ME and Ophelia

Thursday, June 17, 2004

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UK CALL FOR UN TO REVIEW SUDAN'S SEAT ON ITS HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION - And impose no fly zone, oversee negotiations and increase number of observers

Following the call by Opposition leader Michael Howard for a "no-fly" zone to be imposed over Darfur, John Bercow, the Shadow International Development Secretary, has called on Tony Blair to sound a fresh alert in the UN Security Council. He said the UN should review Sudan's seat on its Human Rights Commission; should oversee political negotiations between the Sudanese government and rebels in Darfur; and should increase the deployment of international observers to monitor the ceasefire and protect civilians.

Further reading:

June 17 Scotsman "Sudan: no escape from bloodlust" report by Gethin Chamberlain on the Chad/Sudan border. Sudanese government-backed gunmen have clashed with Chadian army units after crossing the border to kill refugees who have fled the genocide in Darfur and sought sanctuary on land belonging to their western neighbour.

June 16 Scotsman "Sudan - Blair urged to act on Sudan". 200,000 black Africans forced over border into Chad by Arab militias. Sudanese air force bombing civilians. Blair considers UN-imposed no-fly zone. Hilary Benn, the International Development Secretary, visited Sudan last week and became the first UK minister to openly accuse the regime there of complicity in the violence in Darfur. Mr Blair yesterday declined to repeat Mr Benn’s words, simply saying: "I will be keeping in touch with developments there very precisely indeed. It’s an important issue."

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 6/17/2004
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