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EU must to more to end Darfur genocide

4 June, 2007


Sinn Féin MEP, Bairbre de Brún, who will tomorrow (Tuesday May 5th) attend a special European Conference of Presidents meeting in Brussels to deal with the crisis in Darfur, Sudan, has called on the EU to do more to end the ongoing genocide that is taking place in Darfur and to help create the conditions in which relief can be brought to the people of that region.

Speaking in Brussels Ms de Brún said:

"The conflict has resulted in at least 400,000 deaths, despite the signing of a Darfur Peace Agreement on 5 May 2006 in Abuja.

"According to United Nations observers, more than two and a half million refugees and displaced persons no longer have the access to international aid and are dying of malnutrition and disease. African Union troops are unable to protect civilians in the area. Violence in Darfur is also targeting humanitarian workers making it difficult for aid workers to help vulnerable people. Many humanitarian agencies and NGOs have withdrawn from Darfur completely.

"I welcome the fact that the presidents of the political groups in the European Parliament have taken the initiative to organise this session in order to further raise awareness about the issue, to put pressure on governments to act, and to try to take a lead in resolving the conflict. Archbishop Desmond Tutu will take part in the open discussions with MEPs alongside fellow Nobel Prize winner Jody Williams, who recently led the visit to the region by the UN High Level Mission on the human rights situation in Sudan's Darfur.

"I look forward to participating in this session and would call on the EU to do more to end the ongoing genocide that is taking place in Darfur and to help create the conditions in which relief can be brought to the people of that region.

"The delegation to the region planned by the European Parliament should prioritise creating the conditions for peacekeepers and humanitarian workers to do their work in Darfur, so that an end can be brought to the constant attacks and the necessary help and relief can be brought to the people living there.

"I would particularly call on all armed groups to respect human rights and international humanitarian law by refraining from any indiscriminate attacks on civilians including sexual violence against women." ENDS

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