Jan 26, 2006 (LONDON) — The United Nations must impose “credible sanctions” on the Sudanese government until it stops blocking peacekeeping operations in Darfur, British MPs have said.
And they called for the struggling African Union force to be given a full UN mandate – including massive extra resources to help end the bloodshed.
The international development committee said it backed the “African solution to an African problem” approach but criticised a lack of political will to make it a success.
On Tuesday, Tony Blair admitted that the international community was “failing” the people of the war-torn region. But he told MPs the UK was pressing for the peacekeeping force to be brought up to full strength and was at the forefront of efforts to end the suffering.
The conflict has claimed the lives of more than 180,000 people, mainly through famine and disease, in what the UN has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Several million more have either fled into neighbouring Chad or been displaced inside Sudan.
The committee attacked the Sudanese government for failing to meet pledges to help the peacekeepers by blocking the delivery of essential military equipment.
“The UK Government should propose to the UN Security Council that it should apply credible sanctions until the Government of Sudan has complied,” it concluded.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has called for plans to deploy a new, Western-backed rapid reaction force with air support and sophisticated equipment.
He said: “The overriding priority for the international community must be to end the bloodshed. The UN should mobilise additional resources for the AU mission’s work and reinforce its role with a UN mandate.”
Tackled on the issue in the Commons, the Prime Minister said: “I think the international community is failing people in Darfur, which is why it is so important we take the measures that the Government have been pressing for.”
The report of International Development Committee of the House of Commons “Darfur: The killing continues”, is available at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmselect/cmintdev/657/657.pdf