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National Egotism

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 21, 2008


NEW YORK (AP) — Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan questioned whether all countries on the Security Council have lived up to their responsibility to protect civilians in Darfur from atrocities.

Kofi Annan

Annan said there was “quite a bit of hypocrisy on all sides” in trying to resolve the five-year conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region, especially in encouraging the African Union to take on peacekeeping without sufficient resources.

The overwhelmed A.U. force struggled for years to stem the bloodshed in Darfur until it was replaced by a joint A.U.-U.N. force that began deploying in January after months of wrangling with the Sudanese government.

The new force is authorized to have 26,000 troops and police but only a fraction are on the ground. Annan criticized well-equipped countries for refusing to provide essential helicopters for the mission despite repeated appeals from the U.N.

At a dinner in his honor on Thursday, Annan said U.N. member states had placed the duty to protect civilians threatened by genocide or war crimes in the hands of the members of the Security Council.

“It is fair to question whether all of them have yet fully lived up to that responsibility — notably in Darfur,” Annan said.

I am not surprised… It’s good to see someone like Annan finally speak out about the horrible record of inaction so many UN member countries have shown in respect to Darfur. I guess it’s because Darfur has no real resources, so the members with the most basic resources are also those who refuse to help. “If you have nothing I can steal, why should I help you?” That’s the nature of National Egotism.

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