Aegis rejects Blair's hint at Sudan sanctions and calls for much great international intervention into Darfur
Tony Blair has hinted that sanctions could be imposed against the Sudanese government if progress to resolve the situation in Darfur is not made.Note, Aegis is a pressure group. CEO James Smith ought to explain that sanctions on poverty sticken countries don't really work and hurt poor people most in need of infrastructure, drinking water, roads and land on which they can live, farm, educate their children and pay taxes.
The prime minister's comments come prior to tomorrow's International Human Rights Day, which is set to focus on the humanitarian crisis in Sudan.
"If rapid progress is not made, we will need to consider alternative approaches with international partners," Mr Blair warned.
"Both the government and the rebel movements should be clear that they will be judged on the basis of actions, not just words. They must move forward quickly to implement an immediate and strengthened ceasefire, commit to a political process and agree an effective peacekeeping force for Darfur."
The prime minister's comments were rejected by Dr James Smith, chief executive of the anti-genocide Aegis Group, who called for much greater international intervention into Darfur.
"Merely hinting at possible sanctions against Khartoum... shows that he still has no new plans for action, just more words," Dr Smith said.
"What's needed now goes well beyond mere sanctions against the architects of ethnic cleansing in Darfur, though it's a disgrace that only now are these being hinted at.
My view is sanctions would be a disastrous set back for everyone in Sudan and undo a lot of hard work undertaken by the so-called "international community". I support Mr Blair merely hinting at Sudan sanctions. I believe if they could, Khartoum would have disarmed the Janjaweed by now. They say they can, but they can't. Me thinks neither can anyone else. Which is why I do not support military intervention in Sudan without its government's consent.
Banging on about getting UN and NATO troops into Darfur against the wishes of the Sudanese government seems a waste of time. not helping the people of Darfur. The African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) is under equipped and overstretched but doing a great job despite its peacekeepers in Darfur still not being paid. REPEAT: Darfur peacekeepers still not paid on time. Next year, AMIS may be funded to the tune of billions but such things take time. Meanwhile, all peacekeepers deserve to be paid correctly and on time and given decent meals. along with all the support that can be mustered. See earlier entry here below re Christmas greetings to Darfur peacekeepers.
Photo: AMZAR Trading & Services Ltd., in Khartoum provides disgusting $3,60 meals to African soldiers in Sudan's Darfur