SUDAN WATCH: TEXT: UK Foreign Secretary's speech to Darfur peace talks

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

TEXT: UK Foreign Secretary's speech to Darfur peace talks

"Meanwhile the people of Darfur continue to suffer. Two million or so are now in camps. Many more are homeless or displaced. Innocent people are still being killed. Women and girls are being raped. Children - the children of those represented here - are dying.

This has to stop. And the people who must stop it - indeed the only people who can stop it - are you, the representatives of the parties to the conflict.

What the international community now wants to see is an end to the haggling and posturing and the start of real action by you to put Darfur back together again. So as a first step I call on you today to take five specific and immediate actions:

First: Declare your positions and deployments as you are committed to doing.

Second: Respect and observe the ceasefire in Darfur, which you signed up to and begin to rebuild security there. The Government of Sudan bears primary responsibility for the events in Darfur and for the failure to ensure the security of its citizens there. It needs to cease its own offensive operations and rein in the janjaweed militias. But at the moment it is the rebel Movements who have been most guilty of late in launching new attacks: they have got to stop and rein in their fighters.

Third: attacks on the AU force and humanitarian convoys has to stop;

Fourth: facilitate the work of the humanitarian agencies not undermine;

And fifth: the perpetrators of atrocities have to be brought to justice not hidden.

So much for action on the ground. We need to see action here in Abuja too. That means an agreement reached here that stops the conflict for good and provides the basis for lasting peace, prosperity and justice in Darfur."

Full text (Sudan Tribune) 14 Feb 2006.

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