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UN Fails to Take Decisive Action On Darfur

UN Fails to Take Decisive Action On Darfur

Khartoum Continues to Deter Deployment of UN Peacekeepers

International Force Urgently Needed to Address Deteriorating Situation on Ground

WASHINGTON — The Genocide Intervention Network today expresses serious concern over the UN’s failure to take meaningful action to end genocide in Darfur. Following the Sudanese government’s outright rejection of an international force in Darfur, the UN continues to compromise the lives of civilians by allowing Khartoum to stall indefinitely on the question of peacekeeping.

After the signing of the Abuja peace deal, the Sudanese government indicated that it might allow a UN force to enter Darfur. Yet in subsequent months, the regime has become increasingly hostile to the idea of such a force. Last Tuesday, President Omar al-Beshir made clear his intentions to renege completely on the pledge to consider an international peacekeeping mission, claiming that he would not allow the country to be “recolonized.”

“These tactics are clearly meant to delay the deployment of a meaningful protection force,” says Rajaa Shakir, Director of Education for the Genocide Intervention Network, “and it appears that the Sudanese government is succeeding.”

The UN originally stated that they intended to begin operating in Darfur this September. That timeline has now been pushed back to January 2007, because of continued posturing by the government of Sudan.

“As the Sudanese government pretends to engage in meaningful dialogue with the United Nations, they are impeding progress toward peace on all fronts,” Shakir adds.

The plans for implementing the Darfur Peace Agreement are far behind schedule, and the government continues to allow the Janjaweed to ravage the people of Darfur.

“It is irresponsible for the United Nations to continue to bend to the will of a genocidal regime,” Shakir says. “They must stop deluding themselves into thinking that they are making progress with the Sudanese government.”

Earlier this week, UN Peacekeeping Chief Jean-Marie Guehenno said, “As long as the government of Sudan does not accept a UN mission, there will not be one. It’s as simple as that.”

“While the UN continues to converse with the government of Sudan, 500 people die each day,” argues Mark Hanis, Executive Director of the Genocide Intervention Network. “The UN must begin organizing a mission for Darfur immediately.”

An international peacekeeping force is urgently needed in Darfur, as the African Union itself acknowledges. “We need to hand over the baton to the UN,” the AU Commission Chairman said following a meeting with a Security Council delegation. “The AU today does not have the resources to be [in Darfur].”

“Monitoring [the Darfur Peace] agreement with only the troops we have now will be a failure,” added another AU official.

Perhaps most outrageously, the government of Sudan yesterday said it could take over the peacekeeping mission from the African Union.

“This is the most contemptible argument yet from the government of Sudan, which has proven it has neither the will nor the ability to reign in the genocidal Janjaweed militias,” Shakir says.

The time has come for the United Nations to stand by its responsibility to protect the civilians of Darfur, the Genocide Intervention Network says. The UN must immediately declare its intention to bring peace and stability to Darfur through an international peacekeeping force, deployed without delay.

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