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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 September, 2004, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Darfur crisis: What more is needed?
Displaced women at the Zam Zam refugee camp in Darfur
We discussed Sudan and the Darfur crisis in our phone-in programme, Talking Point.


A United Nations deadline has expired for the Sudanese authorities to improve security in the troubled Darfur region.

The UN Security Council will meet on Thursday to discuss whether to take action against the Sudanese government.

Eight Sudanese aid workers are reported to have been kidnapped in Darfur.

The UN threatened action if Sudan did not take steps by 30 August to improve the security situation in the western region of Darfur and to rein in the militias, blamed for killing civilians.

Will the peace talks bring progress? If they fail, should the UN impose sanctions? What should the UN's response be to the expired deadline? Send us your views.

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.


Your comments:

SUGGEST A DEBATE
This topic was suggested by Jamil Baroody, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia:
What next for Darfur negotiations?

The separation of Darfur is, by history, not negotiable. More political pressures on the government might be fruitful. The government has to pay back for its policies of deliberately neglecting the situation.
Forawi, Khartoum, Sudan

Well deadline is here, so what now? Talk again and let people die, or tell the Armies to back off while a UN force goes in to feed the poor innocents that are dying? A 3 month old baby MUST have rights
Maria Daniels, Germany

This is a great test for the African Union to show that it is serious with its plan of intervening militarily in situations like Darfur, Sudan. Little Rwanda is willing and big Nigeria is able. Where is the great nation of South Africa? Oh, how the mighty forget the past?
kabajo Nsubuga, Kyaggwe, Uganda

What bothers me about Darfur is the nonchalant attitude of African leaders. African leaders should have in mind that what these innocent civilians are experiencing at the hands of the Sudanese government-sponsored militia can only embolden them to more arrogance and disregard for the rule of law.
Edem Edem, Calabar, Nigeria

We need a massive clampdown on the arms trade
Chantelle, Manchester, UK
We need a massive clampdown on the arms trade. Situations such as this would not arise if these murderers were unable to acquire guns and other firearms in order to build up their militia. We are all responsible for this problem. Next to agriculture, weapons manufacturing is the second most heavily government subsidised industry. Sanctions will not work as they only affect the innocent. Will the UN not respond to Sudan's cry?
Chantelle, Manchester, UK

I'm a little bewildered by the suggestions here that inaction on Sudan is because it has "no oil". In fact Sudan has a great deal of oil, as France, China and various other countries know very well, having lucrative oil contracts with the Khartoum government. As France is deeply involved with Sudan, perhaps it would like to do something to stop the genocide, instead of waiting for the US and UK to do so (and then, of course, berating us for it)?
Frank Harrison, UK

Imposing sanctions alone will take a long time to show fruitful results or bring the genocide to an end. The international community should realise that this is a clear case requiring full military intervention and the UN must act swiftly by sending peacekeeping troops. The pressure being put on the Khartoum government is not enough to force Sudan to stop killing its own people. This is a very irresponsible government which cannot understand any language apart from force. The deadline for imposing sanctions has been too long and we don't expect it to be extended. Peoples lives are being lost and we need action now!
Gustaff Chikasema, Windhoek, Namibia

That sanctions would even be proposed as a viable option is a disgrace. How many times must they fail before we get over it? All the time wasted discussing them allows more suffering and deaths. There are no do-overs for the people of Darfur... we cannot get this time back though we will wish we could!!!
LR, USA

Food aid yes, but no military involvement or embargo!
Thomas, Canada
People please check the facts first. The situation in Darfur is a lot more complex than the media is capable of informing. It is not genocide. It is a civil war and it was caused by the Darfur rebel groups. The situation is hyped up by the NGOs. The UN is unable to act because it is not of one mind as far as the members of the Security Council are concerned. That in itself should tell you that the situation is not clear. Finally, the Sudanese government has the right to protect its territorial integrity. Food aid yes, but no military involvement or embargo!
Thomas, Canada

The United Nations, and all European countries, along with the African Union, should make a strong effort to deploy an international force , to restore the law and order, and at the same time assure that aid is arriving to the refugees camps. Once the law and order are fully restored, then we need to rebuild the country, under a multinational force. It is a question of dignity, because otherwise a lot of people are going to starve.
Andrés Joven Rivero, Alcañiz, Teruel Spain

The world has learnt nothing from the Rwanda crisis. During the build up to the Iraq war there were many debates about whether or not the UN was irrelevant. Sudan, Rwanda, Cambodia etc. all prove that the UN is not only irrelevant but also arrogant. While the UN decides if Sudan has complied, people die.
Matthew, Amsterdam

The time for talk is over. The international community should respond immediately. The way to stop genocide is to kill or capture those committing it. Let us not stand idly by while millions perish. The US and other nations have it within their power to stop the suffering. How many more must die before something is done?
Tyler, San Diego, USA

The Press have a moral obligation to inform the public
Anon
This situation has been going on since January, and yet only now has the press decided to report on the atrocities. Having worked for a Humanitarian Aid Charity at the time of the crisis, we were very powerless to help as people were unaware of the situation and sending an appeal about Sudan was not enough to make them react. It is all very well pointing the blame at governments, etc, but the Press have a moral obligation to inform the public of disasters that happen.
Anon

Day by day, as this crisis progresses, what is left of the UN's relevance and purpose is fading away. All UN members, in particular Security Council members, should feel ashamed of their inaction. Remember that the UN only has the resources that its members provide.
Richard Read, London, UK

The lack of knowledge in many of these comments about the situation in Darfur is astounding. Comments about the lack of oil are plain wrong. There is plenty of oil in Sudan. The oil is extracted by a Malaysian/Chinese/Sudanese consortium and is the main source of funding for the Government of Sudan (GoS) wars against the southerners and Darfurians. Religion is another confused issue. The Darfur conflict is not about religion, both sides are Muslim. It is more of a culture clash between Nomadic Pastoralists and Settled Agriculturists. Furthermore, the peace deal in the South is one of the problems in Sudan not a full solution. It is not a comprehensive peace deal. Rather it is an agreement between two factions, the GoS and the SPLA. It marginalises many other interested parties and partly explains the rebellion in Darfur. The Darfurians did not get any benefit from the peace deal and saw that armed action could bring results. For a knowledgeable insight into the Darfur situation try the International Crisis Group's website at www.crisisweb.org
Ed Morgan, London, UK

As I read daily of the horrible situation with these wonderful people, I am amazed at the lack of outcry from the rest of the world. Does the global population depend really on the USA and our allies to be the world police? When my country intervenes, we are bad. When my country does not, we are bad. Although I do not speak for my country (the government has NEVER asked my opinion on world affairs), I am ashamed to admit that Sudan's lack of oil makes them a 'second class" people without value! My heart goes out to them and their children.
Russ, Denver, USA

The only response that will make a difference is military intervention
Edward Jahn, Leesburg, Virginia, USA
This is Rwanda and Bosnia all over again. The only response that will make a difference is military intervention. I deeply regret that my country's incompetence in Iraq has made this politically much harder to do.
Edward Jahn, Leesburg, Virginia, USA

If another 'Rwanda' happens, then the UN can kiss goodbye to what's left of it's credibility.
Gerry Noble, Salisbury, UK

Instead of threatening an already poor country with sanction, perhaps Tony Blair should fulfil his promise to Africa and help by spending money towards solving the problem which is over limited resources and has nothing to do with race. All Sudanese are Africans. Stop playing politics.
Yahya Farah, Abu Dhabi

No oil, no international aid. I would send in the UN troops to protect the people affected but then Bair and Bush etc don't see pound signs so it won't happen. And can we not send Jack Straw anywhere again as the man is an joke.
Bruce Hosie, Dundee, Scotland

The UN is proving to be a big joke once again
Anonymous, Indiana, USA
John Kerry should go talk to the "international leaders" he says will help the US in Iraq (if he is elected). If they will first send their own troops to Sudan then we can believe his promises that they will go to Iraq. When will France and Germany be willing for their young men to die in a foreign land? If not to save people from genocide, then is there no cause worth fighting? The UN is proving to be a big joke once again.
Anonymous, Indiana, USA

The UN should have done something six months ago, not wait until 50,000 are dead. As usual the UN, under the worst leader for years, delays everything. They are always reluctant to criticise there own, i.e. Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone. Get in there and sort it out, I always thought that's what the UN was for.
Lester Stenner, Weston super Mare UK

If Bush and Blair are re-elected they should look at the limping dog UN.
Gilbert White, London UK

What makes the Darfur refugees so different from the Palestinians? In one case the US thinks that it is important that it should be made safe for the refugees to return to their land. In the other the US thinks that it is important that the refugees be prevented from going home. Am I missing something or is this the usual US hypocrisy? Darfur would be easier to resolve if their was consistency in enforcing international law rather than subjecting the world to American whims.
John, Hemel Hempstead, Herts

The UN must police the area with their own troops
Furqan Wasif, New York
What a joke it is to threaten the Sudanese government with a deadline! What are they going to do after that? Impose sanctions? What have UN sanctions ever done for the lives of common folk? Are the sanctions going to prevent further ethnic cleansing and racial killings? The UN must police the area with their own troops in order to subdue any and all violence in the region. Together with the African Union they must come up with a solution to stop these atrocities as well as the trafficking of weapons and aim to bring peace to the region. After all that is what the UN was formed for.
Furqan Wasif, New York

I do not know what more international community and AU are waiting for? Basir said his government does not support the janjaweed but when threatened, he calls up the same janjaweed to take up arms against any foreign force the steps on the Sudan soil. Is this not a grandpa fox? How long do you want to wait?
Hassan Gale, Arua

When will we learn that managing a crisis by intervening in the early stages with overwhelming force is much cheaper than waiting for the crisis to develop into an unmanageable mess and then committing forces piecemeal? Let's put a peacekeeping force on the ground: too much irreparable damage has already been done and the inability of the Sudanese government to act on it is now evident to everyone. Let African forces deploy with international support.
Jean-Marc Liotier, Paris, France

The UN should not be fooled by the Abuja talks; the government of Sudan has attended those talks only because they are afraid of the Security Council action. What was agreed at the UN should be implemented if the international community stays and watch the people die like that then the UN has no meaning to the people. If we don't act now then the image of the UN will continue diminishing
Titus .H. Divala, Blantyre, Malawi

The interests of the people of Darfur must come first
Teklit Hailemichael, London, UK
The interests of the people of Darfur must come first. Those who try to exploit and hijack the situation in Darfur must their wild desires severely restricted by the international community. The people of Darfur are not means to an end. They are human being like everyone every where.
Teklit Hailemichael, London, UK

Where is the outrage from the Arab World about this crisis that is happening within its midst?
Michael S., Boston, USA

It is rather sad to see how selfish and irresponsible some of our African leaders could be. Do we need the West to tell us how to protect the poor and helpless in our countries? This is not African. Wake up African leaders this is very shameful.
Mike, Toronto, Canada

If the world community is to intervene, I say this: Mediate from a position of strength. That means the UN, if they do anything, cannot rely upon tactics that leave soldiers guarding a convoy with no live ammo, or rules of engagement so constraining that they might as well. I think one negotiates in much better faith with a man that has a big, bristling, angry dog on a leash than a cute floppy eared puppy.

The reports and graphic scenes that we see each day are indeed appalling and gut-sickening. Africa is littered with such suffering. The question is, where are the African leaders? What is the African Union doing? What about the peer review, a cornerstone of Nepad? Why should we wait for the west to solve our self inflicted problems? The current crop of leaders in Africa is wholly to blame for plunging the continent into a spiral of gloom and doom. The Khartoum government should not escape this one, and for God's sake China must not remorse in the council by not siding with rogue regime, as has become its policy.
Paul, Harare, Zimbabwe (currently in Japan)

Easy? Find oil and then Bush and Blair can unleash another 'humanitarian' mission!
bert, London

When the US intervenes, the world is up in arms. When it doesn't millions of innocents die. Who wants to be the only superpower anyway?
Mark, USA

This crisis illustrates again the weakness of the UN
Pete, Southampton UK
This crisis illustrates again the weakness of the UN. France should never have been given a veto at the UN Security Council. Their use of their unwarranted veto is shameful. Countries with the power and courage to take action should do so to protect the Africans against Arab barbarism immediately.
Pete, Southampton UK

How could the EU have allowed this to happen? I am appalled!
Michael, USA

Real cost effective peace in the Darfur region will come when both Government and Rebel parties will set aside their selfish interest, greed, pride and indifference attitude towards honestly and diplomatically feeling the self inflicted and dilapidating plight of their dying brother and sisters in their country.
Gabriel Basil, plateau state, Nigeria

Action is needed now - talking plays into the hands of this genocidial regime. It has been months already. Whatever the government may have thought about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, a separate case can always be made for the humanitarian need to intervene. The humanitarian disaster in Darfur is much more immediate, and at least equals the one in Iraq. It is also argued that failed states breed terrorism. As part of George Bush's War on Terror, surely he should be winning hearts and minds in Darfur.
Gavin, Newport, Wales

Intervention always comes too late
Alister, London UK
The Sudanese Arab genocide of Sudanese Africans has been going on for decades. Intervention always comes too late. Why must always wait for the crisis to happen rather than speak out when the early signs appear? In this case, maybe other countries haven't spoken or acted sooner because Sudan is a poor country with few resources to offer the outside world.
Alister, London UK

This is a no win situation. The U.N. cannot stop the violence. Even if force were approved, who would send it. Darfur is a huge region. The force sent would also have to be large. Sanctions will not work. How can sanctions materially impact people like the Janjaweed who still conduct business from horseback. The world will scream and nothing will be done.
Chris, LA, USA

Sending a peace keeping force with social and medical logist support for the force and the people remember the UN is for the people by the people of the people. Don't back troops and groups. Help and support the people because we are the world and UN
Eyeswamuy, Chennai India

It was Rwanda 10 years back, today it is in Darfur, Sudan
Alie M. Kamara, Accra, Ghana
The crisis in Darfur must be carefully looked at by the leaders of the AU in particular and the UN in general. We all can remember what happened in Rwanda 10 years ago and must never be repeated in any country on this planet Earth. It was Rwanda 10 years back, today it is in Darfur, Sudan. Where will it be tomorrow?
Alie M. Kamara, Accra, Ghana

Maybe if the U.N. spent more time on Sudan than on Israel building a few houses or a fence it would be an effective organization. Muslim countries have turned the U.N. into there proxy and its starting to show. These countries can criticise Israel by day and ignore a crises 100 times worse by night! Nothing has ever been more blatant than this!
Joey, Washington D.C.

I would say AU countries must take action before the United Nations.
C/Qaadir Maxamed Nuunow, Bosaso /Somalia

Creation of two states is the only solution to the Darfur people. The Muslim north can go there way while the Christian south (Darfur) can govern themselves.
Vincent Duruji, Madrid, España

I cannot understand why other African states, especially members of the AU are dilly-dallying about military intervention in Sudan. The unfortunate delay signifies the hypocrisy of African government, especially the Arab states.
Abdulrahman Abdulyekeen, Funtua-Nigeria

The international community should do more to stop this problem. If they fail, its like they do not have this continent at heart
Florence, Philippines

A visit by prominent figures was a nice but useless thing. The UN must act immediately by sending peacekeeping forces to Darfur. The presence of blue helmets would prove to be a more sufficient solution than sanctions. Sanctions will only have an effect on those who are suffering already, while those are responsible for the current situation will continue to carry on with their privileged life. Generally speaking sanction is no longer a dissuasive force, especially since global moral is far lower comparing to the times when it was invented.
Mary McCannon, Budapest, Hungary

What is needed first and foremost in Darfur is the International Community to take responsibility and stop selling the bogus argument of "African solutions for African problems". It will cost less for the Security Council to declare genocide and war crimes in Darfur and take appropriate law and enforceable actions to protect humanity than to raise money for emergency relief supplies.
Kehleboe Gongloe, Darby, USA

What are we waiting for?
Dak, Canada
As an African Sudanese, I'm wondering what more evidences the world needs to act on the Darfur crisis? The most powerful men on the planet, the Secretary General of United Nations, and Secretary of State of USA both went to Darfur and saw the situation with their own eyes, yet the world is not acting - what are we waiting for? I will not be surprised if the peace deals fail because Sudan does not recognize Darfur as a problem. What is happening now had been happening on very a small scale all over, but the outside world never heard of it. Honestly, I'm afraid Sudan will get away with this one too as it did in the past.
Dak, Canada

The problem in Darfur is the indiscriminate targeting of law abiding citizens by the anti-Khartoum militia supported by Yoweri Museveni's Uganda government. In a way the western governments especially the UK is to blame as its military assistance to Uganda inevitably finds its way to the anti-Khartoum militia. Sudan government cannot be expected to stand idly by while a whole chunk of its territory is in danger from this threat. So the solution for stopping the crisis is for the UK to stop arming the Uganda government and the war will stop forthwith.
Charles Otto, UK

An African Union military force should be mobilized with the logistical support and financing of western counties, to go into Darfur, suppress the Janjaweed and restore the refuges to their homes. Then the refugees should be allowed to sell their beautiful hand-woven fabrics and tapestries on the world market. They could derive substantial income that would help toward rebuilding their lives.
Andrew Walden, Hilo, Hawaii, USA

How can you play with the lives of Darfur people in the name of endless meetings?
Mutebuka, Greenville, USA
The world will hold you accountable UN. How can you play with the lives of Darfur people in the name of endless meetings? Please, enough is enough, each day hundreds die while you're enjoying life in New York. Can't you be ashamed of yourselves?
Mutebuka, Greenville, USA

I find it pathetic that the we can send troops to places like Bosnia, Iraq, Lebanon, etc., to keep the peace but when it comes to place that is clearly committing genocide, the world, despite all it professes, just sits back and lets it happen.
Scott, Omaha, NE

Don't make these camps permanent homes, much as security within the camp is paramount, there should be a greater effort to return these people back to their homes!
Aliker, London, UK

The US/UK will never be able to help in this crisis. In terms of aid, the US and the UK are at their limits. Other states have to do more before they can contribute more. In terms of sending peacekeepers, nobody wants to see US or British troops on any foreign soil, irrelevant of intentions. It's time people threw their anti-US/UK agendas in order to stop the genocide.
Ewan, Aberdeen, Scotland

If the people in Darfur were smart, they would have put out a press release stating that their region was sitting on a, just discovered vast oil reserve. Bush and Cheney would have landed the Marines there the next day.
Scott Peck, Tucson, AZ

Refusal to end genocide is unforgivable regardless of who is doing business with Sudan
Jim , NJ, USA
In order to be credible in its role as peacemaker, the UN must prove that it will act aggressively when the situation obviously calls for it. If it always behaves as a wishy-washy, toothless social club for glorified bureaucrats it will never have any credibility. Refusal to end genocide is unforgivable regardless of who is doing business with Sudan. Any credibility the UN gained from being right about Iraq is gone. Next time a George W. Bush wants to start a foolish war, it will be easy to marginalize the UN simply by invoking the word "Darfur".
Jim , NJ, USA

The Sudanese government should allow the deployment of AU peacekeepers and it should show a real commitment to the issue of ending the Darfur crisis.
Msungane Kaimila, Blantyre, Malawi

It appears that the UN again is not an effective organisation when it comes to quickly and decisively ending brutal killings. The African Union may have a better chance as it is an African organisation, which means that if they come up with an action plan, less interests of less nations on this planet are at stake. So please let us all support the AU!! Quick decisive action is needed against any government allowing its own people to be killed!!
Korneel Luth, Baarn, Holland

I find it concerning that the UN have failed to recognise the conflict in Sudan as a clear case of genocide. If the UN accepts that genocide is occurring, it is legally obliged to take action to stop it. Kofi Annan and Colin Powell said there was a "humanitarian catastrophe" in Darfur but said there was not yet enough evidence to call it a genocide.
Elizabeth Rodgers, UK

Well here we go again. Did we not learn from what happened in Rwanda with the conflict between the Tutsis and the Hutus? The world sat on the sidelines and witnessed the genocide of hundreds of thousand innocent people. If not for a few brave UN peacekeepers, I fear what the true outcome would have been. Being a big Clinton fan, I must admit this was one of his many foreign policy failures that he has chalked up during his administration. If the modern world cannot learn from its mistakes, I fear for the future of mankind.
Robert Payne, Philadelphia, PA, USA

The world community has a duty to alleviate the abject suffering of the displaced people in Darfur. The Sudan government is procrastinating and should be cajoled into creating the right climate for the safe return of refugees home. The rebels should be forcibly disarmed and peace talks should be convened without delay with the auspices of the United Nations. Even if we are clutching at straws, we should exhaust every avenue to bring sanity to this troubled region. Peace should be given a chance however slim!
Pancha Chandra, Brussels, Belgium

The UN never can and never will... stop genocide
Colin Keesee, Moorpark, USA
Once again the international community has failed. The UN never can and never will be an effective organization that can stop genocide, it just will not happen. I can not believe that so many people, including one candidate for president of the United States puts so much faith in this failed institution.
Colin Keesee, Moorpark, USA

The hypocrisy of the Muslim world is apparent in the Darfur case. If the Sudanese Government were Christian and the Darfur people Muslim, the Muslim world would claim that it was oppression of Islam; and you would have jihad volunteers from over the world going to fight in the Sudan. Now that it is Muslims against Muslims, the OIC, Arab League and their supporters say it is an internal affair.
Marcus Wleh, Tehran, Iran

Words and paper can hold a lot. Actions instead of helpless meetings are needed. Be careful though with what is done, because it can make things even worse than they are now, if the course of action is to take matters in even more aggressive ways.
Claudia, Guatemala City, Guatemala

Any country which wilfully kills or allows the killing of an entire ethnic group should simply be invaded by the outside world and its government overthrown. The international community should spare the niceties of needing to be invited by Sudan to stop ethnic cleansing and genocide and just do it if Sudan isn't willing to take clear and decisive action.
Craig, Seattle, USA

All the militia in Darfur should be disarmed including Darfur rebels not only the Janjaweed
Bara, Khartoum, Sudan

The Sudanese people are the ones who will be hit hard by any sanctions, and that in my opinion would increase the hate levels toward Darfur people in all parts of Sudan. We don't support the government but we don't think the rebels' policy of trading abroad with the suffering of their own people and their calls for sanctions against Sudan will bring peace to their region. And we shouldn't forget the fact that the rebels are the ones who started the security problems in Darfur by attacking police stations, airports and local government buildings. All the militia in Darfur should be disarmed including Darfur rebels not only the Janjaweed.
Bara, Khartoum, Sudan

What is needed is to press more and more on Sudanese government to arrest Janjaweeds and to get the African peace keepers in. Otherwise, you'll give the Sudanese government more time to buy and more time to lie!
Alassan Jallow, Msaken, Tunisia

To those who say we should ignore the crisis unfolding in Darfur because it isn't our problem, I say that is a disgusting viewpoint to take. Western countries are the only ones with the economic and military clout to make the Sudanese regime change its policies by using coercive diplomacy. We have the power to stop genocide from occurring, no-one else. To sit by and let it happen would be extremely shameful. When Europe said "never again" to letting genocide happen, we didn't put geographical limits on that promise!
Chris, London, UK

First of all, we need to get rid of the senselessly bloodstained dictatorship in Khartoum before we ever can see something go well there. We need to have a lot tougher stance against criminal dictatorships, while they are committing such crimes against humanity as in Darfur.
Jan Andersson, Stockholm, Sweden

I am in support of a UN deadline 100%.
Sokes Iliya, Jos, Nigeria

It is high time serious steps should be taken against Sudan. Deadline or not, foreign and African troops should be allowed to rein-in the Janjaweed militia that is causing mayhem in Darfur. The AU and the UN should act now and fast before things get alarmingly worse.
Adetunji Olumide, Ibadan, Nigeria

As far as the US is concerned, since we did not substantially intervene in Liberia there is no way we should intervene in Darfur. Let the rest of the world sort it out.
Victor, Ohio, USA

It saddens me greatly that we (the US and Europe) just watch this atrocity and try to do what is politically correct. What about morals and dealing with human life that is valuable? I am sure if many politicians were in a less comfortable situation and were not making decisions from afar action would be taken immediately!
Annette, California, USA

Only the Sudanese government in Khartoum have the right to act now
Jack, London

The refugees from Darfur must feel let down by their government and other governments. Only the Sudanese government in Khartoum have the right to act now, the international community is too late for action; it's all very well everyone going to Abuja to talk - pressing for action from Khartoum would be more constructive.
Jack, London

With France and China having lucrative oil contracts with Khartoum, I am sure that the security council will remain paralyzed and no action will ever be taken to halt the ethnic cleansing. I am not too surprised about China, but France has been especially vocal lately about morality and wars over resources - surely they would support sanctions or other measures to pressure Sudan, whatever the consequences to their oil interests? I would like to see if they can "walk the walk" rather than just "talk the talk".
Tim, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I believe the outcome of the human rights groups' assessment of the situation in Darfur should initially motivate the international communities response strategy. If the human rights groups are then given the freedom to continuously inspect conditions in the camps in Darfur right up until this dispute is resolved then I feel that talk will still have a better outcome than war. But if the Sudanese government interferes aggressively with the human rights inspectors when they arrive in Sudan and then prevents further inspections, then much tougher measures will need to be taken by the international community to prevent a possible genocide taking place in Darfur.

I see the peace talks as a promising start but will only lead to a long-term peace if the talks persuade the Sudanese government to act effectively in disbanding the Arab Janjaweed militias. If it turns out that the Sudanese government has not enough influence on the Arab Janjaweed militias to disband them then Darfur is in a state of anarchy. It is outside the control of the Sudanese government and the international community will need to intervene to support a return to stable governance in the region of Darfur. If the Sudanese government refuse to disband the militias then again the international community will have no choice but to intervene in Darfur and may even be forced to engage with Sudanese government forces in some kind of military action.
Anonymous, Edinburgh, Scotland

Don't wait around for President al-Bashir to take any initiative
Megan, Maryland, USA
The fact is that no amount of talking is going to spur the Sudanese government to actively reign in the incredible human rights violations in Darfur. As it stands now, the Janjaweed are hard at work suppressing and killing those who have been vociferously opposing President Omar al-Bashir. What possible motivation would he have for curbing the violence? He's got his cake and is eating it, too... having this militia do his dirty work while he appears blameless to the international community and therefore relatively immune to scrutiny. Don't wait around for President al-Bashir to take any initiative.
Megan, Maryland, USA

Just threaten to stop the oil leaving Port Sudan. Heglig oil field produces 300,000 Barrels a day at $45 per barrel. The expenses for production is the same as it was 6/12 months ago - The Sudanese/Chinese/Indian/Malaysian oil consortium, that runs the field, could pay for any aid out of their back pocket!!
Leightonn Northover, Wales, UK

People turned to the UN when the subject was Iraq. Where is the UN now with Darfur? Military intervention is the only way to stop this ethnic cleansing; not endless resolutions.
Theodore Bell, Staffordshire, UK

Sudan has oil and plenty of it. This is the single most significant fact when considering this issue. The Sudanese government in Khartoum is not one in favour with Washington. Whereas the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) - one of the so called rebel groups - is backed by the US. China is involved with a consortium developing Sudan's oil. China very much needs to cultivate sources of supply outside of US control. The US seeks to thwart such plans. Keeping China (along with the European Union and Japan) dependent on the US for access to oil, is one way of ensuring US primacy remains unchallenged. Is it any wonder then that China is reluctant to approve a proposed UN Security Council Resolution imposing sanctions on Sudan?
Garrett Cooke, Sandhurst, Berkshire

The Government of Sudan never, ever, fulfils any promises
Ali Mohammed, Khashm el Girba, Sudan
Experience shows that the Government of Sudan never, ever, fulfils any promises. Therefore, the international community must continue its pressure to make the Khartoum government disarm its allied militia in the troubled Darfur region. By the way, I do not understand why your correspondents describe the people of Darfur who are living in the camps as Refugees. While they are in their homeland they are Displaced or Internally Displaced People. Please correct this unintended meaning.
Ali Mohammed, Khashm el Girba, Sudan

So there is talk of imposing economic sanctions on Sudan. Are we to believe any of this will make any difference at all? Certainly not! Sudan has a healthy black market and any sanctions would only further hurt those already suffering from the ills inflicted on them by this recent, turbulent period of unrest.

Diplomatic short-comings aside, and I am no expert in economics, but surely there must be a better way to bring these people out of the autocratic, draconian and feudal mentality and into something resembling democracy, even if it means cutting a few corners.
Wayne Smallman, England (UK)

When the very first images of mothers holding their dying children appeared, the world should have jumped into action. The only thing diplomacy and deadlines have created so far is the chance for the Arab settlers to make the land they've stolen their own. Already they are settling in the burned out villages, tilling and sowing the fields that once belonged to the black Darfur locals. If anyone finally does get their act together - and there are any refugees left - there will not be a home to return to. The UN should burn with shame over not acting sooner - and should stop pretending they are a UNITED NATIONS if they can't find a way to protect the 1.2 million unarmed refugees that continue to be harassed and raped as their children slowly starve to death.
LJ, Florida, USA

The Sudanese Government is testing the international community right now.
Sadaraka Wani Yosea, Southern Sudan/USA
The Sudanese Government is testing the international community right now. Sudan has a history of neglecting treaties and agreements. The international community has been quiet for the last twenty years over the war in the Southern Sudan, but now they feel that the war which erupted a year ago is more important. We need the international community to press the Khartoum government to bring peace. If they don't, then the President may need to step down or leave the country immediately like Charles Taylor(president of Liberia). This will preserve for the people of Sudan the lasting peace. We, the people of Sudan, are ignored by the international community - including United Kingdom.
Sadaraka Wani Yosea, Southern Sudan/USA

I tend to agree that the Blacks in Darfur are seeking independence from Arab Sudan. To this end they justifiably use the true atrocities the Arabs commit against them to advance their ultimate goal. How we as Arabs can blame them for this? After all we support such Arab demands in other regions, the most notable being Arafat.
Jamil Baroody, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

I know this sounds harsh but why is it always our problem? Don't we have enough going on at the moment without sticking our noses into more trouble? Who appointed us saviours of everybody else?
Craig, Preston, UK

The Sudan North/South war has existed for 50 years. It's been partially solved because of oil money. This is not only an African situation created by Europe. The only way of solving this and many other problems in Africa today, and soon Asia and South America is to decide how Indigenous societies can live with the concept of nation states (and how we in the West can look at any of their natural resources that they may have to bring benefits).
Mick, France

It's noticeable that it will be down to UK and USA to intervene
Gavin, Cheshire
It's noticeable that it will be down to UK and USA to intervene. As usual the French aren't interested as they hold the largest supply of oil from Sudan. Much like the trade agreements they had with Iraq. But when USA/UK do try and resolve the incident the lefties out there will be as cynical as ever.
Gavin, Cheshire

This is a complex issue. On the one hand these people need help - and we have a Brigade prepared to fly out there. On the other, though, there is a conflict like this almost constantly going on in Africa. They wanted freedom - can't they take responsibility?
Iain Howe, Amsterdam, Netherlands

The crimes of Milosevic and Radovan Kradic had not finished until Nato had taken military actions against them. Sudan is the same as only actions could gain peace!
Gomoss, Khartoum

Yet another foreign mess that we have to clear up. Our tax-pound won't stretch indefinitely!
Rob Watson, Winchester, Hampshire

The peacekeepers may cool things but the attacks will just shift later maybe to another side
Alex Mugendi, Nairobi, Kenya

The war is far from over for now. The peacekeepers may cool things but the attacks will just shift later maybe to another side. When the Khartoum government is even getting new fighters instead of channelling resources to other areas, they don't even want the African peacekeepers. Peace is far from reality. It'll only come after the Sudanese government get the push from Saudi Arabia.
Alex Mugendi, Nairobi, Kenya

In my opinion I think that the relevant issue right now is to provide medical care and food for refugees because starvation and disease are becoming more lethal for citizens than the armed conflict. Moreover it's important that The United Nations gives special protection for refugees against the atrocities of the Janjaweed militia.
Andrea Camacho, Colombia

There was another Have Your Say discussion about slavery, which everyone rightly decried. Today in the Sudan there is slavery and genocide, yet all of the countries who supposedly deplore slavery and genocide sit idly by and do nothing. The disaster in the Sudan yet again reveals the hypocrisy, incompetence and moral cowardice of the UN.
Robert, Strawberry Plains, TN, USA

This kind of behaviour has been going on in Sudan for decades. In the eighties and nineties it was in the south of the country. I lived and worked in Nayala in the eighties and there was an obvious divide between the black Africans and Arabs, the Arabs holding power and subjugating the black Africans. The Saudi Arabians have a lot to be ashamed of as they pour millions of pounds into Sudan to support a racist regime. Until the Saudis are prepared to use their muscle in this conflict, nothing will change and I can't see them doing anything.
Nick B, Guildford England

While a small-scale military intervention would be justified in this case (let's face it, the government of Sudan probably doesn't control the militias any more than Sadr controls the Iraqi resistants), the sad reality is that unlike in Iraq, there is nothing in it for the Western powers. The Sudanese can die and Straw's little 'show' visits will make no difference.
Tarik, Bristol, UK

The talks will not succeed because Sudan still undermines the powers of the African Union and the fact that it protests against the presence of African peacekeepers just complicates the situation. Sudan has a record of oppressing Sudanese Africans and favouring Arabs.
Joshua, Kampala, Uganda

Africa has always been a stage for one form of crisis or the other. All fuelled by the selfish interests of most parties involved. There are always a set of crisis resolution meetings which seem to solve the problem but as always the conflict resumes all over again. Alas, events following the meeting in Abuja will be no different.
Seun a, Lagos, Nigeria

Chat, chat, talk, talk, promise, promise. Still hundreds of innocent people a day are dying of starvation and disease. Get a force in there and feed them. Now
Glenn Wornell, Frankfurt, Germany

The only solution is to re-partition the Sudan into three states
Freddy Latigo-Nono, London
The talk for peace in Darfur is just a waste of time. What the black Sudanese requires now is food, security and protection by international community. Peace talk between the Arabs and the blacks is a waiting game for the Arabs who have never taken the blacks as equal partners in the Sudan. The only solution is to re-partition the Sudan into three states: Darfur, Arab North and Bar-el-Ghazel (South), this will be the only viable alternative to bring peace to the communities who cannot live together in one country.
Freddy Latigo-Nono, London

It is obvious that people in this region of the world are still living in a time where violence prevails. Day to day dilemmas are solved by the use of militia men supporting their own cause with weapons and not talk. As a developed country the UK coupled with the rest of the UN has a duty to give countries such as the Sudan the chance to resolve this problem by talking. This chance has been and gone and now it is time for the rest of the world to realise that strong ultimatums backed by the entire multinational community are what stops dictatorial governments such as the Sudanese (and Iraqi). If the international community would have all had the iron fist towards Saddam, like Bush and Blair, then the Iraqi conflict could have been solved a whole lot more easily.
Ross Mcneilly, Loughborough

It is plain clear that the Khartoum government is behind the genocide. Why is the international community not moving fast enough to take measures like happened in Kosovo - a full scale military intervention?
Kashasha, Tanzania

The answer to Africa's problems lies within Africa. Africa has the manpower for the creation of an African force which should be deployed days in a region of conflict. Outside intervention will not work. Incentives should be given to contribute freely for troops so that they can be deployed to hotspots instead of waiting for allies or UN, who at past times have proven to be ineffectual. Leaders in Africa should take more steps because Africa's problems affect all of them as well. By the time the world decide that it is genocide it is already too late and countless people are being killed.
John, Canada

I am all in favour of leaving countries to sort out their own problems when the problems are things like university funding and farming. But when a government allows its people to die then it loses any right to be sovereign. We have an army; we should use it to save lives. Britain particularly has a responsibility as the previous colonial power that helped create the Arab/Black problems.
Luke Magee, UK

There comes a time for action and that time has come and gone
Craig Traylor, Texas

More talks? You have got to be kidding me!? There comes a time for action and that time has come and gone. The UN and its supporters around the world deserve its shame for their fear of any action!
Craig Traylor, Texas, USA

I think the peace talks have a much higher probability of succeeding than previous rounds in July - simply because the stakes now are much higher - and what both parties are playing for is much different. Darfur has garnered a great deal of international interest and the plight of hundreds of thousands that have been systematically targeted can no longer be ignored. The SLM/A and JEM have achieved international recognition for their agendas and discourse. Now both sides have developed bargaining positions and they will cut a deal!
Naya, Khartoum, Sudan

There is one possible negotiated solution but Western values would never allow it to happen: Volunteer countries could allow the Darfur refugees to immigrate and the UN could help foot the bill for caring for them until such time as they can establish themselves. If you remove the unwanted Africans, the Arabs in Sudan could accomplish their ethnic cleansing without killing them. Of course some people in Darfur would refuse to leave their home but at least they would have had the option of escape. Again, I realize that aiding in ethnic cleansing through relocation goes against our alleged principles. But I have to question the sense of that when we apparently find genocide enough of a moral ambiguity as to refuse the people of Darfur physical protection. Relocation should be preferable to death.
Anthony, USA

Yes, peace can come to Darfur. Let the two sides be made to sit comfortably round a table in a balanced psychological state of mind. Then let there be a video played of their atrocities and let them imagine themselves as the victims of their own atrocities. Only then can they decide whether to continue fighting or not. Then we can talk peace.
Ifeanyi Obayi, Enugu

I don't want to be a pessimist, but I do not think this meeting in Nigeria will avail the conflict
Emmanuel A, Canada/Nigeria

I think the situation in Sudan should not be strange to those who are aware of all sorts of conflicts around the world. It is just sad that there does not seem to be an end to the conflict and the saddest thing is that defenceless folks are being perished at the moment. I don't want to be a pessimist, but I do not think this meeting in Nigeria will avail the conflict. I am sure the Sudanese government has agreed to it so as to delay impending US's desire for sanctions against them. The conflict was not and is not sporadic... it has been pre-planned. The goal is to wipe out or displace the indigenes of Darfur and reclaim the land for themselves. It is basically a fight for survival and domination.

And I am afraid that this will not be the last time we will hear of such conflicts in Africa or in other places where resources are scarce. The only way to completely settle this never ending conflict all over Sudan is do what was done in old Yugoslavia... divide the country and let borders be defined. These people just cannot live together. Let's face it.
Emmanuel A, Canada/Nigeria

I believe sending peacekeeping forces to Darfur is the only solution to stop killings innocent people of Darfur.
Peter Tuach, USA

Why are African leaders waiting for Mr Straw to fly in peace to our Darfur region? The answer is obvious. Some African leaders intentionally refused to arrest these cases and bring to justice those responsible because of three reasons:
1. It is not their concern since it is not their people affected (like they can make a difference if in their backyard)
2. They have some level of participation in these great catastrophes in terms of finance.
3. They are not just ready to see peace through on the continent and in the world.
The International Community needs to use sanctions if that is what will bring peace to the suffering people of Sudan.
Joseph Yarsiah, Monrovia, Liberia

Western leaders can push Sudan's government to stop the conflict. However, peace comes from inside not from outside. As we have seen over the period, Sudan's government does not want to stop the conflict. Therefore I'm very sceptical if these peace-talks will be successful. Nevertheless, it is important that the western world reacts to this crisis and does not ignore it.
Alzbeta Stastna, Czech Republic

I find it appalling that we are taking so long to intervene. Just how many have to die before we do anything?
Fabian, UK

There is no magic wand meeting which will resolve the crisis. What's driving the crisis is the exploitation of the people by a corrupt government driven by external forces (mostly multinational company-driven Western governments). The only way to resolve this is for the UN to freeze external interests and distribute aid so that people can recover. In the meanwhile, the UN must also look at where the national wealth is being siphoned off and put a stop to the drainage of national resources which is the cause of this distress. It's not that they don't have anything - it's simply that it's all been cornered by the rich and powerful.
Anonymous, London, UK

Pressure should be maintained both on the rebels and the Khartoum government so that both sides realise that an imminent end must be put to the refugees' suffering. It looks like the rebels are manipulating the world attention moved by the plight of thousands of displaced Darfurians to gain political recognition and status. The goal should be clear: to end the suffering. And the repercussions on both sides if they fail to do should also be clear.
Assad El-Sawey, Cairo, Egypt

The international community can help the African leadership in bringing justice and democracy to the whole of Sudan
Mdundiko Kilache, Equatorial Guinea
The peace talks after Abuja Conference will perhaps have a temporary success. But unless the socio-political question is solved to determine equity in economic and the civil matters, there will be no lasting peace. The present Sudanese regime is perhaps the only remaining oppressive and incompetent regime remaining in Africa today. The old and new masters of slavery and racial discrimination are still there enjoying the long silence of the African Union. The international community can help the African leadership in bringing justice and democracy to the whole of Sudan and not just to Darfur. If dialogue to hold internationally supervised elections for civil liberty against the prevailing military dictatorship is not possible, then sanctions and human rights-violation prosecutions should immediately be effected to avoid more loss of lives.
Mdundiko Kilache, Equatorial Guinea

I've come to the conclusion that social progress is part of the process of evolution, and no amount of interference will change it. A few hundred years ago, Europeans were doing appalling things to their own people. We evolved, and now we don't do it anymore. Developing nations similarly have to evolve. Yes, we have learned, and want to share our experience. But we can no more tell these nations not to slaughter one another than we can tell our teenaged children not to drive fast, drink, take drugs ... They simply don't want to hear it. They have to discover what is right for themselves. It's dreadful, but it is going to keep happening, and all we can do is wring our hands.
Sue, UK

This is the most incredible waste of British resources. Why are we pumping hundreds of millions of pounds of British taxpayers' money into it? Our money should be used to look after our own desperately poor elderly, homeless and sink-estate poor.
Mark Berridge, UK

Unfortunately the only way the people of Darfur can be protected will be by the deployment of a UN backed military force to prevent further violence by the Arab militia. One must not forget that this is yet another conflict born out of the desire of the Sudanese government to impose their Islamic regime on the whole of the country.
John, Birmingham, UK

Hundreds more will be killed, raped and left suffering by the time these talks conclude
Paddy Singh, Delhi, India
The world kept talking in regards to Bosnia, Rwanda etc while hundreds of thousands were killed. Why does not the UN intervene with troops? Of what use is the UN? All that money wasted on tax when it is an impotent organisation. Hundreds more will be killed, raped and left suffering by the time these talks conclude
Paddy Singh, Delhi, India

As a former refugee from the Sudan, I look at what is happening in the country with sadness but no shock. It is clear that the Arabs in their desire to maintain a geographically unified Arab world do not mind the sacrifice of a "few". Meanwhile, the US fearing another "Iraq" has agreed to limit its role to threatening sanctions, while Europe in an attempt to appease its local Arab population has chosen the comfortable position of soft condemnation of the Sudan.
Martin, Toronto, Canada

Well we heard it in the first Gulf War and to a lesser extent in regards to Iraq today...International Law. So whilst we promote good governance and democracy by going in guns blazing (with UN blessing) why are we not doing similar or the same in the Sudan? It might not necessarily be the best option but it would be the least hypocritical. Have we not learnt from Rwanda '94?
Brett Sargent, Sydney, Australia

The United Nations as the world's only international peacekeeper should not rely on any country for contribution to international peacekeeping but rather be allowed to form its own armed forces to deal with international crises, an army well trained and equipped to stand up for any challenges the world may encounter.
William, Brussels, Belgium





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