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France And Britain Correct About Need For Sudan Sanctions

September 6, 2007

I know this post is lost on most people.  After all it is football season.

But for those who do care about the plight of real people dealing with life and death issues, the thoughts of the European powers might be of interest.  The focal point is again in the bloody and troubled region of Darfur.  The main problem continues to be the government of Sudan led by President al-Bashir. 

The United Nations found the votes this summer to pass a Security Council resolution to take the necessary action to protect civilians and aid workers. The President of Sudan finally agreed to allow a large peacekeeping force into Sudan and the Darfur region to stem the loss of more than 200,000 lives.   (Sudan of course denies the death toll, and says only 9,000 have been killed.) Another 2.5 million villagers are homeless.  And let me be blunt, most of my fellow countrymen do not give a damn about any of these figures. 

But the European governments, as demonstrated by France and Britain, understand the need to be wary of al-Bashir, as he does not keep his word.  If Sudan fails to maintain a cease-fire in its western region of Darfur, or make progress on reaching a political settlement, the world community must press aggressively forward with sanctions.  Today news was made that rebel leaders would hold peace negotiations with the government of Sudan next month.  While those are heartening words, the past actions of Khartoum does not make me think the bloodshed is anytime soon going to end.

As the New York Times reported today those who allow the bloodshed are in control  in Khartoum.

The bloodletting in Darfur began four years ago when ethnic African fighters took up arms against the Arab-dominated central government, accusing Khartoum of hoarding resources and neglecting their area. Khartoum retaliated by unleashing militias in an ethnic cleansing campaign that has ended up costing more than 200,000 lives and leaving 2.5 million villagers homeless.

The world needs to stay on top of this matter even if most people in America do not care.

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