ME and Ophelia

Sunday, July 25, 2004

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To combat Darfur's humanitarian crisis

My question to readers re below excerpt: Surely, the more hands there are on deck - to help get aid to those in most need - the more chance there is of saving the lives of hundreds of thousands Sudanese people. Why do you think government of Sudan has been saying no? Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions - no matter how scrappy - would be appreciated via comments or email. Thanks.

July 25 - EU report excerpt: "A rebel movement in strife-torn Darfur called Sunday for a rapid deployment of international troops to combat the humanitarian crisis in the western Sudanese region.

"We are asking the United States, the United Nations secretary general, the European Union and the African Union for the urgent deployment of troops in the coming days to ensure the delivery of food aid to millions of refugees," rebel spokesman Abdel Wahed Mohammed Nur told AFP.

Contacted by telephone, the spokesman of the Sudan Liberation Armyadded that the intervention would "avert a humanitarian disaster of great proportions".

But Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail, speaking to BBC television on Sunday, questioned the need for foreign troops in the vast region, saying his government was doing all it could to disarm Arab militias.

"Why should we have to rush and to talk about military intervention as long as the situation is getting better?" Ismail asked. "My government is doing what can be done in order to disarm the militia."

In Khartoum, the ruling National Congress (NC) party took opposition to foreign intervention a step further, with a threat to use force to counter it, a press report said Sunday.

"Anybody who contemplates imposing his opinion by force will be confronted by force," NC secretary general Ibrahim Ahmed Omar said, quoted by the official Al-Anbaa daily."

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 7/25/2004
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