Africa Matters is a blog that follows the news and offers analysis of African affairs. Our aim is to delve deeper into the issues of African politics and development. We don’t presume to be experts, and we don’t presume to have all the answers—we are just trying to ask the right questions.

Thursday, June 7

Darfur roundup

The UN and AU have reportedly reached agreement on moving forward with a 23,000 strong peacekeeping force, though the bodies haven't yet given their formal approval. Abdul Mohammed, an Ethiopian working for the Darfur Darfur Dialogue, says the AU isn't getting the credit it deserves for its work in Darfur.

France's proposal for a humanitarian corridor through Chad, protected by Western troops, suffered a setback when the Chadian government said such a proposal was unnecessary.

German newspaper Der Spiegel has a profile of International Crisis Group expert-activist John Prendergast. In the piece, Prendergast points out that the North-South and Darfur conflicts are both based on tensions between the center and periphery, and that America's support for Sudan's role in the "War on Terror" is keeping it from exerting real pressure on Khartoum.
And The Boston Globe has a profile on Smith College Literature professor Eric Reeves, and his obsession with the Darufr crisis.

Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu urged the international community to impose tougher sanctions on Khartoum, saying such measures can be effective, as they were in South Africa.

The Council on Foreign Relations features an interview with Sudan's Ambassador to the U.S., John Ukec Lueth Ukec. Ukec, who was formerly a Southern rebel with the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) comes off as saner than he did in a recent press conference. Still, he's going to have a hard time being taken seriously when he says Khartoum's relationship with the Janjaweed is the same thing as the American relationship with insurgents in Iraq.

And Amnesty International has launched a new "Eyes on Darfur" website that uses satellite images to monitor sites in Darfur for signs of attack and human rights abuse.