Home | Press Releases    Saturday 17 February 2007

European Parliament takes hard line on Darfur

Aegis Trust

Media Release

Feb 15, 2007 — Campaigners and survivors of ethnic cleansing in Darfur have warmly welcomed the lead taken on the crisis today by the European Parliament. Expected to be backed by all major parties, the joint motion for a resolution on the Darfur crisis will be put to the vote around midday today and is expected to pass with an overwhelming majority.

It calls for the UN to set a date for deployment to Darfur, with or without Sudanese Government consent; for the international community and EU to supply equipment for enforcement of the no fly zone over Darfur that it identified as established by UN resolution 1591, and for the EU to apply sanctions, possibly including an oil embargo.

Time for Foreign Office to act on Blair’s words

“This resolution is by far the strongest yet issued by any major international body. It raises the bar for EU Governments, including the UK,” says Dr James Smith, Chief Executive of UK-based genocide prevention organisation the Aegis Trust. “At the EU Foreign Ministers meeting earlier this week, Margaret Beckett did nothing to secure an EU commitment to sanctions against Sudan, despite Blair’s rhetoric on this just two months ago. The Foreign Office should stop wasting time and start acting on the Prime Minister’s words about sanctions and a no-fly zone.”

“We’re very pleased that the European Parliament has recognised our people need protection and that it’s the international community’s responsibility to provide that now,” says Ishag Mekki, Vice Chairman of the Darfur Union. “Mass murder continues in Darfur, it’s been going on for more than four years now, and every day that no protection is given, more of our loved ones die.”

UN Deployment to Eastern Chad vital

“For the sake of Darfur, it’s vital that sanctions and a no fly zone are implemented now,” says Stephen Twigg, the Aegis Trust’s Campaigns Director. “This is a shot across the bow for the Sudanese Government. Khartoum has to understand that it cannot continue stalling on implementation of the hybrid AU-UN force.

“A swift deployment of UN peacekeepers to eastern Chad is also vital to end the destabilisation of the region and put well-equipped international forces hours rather than months away from the 2.5 million people internally displaced in Darfur, should the crisis worsen to the point where non-consensual intervention is the only option to prevent largescale loss of life.”

ENDS

For more information or to arrange interviews, contact Media Officer David Brown, +44 (0)7812 640873, or Parliamentary Officer Hratche Koundarjian, +44 (0)7905 911039