IN OTHER WORDS
In January, President Bush said this about Darfur: “My administration called this genocide. Once you label it genocide, you obviously have to do something about it.”
Yet, last week — nearly one year later — this is what the ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, told the UN Security Council about Darfur: “Genocide continues. Rapes in and around the camps continue. Humanitarian assistance is still hindered. More than 5,000 displaced persons die each month.”
The African Union and the Arab League, seeking to protect Omar Hassan al-Bashir, are pressing the Security Council to delay a formal indictment and arrest warrant. The Bush administration has threatened to block such a move. President-elect Barack Obama and his advisers have called for strong action to end the Darfur genocide. We hope the next administration moves quickly.
But have no doubt: Fixing Darfur, which is increasingly engulfed in inter-rebel warfare, gets harder by the day. The indictment, expected in February, is undeniably deserved. UN officials say that up to 300,000 people have been killed in the Darfur conflict and that 2.7 million have been driven from their homes. Still it might be worth delaying if Bashir called off his murderous militias and began serious peace talks. The world is waiting. — The New York Times