June 2015 Newsletter

Welcome to the June 20, 2015 edition of this Peace/Justice action email!

Please note the urgent June 24 deadline to take action below! The action is to request the UN Security Council not to withdraw or reduce its peacekeeping troops form Darfur – they are the only remaining very thin line of protection for civilians, who are still caught in unspeakable swirls of violence!

Due to this urgent action, this June newsletter will have a second part, done later.

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KEEP UN PEACEKEEPING IN DARFUR

On June 24 the UN Security Council will be meeting to decide whether to reduce or even possibly withdraw UNAMID, the UN peacekeeping troops in Darfur.  Sudan has been pressing for an “exit” plan.  Earlier there had been serious talk at the UN about reducing their presence in Darfur.

This needs to be seen against the backdrop of this past 18 months, where Sudan began very concerted efforts to defeat the rebel forces. The techniques remain the same – using indiscriminate bombing runs and militia attacks in rebel areas, resulting in large civilian displacement and causalities.  In addition tribal rivalry and a lawless element have added to the unrest.  This newsletter has tracked all of this (see: Current Status  [UntilAll]). The UN Refugee Agency estimates that well over 2 million people are currently displaced [http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49e483b76.html].

It would be unconscionable to pull UNAMID out.  While this newsletter has been clear that UNAMID has been largely impotent, the solution lies in addressing the core issues which one of the following resolutions attempts to list.  In addition, as ineffective as UNAMID has been, it remains the last line of recourse for the civilians, whose lives remain caught in various repugnant layers of violence.

Thus please consider signing both petitions below:

Petition To UN Security Council:
Renew UNAMID’s Mandate

Petition to President Obama:
Keep UN Peacekeepers in Darfur

 

 

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WORLD REFUGEE DAY

June 20 is World Refugee Day.  There are almost 60 million who have fled their homes, resulting in over 20 million refugees.  This past year has seen a higher rate largely due to the conflict in Syria.

Our longitudinal study of Darfur gives us a sense of the reasons, the world politics that maintains that status quo, the despair as one month becomes one year becomes a decade, and so on.  But our study of Darfur should also keep us open to the ongoing struggles around the world.  For some of those stories see:
http://www.unhcr.org/refugeeday/