France threatens Sudan with sanctions

21st March 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 20, 2007 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac on Tuesday threatened Sudan with sanctions if the "crimes against humanity" in the war-torn region of Darfur continued.

PARIS, March 20, 2007 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac on Tuesday threatened Sudan with sanctions if the "crimes against humanity" in the war-torn region of Darfur continued.

"I say solemnly: if the attacks continue, if agreements are not respected, the (United Nations) Security Council will have no other choice but to adopt sanctions. We are already working on it," he said in a message read out during a meeting organised by French group Urgence Darfur in Paris.

"And everything must be done to ensure the UN and African Union forces can be deployed to Darfur," he added in the message made public by his office.

Fighting between rebels and armed pro-government groups in Darfur has killed 200,000 people and displaced more than two million in the last four years, according to the UN.

In August, a UN security council resolution called for the gradual deployment of a joint UN-AU force of 20,000 to the region, to bolster the under-equipped AU force deployed in 2004.

Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir rejected the resolution but in November agreed to a compromise plan for a hybrid AU-UN peacekeeping operation -- an agreement he has now backed away from.

Both Britain and Washington have threatened new sanctions against the Khartoum government if it does not support the troop deployment, and on Monday UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also urged Beshir to accept it.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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