jueves, 10 de abril de 2008


GINEBRA (AFP) — El Alto Comisionado de la ONU para los Refugiados (ACNUR) anunció el martes una asociación con el gigante de internet Google que permitirá localizar los asentamientos de refugiados en Irak, Darfur y Colombia y divulgar su trabajo entre la opinión pública.

ACNUR presentó en su sede de Ginebra un nuevo servicio puesto en marcha usando un programa de Google Earth que le ha permitido incorporar sus propias bases de datos al localizador geográfico por satélite.

Así, los usuarios podrán tener información sobre tres de las principales operaciones actuales de la agencia -para los refugiados de Irak, Darfur y Colombia- así como imágenes de sus estructuras y acciones.

Haciendo clic en un icono de un campo de refugiados de Darfur en Chad, por ejemplo, se podrán tener detalles sobre la vida diaria de los refugiados, sus historias y los desafíos a los que se enfrentan las agencias humanitarias para garantizar su salud y supervivencia.

"Google Earth es un potente medio para ACNUR para mostrar el vital trabajo que realiza en algunas de las zonas más remotas y difíciles del mundo", declaró el número dos de la organización, Craig Johnstone. "Mostrando nuestro trabajo en su contexto geográfico podemos subrayar realmente las dificultades a las que hacemos frente y cómo las superamos", añadió.
Summary:Sudan is the largest country in Africa, located just south of Egypt on the eastern edge of the Sahara desert. The country’s major economic resource is oil. But, as in other developing countries with oil, this resource is not being developed for the benefit of the Sudanese people, but instead, for an elite few in the government and society. As much as 70 percent of Sudan’s oil export revenues are used to finance the country’s military.
Darfur, an area about the size of Texas, lies in western Sudan and borders Libya, Chad and the Central African Republic. It has only the most basic infrastructure or development. The approximately 6 million inhabitants of Darfur are among the poorest in Africa. They exist largely on either subsistence farming or nomadic herding. Even in good times, the Darfuri people face a very harsh and difficult life; these are not good times in Darfur.
The current crisis in Darfur began in 2003. After decades of neglect, drought, oppression and small-scale conflicts in Darfur, two rebel groups – the Sudanese Liberation Army/Movement (SLA/M) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) – mounted a challenge to Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir. These groups represent agrarian farmers who are mostly non-Arab black African Muslims from a number of different tribes. President al-Bashir’s response was brutal. In seeking to defeat the rebel movements, the Government of Sudan increased arms and support to local tribal and other militias, which have come to be known as the Janjaweed.[1] Their members are composed mostly of Arab black African Muslims[2] who herd cattle, camels, and other livestock. They have wiped out entire villages, destroyed food and water supplies, and systematically murdered, tortured, and raped hundreds of thousands of Darfurians. These attacks occur with the direct support of the Government of Sudan’s armed forces.
No portion of Darfur’s civilian population has been spared violence, murder, rape and torture. As one illustration of how Khartoum has waged its war, the Sudanese military paints many of its attack aircraft white – the same color as UN humanitarian aircraft – a violation of international humanitarian law. When a plane approaches, villagers do not know whether it is on a mission to help them, or to bomb them. Often, it has been the latter.
This scorched earth campaign by the Sudanese government against Darfur’s sedentary farming population has, by direct violence, disease and starvation, already claimed as many as 400,000 lives. It has crossed over into neighboring Chad and the Central African Republic. In all, about 2.3 million Darfuris have fled their homes and communities and now reside in a network of internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Darfur, with at least 200,000 more living in refugee camps in Chad. These refugees and IDPs are completely dependent on the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations for their very livelihood – food, water, shelter, and health care.
Another 1 million Darfuris still live in their villages, under the constant threat of bombings, raids, murder, rape and torture. Their safety depends on the presence of the underfunded and undermanned African Union (AU) peacekeeping force, numbering just 7,400 troops and personnel. However, the so-called “AMIS” force, in Darfur since October 2004, lacks a civilian protection mandate as well as adequate means to do stop the violence; its sole mandate is to monitor and report ceasefire violations and it has done little more, due to its limited mandate but also because of its anemic capacity.

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