SUDAN WATCH: Britain's top diplomat Jack Straw at Darfur peace talks - Warns of sanctions

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Britain's top diplomat Jack Straw at Darfur peace talks - Warns of sanctions

"Progress in the talks has been far too slow," British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw told delegates on a visit to the Darfur peace talks in Abuja, adding that neither side had done enough to observe a ceasefire in Darfur, reports Reuters today:

He said Britain would add names to a list of people from both sides already before the U.N. Security Council's Sanctions Committee for consideration. "Nor do we rule out additional U.N. sanctions against either the government of Sudan or the (rebel) movements if they fail to make progress," Straw said.

Darfur rebels have been most guilty of recent attacks

Britain believes that, while the Sudanese government bears responsibility for the security of its citizens there, it is the rebels who have been most guilty of recent attacks. "Our patience is not unlimited," Straw said, adding that if no agreement is reached soon, Britain and other countries will start looking at alternatives.

"You may well find that such alternatives leave some of the parties here and the absent leaders with a smaller role to play," he said, referring to the rebel commanders who were not present at the talks.

Straw also announced that Britain will give a further 1 million pounds ($1.74 million) to the African Union for its work in supporting the peace process.

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