Sadly, as I write this early Sunday morning, the victory is very hollow.
This began as a major victory for the refugees of Darfur and for the United States, Great Britain and France who led the diplomatic effort. On August 31st the United Nations Security Council approved deployment of the robust peace keeping force of 21,000 by a vote of 12 to 0 with 3 absentions. And the three abstentions by China, Russia and Qatar were, in themselves, a diplomatic coup.
The United States Ambassador John Bolton has been highly praised, even by his detractors, for his leadership and behind the scenes negotiations. And great credit needs to go to Condoleezza Rice and her predecessor Colin Powell. The United States, under their leadership has gone from a complete "no-show" on Darfur to the world leader in the fight to end the genocide. President Bush has pledged significant military and logistical support for the mission.
But, in just three short days, the complete bankruptcy of the United Nations has been exposed. In order to earn the three abstentions, the resolution was written in such a way that it required the approval of Sudan before any force could be deployed. Of course Sudan rejected the plan.
Then, twenty four hours later, Sudan launched a long feared murderous assault on the region and refugees, almost entirely women and children. The London Times reports this morning that Darfur villages burn as army tramples on UN peace plan. Here is part of their report:
- HELICOPTER gunships thudded over the dusty streets of El Fasher in North Darfur this weekend as the Sudanese government stepped up its latest offensive in defiance of a United Nations resolution.
John Prendergast, of the International Crisis Group, a non-governmental organization that reports on conflicts, described seeing burnt-out villages and speaking to refugees who had been attacked by roving bands of heavily armed men in pick-up trucks.
"Humanitarian access has shrunk dramatically in the last two months, violence has increased and on top of that already gloomy picture we have a fresh offensive," he said.
- WASHINGTON -- The government of Sudan appears to have begun its long-feared military offensive in the troubled Darfur region against rebels who have refused to sign a US-brokered peace agreement, UN officials said yesterday
Secretary General Kofi Annan's office said yesterday that it had received reports indicating that the Sudanese forces struck Monday in the remote area of Abu Sakin, about 50 miles north of the state capital Al Fasher, sparking fears that the new round of violence could leave tens of thousands more people dead or displaced
As the reports surfaced, the UN Security Council voted to deploy as many as 21,600 peacekeepers to the region to replace 7,000 ill-equipped African Union troops whose mandate expires in September. US officials expressed optimism that at least part of the force could be activated almost immediately, since some of the African Union troops who are already on the ground would serve in the new force.
John Bolton, the US ambassador to the United Nations, called the deployment of peacekeepers ``the best hope to bolster the Darfur Peace Agreement and end the tragedy we are witnessing in Darfur."
Nations like Sudan and Iran have learned how to manipulate the United Nations and actually use the bureaucracy to avoid any sort of punishment or restraint.
Clearly the vision of the holocaust in Sudan today is a great encouragement for Iran tignoreor any U.N resolution or threat. The United Nations is a toothless tiger.
But the U.N proves to be a great ally to countries like Iran and Sudan because it ties up the larger and theoretically more powerful nations in endless negotiations and spineless rhetoric.
Meanwhile people are dying. Human beings are suffering, lost, alone, homeless and helpless.
The United Nations is worse than useless, it actually empowers tyrants and terrorists and aids their cause.
TECHNORATI TAGS: DARFUR SUDAN GENOCIDE HOLOCAUST UNITED NATIONS RWANDA IRAN GEORGE BUSH CONDOLEEZZA RICE JOHN BOLTON
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