Sauver Le Darfour dans le monde

NGOs, rights groups urge EU leaders to end Darfur humanitarian crisis

The Herald Tribune, 19 Octobre 2006


LAHTI, Finland Aid workers, human rights groups and survivors of genocide in Europe, Asia and Africa were pressing European leaders to stop the crisis in Sudan's Darfur.

An appeal from 120 survivors of the Holocaust and genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnia said the EU leaders holding a summit Friday "have the capacity to put real pressure on the Sudanese government to stop the killing. But so far the EU has done next to nothing."

The "world's largest aid effort ... is now on the verge of collapsing," they added in a letter that was to appear in eight European newspapers Friday.

Separately, six relief groups — the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, CARE International, Christian Aid, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee and Tearfund asked the EU and others "take on a greater leadership role."

They said "renewed violence in North Darfur has driven thousands of civilians deep into the mountains where they are cut off from aid. September has seen major new outbreaks of violence in North Darfur and the central Jebel Marra region, and a new rise in militia attacks destroying dozens of villages in South Darfur."

"The EU has offered generous funding, but has done too little to provide political leadership for a concerted and coordinated effort to bring this crisis to an end," they added.

Since an uprising began in the region three years ago, the Sudanese government is accused of attacking civilians with its own army and backing militia known as the janjaweed linked to some of the worst atrocities. The violence and ensuing disease and hunger have killed at least 200,000 people and displaced 2.5 million.

In another appeal to the EU, New York-based Human Rights Watch called for "targeted sanctions" against Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir and senior Sudanese officials it held "responsible for the ongoing military offensive and associated abuses against civilians in Darfur."

In October, a U.N. panel reported almost all the warring parties in Darfur were blatantly violating an arms embargo.

"The European Union says it supports sanctions. If this is more than rhetoric then now is the time to apply them at the European level," Human Rights Watch said.

A major hurdle to U.N. sanctions is opposition from permanent Security Council member China, the main foreign investor in Sudanese oil fields.

"In August, the Sudanese government launched a major offensive against rebel factions who refused to sign a May, 2006, peace agreement," Human Rights Watch said. "The past two months have seen fierce fighting in North Darfur, and Sudanese government aircraft have repeatedly bombed the area, on some occasions destroying villages and indiscriminately targeting civilians."

The 2006 peace deal was signed by the Sudanese government and the main rebel group, the Sudan Liberation Army. Most of the factions that did not sign have banded together in the National Redemption Front that has attacked government and rival rebel troops causing "displacement and other serious abuses of civilians," Human Rights Watch said.

The appeals to the EU came two days after liberal and conservative evangelicals in the United States urged U.S. President George W. Bush do more to end the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

The U.N. wants to send 20,000 U.N. troops to Darfur to replace an ill-equipped, understaffed African Union peacekeeping force that has been unable to quell ethnic violence. Sudan's government has opposed such a deployment.

On the Net:

http://www.crisisaction.org.uk

http://www.aegistrust.org

http://www.hrw.org/

LAHTI, Finland Aid workers, human rights groups and survivors of genocide in Europe, Asia and Africa were pressing European leaders to stop the crisis in Sudan's Darfur.

An appeal from 120 survivors of the Holocaust and genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnia said the EU leaders holding a summit Friday "have the capacity to put real pressure on the Sudanese government to stop the killing. But so far the EU has done next to nothing."

The "world's largest aid effort ... is now on the verge of collapsing," they added in a letter that was to appear in eight European newspapers Friday.

Separately, six relief groups — the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, CARE International, Christian Aid, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee and Tearfund asked the EU and others "take on a greater leadership role."

They said "renewed violence in North Darfur has driven thousands of civilians deep into the mountains where they are cut off from aid. September has seen major new outbreaks of violence in North Darfur and the central Jebel Marra region, and a new rise in militia attacks destroying dozens of villages in South Darfur."

"The EU has offered generous funding, but has done too little to provide political leadership for a concerted and coordinated effort to bring this crisis to an end," they added.

Since an uprising began in the region three years ago, the Sudanese government is accused of attacking civilians with its own army and backing militia known as the janjaweed linked to some of the worst atrocities. The violence and ensuing disease and hunger have killed at least 200,000 people and displaced 2.5 million.

In another appeal to the EU, New York-based Human Rights Watch called for "targeted sanctions" against Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir and senior Sudanese officials it held "responsible for the ongoing military offensive and associated abuses against civilians in Darfur."

In October, a U.N. panel reported almost all the warring parties in Darfur were blatantly violating an arms embargo.

"The European Union says it supports sanctions. If this is more than rhetoric then now is the time to apply them at the European level," Human Rights Watch said.

A major hurdle to U.N. sanctions is opposition from permanent Security Council member China, the main foreign investor in Sudanese oil fields.

"In August, the Sudanese government launched a major offensive against rebel factions who refused to sign a May, 2006, peace agreement," Human Rights Watch said. "The past two months have seen fierce fighting in North Darfur, and Sudanese government aircraft have repeatedly bombed the area, on some occasions destroying villages and indiscriminately targeting civilians."

The 2006 peace deal was signed by the Sudanese government and the main rebel group, the Sudan Liberation Army. Most of the factions that did not sign have banded together in the National Redemption Front that has attacked government and rival rebel troops causing "displacement and other serious abuses of civilians," Human Rights Watch said.

The appeals to the EU came two days after liberal and conservative evangelicals in the United States urged U.S. President George W. Bush do more to end the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.

The U.N. wants to send 20,000 U.N. troops to Darfur to replace an ill-equipped, understaffed African Union peacekeeping force that has been unable to quell ethnic violence. Sudan's government has opposed such a deployment.

- On the Net :

http:// www.sauverledarfour.org

http://www.crisisaction.org.uk

http://www.aegistrust.org

http://www.hrw.org/