Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Darfur Watch

Last Tuesday: Security Council unanimously backs Darfur pact

"New York The UN Security Council unanimously approved aresolution Tuesday calling for strict observance of a new peace accordin Darfur and an acceleration of arrangements for a United Nationspeacekeeping force to replace the strapped African Union force now there."

Today: Outcry over Darfur a reaction to Rwanda, Nobel laureate says

"Mr. Wiesel, the world's best-known survivor of the Nazi genocide against Jews, said in an interview the great difference between Rwanda and the slaughter of people in Sudan's western Darfur region is that "Darfur came after Rwanda." People know, said Mr. Wiesel, that the one million killed in Rwanda could have been saved if there had been outside intervention. And they know that the hundreds of thousands killed -- and still being killed -- in Darfur could likewise be saved."

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Netsquare Conference

The Netsquared conference kicks off this week, with our own Heddy Nam in attendance and speaking at one of the panels (see links on the left). There will be lots of ways to participate online for those of us who will be looking wistfully towards California. It should be an exciting opportunity to bring technology and online communities even closer to the world of peacebuilding, with an emphasis on bringing in countries with less access to technology.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

One World U.S.

Should have posted this earlier but just getting around to it now.

May 2006 issue of One World US's E-Zine focuses on genocide. There are a lot of great articles and I highly encourage all members of Never Again to take a look at it. I especially recommend the article entitled "Capability to Protect". Yes, R2P is a great advance in thinking about our responsibility and building up political will among nations but to make "Never Again" a reality- we must build up our capability to protect... otherwise, R2P is rendered meaningless.

I also recommend "Interview with Amnesty International" in which our Crisis Prevention and Response Director. at AIUSA. AI has been doing great work on using satellite technology to develop an "early warning" response system to violent conflict. With politicians always citing "not enough evidence to use the term genocide" in their rationale for not stopping genocide- now we can use satellite pictures to provide evidence of violence on the ground. Hopefully all of this will be folded into genocide prevention work as a core strategy in both amassing political will and figuring out the best intervention strategy.

One World US is planning a Genocide Prevention Forum with UN Special Advisor Juan Mendez to take place in Washington, DC on September 27th. I will be on the planning committee representing Never Again. This forum will bring together experts in the field of genocide prevention to discuss how we can (physically) prevent and stop genocide as it is happening, using latest technologies and other capabilities the world has at our disposal. It is not really focusing on Never Again's expertise and current work of on-the-ground peacebuilding between individuals & communities putting youth at the forefront & center. Of course our work is an important component of "Never Again" but this is focusing on solutions that can, for example, stop the crisis in Darfur. I hope this will be a learning experience for Never Again as the planning committee has already indicated interest in mobilizing youth in this important endeavor. I will be reporting back with more information.

For now, check out my comment on: Community Space.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

NGO Statement on Darfur

The following organisations:

Aegis Trust

American Jewish World Service

Armenian National Committee of America

Collectif Urgence Darfour France

Comité Soudan

Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre

Human Rights Watch

International Crisis Group

JP Diplomatic Consultancy

Liberal International

MedBridge Stategy Center

Minority Rights Group International

National Association of Seadogs International

Never Again International

One World Trust

Save Darfur Coalition

Society for Threatened Peoples International (Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker International)

· Commend and thank the African Union for the work it has done in Darfur.

· Welcome the African Unions Peace and Security Council communiqué of the 10th of March 2006 where it reiterated its support for transfer of its operations in Darfur to the United Nations.

· Hold the view that the donor community could do more in supporting the African Union Mission in Darfur with the required financial and logistical support.

· Maintain that the African Union is a vital institution in the furtherance of peace and stability in Africa.

· Note that over 200,000 people have died due to the conflict in Darfur.

· Condemn the targeting of civilians and the acts of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

· Are alarmed that the humanitarian situation in Darfur continues to deteriorate with over 3 million people reliant on humanitarian aid.

· Denounce the banditry, insecurity and violence that continue to dramatically hinder aid operations.

· Are anxious that hundreds of thousands of civilians cannot be accessed by humanitarian agencies due to the increased insecurity.

· Is concerned that the World Food Programme, due to donor under-funding, has had to cut its rationing levels to semi-starvation levels.

· Is anxious that this humanitarian crisis could deteriorate to such an extent that monthly deaths could rise into tens of thousands a month.

Call for:

· The African Union to undertake the proposed transfer of operations from the AU to the UN no later than the 1st of October 2006.

· The African Union to actively call upon its composite members to increase troop contributions for the AMIS force in Darfur.

· The African Union to assist in the protection of humanitarian convoys on the ground and urge the government of Sudan to guarantee free and unfettered access for humanitarian aid agencies.

· The donor community to immediately meet the financial needs of an increased contribution of troops to the AMIS mission.

· That the donor community should review in consultations with the African Union its mechanisms for supporting future African Union missions.

Poppy Sebag-Montefiore, Chair, Never Again International, said:
"Youth from around the world have been horrified to stand by while a crisis ensues in Darfur. African Union troops have worked hard to protect civilians in Darfur and it is time now for leaders from every country to protect people."

Friday, May 12, 2006

Say Never Again to genocide

As Rwanda remembers the dreadful Genocide for the 12th year, one expects the nation to have had enough bitter lessons of what happened and have a resolution to avoid and prevent any thing that couse another Genocide in the world.

The couses of Genocide are wide ranging, though for Rwanda it was mainly due to poor political ideologies, injustice and brutality of the state power machinery and indifferences to the plight of the common man.

However, this implies that failure to redress injustice created by dangerous politics which has left almost the whole community impoverished. This lead to many Rwandan being not settled, though the Government is trying all the means to solve their basic needs while assisted with different NGOs beside the fact that some of the societies still facing the outcomes of Genocide which is living in a poverty situation.

The Government of Rwanda, NGOS and donors have done much in rebulding the country from ashes of despair, but the root couses of Genocide remain latent and the protracted social conflicts are unresolved. The Genocide of the 1994 has reframed the lives of all Rwandans. Life in contemporary Rwanda is considered in terms of its status as before, during and after the Genocide in 1994.

After witnessing the consequences of Genocide in Rwanda,it should be a lessons to everyone to avoid any possibility of any thing close to killing. It should not be seen as a sole responsibilities of the army or a certain leader but everyone's obligation to prevent the couses of Genocide.

At such point one would expect leaders from their societies like religious leaders to play their role of shepherding their natives. And anyone discover where is human right abuse let him or her speak out on this. They should take a firm step bringing people together and not dividing them.

They are expected to be custodians of morals, therefore they should be ready to resolve conflicts not to have sides, they way it happened during 1994 Genocide in Rwanda.

The consequences of the genocide in Rwanda are immeasursble, legacies of the 1994 Genocide include the problems of orphans, widows, street children, poverty, destruction of social and economic infrastructures, AIDS, trauma and mistrust among Rwandan themselves.

We can not afford to watch another horror like it, we should say Never Again to Genocide with one voice in our world.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ideas for Darfur

A few weeks ago, I asked Frank, a friend, Never Again member in Kigali, Club coordinator and hopefully soon to become a blogger here, for his ideas about what could be done about Darfur. I've been meaning to put it here for some time, and now it is especially timely as the AU will meet next week:-

I think some of these procedures can be done at least we reduce their tears;

Starting by proposing youth committee from our club, hence we go to Sudan and meet with the groups of youth (eg: students) and sometimes their leaders , then we discuss with them on the mission we have as Never Again club. Finally we ask them while looking for the resolution on what they are facing.

Secondly is to organise forum discussing problems facing Sudan especially Darfur region, hence we find the solution together when we have Sudanies youth, representative of UN, AU and parts leading conflicts.Not only attending the forum but also we can give them the motion as discusant. Here is where as Rwandan Lion's share group [Frank's club that produces art and theatre to educate on genocide] we can pass to them the message through art what happened to our country, baden of Genocide and where we are currently.

Lastly for today is teaching Sudanies baden of divisionism (tribalism).

As Rwandan we enter in the 12 commemoration since Genocide happened to our country we don't will any other place to get the tears, we cry & commemorate what we do because of divisionism; let's remember 'only loving each other is where problems can be solved' and being notorious by killing each other will never bring peace and happiness of this world, let the peacekeepers take stong measures upon those who don't will to bring peace to Sudanies since I think UN & AU are huge body if they will and put in action what they can plan, eg disarming these killers.

Another is to add more troops for the sake of bringing peace if those who are there are not enough.