Annan expects action following Darfur report
|Cbc News, 25 Janvier 2005|
A day after the United Nations commemorated the Holocaust, the Security Council will be asked to act on a report into the conflict and possible genocide in Sudan's Darfur region.
Tuesday's report will determine if genocide has taken place in Sudan, and Secretary General Kofi Annan said he would then ask the Security Council to take action.
"That report will determine whether or not acts of genocide have occurred in Darfur. But also and no less important, it will identify the gross violations of international humanitarian law and human rights which undoubtedly have occurred," said Annan on Monday.
His comments came as he addressed the General Assembly in a special session to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps.
In that sparsely attended assembly, the UN was told that indifference allowed Nazi Germany to systematically murder six million people, mostly Jews, during the Second World War.
"I am convinced if the world had listened to those of us who tried to speak, we may have prevented Darfur, Cambodia, Bosnia and naturally Rwanda," said Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, at Monday's ceremony.
If Tuesday's report says genocide is occurring, the UN could be spurred to mount a peacekeeping effort, level economic sanctions against Sudan and prosecute people for war crimes.
The conflict in Darfur has African tribes battling government-backed Arab militias to end what they see as their marginalization by the state.
The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced more than a million.
The government on the weekend accused rebels of attacking eight villages.
A small contingent of African Union observers has been ignored by both the Sudanese militias and the rebels. The Security Council has already passed resolutions condemning the violence in Darfur, but has yet to take action to stop it.