Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Darfur: Keep up international pressure on Sudan

Khartoum Should Accept Full 20,000-Strong International Force

(New York, April 17, 2007) – Concerned governments should impose targeted sanctions against Sudanese officials unless Khartoum immediately agrees to the full deployment of the proposed 20,000-member hybrid international peacekeeping force for Darfur, Human Rights Watch said today.

According to media reports, the Sudanese government has signed off on the second phase of a proposed three-stage “hybrid” African Union-United Nations force for Darfur. The second phase includes 3,000 additional military police and additional equipment, while the third stage – the full hybrid force – would include more than 20,000 additional troops.

“Sudan’s green light for only part of the peacekeeping force is too little, too late, and is aimed only at defusing international pressure and heading off sanctions,” said Peter Takirambudde, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Governments should keep the focus on the full international force, which could really help to protect civilians in Darfur.”

The second-phase agreement follows months of negotiations, and Khartoum continues to resist the deployment of the third, most substantial, part of the proposal. Read more >>>

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