Friday, October 10, 2008

Putting Sudan in charge?

Last week, we posted a story about comments from the president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir. Yes, the same one who is committing genocide to the people in Darfur. I thought it was weird that he would show his face in a summit, and make charges against the international community. I also thought it was weird that he was the chair of this group's summit.

We found this commentary on the international community turning a blind eye to the killings in Sudan. In fact, the international groups still put this killer in charge of things. And some very important things at that.

from The New Republic
But the largest and most influential group of developing nations has added an ill-considered and wholly gratuitous burden to the challenges of the MDG: they have selected the Sudan government, which continues to perpetrate genocide in Darfur in front of the eyes of the world, to be their chair in the coming year. The "Group of 77," as it's known, made this extraordinary decision at the very moment the General Assembly and the U.N. Secretariat were highlighting a number of discouraging shortfalls in MDG progress. The Group of 77 now has 130 members (77 was the number at its inception in 1964), including virtually every African nation. Since it was the African countries' turn to pick the chair of the organization, and since the selection of Sudan was supported by China, the outcome--however outrageous--is hardly surprising. Strong support from the member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference helped ensured Khartoum's diplomatic victory. The selection of the National Islamic Front regime as chair is no mere symbolic exercise, though the symbolism of the choice is intensely dispiriting. For it comes at a time when the head of the regime faces a likely arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court---for crimes against humanity and for genocide in Darfur.

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