US Republican senator Sam Brownback.
Washington, Feb 2, 2005 (AFP) – TWO leading US politicians have demanded UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan act immediately to end the killing in Darfur or else resign from the world body.
But a UN spokesman rejected the call by senator Sam Brownback of Kansas and congressman Frank Wolf of Virginia, saying Mr Annan was in no position to force countries to take action in the troubled Sudan region.
Congressman Frank Wolf represents the 10th District of Virginia, US.
The two Republican legislators criticised a UN report on Darfur, released on Tuesday, for failing to recommend action to stop the violence in the oil-rich province, saying the findings had been sabotaged by UN politics.
“We cannot wait any longer for credible action on Darfur,” Senator Brownback said. “The time is now for Secretary-General Kofi Annan to lead or leave.”
The pair said that halting the killing in the western region would be a test of whether the UN remained relevant in the 21st century.
About 70,000 people are estimated to have died, many from hunger and disease, while 1.5 million others have been displaced into squalid refugee camps in two years of fighting between separatist rebels and government forces.
“The UN has failed over and over to prevent genocide,” said Mr Wolf, who heads the House of Representatives subcommittee that approves payment of US dues to the UN.
“If the UN Security Council cannot deal with genocide … I believe it’s fair to ask what purpose is the UN serving in the 21st century.”
In New York, Mr Annan called for 10,130 peacekeepers to be deployed to Sudan to help enforce the peace accord reached between the Sudanese Government and rebels in the south of the country.
In a report to the security council, Mr Annan said the peacekeepers would help the Government to implement the agreement signed with rebels of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Nairobi on January 9.
The task of the troops will be to supervise the implementation of the accord, ratified on Tuesday to bring to an end Sudan’s 21-year war, which has claimed at least 1.5 million lives.
Ratification opens the way for a committee to draft a provisional constitution for a six-year interim period, leading up to a referendum on independence for the south.
However, this will not resolve the conflict in Darfur.