The situation in Sudan continues to unfold rapidly, and with the expulsion of key humanitarian organizations, President Bashir is making clear that the world will have to deal with the crisis in Sudan sooner rather than later. Our friend Michael Kleinman has tough words for us over on his blog, some of which I take exception to. When we wrote yesterday about humanitarian agencies being booted out of Darfur, it was indeed unclear if this was an empty threat or would actually happen. Some of this is the danger of trying to write and report in real time and in dealing with a Sudanese regime that often floats trial balloons and then backs down. I take Michaels’ comments in the collegial and thoughtful fashion in which they were offered.
I imagine Michael and I are in full agreement that the move to kick out relief agencies does indeed represent a deadly escalation by the government of Sudan and needs to be responded to as such. See our statement today on how we feel President Obama and the international community should respond. Also, read this interesting piece by General Tony McPeak in today’s Post making the case for moving ahead with a no-fly zone on an accelerated basis.
As we saw in both the Kosovo and Bosnia interventions by the international community, there were short-term disruptions of access for humanitarian relief — but these interventions ultimately brought about the end of both wars. As we have long argued here at the Enough Project, ending Sudan’s conflict is the ultimate and over-arching goal. Equally clearly, if the Obama administration talks tough and doesn’t follow up with practical steps to impose a real cost on President Bashir, it will be a disaster for all involved – most importantly, for the people of Sudan.