Tuesday, December 07, 2004

U.N. Ambassador John Danforth calls for European security for Darfur Sudan IDP camps

Georgetown University reports today on a speech by Ambassador John Danforth in which he urges European countries to provide soldiers or police officers to provide security at the camps.

John C. Danforth
John C. Danforth

Calling Sudan “one of the great tragedies of the world today and a very long-standing tragedy,” Danforth emphasized the importance of educating Americans about the current conflict in Darfur.

Speaking specifically about Darfur, Danforth emphasized that the international community’s best course of action is to “increase the outside presence [in the region] particularly of the African Union.”

“There’s no chance the Security Council would agree to military action. As a practical matter, it’s not going to happen,” he said. “People say what about sanctions? We passed two resolutions in the Security Council that hinted at the possibility of sanctions. But to show the resistance to sanctions, we couldn’t even use that word in resolutions.”

Danforth said that “international observers would have a chilling effect on the worst incidences of abuse,” and urged European countries to provide soldiers or police officers to provide security at displaced persons camps. “Sudan is never going to be a place where we can cross it off the international to-do list,” he said. “I don’t think there’s ever a point that a country can stop the ongoing work of gluing itself together.”
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Readers have their say - via BBC News Online

The United Nations will provide aid to Sudan's government and southern rebels if they fulfil their promise to finalise a peace deal by the end of the year. The Sudanese parties signed the pledge at a special UN Security Council meeting in Kenya.

The council adopted a resolution backing the commitment. It also called for an immediate end to violence in Darfur but aid agencies said the resolution was weak and urged further action.

Will the meeting of diplomats really change anything? Is it an important step on the road to reconciliation - or just a token gesture? Click here to read the comments BBC News Online have received so far.

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