Home | News    Thursday 17 June 2004

Annan raises possibility of international intervention in western Sudan


By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Writer

UNITED NATIONS, June 17, 2004 (AP) — Secretary-General Kofi Annan raised the possibility Thursday of international intervention to protect more than 1 million people threatened by fighting in the Darfur region of western Sudan.

The Sudanese government is responsible for safeguarding civilians in Darfur, Annan said, but it may need help from the international community.

"And the Sudanese government should be willing to accept that assistance," Annan said.

Fighting between Arab militias, believed to be backed by the government, and the black African population has killed thousands of people and forced more than 1 million to flee their homes.

The Sudanese government has denied backing the militias, known as the Janjaweed, blaming the trouble in Darfur on rebels and criminal gangs.

Annan said he wasn’t ready to describe the situation in Darfur "as genocide or ethnic cleansing yet" but he did call it "a tragic humanitarian situation."

Last week, the Security Council adopted a resolution giving the United Nations a green light to start planning for a U.N. peacekeeping mission in Sudan.

At the moment, the peacekeepers are supposed to monitor an agreement, expected to be finalized shortly, that will formally end a 21-year civil war in southern Sudan, but their mission could be expanded to Darfur with council agreement.

Annan told reporters he plans to visit Sudan "sometime soon" but didn’t confirm a report in the country’s al-Anbaa daily that he will travel to Darfur for a first-hand assessment of the conflict and the humanitarian crisis.

The United Nations has asked the Sudanese government "to take steps to contain the Janjaweed militia who are doing quite a lot of the killing and disruption of the lives of the people in the region," he said.

"They deny any complicity and indicated that they are going to do the best then can to bring the situation under control," Annan said. "I don’t have specific evidence, but from all accounts they can do something about the Janjaweed."

Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland had said that the number of people in acute need of food and medical help in Darfur has nearly doubled from 1.2 million to 2 million.

"We are rushing to get as much supplies on the ground before the rains come," Annan said Thursday. "We have also been putting pressure on the Sudanese government to allow humanitarian workers ... to be given free access to Darfur and allow supplies and equipment to come it. Things have improved but much more needs to be done."

Egeland on Monday called Darfur the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today and accused the Sudanese government of hindering efforts to get desperately needed food, water, sanitation equipment, tents and other supplies to the region before the rainy season.

"We’ve been working for many, many weeks in a race against the clock, and we see that the government, which should do its utmost to help us, is still not helping," Egeland said. "Some ministers are helping us, but some of their subordinates are sabotaging us."

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

Invisible female victims of armed militia attacks in Darfur 2021-01-08 15:19:56 By SIHA Network* On October 19th 2020, an armed group burned down the IDP camps of Oum Assal, Babanousa and Om Zegerat in Gerida locality. Gerida locality is composed of a number of villages (...)

Account Inventory for December Revolution in Sudan 2020-12-19 20:34:35 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman This article comes against the backdrop of Sudan's Third Revolution as some like to call it, two years later during which Much has been achieved but risks still remain, (...)

SPLM pinning tales of lies to cover up failures! 2020-12-17 20:03:56 by: Khor Dol Kai It should be very clear, by now, that no single progress will be made or ever made-whether in short or long run-to reverse the damages already done and the seeds of division (...)


Latest Press Releases

Sudan: Performing arts is not a crime, assaulting women and artists is! 2020-09-20 08:54:28 The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) Sudan is still struggling with militant Islamist ideology KHARTOUM: Central Khartoum Primary Court issued a verdict against five (...)

Civil Society Statement in Response to The Law of Various Amendments 2020-08-14 07:11:00 A Collaborative Civil Society Statement in Response to The Law of Various Amendments (Abolishing and Amending Provisions Restricting Freedom) – Exposing ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’ Sudanese women (...)

Remarks by SRF leaders at the Friend of Sudan meeting on peace 2020-08-13 07:58:58 Chairman of the Friends of Sudan Conference, Your Excellency, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, The Prime Minister of Sudan and the participating team from the (...)


Copyright © 2003-2021 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.