UK Protect Darfur Campaign calls for UN intervention in Darfur, Sudan
Excerpt from today's Guardian UK:
More than 100 MPs and peers have signed a parliamentary statement calling for the UN to authorise peace-enforcement operations to be led by African Union troops, supported by wealthy countries.
The Protect Darfur campaign, which is being coordinated by the Aegis Trust a charity that campaigns to prevent genocide, was launched at the House of Commons.
Charles Kennedy, the Liberal Democrat leader, and Clare Short, a former international development secretary, are among politicians from across all parties who are backing the campaign.
Mr Kennedy said political or economic interests could not be allowed to cause "further delay" to intervention in the region.
Ms Short said: "It would not be difficult to stop the killing - a much larger African Union force with peace enforcement powers could do it.
"Instead, the great powers squabble and posture in New York while another genocide is allowed to develop."
The launch of the campaign comes after the release of a report yesterday by the cross-party international development committee that the death toll in the region had been substantially underestimated and was likely to be around 300,000. This figure is more than four times higher than the fatalities estimated by the World Health Organisation.
A member of the international development committee, the Conservative MP John Bercow, said today: "Too many people in Darfur have suffered too much for too long with too little done about it.
"The international community must now act through the UN by imposing sanctions on the Sudanese government, extending the arms embargo and providing the African Union force with the troops and mandate necessary to enforce peace in the region."
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Gunmen ambush African Union monitors in South Darfur
Yesterday, there was news that two of the AU force had been attacked and wounded by unidentified gunmen on Tuesday near the town of Niteaga, northwest of Nyala, the capital of South Darfur state. Radhia Achouri, a UN official in Sudan, said two monitors and one Sudanese translator had been hurt in the attack. She did not know who had been responsible. AU monitors have already come under fire several times in Darfur. via (IRIN) March 30, 2005.