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February 25, 2006


P. Froward

Well, be fair: Pitching support for Darfur as anti-American is good marketing for the cause, and it's a good cause. In the grand scheme of things, getting the Guardian-reader types on board with helping Darfur is well worth some microscopic aggravation of their anti-Americanism. There's not a whole lot of room for the latter to get much worse anyway, is there?

IJ Sudan Watch

For a fledgling force, the African Union troops have done a remarkably professional job in Darfur, their first mission. AU Mission troops in Darfur are there as observers to monitor a ceasefire. They have no mandate as a protection force due to Khartoum's refusal to allow an expanded mandate. African politics are the problem, not AU troops. To be effective peacekeepers they need Chapter 7 mandate and a lot of helicopters, equipment, logistical support and funding. Darfur is the size of France of State of Texas, Sudan is the size of Europe.

My post on the Archbishop of York's statement wasn't completely off topic for Sudan Watch. Some American activists with political motives insist on human rights in the Sudan and use Darfur as a political football with which to kick at Bush, and get mad at the fact that Sudan continues to be allowed membership on the UN's human rights committee. It happens in this country too. Claire Short and chums used Darfur to in the run up to the General Election and dropped it again not long after. By the way, I am not anti American or anti Bush, I am a Blair supporter, not a Gordon Brown supporter or a Guardian reader and have no political motives in blogging Darfur.

James Hamilton

"Some American activists with political motives insist on human rights in the Sudan.." Can I be the first to say, "Good for them"? I don't think it's a fatal insult to human rights campaigning to refer to it as political, even given the modern tendency of "human rights campaigning" to take the form of anti-Americanism first, the rest later.

I can't help feeling that not being anti-American would leave the author of the Chinese pottery reference more in need to explain himself than less.

Mick H

It's "herself" James, but yes, I agree with you. I don't see the problem with people who "get mad at the fact that Sudan continues to be allowed membership on the UN's human rights committee". They're quite right to get mad.

IJ Sudan Watch

Sorry it was late, I was exhausted after reading and updating several blogs and was not at all clear about what I posted. Anyone who has followed my blogging of Darfur over the past two years at my personal blog, Sudan Watch, Passion of the Present and other humanitarian crises in Africa at my other blogs Uganda Watch, Congo Watch, Ethiopia Watch and Niger Watch will know I feel there are still too few people around the world who, even given today's technology and free blogging tools, do not take time out to speak out over Darfur. Blogging such atrocities on such a regular basis is a solitary experience and emotionally draining. There have been a lot of disappointing developments lately that are highly political involving the UN and US and Sudan and for my part I am still reeling over extremely nasty criticism of Hilary Benn's motives on Darfur by an American writer who should know better. This is just a small example, I am still too tired to explain it here and what I meant about the politics, American diplomacy, membership of UNs human rights committee and human rights abuses in relation to Darfur and Guantanamo Bay so I will leave it at that. Apologies if I have offended anyone or given the impression that I am anti American. I do have views and opinions that I am not afraid to speak out about but I am definitely not anti any nationality. Thank you for highlighting Darfur and the Archbishop of York's statement on Guantanamo Bay.

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