April 15, 2008

Senate 'urges' peace in Africa. Yeah, that'll help

The news from Sen. Russ Feingold's office this morning that the Senate has passed his resolution condemning violence in Chad, the Central African Republic and Sudan evinced a yawn from yours truly.

Forget the U.S.'s diminished leadership capacity in the world thanks to the mess in Iraq and Afghanistan, the resolution is one of those high-minded, do-nothing statements of concern sure to be ignored on the ground -- wherever that ground is. (Somewhere in Africa, in this case; 6923 miles from here as the crow flies.)

Even the verbs used -- express concern... call upon... urge the governments... encourage the international community -- talk so softly as to give the impression they don't even know where the sticks are kept, much less whether there's a big one anywhere within reach. But don't take my word for it; here's the press release:

Senate Passes Feingold Measure Calling for Resolution to Crisis in Chad, Central African Republic and Sudan

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate passed a resolution authored by U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, D-WI, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs, calling on governments, multinational bodies, and non-state actors in Chad, the Central African Republic (CAR), and Sudan to implement a comprehensive peace process to end the violence. The bipartisan resolution recognizes that the conflicts in Chad, CAR, and Sudan are intricately related and require increased cooperation and commitment from the national governments, backed by the wider international community. Despite agreements to cease support to rebel groups, these countries continue to suffer cross-border attacks by armed militants, which have already displaced thousands and left millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance. Feingold’s resolution is co-sponsored by Sens. Richard Lugar, R-IN, Carl Levin, D-MI, and Chuck Hagel, R-NE, and 19 other senators.

"The conflicts in Chad, the Central African Republic, and Sudan cannot be resolved in a vacuum because they have both domestic and regional implications. A sustainable peace requires good-faith negotiations both within and between the countries with strong monitoring by the international community," Feingold said. "I am pleased the Senate has sent such an important and timely message. The international community cannot ignore the complex cross-border problems that have resulted in great suffering."

Feingold’s Resolution:
* Expresses concern for the citizens who have been gravely affected by the violence in this region
* Calls upon all parties to cease hostilities immediately and uphold human rights
* Urges the governments of Chad and Sudan to abide by promises not to support insurgent groups and to recommit to inclusive negotiations towards regional peace
* Urges the government of Chad to restore its political legitimacy by improving accountability, provision of basic services, and respect for basic human and political rights
* Encourages the United States and international community to support multilateral peacekeeping missions in Darfur, Chad, and Central African Republic and to play an active, constructive role in a comprehensive peace process to stabilize the region

1 comment:

  1. Man, if I was spreading violence in Chad right now, I'd be afraid.