a peace agreement is signed settling the southern conflict, anticipated for sometime in 2004. Before the United Nations can deploy any such force, however, the Security Council must take action on Darfur and authorize this and other actions pursuant to Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter.
Darfur Destroyed: Ethnic Cleansing by Government and Militia Forces in Western Sudan (May 7, 2004)
International Mission, Led by African Union Heads for Troubled Darfur (May 8)
An international mission led by the African Union met with officials in the Sudanese capital Khartoum Saturday in preparation for a tour of the war-torn Darfur region of western Sudan. U.N. human rights officials say civilians in the region face widespread atrocities at the hand of government-backed militias. The African Union team is preparing to go to several locations in Darfur and neighboring Chad to lay the groundwork for the Cease-fire Monitoring Commission in war-torn western Sudan. (...) The commission was set up as part of a truce signed in Chad April 8, in which rebel leaders operating in Darfur and the Sudanese government agreed to stop fighting, which began more than a year ago. The conflict has claimed tens-of-thousands of lives and displaced up to one million people. The commission is supposed to ensure that all sides honor the cease-fire deal. Mr. Orjiako says the African Union has a big role to play in resolving the Darfur conflict. "The African Union sees the conflict in western Sudan as [an] African Union problem, first and foremost, and then of course [it] is also the U.N. Security Council problem," he said. "But we cannot wait until the U.N. Security Council deploys there before we can do something." CLIP
U.N. Must Quickly Focus on Darfur (April 29, 2004)
(New York, April 29, 2004) -- The United Nations Security Council should not focus exclusively on the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Darfur, western Sudan, but also on the human rights emergency that is its cause, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Security Council members released today. In a letter to the 15 Security Council ambassadors, Human Rights Watch urged a full discussion of the massacres, widespread rape, massive forced displacement, and indiscriminate aerial bombardment of civilians that are currently underway in Darfur. Two U.N. missions to the region will be returning next week to report to the Security Council and their reports should be made public without delay, Human Rights Watch said. "At the core of this emergency are massive violations of human rights," said Joanna Weschler, U.N. representative of Human Rights Watch. "The Security Council must focus on the root cause of the problem." The U.N. human rights mission to Darfur is headed by Bacre Waly Ndiaye, the same individual who more than a decade ago, in his capacity then as the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions, predicted genocide in Rwanda. His report at that time recommended that any political solution for Rwanda address human rights, but it was ignored by policymakers.
VIOLATIONS IN DARFUR MAY CONSTITUTE WAR CRIMES, CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, UN HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE REPORT SAYS (MAy 7)
Darfur is the scene of disturbing patterns of massive human rights violations, many of which may constitute war crimes and/or crimes against humanity, a report issued today by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) concludes. It is clear that there is a reign of terror in Darfur, where the Sudanese Government is facing a rebellion, acting High Commissioner Bertrand Ramcharan writes. [T]he current pattern of massive and gross human rights violations raises very serious concerns as to the survival, security and human dignity of those who have remained in Darfur. CLIP
Sudan: Government and Militias Conspire in Darfur Killings
Major Massacre Shows State Complicity
(New York, April 23, 2004) - In a joint operation in the Darfur region of Sudan, government troops working with Arab militias detained 136 African men whom the militias massacred hours later, Human Rights Watch said today.
Sudan govt starved Darfur displaced-UN report (07 May 2004)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Living amid their own piles of excrement, hundreds of refugees in western Sudan have been deliberately starved by Arab militia occupying a destroyed town in the troubled Darfur region, a U.N. factfinding report said. Up to 1,700 internally displaced people (IDPs) were kept under "appalling" and "outrageous" conditions for months in Kailek, a looted town where almost no brick building has been left intact following attacks by government troops and mounted militiamen, known as Janjaweed, the inter-agency report said. The report by the U.N. Children's Fund, the World Health Organisation, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the Office of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator said conditions in the camp "indicated a local policy of forced starvation". "The team members, all of whom are experts in humanitarian affairs, were visibly shaken by the humanitarian state and conditions in which we found the IDPs," said the April 25 report posted on the U.N. Sudan Information Gateway website.
UN finds Sudan's Darfur region scorched by terror (May 7 )
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A scorched-earth campaign by Arab militias to drive black Africans out of Sudan's Darfur region has spread in its wake hunger, homelessness and deprivation so crippling it is common to find three women sharing a single dress, senior U.N. officials said on Friday. "One, there is a rein of terror in this area. Two, there is a scorched-earth policy. Three, there are repeated war crimes and crimes against humanity, and four, this is taking place before our very eyes," said Bertrand Ramcharan, the acting U.N. high commissioner for human rights. Ramcharan and James Morris, head of the World Food Program, spoke to reporters after briefing the 15-nation Security Council on twin U.N. missions they led to the region after Sudan's government, which has played down the crisis and denied responsibility, invited them in after initially balking. Sudan, backed by Arab and African governments and Russia, had lobbied hard to keep its internal affairs off the council agenda, obliging it to discuss the crisis in a closed session without any public signal it was doing so. CLIP
Big powers wary over Sudan crisis (May 7)
The UN will take no immediate action in the troubled Darfur region of western Sudan, Security Council members say. They said they were monitoring the humanitarian crisis, after being warned by a UN team that atrocities had been committed in the area. More than a million people have been forced to leave their homes in Darfur after attacks on villages by Sudanese government and militia forces.
CARE launches a major emergency response in Darfur, Sudan (06 May 2004)
DARFUR, Sudan - CARE is mounting a major emergency response operation in Darfur, western Sudan, to help up to 385,000 people devastated by a conflict that is escalating largely outside of the international spotlight. This is a crisis of great proportions, with hundreds of thousands of people having been forced from their homes through violent actions, said Greg Brady, team leader of a recent CARE assessment conducted in Darfur. Numerous interviewees described atrocities. Human rights abuses are ongoing, and human conditions are horrendous. We need a major humanitarian response. CARE will work with the United Nations and the World Food Program to provide desperately needed food, water, sanitation and health assistance, as well as non-food items such as material to erect temporary shelters, cooking pots, and water containers to internally displaced people throughout Darfur and some of the more than 110,000 refugees across the border in Chad. Violence and bureaucratic constraints have until now prevented humanitarian agencies from reaching most people in need in Darfur, where an estimated one million people have fled their homes after widespread violence, burning of villages and rape. (...) Aid is needed immediately: once seasonal rains begin in June, roads to reach people in need will become impassable for up to three months. CLIP
Chad blasts Sudan's 'belligerence', warns of limits to patience (May 8)
NDJAMENA (AFP) - Chad blasted the "belligerent behaviour" of Sudan and warned of limits to its patience, after Sudanese helicopters overflew Chadian territory and a new incursion by a pro-Khartoum militia. (...) The Arab Janjawid militia, allied to Khartoum in the 15-month war in in the remote western Sudanese region of Darfur, have been accused of carrying out "ethnic cleansing" and atrocities against the black African population. Charges have also come that the militia regularly launch attacks on towns inside Chad, where tens of thousands of refugees from Darfur have sought refuge. Sudanese officials Saturday strongly denied UN charges of ethnic cleansing in Darfur and accused Western donors of fanning the crisis by withholding development aid. Foreign Minister Najeib al-Khair Abdel Wahab insisted that the root cause of the fighting was not the actions of Arab militias but a conflict over resources with the indigenous non-Arab minorities of the increasingly arid region. "The situation in Darfur is neither that of ethnic cleansing nor mass genocide. It is primarily a case of resource conflict," Abdel Wahab told AFP in Khartoum. A UN human rights report on Darfur released Friday said the region is in the grip of a "reign of terror" and accused the Sudanese government of committing massive human rights abuses there. At least 10,000 people have been killed in Darfur since war broke out there in February last year, and more than one million displaced, according to rights groups and the UN.
Ethnic cleansing shame of Sudan (May 8)
SUDANESE troops and Arab militia are carrying out massive human rights violations in the Darfur region that "may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity", United Nations rights investigators said yesterday. The warning came as another leading human rights body accused the Sudanese government of ethnic cleansing and likened the situation in the region to the early days of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
World Food Program Distributing Food In Sudan's Darfur Region (May 7)
In western Sudans Darfur region, the UN World Food Program says its distributing thousands of tons of food to those displaced by recent fighting.
Sudan: German Red Cross steps up relief efforts in Darfur (May 7)
Sudan: German Red Cross steps up relief efforts in Darfur The German Red Cross has increased its long standing efforts in Sudan with additional personnel and relief items. A 400.000 Euro grant by the German Federal Foreign Office enabled the German Red Cross to help refugees in Darfur. Currently, the following items are distributed in co-operation with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society: 21.000 blankets 10.500 tarpaulins 4.500 soap packages (containing around 10 pieces) 4.500 kitchen sets Consolidated aid efforts are desperately needed in this remote area. CLIP
Many articles on the Sudan Conflict
Google News search with Darfur
Full Coverage on Sudan
4. Mt. Fuji: World Peace Prayer and Mudra Ceremony
Sunday, May 9th 11:00am - 1:00pm
12,000 Divine Vessels gather for Prayer, Mudras and Invocations for the Evolution, Creation and Awakening of Humanity
Synchronous Global Participation
USA Pacific Standard Time May 8th 7:00 - 9:00pm
London GMT Time May 9th 3:00 - 5:00am
Timing for other locations go to http://www.timezoneconverter.com
Join Us In Spirit And Prayers Wherever You May Be
The May Ceremony at the Mt. Fuji Sanctuary is the largest gathering of the year. Over 12,000 people will travel to the Sanctuary from every corner of Japan and around the globe. The World Peace Prayer Ceremony will be presented invoking peace and the awakening of every world nation and planetary beings using prayers, mudras and invocations.
The Ceremony will be attended by the Legions of Light and the entire Company of Heaven for the evolution, creation and awakening of humanity. It is a Communion of Heaven and Earth activated by Ceremonial Prayers for the Reverence of All Life and the Oneness of Humanity.
It has been Divinely Ordained that on this same weekend the Great Medicine Wheel will also be taking place in the USA linking 19 sacred mountains and lakes in prayer with the Grand Tetons as the focal Hub. Great prayers, mantras and blessings for Mother Earth will envelope the globe during this sacred and epoch making weekend. Prayers for peace will be resonating from Mt. Fuji linking in with the Great Medicine Wheel for the healing of Mother Earth.
Sananda Kumara channeled by Eterna during the Wesak Festival in Mt. Shasta proclaimed a great consciousness Shift to take place on May 8th. It is without fail a time of great transformation and anointment for all humanity.
Join us in Spirit - in Prayers - In Mudras - and Invocations for the awakening of All Humanity to Love, Truth and Divinity.
MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH JINRUI SOKU KAMI NARI
The Divinity Project promoting the frequencies of the Mt. Fuji Sanctuary
The While Light Association - Byakko, Japan
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