Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A glimmer of hope in Darfur

The United Nations is calling it the world's worst humanitarian crisis. The United States has branded the situation a genocide. 180,000 people have died from illness and malnutrition and some 2 million have been forced from their homes ever since February 2003 when rebel forces began attacking in Darfur.

But on Friday, the main rebel group in Sudan's strife torn Darfur region signed a peace agreement aimed at ending the violence. Although two of three main rebel groups refuse to sign the agreement, Seif Eldin Haruon, spokesman for the Sudan Liberation Movement (the rebel group which signed the agreement after talks in Abuja, Nigeria) said, "We just need some few hours a week so we can sit down and talk to our colleagues from the other parties, and I believe we will go forward."

Could this be a glimmer of hope for the people of Darfur?

U.N. High Commissioner of Human Rights Louise Arbour said, "I see the major opening of a promising door, but we still have a long way to go before they, the internationally displaced persons, start seeing the benefits of the these negotiations. It can only be excellent news, I think, for the people of Darfur, particularly for the large number of displaced persons who've been living in terribly harsh conditions."

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