Africa Report

YU students rally against Sudan genocide. A group of students at New York's Yeshiva University organized a rally against genocide in Sudan, reports Kesher Talk: 'It got a respectable crowd, considering that it took place on Mother's Day. The rally was generated by a group of students at Yeshiva University, and there were many references to Jewish values from the podium and many kippot and tzitzit in the crowd. (Of course, the so-called social justice groups that staged the May Day rally in Union Square were nowhere to be seen.)' Judith also reports some welcome - though out-of-character - words from a Human Rights Watch representative. Read the full article at the link. (Kesher Talk)

Sudan violence rises. A recent news item reports: 'Rape, kidnapping and attacks on civilians increased last month in Sudan's Darfur region despite a growing international effort to end the bloodshed, a senior United Nations (UN) official said on Thursday. Hedi Annabi, the deputy head of UN peacekeeping operations, said African Union (AU) troops were effective in helping to stem the violence where deployed but underlined the importance of the AU's plans to beef up the force. "Instability, violence and civilian suffering in this troubled region continue," he said to the UN Security Council, adding there were also attacks on aid and relief workers. He called the attacks a "worrying trend in light of the role played by the humanitarian community in sustaining the 2.45 million conflict-affected civilians in Darfur".' A State Department report at AllAfrica notes: 'Because Jingaweit [Janjaweed]militia continue to attack civilians in Darfur and thus perpetuate a lack of security in the region, bringing short-term stability to the area will require considerable strengthening of the African Union (AU) mission in Sudan, a senior U.N. official said May 12. Assistant Secretary-General Hedi Annabi told the U.N. Security Council that organized violence continues and that attacks on civilians, rape, kidnapping and banditry actually increased in April. Although there was no evidence of direct involvement of regular government forces, there were widespread reports of abuse by the pro-government Jingaweit militia.' (AllAfrica)

Egelund: Horn of Africa crisis highlights neglect. United Nations Undersecretary General Jan Egelund cited Ethiopia and Eritrea, as well as Southern Africa, as regions slipping beneath the industrial world's radar. According to a State article at AllAfrica: 'Speaking with journalists after a private briefing to the U.N. Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Africa, Egeland said, "In general there is too little attention and there is too little investment" in Africa's humanitarian challenges. "Today a majority of our activities in Africa are badly underfunded. The majority [of projects] are less than 20 percent funded so far this year." Calling the situation in northern Uganda "one of the worse humanitarian crises in the world," the U.N. aid official warned, "We will have a break in the food pipeline in June unless we get more resources." "Already in the Horn of Africa and in parts of southern Africa we are having very meager rations and decreasing rations. In Ethiopia and Eritrea we are not able to feed all [the people] we should be feeding," Egeland said.' (AllAfrica)

Ethiopia: Election observers arrested. A recent bulletin from Stratfor (subscription service) reports: 'Ethiopia's opposition parties said May 14 that many of their election observers were arrested across the country, in addition to one candidate from the opposition United Ethiopian Democratic Forces. The opposition parties said that more than 100 observers remain in detention ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for May 15.' (Stratfor)