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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Darfur

Well it looks like Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew finally has something to say about what is going on in Darfur, Sudan. Until now the only news releases on the Foreign Affairs website were from before the federal election when Defence Minister Bill Graham still had this portfolio. The updated site has a link that summarizes the situation, Humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan

There is also a press release from Sept 10, Canada supports human rights monitoring and the protection of civilians in Sudan which states the following:

[...]The funds ($1 Million to the UN), to be provided by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), will assist the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to extend its mission and to increase its capacity to investigate human rights abuses, bring these abuses to the attention of the relevant authorities, and thus help war-affected Darfuris. Today's contribution will make Canada, for the rest of this year, the largest contributor to the OHCHR for this crucial work.

I am pretty sure the relevant authorities are already fully aware of the situation and I don't think this awareness will help the war-affected (I've not heard that euphamism before, reminds me of the slogan "guns don't kill people, people kill people, but replace guns with war) Darfuris. But at least we are doing something...

[...]"Canada remains deeply concerned by the ongoing violence in Darfur," said Minister Pettigrew.

[...]Minister Carroll (that's International Cooperation Minister Aileen Carroll - who comes up with these ridiculous titles? why couldn't it be Why Can't We All Just Get Along Minister Carroll) will be in Sudan, including Darfur, from September 21-25 to reiterate Canada's deep concern about the humanitarian crisis in Darfur

As I pointed out earlier, we have been in a state of deep concern since the end of July, but we have not fully committed to being profoundly concerned.

Meanwhile, Damian Penny points out that the Sudanese may have used Chemical Weapons on the Darfuris with the help of Syria. I guess we can call them chemical weapons-affected as well.


Posted by Greg Staples on September 15, 2004 | Permalink


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