SUDAN WATCH: US special envoy to Sudan Andrew Natsios says Sudanese government has lost control

Friday, February 16, 2007

US special envoy to Sudan Andrew Natsios says Sudanese government has lost control

Reuters report 14 Feb 2007 (via Sudan Tribune) US envoy fears "blood bath" in Darfur - excerpt:
The U.S. special envoy to Sudan said on 14 Feb 2007 he feared aid groups could be forced out of Darfur and pro-government Janjaweed militia would try to close camps sheltering millions, resulting in a "blood bath."

"The government has lost control. There is anarchy in large parts of Darfur. The risk is that if the NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) leave, the U.N. humanitarian agencies leave ... there will be no one to care for these people in the camps who can be trusted," he told Reuters in an interview.

"There is a potential for an explosion if the agencies leave that would match the risk to people of the 2003 and 2004 time period," he said.

He said U.S. diplomacy would focus on protecting the humanitarian aid effort in Darfur.

"It is a matter of people's lives being protected and preventing the expulsion of the aid community and any attacks on the camps. It affects people's lives in a very direct sense," he said.

The United States is losing patience with Sudan's government over its handling of Darfur and is considering a more robust response to put pressure on Khartoum, a strategy Natsios has referred to as "Plan B."

He declined to provide any details of Plan B, saying it was classified.

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