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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Darfur: Bashir Called to Account

The International Criminal Court has just issued a warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Earlier in the week, U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton remarked that al-Bashir should ‘have his day in court’ if he wanted to dispute the charges of crimes against humanity that the ICC has levelled against him.

For many - not least of all the people of Darfur - Bashir’s charges of crimes against humanity could not have come soon enough. It is a relief to see that international scrutiny of the Khartoum government has not totally relented. One only fears that the Darfuri people, rather than al-Bashir, will end up paying the penalty for this serious development. Reportedly ten international aid agencies have been expelled from the region by Bashir’s government following the indictment.

Thankfully, HOPE International Development Agency's presence in Southern Sudan (an independent region within greater Sudan) is stable, and able to continue responding to the tremendous needs of Darfuri refugees.

Please support our wonderful staff in Southern Sudan with your thoughts, prayers, financial support, and advocacy. In addition to serving the considerable needs of Southern Sudanese villagers who are settling into new communities, they are helping to shoulder the burdens of their neighbours in Darfur. They have witnessed serious atrocities. Indeed, one staff member confirms every harrowing news report with this clear-eyed observation: ‘Once a civilian is seen by the government militia or Sudanese Liberation Army, he/she is gunned down, raped or seriously beaten.’ Darfuris are not victimized occasionally or even frequently--- but systematically and without exception.

Learn more about HOPE's work in Southern Sudan by watching "Long Road Home", a video filmed by HOPE volunteers.

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