Saturday 9 December 2006

Britain Must Act over the Tragedy that is Darfur

The situation is rapidly deteriorating in Darfur. The Government of the Sudan, using Janjaweed forces has intensified its military offensive leading to the killing, rape, and displacement of innocent civilians on an immense scale.

On November 16th Kofi Annan put forward a three step for an African Union and United Nations hybrid force for Darfur. This included a $21 million support package to the AU with the deployment of several hundred soldiers and police and finally the deployment of a 17,000 strong hybrid force under UN command and control, to conduct peacekeeping duties in Darfur.

The Government of the Sudan has used its influence to prevent the UN from having a direct role. The result is a continuation of the muder, rape and attrocities.

Unless the international community acts, and acts now, to provide effective protection to civilians we risk genocide on a horrific scale.

I am calling on the Government to link up with other European countries to support the UN and the African Union in this peace plan to address the tragedy that is Darfur.