A senior United Nations official today said the Sudanese government had been able to reject the proposed deployment of a UN peacekeeping force in Darfur because the US and Britain had not done enough to sell the idea to countries around the world.
Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown credited US president George Bush and British prime minister Tony Blair for the lead role they have taken in highlighting the suffering in Darfur.
However, he gave them low marks in their efforts to persuade countries to pressure Sudan's President Omar el-Bashir to accept UN peacekeepers.
Speaking to a gathering at the Brookings Institution, Malloch Brown said pressure must be applied to African and Asian nations to convince el-Bashir to change course. He said the world must act quickly lest the grave situation in Darfur deteriorates further.
"We fear the worst because of the massive amount of Sudanese armament in the area," Malloch Brown said.
The United Nations wants to deploy 20,000 troops and police in Darfur, but el-Bashir has been inflexibly opposed.
BBC World Service broadcasts to Juba in Southern Sudan and surrounding areas in Arabic on 90.0 FM and in English on 88.2 FM. In Northern Sudan: Khartoum 91.0 FM, Al Ubayyid 91.0 FM, Port Sudan 91.0 FM and Wad Madani 91.5 FM.
“Violence will bring no victory. For the sake of the Darfur civilians, all parties to the conflict have to stop resorting to violence. This is the absolute priority.” - Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, 05 June 2009
"APPREHENSION" by Rob Rooker. Painted on a wall in Maridi, Sudan. The image is of a young Nuer boy looking up among a crowd of people. Click on image for more details. Cards & prints of Rob's paintings can be purchased online at Imagekind.com