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Washington Increases Pressure on Sudan's Government


The US government has increased pressure on the Sudanese government to allow an upgraded peacekeeping force to enter Darfur under UN supervision. Khartoum rejected last week’s US- British-UN resolution, which proposed that a UN force be used to reinforce an understaffed, underfinanced African Union peacekeeping mission. Yesterday, Sudan’s government said it will send 10 thousand government troops to patrol Darfur; this statement has caused concern at the State Department in Washington. Marie Clark-Brill, the acting co-executive director of the American advocacy group Africa Action, told VOA English to Africa Service reporter Howard Lesser that her group and other US activists have long sought implementation of a UN force.

“Africa Action has been calling for the introduction of a resolution very much like the draft resolution for two years now and is currently in an escalation campaign that has brought this issue literally to President Bush’s doorstep in Crawford, Texas, during his vacation. And that, combined with the escalating crisis on the ground, has raised the tenor of this to the point that the administration had to act,” she said.

Clark-Brill discussed how the current crisis between Israel and Hezbollah may affect aid reaching Darfur.

“One concern is that with Israel and Hezbollah and the different various other conflicts and crises that are happening around the world, that by introducing this resolution, the United States would feel that they are somewhat off the hook. We have to be very clear that the United States has to finish what it has started and bring this to completion,” she said.

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