Monday, January 29, 2007

Darfur: Tutu says AU cannot allow itself to comfort the oppressor - urges tough sanctions

I'm a fan of Desmond Tutu. He once said women should rule the world. Here's another great speech via Jan 29 2007 Sapa report (hat tip CFD)
Sudan's government needs to face tough and effective sanctions until the suffering the Darfur region ends, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said on Monday.

Speaking ahead of the eighth African Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa this week, he said that Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir longed to be given the AU's presidency.

"The AU cannot allow itself to comfort the oppressor. I appeal to those leaders meeting at the AU summit to stand up to tyranny and stand by the people of Darfur."

Tutu warned the AU that the Sudanese government, and other parties to the conflict, treated AU peace monitors with contempt.

"And time and again they fail to comply with the promises they make to stop the killing."

He added that an immediate ceasefire in Sudan's Darfur region was essential, along with a strengthened peacekeeping force with United Nations troops. A robust mandate was urgently needed to protect the innocent.

"While discussions drag on, people are dying."

Tutu pointed out that the AU was at a crossroads over how to deal with the Darfur crisis in Sudan.

He called on the continental body to "be bold and stand by the people of Africa or be weak and stand by the politicians who are making that corner of Africa a graveyard".

"If the AU allows this to continue and the aid effort breaks down then there will soon be no help for the hundred of thousands who have fled their homes."

Tutu called the Darfur crisis "a matter of utmost urgency".

"The people of Darfur need action in weeks not months. They have suffered terribly, and they cannot wait any longer."

He said Africa could not turn its back on the people of Darfur.

"The government of Sudan continues to act with impunity and must now be subjected to tough and effective sanctions until the suffering ends.
Well said. AU must not allow its peace monitors to be treated with contempt.

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