SUDAN WATCH: Britain calls for more peacekeepers in Darfur

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Britain calls for more peacekeepers in Darfur

Prime Minister Blair has faced new questions about the Darfur crisis during his weekly appearance in parliament. Excerpts from VOA News report by Michael Drudge London 25 January 2006:

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has told parliament the international community is failing to support the people of Darfur. Mr Blair says an African peacekeeping force needs more troops and money.
"I think the international community is failing the people in Darfur, which is why it is so important that we take the measures that the development secretary, indeed the government, have been pressing for," he said. "And those measures have got to include not just the immediate humanitarian help, but also to make sure that the African Union peacekeeping force comes up to its full strength."
Mr Blair says a number of steps need to taken to bring peace to Darfur, but he defends British policy on the issue.
"The only way that the situation in Darfur is going to improve is when there are sufficient numbers of peacekeeping forces on the ground to keep the combatants apart, when the process of dialogue and peace takes place, which we have been calling for, and obviously, where the measures are in place to improve humanitarian help," he added. "So we have to do more, but we are doing more and I would just point out we as the British government have been leading in this area and will continue to do so."
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British Lib Dems slam Darfur 'failure'

Excerpt from Jan 25, 2006:

The Liberal Democrats have called on the government to do more to help the victims of civil war in Sudan.

Acting leader Sir Menzies Campbell said the international community had "failed the people of Darfur".

Speaking at prime minister's questions in the Commons on Wednesday, he said Britain had been right to prioritise Africa in its foreign policy.

"The prime minister rightly said that Africa is 'a scar on the conscience of the world' and made Africa the focus of the British presidency of the G8," Sir Menzies said.

"With hundreds of thousands of people dead and two million displaced, haven't we failed the people of Darfur?"

Tony Blair agreed that more needed to be done to aid refugees and assist the African Union in ensuring fresh violence does not break out.


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