Sauver Le Darfour dans le monde

Annan fights genocide

The Times, 08 Octobre 2006

ADAM LEBOR’S diatribe against Kofi Annan reminds us of the terrible consequences of the world’s failure to prevent the atrocities in Srebrenica and Rwanda and provides another warning to stop the slaughter and rape in Darfur (Magazine, last week). But his attempt to hold only Annan responsible for these heinous crimes is unfair.
Annan has accepted his share of responsibility for these tragedies. He acted swiftly on the findings of the 1999 independent inquiry into the genocide in Rwanda, which criticised Annan but equally highlighted the failings of both member states and the United Nations Security Council.

He has sought consistently to move the UN from a culture of reaction to one of prevention.

LeBor accuses Annan of acting too slowly in response to reports (by some of his own senior colleagues) about Darfur. This, again, is wrong. Annan was in fact one of the first public officials to speak about Darfur, in December 2003. And in April 2004 he stated that the international community must be prepared to take swift and appropriate action including, if necessary, military measures.

There is only so much the secretary-general can do alone. It is now up to governments to bring peace to Darfur.

Sam Daws
Executive Director, United Nations Association of the UK