Members of the UN Security Council have confirmed that no immediate action will be taken in western Sudan's troubled region of Darfur.
They say they are monitoring the humanitarian crisis though.
The Sudanese authorities have been accused of backing a scorched-earth campaign and committing crimes against humanity.
But Khartoum denies abuses are widespread, and says it is fighting an insurgency.
What should be done in Sudan? Should immediate action be taken? Or is it okay just to monitor for the time being?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
The following comments reflect the balance of the opinion we have received:
Why are we the "world police?"
Mark, NYC USA
Isn't it a disgrace for the UN Security Council to say it will only be monitoring the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan when the Islamic government of Sudan is not monitoring but decimating the local inhabitants in western Sudan? Shame, shame, and shame on the Security Council's inaction on this humanitarian crisis!!!
Solomon, Portland, USA
The crisis in The Sudan is a poster child for the moral weakness and ineptitude of the UN. It reminds us of the their failures in Rwanda, Sierra Leonne, Haiti, Liberia, East Timor, Somalia, etc, etc, etc. The UN is quickly going the way of the League of Nations.
Robert, Knoxville, TN, USA
One more example of Islamic racism and genocide while the world passively watches and ignores it.
The wrongs being done - why is the Muslim world not shrieking as loudly now that these horrible things are being done by Muslims?
A Becker, Prince George, BC, Canada
Everyone reading this forum has the power to do more right now. Donate to a non-governmental, non-political, non-religious charity which has been given good marks on the percentage of each dollar, pound, euro, etc donated which goes directly to beneficiaries (this is public information and can be found on any organization's website - should be at least 85p on the pound). Having worked for a humanitarian assistance NGO for the last five years, I can attest to the critical life-saving work NGOs do, while politicians are scratching their chins.
April, NY, USA
What can the world do if it failed to do anything in Palestine, Iraq, Rwanda... etc? The world doesn't have credibility at all!
Sudan is a perfect situation for the US to prove it didn't invade Iraq for financial reasons. If America is honest about spreading democracy then here is a perfect example. Give the Sudanese govt 48 hours to comply or in go the troops. But I don't think so. The UN must make a decisive move now. Proven atrocities equal instant economic sanctions. Stop playing with people's lives.
Philip O'Donnell, Auckland, New Zealand
Sudan government has fooled the international community for long. Khartoum denies everything about ethnic cleansing in Darfur. The international community has two options: To watch from a distance and regrets its mistakes like in Rwanda, or act and it will save its reputation for being called double standard!
Lounoi Santino, Narus, South Sudan
It seems that a new crisis arrives with every new day in Africa. The West cannot be expected to rise to each and every occasion and the resources do not exist for that.
Charles, Montreal, Canada
Why don't we hear even a squeak of a protest from the Arab/Muslim world about the atrocities committed by Arab Muslims on non-Muslim Black Africans?
Nausherwan Lahori, Lahore, Pakistan
The inertia of Kofi Annan. You would have thought he learned from Rwanda. So much for the value of having an African UN Secretary General
Margaret G, Phila, PA
Sudan: Should the World Do More? I think the more relevant question is, why isn't the world doing more?
We should invade Sudan. It's government is oppressing and killing it's own people. Kind of like that guy over in Iraq...
Robert Soricelli, New York, US
America should not touch this situation, what ever happens we will get burnt. If we go alone we will be called imperialists, if we go with a UN force our forces with have to fight under the overly strict rules of engagement that the UN flag brings with it plus if it gets tough the blue helmets will stab our forces in the back like in Somalia. I guess we could let the world's newest "super power" the EU get involved.
Colin Keesee, Moorpark, CA, USA
Unless immediate action is taken now, unprecedented crisis will follow. the world has to learn from Rwanda's ethnic cleansing. unless an immediate action is taken now, other African dictator leaders will to take similar action on the minority ethnic.
Kassa, Adelaide, Australia
There is no reason for there to be a UN if it doesn't act in a situation such as this one.
What earthly use is more "monitoring"? This is yet another example of the uselessness of the UN. It should be cleared away to make way for a decisive body that will take effective action.
Gill, Llandysul, Wales
The cynical reaction of the United Nations Security Council is on a par with their response to Rwanda. To ignore such action is to be an accessory to cold blooded savagery
Jean Currie, Southport, Australia
Religion has again proved it is the root of most of the evil in the world. Marx had it wrong when he said it was the opiate of the masses. He would have been correct if he said it was the death of the masses.
Tom, Scottsdale, AZ
Action needs to be taken in Sudan. The countries of Western Europe need to take the lead. One thing is certain, we can't wait or hope for the UN to solve this crisis.
Randy Yoder, Belleville, PA, USA
Muslims, Christians, Jews, or Buddhists. What is wrong is wrong. Whatever the religious persuasion of the Sudanese government, the U.N. should go there. The U.N. should send a multi-national force. We cannot expect the U.S. and Britain to go to Sudan because there is no oil there.
Az, Casablanca, Mo
Monitoring the crisis from a far does nothing to save the dying population in the Sudan. Unless the world want to see something similar to what occurred in Rwanda in 1994 before they would respond; but I think no time should be wasted, quick action is need to serve the poor from being butchered.
Emmanuel Gonda, Canada/Sudan
No, if the US gets involved that would be viewed once again as American Imperialism and this board would ring to the cries of violation of international law and so on. Let the French and Germans deal with it. But don't hold your breath
A few hundred UN troops would do a lot for curbing the violence and letting relief organizations in. If the UN cannot or will not send troops, a regional coalition could help.
Robert Arisz, Amsterdam
Monitor? No, drastic measures must be taken against the government of Khartoum, if the allegations of ethnic cleansings are true. In the 21st century, no one is to be allowed to mass murder, maim, and rob.
Adam AwXirsi, Columbus, OH, USA
NO! Until both warring sides in the Sudan conflict come to grips with their own squabbles and quit slaughtering their own citizens in the name of "power" no more aid should be given! America as well as the EU has done more than their share to help the unfortunates in Sudan but it doesn't help as the warring factions misuse what is given to them anyway.
Jim Davis, Concord, CA, USA
Yes, indeed! We should look for getting rid of the senseless dictator regime in Khartoum. Then Sudan should be revamped into a federal state.
J Andersson, Sweden
The UN should continue to ignore the Sudan, Chechnya, China and all the other problems of the world as they have been doing, and instead keep concentrating all time and energy on denouncing Israel.
Yes the UN should do more and expose the real reason behind the 'Clearing out' from Darfur. There are proven oil and gas reserves in the area.
Leighton, S Wales, UK
The left wing liberals including the BBC are too busy criticizing the war in Iraq and the Israelis, to bother with something as trivial as genocide in Africa.
If the UN refuses to act - as it should - why do not certain European countries that have the capacity to do so act unilaterally? Do Europeans believe they have no responsibilities except collectively as part of the UN? I understand there would be no money in it, but isn't "doing the right thing" still the right thing to do?
Rowland, Virginia, USA
Darfur and the North/South Arab-African conflict in Sudan is a terrible tragedy that has brought suffering to the peoples for many years. Developed nations and the UN are not living up to the moral high ground they claim to stand on if they continue to ignore the situation. Perhaps pressure should be brought to bear on the Sudanese government to either bring peace to their people themselves or accept external intervention to bring it. Modern-day slavery and kidnapping should not be accepted, let alone rape and ethnic cleansing.
Eric Hay, West Midlands, UK
A few weeks ago there was much hand-wringing about the failure in Rwanda. Can we look forward to another failure?
Shane Sinclair, Wellington, New Zealand
The UN should do something to halt this barbarian act. What then is the purpose of setting up the UN if they refuse to take immediate action against those committing the act?
Oguns, Accra, Ghana
There is no gain to be had by the UN Security Council members. The events in Sudan are too remote to the strategically important regions to necessitate UN assistance. Is this not similar to the attitude taken in Kosovo?
Pat, Ilford, UK
Sudan is too big geographically for any kind of effective government to exist. Also, people should realize that almost all the conflicts on the African continent are not rooted in ethnicity. Rather, most conflicts are created because of resource competition.
Yes! the world should definitely do more. It is about time, that some recognition has been shown towards Sudan. The people have been suffering for years, and it is not fair. More Humanitarian work is needed and those that responsible for the deaths should be put behind bars. To the UN start doing your work.
It seems like religion once again is at the heart of the world's atrocities. UN, step in with firm resolutions or else forever be quiet. There is no point of having this organization that really seems like it's being ignored by some nations in the world. Africa needs your support.
ZZ, Pittsburgh, USA
The United Nations and the African Union should be outraged and disgusted by the mass raping and ethnic cleansing. Africa has long been ignored. Please do not make the mistake again.
Amanda Ruthven, Massachusetts, USA
Yes, the world should do more. It is a disgrace that nothing has been done about the atrocities in Sudan. I am especially disappointed with the media, as they have basically ignored and dismissed the goings-on in that country.
Mita, Texas, USA
The Rwandan scenario will unfold many times in Sudan and in different regions because the government has no respect for cultural, ethnic or religious diversity. The world should now agree that there is no hope for Sudan unless the government is thrown out and that every government official who had a hand in the appalling tragedies in Darfur is brought to justice.
Tafah Alkeil, London, UK
The crisis in Darfur has been ongoing for sometime but even the people within Sudan know very little about little about the dire situation enveloping this region of the country. The government, as always, is keeping people in the dark, censoring state television and newspapers. The UN and Amnesty need to be more vocal about the situation, and shame the Government into stopping this genocide which is totally unholy. If action is going to be taken it must be now, before we see another Rwanda.
S Ahmed, London, UK
Hell will freeze over before the members of that talking shop known as the UN does anything. Unfortunately the countries who do act are a little preoccupied at the moment so I am afraid Africa will have to do something for its self.
Those whose destiny it is to protect the downtrodden seem to have neglected the people of Sudan and have left them at the mercy of the Arab Jihads who have continued to force their cultures and religion on our people for so long. The confidence they are getting from the unchecked oppression is dangerous for all including the protectors. A stitch in time might save many.
Harry O, London/Nigeria
From my personal experience and the comments on this page this is an example of Arab imperialism at its best. Ever since the advent of Islam the Arabs have repeatedly conquered, pushed out and annihilated many of the peoples who stood in their way in their expansionist drive throughout the world. The Arabs settled in Sudan must leave Africa to the indigenous inhabitants and go back to Arabia.
Riek Machar, Kenya/Sudan
I never understood the difference between genocide and ethnic cleansing, if they are at all different? The illusion that Sudan is signing a peace deal with SPLA/SPLM for the first time in years is creating a shadow to reality of what is happening in Darfur. The UN should have intervened months back¿ the UN field workers have been calling it ethnic cleansing for months¿ but no one has dared to call it genocide because there is no political will in the West to do so.
So much for Islam being a religion of peace and tolerance... as if we ever believed that in the first place. The UN should be disbanded it clearly doesn't work as this is not the only genocide it has stood by and allowed for example Rwanda and Cambodia. It is up to the African states to intervene and stop the genocide of this government sponsored and organised deliberate ethnic cleansing.
Mark, London, England
Send in troops now to protect the Africans - please.
War in front of the cameras. The yesterday's war in western Sudan is fought in front of cameras which make it visible in the eyes of the world unlike the one in the south fought in darkness for twenty one years. The world should respond immediately as it did in Haiti. The international community should save the lives of children and women in the dusty desert before talks.
Yoolson Abrams, Manitoba, Canada
Yes, the world should do more and my congregation is setting the example. We're about 20 old age pensioners living on government hand-outs but that has not kept us from answering the call to action. We have welcomed 180 Sudanese refugee immigrants. We are finding autos to give to each family. We have connected them to the free nursing care clinic near their homes. We are arranging for their children a free week at summer camp. A few Methodist Christians near the bottom of the economic ladder are doing something - go ye and do likewise.
Richard Hicks, Amarillo, Texas, USA
As a Sudanese from Southern Sudan, I deeply sympathize with the helpless African people of Darfur but these same people are partly to blame for their helplessness. When the time was right to join their fellow Africans in the South in a war of liberation for the African stock, they failed to join up as did the Nubians and the people of Ingessana Hills. They thought they were out of the woods because they'd become Arab Muslims and so failed to identify with us.
Now, at the time when the rest of the marginalised Africans of the Sudan were being recognised for their sufferings, it was then time for them to pick up arms. Too late. I won't blame the international community for failing to help them because the same institution is half Arab who would rather clear the Sudan of Africans even if they happen to be Muslims. It just goes to underline what is at stake here.
Awak Kondok Malith, Rochester, NY, USA
The UN powered by the West does not seem to treat Africa as a part of the world. The UN and the West spend more money one some single Middle Eastern countries than it spends in Africa. Shame to the current so called leaders in Africa .You are all useless.
The so called Arab government in Sudan needs to be reprimanded both by the UN and the African Union. The injustices that the 'proud to be black' African people have endured for the past decades need to be brought to an end. This I believe could be achieved first through constructive negotiation, or with force if needs be. I believe that the Khartoum ideology has to be defeated and removed; it is a cancer in our continent.
Musa Bah, Gambia/UK
There should be no doubt about the fact that the world is doing nothing about Sudan. How can we fold our arms and watch as the Muslim north exterminates the Christian south? It is a proven fact that almost all the southern Sudanese who have the access and opportunity have all fled Sudan. The UN should set in motion a move that will guarantee the southern Sudanese autonomy, since clearly they are not one with the northern Sudanese.
Mike Eke, Lagos, Nigeria.
I am sure the Arab World would love it if a mainly Western international force went to Sudan and intervened against Muslims for humanitarian reasons.
Mark, Boston, US
I believe this should be taken care of immediately but like Iraq it may turn out to be a long going thing and we have already seen most countries can't stand firm that long on helping throwing out a wrong government.
Richard, Memphis, USA
Definitely the international community has to do something drastic and fast. If we are to believe the post-9/11 doctrine that evil regimes have no place in today world, then the US should as a matter of principle put pressure on the Khartoum government to stop the inhuman atrocities been meted out to people of southern Sudan.
Tom Ayeni, Lagos, Nigeria
This case reminds me of Afghanistan, no one cared about the human atrocities of the ruling regime until the interests of the West were harmed, and to be sincere, Sudan doesn't seem to bother the necessities of the 'powerful' nations.
Christian Rocha, San Diego, USA
1994 Rwanda, remember Rwanda. Too little, too late. Too many lives hang in the balance. If we ever want the world to be a safe place, then we need to act in every case. We need to say we will not stand for this anymore. Yes, the world should do more.
Robert Harris, Saint John, Canada
Sudan is an independent state and must defend the people.
Sudanese government has never been respectful of human rights. Darfur is just a mirror of horrific situations in the country. The international community is good for nothing in changing this situation. It's time for the African countries to stand firm for the Darfurian people and stop the menace of killing. How long will innocent women and children be dishonoured at the expense of merciless colour prejudice in Sudan?
Ngobei L Shamata, Arusha, Tanzania
The World can do something if it chose to. However we Sudanese have been left alone. Our hope is God not mankind.
It is interesting that on this very website are articles about how the disaster in Rwanda could have been prevented. It is my hope that in ten years we will not be reading similar articles about Sudan.
Jonathan, Freiburg, Germany
Why not support an overthrow of the current dictatorship in Sudan? That is the root of the disastrous problem. I would gladly support a full removal of the regime. Today's Sudan is a huge disaster and it has been for many decades.
Jan Andersson, Stockholm, Sweden
For someone who's followed how the Sudanese authorities have conducted themselves so unruly against the non-Arab communities especially in their own country and how they've over a period of years supported the killings in northern Uganda, it leaves no alternative other than the intervention of the international community...
Freddie Kasagga, Entebbe
Sudan is already experiencing widespread famine. The things HRW is accusing Sudanese authorities of have been going on for years and no one has done anything about it. Where's the courage in those who have power?
J Beresford, Asheville, USA
This has been going on for years. The news media has been remarkably late reporting these atrocities - for years we have heard of them only from Christian news groups. It is as if the West is embarrassed to be seen opposing Arab attacks on Christians.
Kurt, Baton Rouge, USA
Sudan has been engaged in this since the 90s. The intervention of the international community would not change anything. It is up to the people to change their minds and stop these killings.
Nana Kwabina, Accra, Ghana
With all the coverage reminding us of the Rwandan disaster ten years ago, have we learned nothing? Will we stand aside again, and watch thousands tortured and slain, uncaring because they are so far away, and "they're not our kind"?
Carla, Ottawa, Canada
Imagine the pain the Sudanese children and women endure through while we sit and decide whether to help or not.
Christopher Kyalo, Kenyan in VA, USA
Of course. It is already too little, too late. I can not believe the things that I see happening. How can all these countries not do anything? It is so insane. We are coming up to the International remembrance day for Rwanda and we have this going on right now. We have learnt nothing!
The UN should do its job properly for once and help these people out before it is too late.
Steve, London, UK
Nothing will happen since the Sudanese government is majority Muslim and the people in the Darfur region are mainly Christian. No one will have the resolve to take on a 'Muslim' government in these times for fear of becoming a target of terrorism.
N Watkins, WDC, US
As an American tax payer I feel we have done much more than our share. The USA should stay out of the next fifty world situations that do not directly threaten our interests. Let the world spin without us.
William L Donlon, Rochester, New York, USA
This is a perfect opportunity for the UN to demonstrate to the world that they can answer the call when it comes.
Heather, Kansas, USA
Unless the UN Security Council nations are united, there is no hope for countries like the Sudan. It seems three out of the five tend to support the Sudanese Government as well as many Arab nations.
Yes, I believe that International Community should step in and try to help the helpless people of Sudan. This government has been abusing human rights since 1989 and the world has been watching and done nothing to stop that. I am Sudanese.
Sundus Samier, Ottawa, Canada
Why even ask the question - we all know that's it's something that's not going to happen. As in Bosnia, Kosovo, Somalia, Haiti - even the case of Rwanda and I dare say Iraq - the world isn't going to do anything. Maybe we can call America?
Mike Hughes, Houston, USA
It is indeed time for the international community to step in, send inspectors, troops, whatever it takes to stop this from continuing. Justice is the only thing worth fighting for.
Sean Kerrigan, Boston USA
The United Nations has yet to deal with some of the real crises in the world. Sudan is a tragedy too distant from people who really care about life.
Jim Lassiter, Claremore, OK ,USA
It is time for citizens of wealthy countries and security council members to rise up and press their governments for swift and effective action to prevent future abuses as well as to ensure that action that is taken is done within the parameters of international law and that it ultimately benefits those living in the affected countries rather than the interveners.
Helene Apter, Boston, USA
Does Sudan have large oil reserves or other natural resources? If not, then nothing will ever be done.
M Rose, UK