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Recent Attacks in Darfur Demonstrate Why UN Protection Force Must Be Deployed
Thursday, 10 May 2007 22:21
AFP NETHERLANDS - Government of Sudan Bombards North Darfur; Africa Action Urges U.S. Action at the UN Security Council to Deploy UN Peacekeepers

Thursday, May 10, 2007 (Washington, DC) – In the wake of renewed government aerial bombardments in North Darfur, reported yesterday by United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Africa Action today stressed that civilians in Darfur remain acutely vulnerable to violent attacks in this ongoing genocide. The organization further emphasized that the U.S. mission at the UN, during its current presidency of the Security Council, must act to ensure the deployment of a peacekeeping force to Darfur to protect non-combatants from such attacks.

Nii Akuetteh, Executive Director of Africa Action, said today, “The international community, with the U.S. as a key member, keeps saying it will act to end the violence in Darfur. Recent attacks by the Sudanese government clearly illustrate that international action thus far has been insufficient. The U.S. must work now to advance Darfur on the UN Security Council agenda for this month and use this crucial opportunity to make the deployment of peacekeepers a reality.”

Attacks in North Darfur over the past three weeks have increased the number of people displaced by violence, adding to the more than 2.5 million already forced from their homes. This upsurge in refugees and internally displaced persons has strained the already stretched capacity of aid agencies operating in the region. The efforts of humanitarian aid workers are threatened, as they continue to face attacks and their ability to access large segments of the population is compromised.

An Amnesty International report this week also revealed that Russia and China have broken the UN arms embargo against Sudan in their continued military transactions. Africa Action stated that the U.S., as president of the Security Council, must shed light on such violations within that UN body and ensure that the international community is united in opposition to genocide in Darfur.

Africa Action recently released a statement on the next steps for the U.S. during its presidency of the Security Council this month. This statement, entitled “A Chance to Change Course in Darfur” is available here: http://www.africaaction.org/newsroom/docs/MaySCDarfurStatement.pdf.

Africa Action continues to work with groups around the country in planning “Sprints for Darfur” to highlight the need for protection and security on the ground. More information about this project can be found here: http://www.sprintfordarfur.com/
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