Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, September 21, 2007

Human Rights Watch calls for action from international community in Darfur

Human Rights Watch released a report on Thursday calling on the 26,000-strong U.N. and African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur to ensure the safety of the Sudanese people and to work to restore their confidence, Voice of America reported the same day.

The group says the Sudanese population still suffers from atrocities such as beatings, rapes, robberies and murders at the hands of the government supported Janjaweed militia and rebel forces. Since 2003, more than 200,000 people have been killed in Darfur and as many as two million people have been displaced.

Peter Takirambudde, the Africa Director of Human Rights Watch, says that the mission requires the “absolute commitment” of the international community in working to ensure the benchmarks are met by all actors. He believes there has not been enough done so far, and states that “The international community has been virtually in a slumber for the past four years when pervasive abuses were all over Darfur. Finally, they appear to be waking up, and they’re talking a good game. The question is whether or not they are going to be able to pass the test.”

“The people of Darfur cannot wait any longer,” says Takirambudde. “We have waited too long. Change must occur sooner rather than later.”

The UN and AU forces will take over the mission by the end of the year. Peace talks between the Sudanese government and rebels are scheduled to begin in Libya on October 27.

For the full story, click here.

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