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180,000 die from hunger in Darfur - Guardian, UK

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  • Zafar Khan
    180,000 die from hunger in Darfur Deadlock on sanctions as UN reveals toll from starvation and disease Jeevan Vasagar in Nairobi and Ewen MacAskill Wednesday
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 16, 2005
      180,000 die from hunger in Darfur

      Deadlock on sanctions as UN reveals toll from
      starvation and disease

      Jeevan Vasagar in Nairobi and Ewen MacAskill
      Wednesday March 16, 2005
      The Guardian


      More than 180,000 people have died from hunger and
      disease during the last 18 months of the Darfur
      conflict, the United Nations said yesterday, as
      negotiations continued at its New York headquarters to
      break the deadlock on a new security council
      resolution to impose sanctions on the Sudanese
      Brian Grogan, a spokesman for Jan Egeland, the UN
      emergency relief coordinator, said an average 10,000
      Sudanese civilians were dying a month, much higher
      than earlier estimates. They were victims mainly of
      starvation or of disease in refugee camps after being
      driven from their villages by Sudanese soldiers and
      government-backed Janjaweed militiamen. The estimates
      exclude those killed in the fighting.

      Khartoum accused the UN of producing the figures as a
      ploy to get the security council to take action
      against Sudan, and demanded evidence to back up the

      The Sudanese foreign minister, Mustafa Osman Ismail,
      said: "Jan Egeland was here - I met him [and] he never
      mentioned this number."

      Mr Egeland said last week that an estimate of 70,000
      was too low but did not indicate what he regarded as a
      more realistic figure.

      Nearly a year after the UN described Darfur as the
      world's worst humanitarian crisis, there is no sign
      the scorched-earth campaign against black African
      villages is over.

      Hundreds of new refugees are flooding into overcrowded
      camps such as the giant settlement at Kalma in south
      Darfur, which housed fewer than 10,000 people this
      time last year but now houses 100,000.

      Sally Austin, assistant country director for the aid
      agency Care, said: "When I was there last, three weeks
      ago, we were seeing between 200 and 250 people
      arriving per day in two sectors [of the camp] where we

      "The new refugees are queueing just to be able to get
      plastic sheeting to build temporary shelters. They are
      having to queue to get on food distribution lists -
      not just queueing for food.

      "We are also seeing people building more permanent
      structures out of mud, which I think is a sign that
      people realise they are going to be there another nine

      Nearly 2 million black Africans have been driven from
      their homes in Darfur since the war began, and a
      further 200,000 have crossed into Chad.

      Two years of war have transformed Darfur into a
      landscape of refugee camps, swaths of ghostly,
      deserted villages and roving armed bands.

      The US, which describes the war as genocide, is
      pushing for measures that will target individuals
      accused of major crimes, mainly in the Sudanese
      military, government and Janjaweed but also in rebel

      The UN security council failed to reach agreement on a
      new resolution last week. The US blamed Russia and
      China for blocking a proposal to introduce limited
      sanctions. Others on the security council blamed the
      US because of its objection to referring the
      perpetrators to the International Criminal Court (ICC)
      in The Hague.

      The British government is hoping the security council
      can reach agreement by the end of this week.
      Discussions were taking place at the UN headquarters
      in New York yesterday.

      The US, which opposes the ICC, has suggested that the
      perpetrators face a special tribunal in Africa.

      The British government remains hopeful that a
      compromise can be reached. Rick Grenell, spokesman for
      the US mission to the UN, this week described as
      preposterous a report in the Guardian last week that
      the US might allow reference to the ICC to go through.

      A British source said yesterday such a compromise
      remained a possibility, though hopes were beginning to
      diminish. The US would need a cast-iron guarantee that
      its immunity from the ICC would not be affected, the
      source said.

      China, which imports oil from Sudan and has up to
      5,000 expatriates working there, opposes an oil
      embargo but is almost ready for a travel ban and
      assets freeze on the main perpetrators.

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