Amnesty International Says Sudan is Again Obstructing Peacekeeping Deployment to Darfur

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCTOBER 22, 2006
12:07 PM

CONTACT: Amnesty International 
Suzanne Trimel, 212-633-4150

 
Amnesty International Says Sudan is Again Obstructing Peacekeeping Deployment to Darfur
 

WASHINGTON - October 22 - Amnesty International today called on the government of Sudan to stop blocking the speedy deployment of the U.N. peacekeeping force to Darfur and urged key governments to immediately supply urgently-needed equipment, such as military helicopters, for the force.

In a short report released today, Obstruction and Delay: Peacekeepers Needed in Darfur Now, Amnesty International details obstructions and delays to the deployment of UNAMID, a joint United Nations and African Union force which is due to take over from the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) by the end of December 2007. The U.N. Security Council last summer authorized a multi-national force of 26,000 peacekeepers -- the largest force of its kind to date.

"Sudan is stalling. Lives are going to be lost if the United States and other leading countries don't take immediate action to stop the atrocities. Meanwhile the peacekeeping deployment process continues to move slowly," said Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA. "This is unconscionable. How many more Darfuris must die before the international community responds with the urgency this crisis demands?"

"The prevailing insecurity in parts of Darfur is unacceptable. UNAMID is facing the same types of barriers from the government of Sudan which so weakened the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) peacekeeping force," said Erwin van der Borght, Amnesty International's Africa Program Director.

"The government of Sudan must accept the AU-UN agreement regarding the composition of the force, allow it to be properly resourced with sufficient arms and means of land and air transport, ensure that there are no restrictions on UNAMID's freedom of movement, and make land immediately available for the establishment of UNAMID bases."

In the absence of an effective international peacekeeping force, human rights violations continue to be perpetrated against civilians with impunity, including reports of a massacre this month in which approximately 30 people in a mosque were killed, some having their throats slit.

United Nations officials estimate that more than 200,000 Darfuri civilians have died since 2003, more than 2.5 million have been driven from their homes and many more depend on international aid to survive.

To view the report Obstruction and Delay: Peacekeepers Needed in Darfur Now please visit: http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGAFR540062007

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