Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Peacekeepers sent to Darfur

The United Nations Security Council yesterday approved a 26,000 member force made up of mostly African peacekeeper soldiers from the western region of Sudan. Their mission is to end four years of rape and slaughter in Darfur; it is estimated that 200,000 people have died, and 2.5 million have been uprooted and are refugees. The peacekeepers are expected to be in Darfur by year's end, and when fully deployed, it will be the largest peacekeeping operation in the world. Today, Denmark, France and Indonesia signed on to contribute to the effort.

What has Hawaii done to help? There were several measures introduced in 2007 to recognize the extreme atrocities being done to human life in Darfur. HB34, introduced by Rep. Roy Takumi, was the measure that passed into law. It prohibits the Employees' Retirement System from acquiring any securities of companies that have active business operations with Sudan. HR22, introduced by Rep. Rida Cabanilla, makes recommendations to the UN Security Council and others on the conflict.

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