Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sudan falters as US House rethinks aid

The Christian Science Monitor reports on the dire situation in Sudan.

Sudan falters as US House rethinks aid:

"A year ago, the House of Representatives passed a resolution inviting the United States to call the violence in Sudan's Darfur region 'by its rightful name: genocide.'

President Bush complied, and international action was taken to stop militia violence against Darfur's black African minority, including deployment of an African Union peacekeeping force.

But earlier this month a House committee - in a budget-cutting mode and amid what Darfur experts say is a mistaken sense that violence in the traumatized region has been quelled - voted to trim the $50 million that lawmakers had approved earlier in the year for the African Union force.

Some experts haven't minced words. 'Congress should be ashamed of itself,' says Jonathan Morganstein, a Marine reserve officer with peacekeeping experience who co-wrote a new report on Darfur by Refugees International. Citing the now-famous case of pork-barrel funding for 'bridges to nowhere' in recent transportation appropriations, he adds, 'For less than 15 percent of [the bridges' cost] we can help stave off this genocide.'"

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