After an international conference in Paris Sudan is coming under renewed pressure to end violence in Darfur. The summit of world powers and regional nations concluded with promises to support peacekeeping and political efforts to resolve the fighting, but few details were given.
The US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, expressed concerns that Khartoum might renege on an earlier commitment to allow a joint UN/African Union peacekeeping force into the region: “We can no longer afford a situation in Darfur in which agreements are made and then not kept. And so the US will continue to argue that there must by consequences for Sudan if it does not live up to the obligations it has taken,” she said.
Sudan was not represented but China, its most important oil customer and ally, said Khartoum would attend all-party talks in August. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who convened the conference, stressed the importance of finding a political solution.
France has shown greater interest in Darfur since President Nicolas Sarkozy took office last month. It has proposed sending an international force to neighbouring Chad to provide stability for refugee camps for those who have fled the bloodshed.