[Mb-civic] Fw: Sudan Emergency Update - Please Pass Along

Harold Sifton harry.sifton at sympatico.ca
Thu Sep 16 14:44:00 PDT 2004

FYI my MB - Civic friends .



      Dear Harold,

            Amnesty International has interviewed refugees in camps in Chad and found that many of the human rights violations in Darfur have been targeted specifically against women and girls. These violations have included abductions, sexual slavery, torture, and forced displacement.
      The horrors befalling the innocent men, women and children of Darfur, Sudan have only gotten worse. 
      Amnesty International has finally been granted access to the region where more than a million people have been displaced, 200,000 have sought refuge across the border, more than 30,000 have been killed, thousands of women and girls have been raped, and hundreds of villages have been destroyed.

      We need your help to cope with this human rights catastrophe. Please donate now.

      Just this week, the World Health Organization released an estimate that as many as 10,000 Sudanese are dying each month -- from starvation, disease, and other direct effects of the rampaging Janjawid militias. We know that crimes against humanity are occurring on a vast scale in Darfur -- with no end in sight.

      As I write this, Amnesty USA Executive Director Bill Schulz is visiting the stricken region. He will be reporting first-hand what he finds during the mission. Look for his personal update in the coming days on our website and via e-mail.

      Amnesty International was the first human rights group to call the world's attention to the horrific crisis. We ask all people of compassion to help by making an emergency donation to support our efforts.

      You can speed your gift to the front lines by using our secure Web page.

      Amnesty-commissioned satellite images of one key area indicate that 44 percent of the villages and settlements have been burnt. Most of the other villages have been abandoned. These satellite images of destroyed villages vividly illustrate the pattern of attacks, including burning, killing, looting and raping that extends throughout Darfur and has caused the crisis of forced displacement in the region.

      Amnesty International has also interviewed refugees in camps in Chad and found that many of the human rights violations in Darfur have been targeted specifically against women and girls. These violations have included abductions, sexual slavery, torture, and forced displacement.

      Within the camps the humanitarian conditions are precarious. There is still not enough food in Darfur to last throughout the rainy season, which will cut off much of the region, especially western Darfur. Displaced persons camps in remote areas cannot be reached, except by plane or camel. A resident of West Darfur told Amnesty International, "The food is reaching hundreds but there are thousands who need food and receive nothing."


      From the beginning, Amnesty has mobilized its credibility, worldwide diplomatic contacts and unique moral force to focus attention on Darfur. This week's mission marks the 5th visit by Amnesty officials to the region over the past 18 months.

      Here is what Amnesty has done and will be doing to alleviate the massive suffering and restore law and order:

      Breaking the UN Deadlock

      The UN has been unable to overcome regional politics to exert meaningful pressure on the Sudanese Government. The African Union and the UN must deploy monitors in sufficient numbers to oversee the protection of refugees. Amnesty is working to break the stalemate, both behind the scenes and by exerting public pressure via our more than 1.8 million members around the world. Specifically the flow of arms to the Sudanese Government must stop, and the UN should extend and enforce the current arms embargo to include the Sudanese government.

      Supporting Secretary of State Powell's Recent Efforts

      The U.S. government, partly in response to widespread calls for action, has recently become more vocal about the situation as evidenced in Secretary Powell's recent statements. In part through U.S. efforts, the European Union is developing a measures to ensure compliance by the Sudanese government that may go into effect later this month. The U.S. must continue to play a leadership role.

      Activating the African Union (AU)

      Through our long-standing relationships with African leaders and diplomats, Amnesty has been able to help the AU's effort to mobilize against the apparently deliberate slaughter and dislocation of the black African population of Darfur. AU members have hosted peace talks among the warring factions within Sudan and have provided the only international presence to date in Darfur -- the AU Ceasefire Monitoring Group. We have been lobbying for more resources and support to be given to this effort and for the 300 person force to be expanded so that it can protect civilians as opposed to just the ceasefire monitors.

      Will you please help? I urge you to make an emergency donation right now.

      With your immediate help and continued participation, Amnesty will be better able to sustain what may be a long struggle in Sudan. I will report to you from time to time on our progress in halting and reversing this heartbreaking chain of events.

      With much gratitude and respect,

      Sincerely yours,

      Curt Goering
      Senior Deputy Executive Director of AIUSA

      P.S. Donating online cuts our overhead and helps speed your generous donation to the front lines of the battle for global human rights. Please donate NOW.

      Cut and paste the link below if you are having problems connecting to our donation form:

      - - -

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