Sometimes you have to wonder where President George W. Bush is getting his intelligence. On January 8, President Bush made note of the three-year anniversary of a the signing of an agreement to end violence in Sudan, and saying it “…ended 21 years of civil war in that country.” That, in direct contradiction to the Darfur Accountability Act which President Bush signed in October 2006, that states “…all parties to the conflict in the Darfur region have continued to violate the N’Djamena Ceasefire Agreement of April 8, 2004, and the Abuja Protocols of November 9, 2004, and violence against civilians, humanitarian aid workers, and personnel of AMIS is increasing…”
He then went on to say “I am proud of the role the United States played in achieving that historic result.” Well – I’m not proud of it.
Frankly, I think President Bush might be better served, and better serve us and the people in Sudan, if he received more of his intelligence from CNN, since the atrocities being committed by Islamist extremists in the Darfur region have continued unabated, with literally hundreds of thousands slaughtered in the past 5 years.
The UN is quoted by the Washington Post in April this year that the official estimate is that 450,000 have been killed in the region by a combination of Janjaweed militiamen and drought – since 2003 when the genocidal massacre is thought to have begun.
President Bush did make note that he has ordered his new Special Envoy for Sudan, Ambassador Richard Williamson, to seek a way to stop the mass death in the area. However, President Bush and his administration were mandated by Congress to bring to justice the Janjaweed commanders who are leading the genocidal attacks, some of which have been called “apocalyptic scenes of death.”
As part of any continued support to Sudan, President Bush is supposed to ensure that the government of Sudan is actively working to “disarm, demobilize, and demilitarize the Janjaweed and all militias allied with the Government of Sudan.” Not only is that not happening, but according to Refugees International, the Sudanese government is actively preventing the demilitarization effort, as well as hindering efforts by independent observers and the UN from functioning in the region.
“The Government of Sudan’s regulations create intentional bureaucratic misery for international organizations working in Darfur,” says Refugees International advocate Melanie Teff upon her return from Sudan. “The Government routinely violates agreements brokered by the UN to expedite the processing of visas and permits for international staff, resulting in international non-governmental organizations being forced to spend unconscionable amounts of time and resources on complying with bureaucratic procedures.”
And current events seem to prove that statement, with Khartoum demanding the U.N. forces advise the government of their movements, in advance, and having shot at a convoy as recently as Monday January 7, 2008. U.N. officials have accused Khartoum of trying to limit the abilities of the force or hold up its full deployment with a series of bureaucratic obstacles.
What is Sudan hiding? I think it is obvious.