Welcome to the Tuesday October 30, 2007 issue of this Peace&Justice action email!
This email continues a focus on Darfur, given its latest and most promising push for peace. Also included is another action on behalf of the Burmese people and a petition to the IMF regarding Liberia.
______________________________________________________DARFUR: CONTINUE PRESSURE FOR RESOLUTION OF CRISIS
The failure to achieve two recent milestones, provides potentially ominous signs for Darfur. This past weekend (Oct 26) there was a meeting between the rebels and the government of Sudan (GoS) to consider negotiations that might lead to a peace deal. However during the preceding week, various rebel factions were unable to resolve their differences, and due to other considerations including the problems of artificial deadlines, the major groups refused to attend. This should not be construed as a final blow to the hopes for negotiations, but it is a painful delay.
Secondly, the UN peacekeeping force was to have had its logistical bases in place in Darfur by the end of October (as noted in my Darfur article: http://www.untilall.org/darfur.htm), but the GoS has been slow to accept troop makeup and has not finalized locations, which is a likely indicator of continued delaying tactics.
In addition, while most of the UN's 26,000 peacekeeping positions have been filled, the logistical and technical support has not been forthcoming, for example, the lack of attack helicopters. Without adequate support, the troops will not be able to respond adequately. If the international community does not reconsider its paltry response, it will become another blight on all such potential donor nations, reminiscent of the failure to respond to Rwanda.
Finally, there is another extremely troubling sign regarding Sudan's North-South (CPA) agreement. The South has withdrawn from the government, citing a lack of resolution on key issues. Allegedly both sides are re-arming or concentrating troops in the border area. The worst case scenario is that the CPA will collapse and the N-S war will be re-ignited. The best case scenario is that President Bashir and the South will resolve sufficient outstanding issues to keep the CPA intact for now.
Thus the following actions are critical to maintain the pressure and ensure firm resolve on the diplomatic front in the face of Sudan's tactics. Past history has indicated that, while there is no guarantee, the GoS will relent if it feels the other side will stand firm. You can take action below now; if other avenues of pressure are created, I will send them prior to the next regularly scheduled email due to the critical phase we are in. This current push is likely the best chance for the Darfuri people; the worst outcome could find the country engulfed in civil war in six months.
Send a message to US President Bush and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to maintain the focus on Darfur:
Send message to Bush and Ban Ki-moon
Protect Darfur Funding from US Budget Cuts:
Canada: New Darfur Action line (also one for the US):
If you call 1-800-GENOCIDE, you will be connected to a system that will lead you through talking points and connect you with six possible MP's including Prime Minster Harper. Please note that if your call from the US, you will be connected to a system for your US representatives, as noted in an earlier email. Call to maintain the pressure:
CONTINUE PRESSURE ON MYANMAR (BURMA)
As I write this, I find that some 200 Burmese monks have taken to the streets again to continue the protests - what incredible courage and defiance!
In mid-November, the ASEAN countries will be meeting. Human Rights First has created a petition to pressure Burma's neighbouring countries. Again the intransigence of the Burmese regime is not likely to relent; but it is an opportunity that should not be bypassed - one never knows what series of events may precipitate a change.
Send message to neighbouring countries ahead of their Nov meeting:
Write to ASEAN countries
______________________________________________________TELL IMF TO CANCEL LIBERIA'S DEBT
While Liberia has emerged from the worst of its civil strife, it still carries a legacy of debt from poor policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Liberia's newly established stability remains fragile. The last thing that should be imposed is that it pay the remaining debt from poor IMF policies and judgment. Thus you can send a petition to the IMF, below, telling them that it should support true stability in Liberia.
Send Message to IMF:
Send message to IMF
UWAA: This endeavour is being placed under the overall rubric of "Until Well-being is Achieved for All."
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