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Peace treaty has not helped Darfur

500,000 people in distress cut off from the outside world and 50,000 new refugees UN peace-keeping force must protect the civilian population!

Bolzano/Bozen, Göttingen, 24. August 2006

The Security Council must decide on the speedy stationing of a UN peace-keeping force in Darfur, if necessary with the opposition of the Sudanese government in order to give the civilian population adequate protection. This demand was made by the Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) on Thursday in an urgent letter to the members of the Security Council, which will be meeting on Monday to discuss the sending of a UN peace-keeping force. "Since the signing of the peace treaty for Darfur on 5th May 2006 the situation of the civilian population in the crisis regions has deteriorated dramatically", said the GfbV Africa expert, Ulrich Delius in an explanation of the demand. "Instead of bringing peace, the agreement has sown only violence." Since May 50,000 people have had to flee and 500,000 people in distress could not be cared for on account of the violence. The number of those raped by Janjaweed militia has also increased considerably.

"If the Security Council does not wish to be the grave-digger of Darfur, then it is high time to act", said Delius. "The mere passing of resolutions does not help the civilians at all. Since 2004 ten Darfur resolutions have been passed, but the genocide and the expulsions continue. The international community must at last make sure that the militia are disarmed as promised in the peace agreement." The USA and Great Britain are pressing for a speedy stationing of a UN peace-keeping force from 1st October. However the Sudan still categorically refuses to agree to the stationing of such a force.

Instead Khartoum has suggested that 10,500 Sudanese soldiers be sent to Darfur to support the African Union which has so far had the task of supervising the truce. "An absurd suggestion since Sudanese soldiers have in recent weeks together with Janjaweed militia terrorised the civilian population", said Delius. In the vicinity of the refugee camp Kalma alone more than 200 women between the ages of 13 and 50 have in the past five weeks been raped. At least as many say that they have been harrassed or beaten. As a consequence more than 300 women gathered together in the camp to demand better protection.

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