Thanks to reporter Bill Varner, Bloomberg News in New York has gotten access to a draft of Annan's forthcoming report on Darfur and Sudan, and the report acknowledges that on the most crucial issue facing Sudan, disarming the militias and stopping government-support for attacks, the government has made little progress.
A strong, acccurate and fact-based report by Annan would come as something of a surprise, given Annan's recent and widely publicised conversation with the President of Sudan that seemed to signal that Annan thought all was well in Darfur.
Given the history of softpeddling and backsliding by the top UN diplomats, it may be helpful for quotations from a tough draft to get out to the public. If the plain message presented in this draft is softened or omitted in the final version issued on Thursday, observers may question the integrity of the reporting process.
So we will see.
Read the full story on Bloomberg News.
Sudan Fails to Curb Darfur Abuse, Annan's Draft Report Says
Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Sudan's government hasn't met United Nations demands to disarm the Janjaweed militia that drove 1.2 million black Africans from their homes in the Darfur region of western Sudan, a draft report by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said.
``The most critical commitment that has yet to be implemented relates to the armed militias which continue to pose a serious threat to the civilian population,'' according to a copy of the draft document obtained by Bloomberg News. ``The United Nations continues to receive reports of militia activities.''
Annan's report increases the possibility that the Security Council would impose sanctions on oil-producing Sudan to end what the UN has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis. A July 30 resolution demanding that Sudan disarm and disband the Janjaweed within 30 days said the council would consider further actions, including sanctions against the African country, ``in the event of non- compliance.''
The Security Council is scheduled to meet Thursday on the issue to hear a briefing from Jan Pronk, Annan's special representative to Darfur...
``A number of steps have been taken to implement specific commitments,'' the report said, citing deployment of 10,000 police officers to Darfur and improved access for aid workers. ``The actual impact of the measures has resulted in some improvements on the ground but remains limited overall.''
The draft report, dated yesterday, said more than 50 people were killed in attacks on villages during the second half of August that occurred ``as many as three or four times over the course of several days.'' The attacks left the villages ``completely looted and destroyed'' and were a ``serious breach of the government's commitments,'' the report said.
Refugees reported ``attacks by government forces during the month of August, allegedly in collaboration with armed militias in some cases,'' the report said.