Desmond Tutu wants AU Summit to act on Darfur crisis

Johannesburg- South Africa (PANA) -- South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu has appealed to African leaders attending the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to subject the Sudanese government to tough and effective sanctions.
Tutu said in a statement released here Monday that the government of Sudan "continues to act with impunity and must now be subjected to tough and effective sanctions until the suffering ends.
" "Sudan's President Mr Bashir longs to be given the AU's presidency.
The AU cannot allow itself to comfort the oppressor.
I appeal to those leaders meeting at the AU summit to stand up to tyranny and stand by the people of Darfur," Tutu said.
"The Africa Union has before it a stark choice on Darfur.
Be bold and stand by the people of Africa or be weak and stand by the politicians who are making that corner of Africa a graveyard," he stated.
Tutu who noted that the level of human suffering over the past month has hugely increased, claimed that the limited succour that the UN and the aid agencies can offer in Darfur is on the verge of collapse.
"If the AU allows this to continue and the aid effort breaks down then there will soon be no help for the hundred of thousands who have fled their homes.
"This is a matter of utmost urgency.
The people of Darfur need action in weeks not months.
They have suffered terribly, and they cannot wait any longer.
" Tutu charged that the Sudanese government and other parties to the conflict treat the AU peace monitors with contempt and they fail to comply with the promises they make to stop the killing.
"What is needed is an immediate ceasefire, a strengthened force with UN troops and a robust mandate to protect the innocent," he added.

29 january 2007 11:44:00

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