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Africa Horn
Sudan: Jews behind Darfur conflict
I knew it!
Sudan's defense minister, Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein, has accused "24 Jewish organizations" of "fueling the conflict in Darfur" last week in an interview with a Saudi newspaper. Hussein was interviewed during an official state visit to the Saudi kingdom last week.
Welcome Sudanese Bag Man!
A journalist from Saudi Arabia's Okaz newspaper asked Hussein: "Some people are talking about the penetration of Jewish organizations in Darfur and that there is no conflict there?"
Yeah. "Some people"...and we've heard rumors that you're having some problems down there?
"The Darfur issue is being fuelled by 24 Jewish organizations, who are making the largest amount of noise over the issue, and using the Holocaust in their campaigning," the Sudanese defense minister replied.
I thank you for that softball question. Did I hit it far enough out of the park?
Hussein added that the Darfur conflict was driven by "friction between farmers and herders and shepherds. Among the biggest problems is that of water, which is used to exploit the differences and fuel the conflict."
Ban Ki-moon told me. It's that damn global warming. And, of course, Jews...
"Are these Jewish groups supporting (the rebels) financially?," the interviewer from Okaz asked Hussein.
Because we all know...they got lots of money.
"Yes, they provide political and material support through their control over the media and across American and British circles," Hussein said, adding that Jewish groups were using "all means to fuel these conflicts."
How could the we function without our Zionist puppetmasters...
He added that Western reports of 200,000 people dying in Sudan were false, and said: "We talk about 9,000 dead as a result of either government or rebel actions".
Well at least he didn't say they died in the worldwide obesity epidemic...
Several days ago, Sudan's Interior Minister, Zubair Bashir Taha, lashed out at Sudanese refuees who had sought asylum in Israel, and accused "Israeli authorities of encouraging the Sudanese refugees to come to their country." He added that his ministry was "very confused" by Sudanese citizens who came to Israel."
I mean why would anyone wanna leave this garden spot?

Africa Horn
China Accused of Prolonging Sudan Bloodshed
(CNSNews.com) - The continuing carnage in Sudan's Darfur region is dragging on because of China's support for the Islamist government in Khartoum, according to Irish celebrity campaigner for Africa, Bob Geldof. "The reason why it has not been resolved is because of China," the Associated Press quoted Geldof as saying in Athens on Monday. "The Chinese protect the Khartoum government, who are killers, and they will not allow a vote in the [U.N.] Security Council," he said, attributing Beijing's stance to its oil ties with Sudan. The characteristically candid Geldof, organizer of last year's Live 8 global charity event, was in the Greek capital to receive a humanitarian award.

Beijing's state-controlled China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) owns 40 percent of Sudan's biggest oil operation. An estimated 6 to 7 percent of China's oil imports come from Sudan, a figure expected to rise as the industry expands after a two-decades-long civil war. U.S. Department of Energy figures now place Sudan third in sub-Saharan Africa for crude oil production, behind Nigeria and Angola. Since a conflict broke out in Darfur between government-sponsored militias and rebel groups three years ago, many thousands of people have perished and two million more have been displaced. The U.N. has described Darfur as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

As early as July 2004, veto-wielding member China was using its clout in the Security Council to ease international pressure on Khartoum. Resistance from China -- together with fellow permanent council member Russia and several of the body's non-permanent members, notably Islamic Pakistan and Algeria -- resulted in the U.S. agreeing to drop the word "sanctions" from a draft resolution on Darfur. In the end, the watered-down resolution was passed by a 13-0 vote. Although the sanctions reference had been removed, Beijing could still not support it because, China's envoy Zhang Yishan said, "it still included references to measures that were not helpful and which could further complicate the situation." China abstained, along with Pakistan. In the 21 months since then, the death toll in Darfur has risen from some 30,000-50,000 to an estimated 180,000 today.

By February last year, the U.S. and European allies were still struggling to get China and Russia to agree to impose sanctions against Sudan. The State Department said at the time that those under discussion included oil sanctions, as well as an extension of an existing arms embargo, a freeze on assets and travel ban against specified individuals or government officials.

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Virginia), a co-chairman of the bipartisan congressional human rights caucus, said at a press conference on Darfur that month that China and Russia had "repeatedly threatened to veto resolutions that could possibly bring an end to the violence." Wolf, who has visited Sudan five times, is currently pressing Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to appoint a special envoy to the country, to focus further attention on the Darfur issue.

Testifying before the congressional U.S.-China Commission last July, Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow for Africa policy studies Princeton Lyman also linked China's Security Council stance to its oil dealings with Sudan. "China had become its biggest [oil] customer," he said. "Meanwhile, China has successfully prevented the U.N. Security Council from serious sanctions or other preventive measures in face of the alleged genocide and crimes against humanity perpetrated in the Darfur region of that country."

Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick said in a major policy speech on China last September that it was time to urge a rising China to become "a responsible stakeholder" in the international system, for instance by using its considerable influence with such regimes as those ruling Sudan and Iran. "China should take more than oil from Sudan - it should take some responsibility for resolving Sudan's human crisis," said Zoellick, who has himself traveled to the north-east African country four times over the past year.

Meanwhile, Beijing's relations with Khartoum appear to be strengthening. Chinese defense minister Cao Gangchuan held talks with his Sudanese counterpart, Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein, in Beijing two weeks ago, and said the People's Liberation Army was "ready to deepen the cooperation" with the Sudanese military. Hussein, who was described as being on "an official goodwill visit," praised China's stance on the Darfur issue, the official Xinhua news agency reported. At another meeting, a senior Chinese official thanked the Sudanese visitor for Khartoum's "firm support on major international issues, such as human rights."

Additional: Beijing - Irish rocker Bob Geldof's accusation that Beijing is to blame for the continuing civil war in Sudan would have more bite if China knew who he was. On Tuesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Liu Jianchao said he'd never heard of anti-poverty campaigner and Live 8 organiser Geldof. Asking "Who?" several times, Liu finally shook his head and said "I am sorry" after a reporter asked for comment on the 51-year-old Irish rocker's claims that China was protecting the Sudanese government because it provides six percent of China's oil.

"Anyway, I can brief you on China's position on Sudan," Liu said. "We are making efforts to restore peace in Sudan. We hope both parties can implement the agreements reached. We hope to see a stronger role for the African Union in solving the Sudan problem." Liu didn't respond directly to the claim that China is protecting the Khartoum government because of its oil needs.

Geldof has won international acclaim for his humanitarian efforts and last year organised the Live 8 benefit concerts. "I was in Darfur 20 years ago and people were killing each other then. It's an ancient battle between nomadic people and settled people, between Arab-Africans and black Africans, between Islam and Christians. ... The reason why it has not been resolved is because of China," Geldof said in Athens on Monday. "The Chinese protect the Khartoum government ... and they will not allow a vote in the Security Council," he said.

Sudan massacres suspect let into Britain
A SENIOR Sudanese security official blamed for massacres in the Darfur region of the country was allowed into Britain for medical treatment last week. Salah Abdallah Gosh, director of the national security and intelligence service in Khartoum, obtained a British visa even though a United Nations panel has recommended that he and 16 other officials be banned from travelling abroad.
Gosh returned home on Thursday. The Sudanese embassy gave no details of his medical condition. The UN panel recommends that Gosh and two other Sudanese officials — Elzubier Bashir Taha, the interior minister, and Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein, the defence minister — be charged with war crimes. It says in an annexe to its report that Gosh failed to “neutralise and disarm non-state armed militia groups in Darfur” and could face criminal charges because he bore “command responsibility for acts of arbitrary detention, harassment (and) torture”. The panel has recommended freezing overseas assets such as bank accounts belonging to all 17 people on its list. Omar Hassan Ahmed el- Bashir, the Sudanese president, and Idriss Deby, his contemporary in neighbouring Chad, appear on a secondary list of five individuals being considered for future sanctions. Gosh is close to el-Bashir and, according to exiled opponents, may have been involved in other notorious security operations.

Gosh has close links with the CIA, which regards him as an ally in the war on terror. The agency flew him to Virginia last April to discuss intelligence on Al-Qaeda but the trip provoked disquiet in Congress and the State Department and embarrassed President Bush, who has called the Sudanese government’s actions in Darfur “genocide”. The British government’s willingness to allow Gosh into the country has astonished critics of the Sudanese regime.
more at the link

Africa Horn
Thousands of Sudanese protest against U.N. force
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Shouting "Down, Down USA", thousands of Sudanese protested in Khartoum on Wednesday against any deployment of U.N. troops in the western Darfur region.

"Get out all foreigners, we don't want you here," shouted 21-year-old student Zeinab Kheir el-Sir.

"Darfur will be the grave of the conquerors," said banners carried by the demonstrators.
T-shirts available through Cafe Press

African Union foreign ministers are due to decide on Friday whether to ask the United Nations to take control of their 7,000-strong mission monitoring a shaky ceasefire in Darfur.

U.N. officials have sought NATO and EU support to bolster the AU force, which lacks funds and equipment, triggering alarm in Sudan which opposes intervention by non-African troops.

Ahead of the AU meeting, senior western officials held talks in Brussels with Sudanese leaders aiming to persuade them to agree to the deployment of a robust U.N. mission in Darfur.
Belgium has always played such a constructive role in Africa.

But after a government-led media campaign against U.N. intervention, nationalist sentiment in Sudan is running high.
The pro-government al-Intibaha newspaper has announced the formation of two new Islamist movements threatening to target foreign interests in Darfur, called the Darfur Limb Hacking Society Jihad Organization and the Rabid Moonbats Blood Brigades.

The protestors handed a statement to U.N. offices demanding the immediate decapitation eviction of the top U.N. envoy in Sudan, Jan Pronk. Sudanese women wearing Cindy Sheehan T-shirts bearing kalashnikovs joined the march, declaring their readiness to fight foreign troops.

The defense minister also rallied troops against intervention at a military demonstration in Khartoum.

"Jihad, victory, martyrdom," the soldiers chanted. "Our martyrs are in the dirt heaven, and we are ready," said Defense Minister Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein.
Hussein last week threw out all foreign press from a news conference, accusing them of fabricating the Darfur conflict, which Washington calls genocide.

Khartoum denies genocide in the arid west, but tens of thousands have been killed and 2 million herded into camps by three years of rape, looting and killing. The International Criminal Court is investigating alleged war crimes there.

Among the crowd of demonstrators, one brave woman quietly said she supported intervention in her place of origin, Darfur ,before being torn to pieces .

"I don't think the government can solve the problem, nor can the African Union," student Maha Mekki said. "I want America to come in," she said.


The United Nations is currently deploying about 10,000 troops to Sudan's south to oversee a separate peace deal signed last year to end more than two decades of civil war there.

But the government and opposition parties have all said they do not want this U.N. force to be extended to Darfur as well.

"In the south they are there to help, but in Darfur this will just be a front for Israel and America to come in to get our kalashnikov toting beauties oil," said demonstrator Amal Jaafar.

Sudan produces roughly 330,000 barrels per day of crude, mostly from fields in the south.

U.N. sources say any U.N. force in Sudan's west is likely to keep the same AU forces on the ground, but change the command over to a U.N. peacekeeping mission.

In Brussels, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana met Sudanese Vice-President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha to step up pressure on Sudan to accept U.N. peacekeepers.

"Taha is a key player in the Sudanese government ... We hope he hears the message," an EU official said
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick, due to join the talks during the day, said he would push for a U.N. mission.

"We believe that, to the maximum extent possible, the AU forces in Darfur should be incorporated into the U.N. mission in which Africans should play a key leadership role," Zoellick said in a statement before leaving Washington.


Africa: East
Darfur rebels say Sudan broke the truce ...
Seems consistent enough with their previous behavior ...
Rebels in western Sudan accused the government Saturday of violating a truce with airstrikes and militia raids that killed 30 people, mostly civilians.
Those would of course be the "military targets."
The government said it knew nothing of the attacks in the arid Darfur area, where the rebels of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) emerged as a fighting force in February, saying Khartoum had marginalized the impoverished region.
"Lies! All lies!"
"It’s been very bad. Attacks by government militias and the air raid have killed 30 people and lots of livestock," SLM/A Secretary-General Minni Arcua Minnawi told Reuters by phone from western Sudan. Minnawi said 24 of the dead were civilians and the rest rebel fighters. He said the attacks had started on Thursday and continued into Saturday in the west of Northern Darfur state, about 850 kilometers west of Khartoum. "They used an Antonov airplane to bomb civilians areas today (Saturday)," he said. In Khartoum, Internal Affairs Minister Major General Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein said he had not heard of any attacks in the area.

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