Brown, Sarkozy make case for resolving Darfur crisis

31st August 2007, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, Aug 30, 2007 (AFP) - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy made their case for how to resolve the crisis in Darfur in a comment piece released on Thursday.

LONDON, Aug 30, 2007 (AFP) - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy made their case for how to resolve the crisis in Darfur in a comment piece released on Thursday.

Writing in an early edition of The Times's Friday paper, the two leaders said it was the combination of "a ceasefire, a peacekeeping force, economic reconstruction and the threat of sanctions that can bring a political solution to the region."

The pair committed to "redouble our efforts to make further progress," noting that "the situation remains completely unacceptable."

Their article comes ahead of the deployment of a 26,000 United Nations-African Union force that is to replace a poorly-equipped AU contingent, which was agreed by the UN Security Council last month after months of intense diplomatic activity to convince Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir.

The full force is not expected to be on the ground before mid-2008.

According to Brown and Sarkozy, "there is still a gap between the efforts pursued by the international community and the dramatic situation that remains on the ground."

The UN has said that more than 200,000 people have died and more than two million have been displaced by four years of conflict in Darfur.

Sarkozy and Brown wrote that in the coming days, French Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Human Rights Rama Yade and junior British Foreign Office Minister Lord Mark Malloch-Brown would visit Sudan, including Darfur, as part of a diplomatic push to bring about a quick ceasefire.

They also called for a political settlement that would allow Darfuris to participate in Sudanese national elections in 2009, and said that if sufficient progress was not made on security in the region, a ceasefire, the political process, and humanitarian access, sanctions would be on the table.

"We will work together for further sanctions against those who fail to fulfil their commitments, obstruct the political process or continue to violate the ceasefire," they wrote.

They also wrote that more had to be done on economic reconstruction, and about the broader problems in the region surrounding Darfur.

"The causes of conflict in Sudan are deep-rooted: economic, environmental and political. Neither Britain nor France, nor the people of Sudan, can achieve a successful outcome alone," they noted.

"We need co-operation from all parties and engagement from the international community."

AFP

Subject: French news

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