Sunday, July 29, 2007
Eyes on Darfur
Amnesty International USA has identified 12 towns and villages in Darfur and eastern Chad that are at risk of attack by Janjawid militia, the Sudanese government, and/or armed opposition groups. Using satellite technology, AIUSA is closely monitoring these sites – and others in the region. Action must be taken now to prevent these sites from joining the long list of towns and villages utterly destroyed in Darfur and eastern Chad. Tell Sudanese President al-Bashir the world is watching – that we will know if harm comes to these civilians – and ask him to take all necessary steps to prevent attacks on these sites.
Sudan Accepts Phaase III Amnesty International (AI) said Sudan took a positive step on June 19 when it agreed to the deployment of the full African Union - United Nations (AU - UN) hybrid peacekeeping force in war-torn Darfur.AI called on the Sudanese Government to protect all civilians and to fulfill its commitment to disarm the Janjawid militia. AI also called on the international community to adopt a timelien and bencphmarks ato get UN peacaekeepers oon the ground as quickly as possible."The agreement is a step in the right direction," said Lynn Frederiksson, AIUSA Advocacy Director for Africa. "Now, the international community must ensure the full AU - UN force deploys as quickly as possible, and Sudan must disarm the Janjawid."AI urgedthe UN Secaurity Council and the AU Peace and Security Council to adopt the bnecessary resolutions to provide the hybrid peacekeeping force with a strong mandate and sufficient resources to protect civilians. In particular, AI said the resolutions should ensure that the hybrid force has:* The capacity to protect civilians at risk* The mandate to monitor human rights abuses, including sexual violence.* The capacity to oversee the disarmament and demobilisation of the Janjawid and armed rebel groups.* The mandate and resources to prevent Janjawid and armed rebel incursion into Chad.Darfur Satellite Project and Webxite now in OrbitAI officially launched its Eyes on Darfur project on June 6 at the Fifth International Symposium on Digital Earth in Berkeley, CA. The launch received substantial media coverage in thpe US. Two days after the launch AIUSA's New Media unit reported an initial 330,000 pae views of the Eyes on Darfur site. The sit ehas continued to experience heavy traffic.House Passes Bill that Includes Funding for Darfur Peacekeeping.The House of Representatives has passed its FY08 Foreign Operatins Appropriations bill, adding $100 million for African Union peacekeeping as well as increased funds for the UN peacekeeping account, which will fund UN participation in the joint AU - UN peacekeeping operation in Darfur. AIUSA activists and staff actively lobbied members of the House for this additional funding.