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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 May 2007, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK
US sanctions 'won't help Darfur'
Man stands by mass grave in Darfur
Twenty-five of this man's friends were buried in this Darfur grave
World renowned economist Jeffrey Sachs has condemned the US decision to impose fresh sanctions on Sudan over Darfur.

Mr Sachs said this would do little to address the underlying causes of the four-year conflict, which he said was a squeeze on natural resources.

The ban on companies trading or banking with the US would do little to achieve peace in "one of the most desperate places in the world", he said.

More than 200,000 people died in the conflict and 2m have fled their homes.

'No real resolution'

Mr Sachs made his attack on President George Bush's decision to impose tougher measures on Sudanese individuals and businesses doing trade with the US while on a visit to Nairobi.

Jeffrey Sachs (Courtesy of the Earth Institute at Columbia University)
Until we face the development challenge... I'm afraid we are not going to have real resolution to this crisis
Jeffrey Sachs

The BBC's Karen Allen in Nairobi says Mr Sachs, a professor at Columbia University and an adviser to the UN secretary-general, has long been a critic of US foreign policy.

"Until we face up to the underlying reality that at the core, Darfur is a hungry, water-stressed, impoverished area that needs economic development as its real hope for finding long-term peace," he said.

"Until we face the development challenge and make clear that we're ready to help on the development challenge, I'm afraid we are not going to have real resolution to this crisis."

He rejected suggestions that more economic aid for Sudan would in effect be sanctioning impunity.

Sudan's government and the pro-government Arab militias, known as the Janjaweed, are accused of war crimes against the region's black African population

SANCTIONS ON SUDAN
30 Sudanese firms targeted
Mostly firms in oil business
Three individuals listed
Barred from US banking system
Barred from business with US

Mr Bush wants Sudan to allow more United Nations peacekeepers into Darfur and to stop backing the Janjaweed militias.

Mr Sachs said sending in more peacekeepers, the hybrid force which the international community is pushing for, would serve little purpose until a coherent economic development plan is built into a strategy for bringing stability to Darfur.

Sudan denies supporting armed groups and says the suffering in Darfur has been exaggerated for political reasons.

After Mr Bush's announcement, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said the bloc was open to considering new sanctions against Sudan.

Last Friday, the Security Council endorsed proposals to let a combined UN-African Union peacekeeping force protect civilians and use force to prevent violence.

The existing AU force has been unable to stop the conflict.


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