September 29, 2004


UN Human Rights Chief Seeks Greater International Presence in Darfur (Lisa Schlein, 28 Sep 2004, VOA News)

The U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Louise Arbour, is calling for a big increase in the number of United Nations peacekeepers, human rights monitors and aid agencies to ensure security in Darfur. Ms. Arbour, who has just returned from a five-day visit to Darfur, says the international community must redouble its efforts to protect the citizens of Darfur.

The U.N.'s top human rights official, Louise Arbour, says there is a great sense of insecurity and fear among the internally displaced people she met in Darfur camps. She describes conditions in the camps as miserable. While people told her they would like to go back home to a more normal life, she says they are too afraid to return to the villages they fled. She says they do not trust the government of Sudan to protect them.

Ms. Arbour says the people believe the government is in collusion with their attackers, the Arab militia known as the Janjaweed.

"They claim that when they attempt to leave the narrow perimeters of the camps, they are invariably attacked and their efforts to report these attacks to the authorities lead nowhere and that is prevalent in virtually all the camps we attended…." she said. "At this point, I think the core crisis is one of safety and security."

But Ms. Arbour also notes much progress has been made in getting food and other assistance to the approximately 1.5 million displaced people in Darfur. She says security now is the greatest crisis and it must be addressed with great urgency and seriousness.

If the U.N. isn't careful this kind of humanitarian intervention at U.S. behest could start to redeem it in our eyes.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 29, 2004 3:20 PM
Comments for this post are closed.