Human rights activists are urging the U.N. Security Council to turn up
the pressure on the Sudanese government and quickly complete the
deployment of 26,000 U.N. peacekeepers to Sudan's war-torn Darfur
region. From United Nation's headquarters in New York, VOA's Margaret
Besheer has more.
At an informal meeting with Security Council
members, activists and non-governmental organizations charged the
15-member body is not doing enough to help the people of Darfur, more
than five years into a conflict that the world has called a genocide.
said the council must force the government of Sudan to comply with the
nine resolutions it has adopted on Darfur and if Khartoum remains obstinate, sanctions must be applied.
"The failure to sanction
Sudanese leaders for atrocities and commanding atrocities for some six
years now, has simply encouraged the Sudanese government and its
militias to continue to kill, loot and rape with impunity. And they do
that as we speak," said Georgette Gagnon, the Africa Director of Human
American Actress and Activist Mia Farrow blamed
council member China, which is invested in Sudan's oil sector, for
protecting Khartoum with its Security Council veto-power. "I don't
think the government of Sudan could have continued in this way for more
than five years without the knowledge that it has the support of a
giant - and that giant is China," she said.
who co-chairs the ENOUGH project to end genocide and crimes against
humanity, said because of its influence in Sudan, China has a larger
responsibility to help end the conflict. "They must fulfill that or we
are going to see Sudan burn - and one of the first things that is
going to burn is China's own economic interests," he said.
has come under increasing international pressure to use its influence
with the Khartoum government, especially as world attention turns to
Beijing which is about to host the Summer Olympic Games.
United States, which holds the rotating presidency of the Security
Council this month, organized Tuesday's informal meeting. U.S. Special
Envoy for Sudan Richard Williamson said Washington is "disheartened"
that the deployment of the 26,000 promised peacekeepers is moving so
slowly and warned that if more is not done the killing will continue.