A Menagerie of Outspoken Opinions on Science, World Politics, and Geek Culture

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

More On Sudan

I'm still working on the BPCP graph, but here is some quick Tuesday morning blog stuff that continues in the vein of last Thursday's "Vile Enemy of the Week" post.

This article, released by IRIN (a UN communications and information body) shows the crux of the conflict within Sudan; Bashir's government keeps promising to rein in and disarm the militants who are engaged in ethnic cleansing of the Darfur region, but said militants still remain un-reined in and un-disarmed. I find it difficult to believe that a government which admittedly desires the "Arabization" of Darfur is even seriously attempting to do either.

Far more likely is that Bashir is letting the militants do his dirty work for him, clearing out Animist and Christian villages under the guise of "civil unrest" and "rebel activity". I'm willing to bet that if the Kalishnikovs being carried by those militants could be traced, the trail would lead back to government armories in Khartoum. Though it's certainly raising a skeptical eye from every civilized nation on Earth, the ethnic-cleansing-disguised-as-civil-disorder is essentially a win-win for Bashir; he gets continued "Arabization" (via the murder and displacement of non-Arabs and non-Muslims) but his government takes none of the official blame. And the continued delay of UN aid meant for the region means more of the Animists and Christians starve or flee, leaving the militias free to loot that aid when it finally does arrive.

Bashir is engaged in ethnic cleansing by proxy and he's swindling the UN out of everything he can get. When Powell visits today he should do nothing but hand Bashir a simple note listing five countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, and Syria ... with "Afghanistan" and "Iraq" crossed off. Bashir will get the message.

And the people who are doing all this and more still sit on the UN Human Rights Commission.