November 16, 2004

ALMOST THERE:

Urgent push on Africa's oldest civil war (Abraham McLaughlin, 11/17/04, The Christian Science Monitor)

For more than 20 years, it's been one of the world's forgotten wars. Some 2 million people have died, yet it's received relatively scant global attention. But as the United Nations Security Council opens a historic meeting in Kenya tomorrow, the war between the north and south in Sudan - and efforts to halt it for good - takes center stage.

The main reason: Diplomats and experts see that stopping this conflict would not only end Africa's oldest civil war, but provide a template for dealing with Sudan's other main conflict, the one in its western Darfur region, where the US says genocide has occurred.

A north-south peace deal could even help salve an 18-year rebellion in neighboring Uganda, home to 1.6 million displaced civilians. In all more than 5 million displaced people could benefit if the UN, the US, and African nations can force peace.

But it's a mammoth task: For at least six months, the parties have been tantalizingly close, but unable - perhaps unwilling - to cinch a final deal. "Finally signing that agreement would represent a sense of momentum" that could benefit other conflicts, says Allan Rock, Canada's ambassador to the United Nations. And, he says, "It would show that the government of Sudan was actually doing something - and not just talking."


A great moment in condescension today as someone on NPR asked if the appointment of Condi Rice meant the Administration would pay more attention to Africa. The intervention in Sudan has, of course, been driven by the evangelical Right and led by The Reverend Jack Danforth.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 16, 2004 8:31 PM
Comments

I can't wait for the US to get their hands on Africa's resources and labor*...

There may well be an American "African boom" in twenty years or so, if peace and the rule of law could be established in most of Africa.


* Yeah, we buy their raw materials, but only after waiting for them to inefficiently and slowly dig 'em up.

Posted by: Michael "Running Dog Capitalist Imperialist" Herdegen at November 16, 2004 8:46 PM
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