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Renewed Fears Over Darfur

  • March 27th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

crisis_darfur-cut.jpgThe civil conflict, persecution and humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan was included in debates at the weekend European summit (24-25.3.07), in Berlin.

The Darfur emergency was remembered during a week in which fears were being expressed that the outside relief effort might collapse through lack of co-operation from Khartoum (BBC WS 26.3.07), and as the European Union was reflecting on its successes as an engine for prosperity and peace-making.

The summit president, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said the European Union was supporting United Nations resolutions on Darfur and would back an extension of sanctions againt Sudan if UN demands on refugee relief were not met.

Government heads of several countries have been under insistent pressure to act on the plight of refugees in the region from organisations committed to humanitarian relief and conflict resolution.

The Aegis Trust, described as a genocide prevention organisation, has been pressing the EU to take more direct action on Darfur, and on the weekend brought in Sir Bob Geldof, musician and anti-poverty campaigner, to assist at an event in the Berlin Jewish Museum.

Others there included survivors of mass killings of people, from Auschwitz, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur.

The International Crisis Group, which works for resolution of violent conflict, says it has proposed various strategies for peace in Sudan, which it sees as “riven by ethnic and religious divisions, and multiple conflicts, including in Darfur”.

In December it conducted an intense lobbying campaign, asking the United Natioins and Western leaders including the EU to consider strong economic sanctions against Sudanese leaders, if there was no progress towards forming a joint UN / African Union peacekeeping force.

Picture: Darfur encampment; (Crisis Group image)