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Looking in on Sudan and Uganda

Of great concern to this blog is the plight of children in northern Uganda. CNN International reports on recent Times and BBC stories about LRA leader Joseph Kony’s statements that he is willing to enter peace talks as well as his declaration that he is innocent of the crimes against humanity charges that have been levied against him in international court. While this blog hopes Kony is legit in his willingness to enter peace talks, we’re dubious about his claims of innocence—as are international human rights groups and other organizations whom, as the CNN report says, “charge the LRA has abducted some 30,000 children and forced them to become fighters, porters or concubines. Rights groups also accuse the LRA of killing thousands of civilians and forcing more than 1 million people to flee their homes. Many of the charges against the LRA have emerged from accounts of boys and girls who have managed to escape the force.” For more on this crisis (and how you can make a difference), see this blog’s Uganda category, World Vision or the passionate-creative Invisible Children (a must visit if you’re unfamiliar with them--and if you like good music and powerful images, watch their video here or here; that's a photo of theirs above).

Backtracking in Darfur is a Washington Post editorial of interest to this blog. Apparantly, the Sudan government reversed itself when it comes to the peace deal which would allow UN troops to monitor enforced peace in Darfur: “President Omar Hassan al-Bashir recently swore that ‘there will not be any international military intervention in Darfur as long as I am in power.’ While UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is planning on meeting with Sudan’s president, the editorial posits “his chances of persuading the president to change his mind seem negligible.” The answer? According to the Post editorial, continue to step up consistent foreign pressure. For more on the background to Darfur (and how you can make a difference there), see this blog’s Darfur/Sudan category, World Vision or Coalition for Darfur.

(Image: Invisible Children)