Home News Germany calls for international pressureto end Sudan bloodshed

Germany calls for international pressureto end Sudan bloodshed

Published on 10/05/2004

10 May 2004

BERLIN – The German Foreign Office Monday issued an appeal for international pressure to help bring about an end to the bloodshed in Sudan.

Only prompt action by the international community on the government in Khartoum and its proxy militia could end the ethnic strife, said Foreign Office State Minister for African Affairs Kerstin Mueller.

Mueller, who returned over the weekend from a fact-finding trip to the Sudan-Chad border region, said, “This is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today with so many people in the most belligerent way being chased from their homes. Ethnic cleansing is going on under our very noses.”

She declined, however, to use the term “genocide” to describe the situation.

Earlier, another German governmental official proposed deployment of a European peacekeeping force. German Aid Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, speaking during a parliamentary debate on the Sudan crisis, proposed the deployment and said it could be funded by the European Union.

Berlin has earmarked more than EUR 1.5 million in humanitarian relief to the strife-torn country.

The Geneva-based UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the World Food Programme have both issued reports citing “a severe human rights and humanitarian crisis” in the region.

The reports said a “reign of terror” exists in Darfur because of repeated attacks on civilians by the government and proxy militiamen, use of indiscriminate aerial bombings and ground attacks on unarmed civilians and disproportionate use of force by the government and rebel groups.

The UN said the fighting was initiated by the rebel groups, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), which drew its forces from the Zaghawa, Fur and Masalit tribes. The government in Khartoum then sponsored fighters of apparently Arab descend to fight the African rebels.

It said an ethnically-based conflict was met by an ethnically- based response, building on long tribal rivalries in the region of Darfur.


Subject: German news