Saturday, August 12, 2006

Global Jihad: Darfur

"Kill the Black Infidel" in Darfur, while the UN continues to dwaddle, no matter how dramatic or catastrophic the situation, under the non-leadership of Kofi Annan, who is far more preoocupied with Israel.  Why?  Because his Muslim overlords demand it.  Pray tell, which UN Officials lost their jobs or went to prison for the "Oil for Food" scandal the UN has run, or for the UN "oversight" of Southern Lebanon over the last years, when Hezbollah brought in thousands of missiles?  Answer: Not One!  J.D.

Two items below,2933,207817,00.html

U.N.: Darfur is Becoming 'Catastrophic'
Thursday, August 10, 2006
GENEVA  - The United Nations' top humanitarian official warned Thursday that the situation in Sudan's war-ravaged Darfur region was becoming dramatically more dangerous, as rapes and attacks by militias and rebel factions continue despite a 3-month-old peace deal.

The U.N. said a day earlier that the May 5 peace deal, signed between Sudan's government and Darfur's main rebel group, was "doomed to failure" unless the government provided more support.

Click here to visit's Africa center.

"It's going from real bad to catastrophic in Darfur," Jan Egeland told reporters at the U.N.'s European headquarters in

Fighting has actually increased since the peace deal, "and it has been particularly terrible among (rebel) factions fighting each other," Egeland said. "That's led to tens of thousands of people being displaced, and sexual abuse and many other types of violations."

CountryWatch: Sudan

More than 200,000 have been killed in the region since 2003, when ethnic African tribes revolted against the Arab-led
Khartoum government.
The peace deal, signed in Nigeria, was supposed to help end the conflict, but instead has triggered months of fighting between factions of the Sudan Liberation Army. The U.N., aid groups and beleaguered African Union peacekeepers say rebel factions are seeking to gain advantage before peace takes hold.

The report released Wednesday by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights called on Sudan's government and all parties to immediately comply with the peace deal's cease-fire provisions. It also called on the international community to support the African Union force in Sudan until a U.N. operation could be deployed.

The U.N. report said armed militias continued to attack villages, and on at least one occasion they were supported by government forces.

"The government should disarm the militia and protect the physical security of all Darfurians by putting in place a credible, capable and professional police force and judiciary," the 20-page report said.

"Civilian populations continued to be targeted by militia and the government and rebel movements are in breach of the new cease-fire," the report said.

New clashes have left countless dead, the conflict has caused more than 2 million to flee their homes, and 1 million people are relying on food aid because their fields were razed or they are too afraid to go out to farm.

Violence also has affected humanitarian efforts: The U.N. said at least 250,000 people who needed aid at the end of June could not be reached.

Last month was the deadliest month for aid workers since the conflict began. Eight Sudanese humanitarian workers were killed in road ambushes when they were working at water pumps, or in one case, during a nighttime village attack.

Aid groups warned Tuesday that conditions for millions of civilians could deteriorate quickly if security did not improve. They said spiraling violence was causing a rise in malnutrition and the spread of disease in some camps for displaced persons.

The U.N. estimates that 25,000 people were newly displaced by fighting in the last month.


In Sudan, pale is beautiful but price is high
By Mohammed Abbas  Wed Aug 2, 8:25 AM ET
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - At the crowded Beauty Queen parlor in Sudan's capital Khartoum, beautician Selma Awa says she just cannot understand why so many of her clients want to get their skin lightened.

"One hundred percent of women who come here have it done," she said. "People think it's prettier to look white. In my opinion, dark is prettier. I don't know who they want to look like."

In many countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia lighter-colored skin is considered prettier and paler women are believed to be wealthier, more educated and more desirable.

This attitude has led to a boom in the use of skin-lightening products in Sudan, a vast country torn by war where skin color also has political connotations.

Rasha Moussa, a maid, pulls some skin-whitening cream from her handbag.

"I use it on my face to make my face shine. The Sudanese see the light color as better than dark. I think it's a complex that we have," she said.

"People judge you here by your color ... If they see me and someone else with lighter skin wearing the same clothes, they would say she is living a comfortable life and I'm a poor woman," she added.

Millions of women throughout Africa use creams and soaps containing chemicals, like hydroquinone, to lighten the color of their skin. But the creams can cause long-term damage.

Dermatologists say prolonged use of hydroquinone and mercury-based products, also found in some creams, destroys the skin's protective outer layer. Eventually the skin starts to burn, itch or blister, becomes extremely sensitive to sunlight and then turns even blacker than before.

Prolonged use can damage the nerves or even lead to kidney failure or skin cancer and so prove fatal.

"It's a very bad problem here. It sometimes kills the patient ... It's bad, bad news," said a doctor at a Khartoum hospital. He said the number of women coming to the dermatology department with problems caused by skin-whitening treatments had grown to at least one in four of all dermatology patients.


In Khartoum, skin-whitening creams are displayed prominently in stores and on roadside adverts. Products advertised on Arab television channels promise the creams will also make a woman more confident and glamorous.

In one advert, a previously unremarkable female television presenter delivers a stunning report after using whitening cream. Her handsome male colleague, who has previously ignored her, says: "You were great. What are you doing at four?"

In another, a singer leaves the stage with stage fright but returns after lightening her skin and performs wonderfully.

At the Modern Style bridal store, an array of skin-whitening creams adorn the front desk. Next door, a photography studio displays wedding portraits of women with very pale skin.

Modern Style's Egyptian owner Samira Magar tied the growing preference for white wedding dresses, which are not traditional in Sudan, to the desire for pale skin.

"More Sudanese are getting white wedding dresses, so they want to look like Egyptians and Europeans," she said.

"I think it's an inferiority complex. They think that if they're white in color, they are more beautiful," she added.

Magar said some women had resorted to mercury and harsh prescription creams not meant for cosmetic use, leaving their faces disfigured on their wedding day.


Natural methods of skin whitening have been used for centuries, Magar said, but in Sudan the use of chemicals began in the 1980s and has thrived since.

The doctor at the Khartoum hospital, who declined to be named, said the creams now used can cause irritation and infection, blotching, eczema, and that most contain steroids.

The doctor said that rather than ask why women use the creams, men should be asked why they prefer pale skin.

"Here, all men want to sit with or marry a woman with light skin. If any man wants to marry, he says the first choice is for a woman with light skin ... Why is this?"

While a tan can be seen as something of a status symbol in the West, darker skin marks out women in Africa, the Middle East and Asia as poorer people who have no choice but to toil under the hot sun.

In Sudan, Africa's biggest country, over two decades of civil war between lighter-skinned northerners and darker southerners has given skin tone more sinister connotations, and the meaning of the various shades is nuanced.

Northerners, who are mainly Muslims and claim Arab lineage, have traditionally held power. A north-south coalition government now shares power after a peace deal last year.

During civil strife, skin tone often meant the difference between life and death. Southerners, traditionally Christian or animist, complain of prejudice against them in everyday life, and some northerners privately claim superiority over their darker and non-Arab countrymen.

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