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Homepage > Publication Type > Open Letters > World Leaders Must Act on Darfur

World Leaders Must Act on Darfur

Brussels  |   6 Jun 2004

The International Crisis Group urges G-8 leaders meeting in Sea Island, Georgia, on 8-10 June 2004 to push for immediate and strong action to protect hundreds of thousands of lives now at risk in Darfur in western Sudan.

In a letter (full text below) to heads of government and foreign ministers of the G-8 and the permanent members of the UN Security Council, and in a similar letter to the UN ambassadors of all fifteen members of the Security Council, ICG has called for determined international leadership to prevent the impending disaster in Darfur.

The crisis in Darfur has been developing over the past fifteen months, during which time government-backed militias have conducted a scorched-earth campaign in the region, killing many thousands of civilians and forcing over one million from their homes. The majority of the latter are in poorly-run government-controlled camps for internally displaced persons within Darfur, where they remain vulnerable to attack by the "Janjaweed" militias and have inadequate access to desperately needed relief supplies.

In the letter, ICG President Gareth Evans calls for a Security Council resolution demanding that Khartoum at once implement its promise to provide immediate and full access for aid operations, taking measures to stop further fighting and atrocities, and supporting political negotiations. It also asks the Council to start considering tough further measures to concentrate the Sudan Government’s attention.   

The letter also requests G-8 Heads of Government to consider Darfur at Sea Island this week, and adopt a strong statement in their closing declaration making clear their determination to ensure that sufficient resources are available for relief of the victims of ethnic cleansing, that the relief will reach the victims, that the ethnic cleansing will not stand and that the Government of Sudan will be held accountable.

The time for action by world leaders is now. Hundreds of thousands of lives are already at risk and every week’s delay has ever more deadly consequences.

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