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Mary Lou McDonald welcomes EU Parliament consensus on Darfur

27 September, 2006

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald MEP has today welcomed a resolution signed by all political groups in the European Parliament which urges the government of Sudan to accept a United Nations Peacekeeping force in the country, and calls for an end to attacks upon civilians and humanitarian workers in the region.

Speaking today Ms McDonald said:

"Darfur has perhaps been one of the forgotten conflicts of recent times. The huge political and media interest on the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan has pushed the situation in Darfur to the margins.

"However, there has been tremendous loss of life in Sudan with at least 30,000 deaths, more than one million internally displaced peoples and more than 200,000 refugees in neighbouring Chad. As this European Parliament resolution points out, attacks upon humanitarian workers has ensured that their work has ground to a halt in many areas thus ensuring that the civilian population will continue to suffer.

"I want to welcome this resolution's call for the Sudanese Government to recognise and not hinder a United Nations peacekeeping force from operating in the country. It is my understanding that the UN Security Council has given the go ahead for up to 22,500 peace keeping soldiers and police officers to take over the operation in Darfur.

"I want to commend the work that has taken place thus far to bring an end to the conflict in Sudan and help with the rebuilding effort, particularly the African Union, UN and the EU. It is essential that this work is continued and buit upon to ensure that Sudan does not slip back into full scale conflict." ENDS

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