Arab panel scold Islamic world for Darfur silence

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KAMPALA: An Arab human rights panel on Friday scolded the Islamic world for its silence on the conflict in the western Sudanese region of Darfur.

The suffering of Muslims in Darfur is as real as that happening in Iraq and Palestine, said the Arab Coalition for Darfur in a statement on the sidelines of an Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) meeting here.

The Islamic world’s response to the daily killings and suffering of millions of Muslims in Darfur has been largely silent, from both civil society as well as from institutions and majority of Islamic governments, it said.

The Islamic world must decide to end its wall of silence, before it is too late … More silence could be catastrophic on the Islamic community.

The coalition is made up of human rights groups in Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Algeria, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Mauritania, Kuwait, Palestine and Saudi Arabia.

The United Nations says up to 300,000 people have died from the combined effects of war, famine and disease and more than 2.2 million have fled their homes since the Darfur conflict broke out in February 2003.

Coalition leader Haggag Nayel urged OIC members to take decisive action. It is within the reach of the OIC member states and the wider Arab and Islamic community to take the necessary steps to help end the human suffering in Darfur, he said.

Despite the importance and regular deliberations and statements on Darfur in the OIC, this is not enough because the situation fails to improve for ordinary Darfurians on the ground.

The real causes of the conflict where Arabs are in conflict with black Africans are not fabricated by the west or imperialists, Nayel added.On Wednesday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni chided the 57-member OIC for failure to help end the Darfur crisis.

It is hypocritical to concentrate on the Palestine crisis and pay little attention on the African conflicts involving OIC member states. The OIC must resolve the issue of Darfur in the Sudan where Arabs are in conflict with black Africans, Museveni said. -AFP

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