British PM Pledges To Work "Tirelessly" On Darfur
PM pledges to work "tirelessly" on Darfur
The tragedy in Darfur "should not be allowed to continue", Gordon Brown said today.
Writing in the Mirror, the PM said that the "real horror" of people fearing rape, abduction and death in Darfur and neighbouring Chad must not be forgotten over the Christmas period.
He urged rebel leaders to sign up to peace talks and end violence in the region, saying that a negotiated peace is the only long-term solution to the crisis.
The crisis has resulted in 200,000 deaths, 2 million people displaced and 4 million surviving on international aid. 250,000 people have fled their homes in 2007 and intensified fighting has undermined the humanitarian situation.
The PM said that Darfur is a test of whether the international community has "the guts to stand up for its values".
The UK recently agreed a United Nations Security Council resolution to deploy the biggest UN peacekeeping force in the world to protect people from violence. It is due to commence operations on 31 December.
Mr Brown said:
"I want the UN to accelerate planning and deployment, and will press UN member states to provide the assets needed, particularly helicopters and ground transport."
He also warned rebel groups that attacking peacekeepers would be "wholly unacceptable"
"The UN force must be allowed to do its job: to protect the people of Darfur and the humanitarian agencies working for them.
The UK has provided over £275m to refugees in Sudan over the past 3 years, and £75m for the African peacekeepers in Darfur.