Untouchable Crisis? A Call to Action
|Save Darfur, 16 Mars 2010|
The situation in Jebel Marra remains unstable and essentially unknown as thousands of civilians to pour into IDP camps and flee to neighboring countries, while outside organizations continue to be denied entry into Deribat and its surrounding areas.
The critical lack of independent monitoring and investigations in Jebel Marra combined with obstructionism by belligerent parties makes credible information on the crisis disturbingly non-existent. On March 8th, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) made a statement that they were in control of the region while SLA-AW denied the claim, both of which are impossible to verify.
UNAMID launched a patrol to assess the situation on March 5th which was ambushed and seized by apparently unidentified gunmen. The 60 peacekeepers were later released but their weapons and vehicles are now in the in the possession of the attackers. According to Radio Dabanga a government delegation from South Darfur was also ambushed on March 12th leaving SLA-AW and SAF contradictory claims the only information on the situation in Jebel Marra.
In a recent post on the SSRC blog “Making Sense of Sudan,” Julie Flint reflects on the poignant absence of international outrage. “Where are the Save Darfur activists?” she asks, adding in an article for the Daily Star that “2002 is being rerun in 2010 – despite Save Darfur, despite UNAMID, and despite the ICC.”
As Save Darfur – a unique community of activists and rights organizations – we have been called to action. The international community and the Save Darfur movement worked hard to see the deployment of UNAMID. Now – amid the worst fighting in the 27 months since its deployment and as crucial national elections approach – this voice is as essential as it ever was. Likewise, activists and NGOs from around the world fought tirelessly to ensure UNAMID was provided with essential equipment like tactical helicopters capable of rapid intervention. Now that these gunships have arrived, it is our responsibility to ensure they are used to enhance UNAMID’s peacekeeping presence and enforce its mandate to protect civilians.
The global community needs to express its concern, mobilize support for Darfuri civilians caught in these clashes, and remind international policymakers why they should care about what’s going on in Jebel Marra. It is our mandate both to act and to demand action – and the time to do so is now.
Contact Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at 202-647-4000 today and ask her to condemn this violence and work with the international community to mobilize support for Darfuri civilians.