23 February 2005

Institutional Dotage (4) (Update)

New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof has acquired an archive of photographs and documents from African Union monitors who have traveled within the Darfur region to document the ongoing genocide; this morning, he publishes a portion of this archive online. The inhumanity of the crisis is graphically demonstrated by the photographs and put into disturbing context by the content of a document contained in the archive and believed to be authentic:
Dated last August, the document calls for the "execution of all directives from the president of the republic" and is directed to regional commanders and security officials.

"Change the demography of Darfur and make it void of African tribes," the document urges. It encourages "killing, burning villages and farms, terrorizing people, confiscating property from members of African tribes and forcing them from Darfur."
While the document's authenticity has not yet been definitively established, it at least preliminarily provides a critical link between the Janjaweed militia groups perpetrating the genocide and the government of Sudan, which has heretofore denied active complicity and which has been supported within the United Nations Security Council by Russia and China. Links to earlier reports by Kristof are available adjacent to today's online column; he's been reporting this tragedy since its early days and his reports have been by no means a voice in the wilderness. Perhaps it's high time for the U.N. as, in Secretary General Kofi Annan's words, "humanity's instrument" for stopping genocide to take an interest.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: VodkaPundit also comments on the impact of the African Union archive photos and documents published in Kristof's column; he also links to Claudia Rosett's column in OpinionJournal concerning the broader United Nations crises about which I've been writing in this series of posts.


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