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Arab League SG says Darfur conflict ’exaggerated’ compared to Libya

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March 12, 2011 (WASHINGTON) – The Secretary General of the Arab League Amr Moussa said that people cannot draw comparisons between the situation in Libya and that of Darfur which lies in Western Sudan.

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Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa looks on before the opening of a extraordinary Arab League meeting to discuss a response to the crisis in Libya, including the possible imposition of a no-fly zone, on March 12, 2011 in Cairo (AFP)

The remarks came as the pan-Arab body today adopted a resolution calling on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to impose a Non-Fly Zone over Libya to prevent Muammar Gaddafi from using his air force to crush the revolt by rebels wanting to topple his regime.

Moussa in a response to a question posed by a journalist over why the Arab League is supporting this unusual measure in Libya but not in Darfur where the United Nations said that more than 300,000 people were killed and 2.7 million displaced.

"The situation in Darfur is a result of foreign intervention and there are exaggerations [about the gravity of situation in Darfur]," Moussa said at the press conference.

The secretary general pointed out that there are peace talks underway and dialogue with regard to Darfur to reach a resolution accepted by all sides.

He added that the Arab decided that "serious crimes and great violations" committed by the government of Muammar Gaddafi against his people had stripped it of legitimacy.

The foreign minister of Oman Youssef bin Alawi bin Abdullah, who chaired today’s meeting, in response to a separate question said that the magnitude situation in Libya has not occurred anywhere in the Arab world hence warranting a strong response.

Many critics in the past have said that Arab governments have been in denial over the Darfur crisis since it broke out in 2003 and instead blamed the West for over-blowing the conflict to cover for their crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Arab governments are generally reluctant to openly criticize one another for human right abuses committed in their countries as they did with Libya. However, observers say that extensive media coverage on Libyan revolt and pressure from the streets forced them to take this extraordinary measure.

The Arab League has rallied behind the Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir when the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes he allegedly orchestrated in Darfur.

Moussa has sought to convince Sudan to setup local tribunals for Darfur suspects but Khartoum ended up brushing off his initiative.

In 2009. Moussa said that crimes in Darfur are different from those committed in Gaza by Israel.

“What is happening in Darfur is a semi-civil war and its responsibility is shared by many parties” the Arab League Secretary General said at the time.

“The arrest warrant [by the ICC] is against a sitting president but what is occurring in Palestinian us a military occupation responsible for all that is committed on the ground” he added.

As with Darfur the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) referred the situation in Libya to the ICC last month putting Gaddafi in the sight of prosecutors at the Hague tribunal.

Moussa said that they have not been contacted by the ICC with regards to Libya as of yet. However, a source at the court told Sudan Tribune that they communicated with the Secretary General’s office since a week ago.

Today’s decision was taken by majority and not by consensus though some Arab countries that initially opposed the resolution ended up agreeing to it such as Yemen, Algeria and Sudan.

This week the Sudanese president voiced rejection to any “foreign” military intervention in Libya, warning that his unrest-hit neighbor has become “a stockroom of weapons” and could endanger the entire region.

He added that he rejected any foreign intervention in Libya so it would not become “a new Iraq.”

This week the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) representing states in the Arabian peninsula urged the imposition of a NFZ and said that the Libyan regime lost its legitimacy.

Western leaders including U.S President Barack Obama have raised the possibility of imposing a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent pro-Gaddafi forces from continuing air incursions against rebel forces which wrestled control of many towns in eastern Libya, including Benghazi.

The summit of the EU’s 27 member state agreed on Friday to "examine all necessary options" to protect the civilian population in Libya.

Despite this many European countries as well as the U.S. appear hesitant to apply the No-Fly zone over concern for appearing as invading another Muslim country.

The African Union Peace and Security Council on Friday expressed “deep concern” over the crisis in Libya, but declared rejection to any form of “foreign military intervention".

(ST)

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  • 13 March 2011 08:12, by DASODIKO

    The Bogus Humanity of International Community

    The latest uprising in Libya has shifted my view concerning what so call the international community and the humanity. The word humanity according to the International Community (which itself is a vague body) is a word of truth that is meant to correspond bad intentions. On March 2 the Arab League Minster met in Egypt, and called on Muammar Gaddafi to stop attacks against Libyans. The Minister of Arab League members in a meeting suspended Libya membership from the organization, as well as considered imposing a NO FLY zone over Libya, and in cooperation with the African Union.

    "We have to save the Libyan people and that is why we are trying to call on Government in Libya to end those attacks against the Libyan population. The situation in Libya is sorrowful and it is not correct that we accept it or live with it”, The Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said during the conference. The Arab League will not stand with fold hands while the blood of our brothers in Libyan spill; he added.

    On the other hand ; the Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari; called on the ministers to stand in silence in memory of Arabs killed in protests that took place in Egypt and Tunisia, Bahrain, Yemen, and Libya. The officially announced Number of people killed in Libya latest protests, up to the date of the Arab League meeting in Cairo was 3000 dead according to www.facenfacts.comfrom Paris.

    Meanwhile on March 2006 the Arab League held its annual Summit in Khartoum, while the U.N. said that at least 300,000 have died in the conflict in Darfur, and more than two million displaced. Although; President Bashir confessed to his brothers Arabsthat he killed only 10,000 in Darfur and added that the people of Darfur should feel proud of their daughters being raped by his Arab Jaali tribe. Despite of all these atrocities and genocide committed by the Government of Sudan and its Arabs associates Janjaweeds; the Arab Leagues gave full diplomatic support for the genocide regime in Khartoum. They did not stop on that but they claimed that the problem of Darfur was manipulated and aggravated by western media. Therefore; it was not surprising at all for the Arab league and the Organization of the Islamic Conference that most of its members are also from the Arab countries to reject the idea of No fly Zone over Darfur.

    However; Bahsir continued on his genocide plans and expelled 16 aid organizations from the country, endangering millions of people displaced in Darfur. But unfortunately; no single member states of the Arab League mention it, even by mistake. The UN and other international bodies sufficed by condemning the regime on strongest terms. Nevertheless; the Arab League on its meeting in Cairo did not reject the idea of no-fly zone option over Libya as they rejected for Sudan; only Russia and China who have interests with Libya disapproved the idea. The idea is simply because those killed in Darfur are non Arabs. Here the Arabs implemented the Arab the parable attributed to Prophet Mohamed that says; “Hold up your brother whether he is right or wrong”.

    I remember a very funny case with a stranger since 1983 when draught hit sub-African Sahara. Darfur as a part of the region that was hit by draught; people received AIDS assistants from International Community the most of which as I well remember was USAID. As young people we much admired the US soldiers in uniforms who were working like bees distributing food for the needy people. We were happy beyond words and wished to grow up and help people like American soldiers. While we were sitting under the tree in our villages watching and talking; an old man who was sitting close to us barged in our discussions and said’ “My sons the food they are giving us is a type of food that is out of date, they use to catch fish with it and instead to throw the remnant they also create future relations with other needy nations”. If they have no future interests they will never give you single bread; and it’s called politics my sons; the man concluded.

    On my opinion I believe that the former President Bush who was intervening everywhere to save lives did not understand the game; the man was behaving very innocently according to his religion background that taught him to help and feed the needy people who are in distress. I think that was the reason President Bush was vulnerable sarcastic jokes inside and outside his country America. Here I am not praising Former President Bush on what he did or didn’t do; rather than to convey certain attitudes. However; comparing former President Bush with US current President Obama; I would say that the game of International politics for President Obama is very familiar and clear.

    The following are quotes of Senator Barack Obama on Wednesday, February 15, 2006. “ For more than two years now, we have been watching a rolling genocide take place in Darfur, western Sudan. Many of you I’m sure are aware of the tragedy that has been unfolding there. For those of you who are not, essentially what we have seen is a systematic targeting on the part of the Khartoum government and the Janjaweed Arab militia that have systematically uprooted, killed, murdered, pillaged, raped, Africans, driven them from their homes into enormous displaced-person camps. Refugee camps, within Sudan. It’s estimated that at least 300,000 people have been killed.

    It’s known that at least 2 million people have been displaced. The administration early on in this tragedy acknowledged that this was genocide that was taking place. I think there has been broad recognition in the international community that the behavior of the Sudanese government has been scandalous. To the Administration’s credit, the United States government has probably paid more attention to this issue than some of our European allies.The few thousand African Union troops who have been placed in Darfur are primarily providing witness to some of the atrocities that are taking place there, but they don’t have clear rules of engagement, they are under-armed, under-trained

    We’re going to have to provide this successor UN force with our own lift and logistic assets. We’re going to have to provide our military hardware, like transport and attack helicopters, and so forth. And, we’re going to have to really force other countries like Canada, Australia, some of the European countries that are not engaged in peace-keeping in other places, or at least are not immediately involved in major activity in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, as we are, to deliver the troops that are needed.

    So, it is absolutely critical that we start focusing on this now. The situation, as bad as it is, could deteriorate further. This is something that is of interest, I think, to all of us, not just for humanitarian reasons, although when you read the accounts of women being raped when they are out collecting firewood, when you read just horrendous accounts of entire villages being decimated and children being murdered, that it just breaks your heart, and humanitarian concerns should be sufficient, but we also have a strong national security interest. If you start seeing more and more failed states, more and more displaced persons, more and more refugees, all of that becomes a breeding ground for terrorist activity, it becomes a breeding ground for disease, and it creates refugees that put pressure on our own borders. In an inner-connected world we can’t insulate ourselves from these tragedies. So, we’re going to, over time, have to develop some strategy as the world’s remaining super-power to address these issues, and Darfur is an important test case. We’ve already failed one test in Rwanda, we shouldn’t fail another.

    Anyway, if you are interested in the issues related to Darfur, you can always contact my office, or get on the website. Your voice is obviously critical in this issue. I appreciate you, as always listening in. Thank you for downloading, and I will talk to you next week. Bye bye.End of Obama speech.

    Despite Senator Obama used the cause of people of Darfur to gain some of his victory votes, although he seldom mention Darfur on his formal speeches or sometimes summaries Darfur issue in two to three words since I have been following his speeches on global issues. What supports my speculation is the way he appointed his friend the retired Gen. Scott Gration to be in charge of Darfur desk despite President Obama know very well that he is not that competent to take such sensitive problem. Instead Gration since he took over the office of US special envoy to Sudan with his bad policies of cookies and smiles killed more people and displaced more and killed the cause people of Darfur internationally as well.

    On recent days President Obama gave very strong speeches on Libya and Middle East in general. According to my personal judgment, it’s because of Arab money nothing else. If people of Darfur had oil like in South or any other mineral resources I am sure the speeches of Obama on Darfur would have been different.

    I believe that president Obama had chances to redeem the people of Darfur but instead, he increased the number of death. The latest statistics released by Sudan Liberation Movement/ Army yesterday pointed that the numbers of people killed in Darfur from April 2008 up to 3 March 2011 reached 972 person included men, women and children. According to Nimir Abdul Mohamed Abdul Rahaman Spokesperson of Sudan Liberation Movement/Army the rape cases are 121 in Jabal Marra in their controlled areas apart from other areas. The wounded are 242 forty among them are SLM/A soldiers. For the accuracy of the information call Nimir Mohamed on Thu No +8821655589598.

    Through the known history of Darfur sultanate; we learned one thing: if you fail to do good things when have a power then you will live up bad memories. Act now President Obama or let others to act it’s not too late. Joseph was just a slave when he ruled Egypt!!!!!

    By Izzadine Abdul Rasoul

    Email: kargolu@yahoo.com

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    • 13 March 2011 10:53, by K Bambo

      Well written. The organisation of Arab League has clearly shown they are organisation of colour.

      Kennedy

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  • 13 March 2011 08:42, by Liberator

    DASODIK0
    First is that your real name and e-mail below or just a contact for some one else.

    Second: I knew all along that western powers would not intervened in Dafur crisis. That’s why I was telling my friends that SPLM should have adopted a comprehensive peace accord which included Dafuris crisis at the time. but that is a past now. moving forward requires all dafurian liberation armies to unite and comes to their sense that their survival lies Southward not with the so called ’’Arabs’’ nations. the message from Amir Mousa who is a presidential hopeful in yet to be annouced upcoming presidential elections in Egypt is warning to Dafuris and other marginalized areas of the east and central sudan including Blue Nile region that you are aAfrican not Arab. and if you don’t unite with your rightful place of South Sudan, you will be a slave citizens of these Arabs forever.

    International community doesn’t have interest in helping Black Africans. looked at South Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda, Democratic of the Congo, Dafur, and now The Ivory Coast.
    I’m waiting for a Right Leadership in South Sudan when he/she doesn’t rush to killed his own brothers just because they happened to disagree with his/her leadership but a leader with a strategic vision to free our African brothers & sisters out of the bondage of oppression across Sudan, the sooner the better.

    True colors of Arabs & Europeans was just revealed to us by the Libya crisis.

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  • 13 March 2011 09:00, by Namaa

    I do not know why we bother !!!
    the Arabs so racist - blinded by their own racism - we should ask Sudan- all of Sudan to leave this wretched league

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  • 13 March 2011 12:19, by DeltaBravo

    Darfur are black African and Libyan are Arab do anyone think they care if they dint care about our problem in the past, i dnt think there is any other way to care about Fur.

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  • 13 March 2011 13:25, by Sudani Logik

    Guys

    It has always been and it will always be about self interest, as long as there are human bigots like Sam.Eto, Mohammed Ali and Jalaby. Common human values are meaningless if their likes have the upper hand.

    In this case, its the Arab league who’s going against their own but not for the love of the Libyan people but because of the current tense political situation engulfing the Arab world, they have to be seen as pro-active in helping the ordinary citizens. However, Bashir’s government is probably far worse in committing atrocities against its own people, mainly of African decent. At least Gaddafi’s Libya is developed and the citizens enjoy good healthcare, education and economic opportunity, of course they lack democratic freedom but that has been the case in Sudan for decades but without the above mentioned benefits and most if not all of the little development, concentrated in the Arab triangle of the old Sudan.

    Yes, it true that maybe the Darfur issue has gained the attention of the whole world compared to other conflicts but the political will by the Arabs to help Darfurians is dependent on the consequences of inaction. Whereas in Libya, the Arabs doing nothing could have disastrous results for their political entities. After all, to the Arabs Darfurians are just Africans, remember!

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  • 15 March 2011 02:34, by 1988

    As i’ve stated before Ghaddafi is our allie and friend, the western vampires are only after one thing black gold, oil.

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