Darfur, Death and Disease

suddistributiongrad_sm.jpgChina has been a major source of life-saving artemisinin-based malaria medicines for Africa. Unfortunately China is also a source of life-taking military support in Africa.

“The BBC has found the first evidence that China is currently helping Sudan’s government militarily in Darfur. The Panorama TV programme tracked down Chinese army lorries in the Sudanese province that came from a batch exported from China to Sudan in 2005. The BBC was also told that China was training fighter pilots who fly Chinese A5 Fantan fighter jets in Darfur.”

“The BBC has established that Chinese Fantan fighter jets were flying on missions out of Nyala airport in south Darfur in February …When the plane unleashed two bombs Kaltam’s five-year-old daughter, Nura, was dismembered from the chest up. Her eight-year-old son, Adam, was killed instantly, as was her 20-year-old daughter, Amna.”

UN Peace Keepers find it almost impossible to do their Job. According to the New York Times, “The fact that the peacekeepers find it hard to protect themselves, much less the people of Darfur, came into sharp relief last Tuesday when well-armed militiamen ambushed a U.N. patrol, killing seven and wounding 22. U.N. officials, as well as diplomats assigned to the Security Council, worry that the attack may signal worse to come from the Sudanese government.

The UN Security Council seems divided over recent International Criminal Court indictment of Sudan’s leaders over Darfur. The New York Times observed that, “‘The Security Council has been too shy in responding to Sudan’s refusal to comply with regards to Darfur,’ said Bruno Stagno Ugarte, Costa Rica’s foreign minister,” but others are less certain. “Five Council members, including China, Indonesia and Libya, questioned Costa Rica’s position, suggesting that the body was too one-sided in condemning the government and not the rebels.” It will be interesting to see how the Security Council reacts to the BBC’s news.

As the Olympics approach, world leaders caution against any mention of China’s international endeavors so as not to ‘offend the Chinese people’. One would think that supporting death in Sudan by the Chinese government would also be an offense against the Chinese people. Conflicts like that in Darfur promote the spread of malaria. Peace efforts that save lives and prevent malaria are long overdue.

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