Sudan: September 22, 2004

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Nothing much has changed, except the estimates of the dead and displaced. Many aid groups now believe that the violence of Arab raiders, and starvation and disease among the refugees, has killed some 50,000 non-Arab people so far. There are now thought to be 1.5 million refugees, including 200,000 in Chad. Government demands that refugees return home have been ignored, as the refugees do not trust the government to protect them. The refugees flock to camps run by foreign aid agencies, feeling that the Arab raiders are less likely to attack while their are foreigners about. This works most of the time. But the government supported Arab raiders still roam Darfur at will, doing as they please. The government continues to follow the successful formula of, "say what you must, and do what you want." The government has made deals with China (who runs most of the Sudanese oil operations) and Russia (who is selling Sudan over a billion dollars worth of weapons) to get any UN sanction proposals vetoed. So the government can issue press releases saying it will listen to UN proposals, and then turn around and ignore them. 

 

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