The following is from a story on BBC News this morning:
US actor George Clooney has called for the freezing of assets held by Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir.
Mr Clooney told the BBC that freezing his bank accounts would be a good way of putting pressure on Khartoum.
The Hollywood star has just returned from Sudan in his role as a UN messenger of peace ahead of January’s referendum on secession for the south.
The vote was part of a 2005 peace deal to end the two-decade north-south civil war – separate from the ongoing conflict in Darfur in the west of Sudan.
There has been growing international concern that the referendum could be delayed, sparking renewed violence.
The aim of Mr Clooney’s trip was to push the US government to take measures to prevent a new cycle of violence in Sudan.
After meeting US President Barack Obama this week on his return from Sudan, Mr Clooney said the international community had been inconsistent in its dealings with the Sudanese leadership.
“Real diplomacy, robust real diplomacy means you get the British, the French, everybody together,” he told BBC Arabic.
He also said other Arab states should get more involved.
“It would be nice to have as much involvement as we could from an Arab state. It would make a very big difference in the negotiating and Egypt is certainly a huge player in this.”
Mr Clooney, who spent several years trying to raise awareness on the situation in Darfur, urged all countries to close ranks.
“Bashir isn’t saving his money in Sudanese pounds, you know. They are in euros or they are in English pounds or they are in dollars. They are somewhere,” he said.
“We should be freezing those assets, if you really want to deal with it, if you really want to put pressure on them.”
An estimated 1.5 million people died in the civil war between the mainly Muslim north and Christian and Animist south.
The UN estimates the six-year conflict in Darfur has cost the lives of 300,000 people and driven a further 2.7m from their homes.
The government puts the death toll at 10,000 and has said the problems in Darfur have been exaggerated for political reasons.
4international is vitally interested in this issue of the Sudan. The above, with very useful map, is from the vast resources of BBC this morning.
As I understand, elections for the Assembly are coming up in November, and for the Presidency early in the New Year.
There is also a Referendum due, I think in January, and there is every chance that the South will vote to secede.
Also as I understand it, the South of Sudan is Christian, the North is Islamic, and Darfur is Black Muslim and Animist.
I will have to study later the Wikipedia offering on this situation.
Pamela Geller has featured on her blog a Sudanese man, who became a champion swimmer, and who has been staging a walk in America, I think between Boston and New York. The salient point about this man is that he was a slave when he was a young boy.
On this I have met black people here in Spain and they have been very hostile to Muslims, and I wonder if this can be a connection to this practice of slavery of the Muslim North in Africa towards the South, whether animist, or Christian.
In any case this is a vital issue. I admire George Clooney, I am unsure what his relationship is to the United Nations, an organization I detest, because of its inbuilt antisemitism, but he probably works as he can.
There is much to learn on the issue of the Sudan.
What is at stake, I feel, is the nature of Islam as it expanded out of the Arabian Peninsula in the period of Mohammed and his successors. How did this happen? Did it happen in a peaceful fashion or was it a brutal conquest?
We have writers like the ex-nun Karen Armstrong who paints Islam in the softest colours, with especially emphasis that Islamic Spain was a land of great tranquility, with Muslim, Chritian and Jew living so happily and productively together, so much so that in the writing of Armstrong you can hear the sound of water bubbling in the Creek behind her
Is that the truth?
There is much evidence that this is lies.
That in fact Islam as it expanded was all about the putting down by extreme force of all minorities, not just Jews, but many national minorities, the Kurds, the Berbers, the Serbs, the Christian Copts come to mind.
This today is entangled with a capitalist system which is plunging into a very deep crissi.
It is in the interconnection between these two facts, Islam as a religion cum political system with inbuilt tendencies towards violence, and the capitalist system itself, in a deep structural crissis, that most people get confused.