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Sudan tragedy needs action

4/1/2006 6:47am

Poughkeepsie Journal

Saturday, April 1, 2006

The tragedy in the Sudan is overwhelming. In three years, 300,000 people have been killed; more than 2 million people have been displaced. Rapes and mutilations occur daily. The United Nations describes it as the world's worst humanitarian disaster and the United States has gone so far as labeling the situation in Darfur "genocide."

Yet, little is officially being done to right the wrongs, and grassroots efforts coordinated by frustrated citizens are sprouting up.

Military intervention is tenuous. Right now, the African Union has 7,000 peacekeeping troops in Darfur, but it is not able to control the government-backed Arab militias, marauding through this arid region, which is the size of France. The United Nations peacekeeping force is limiting its activities to southern Sudan, hundreds of miles away from the heart of the conflict. Despite pleas from Bush, NATO officials are standing firm that their troops will not go on the ground in Darfur. Currently, NATO is offering support by airlifting and training African Union troops.

The UN troops are the logical force to bring stability to the region. But until they move, the killings and torture continue.

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