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Promises but few concrete steps from Darfur talks

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Promises but few concrete steps from Darfur talks


The exact details of international efforts to end the crisis in Darfur remain unclear, despite a ground-breaking meeting in Paris. The gathering of world powers and regional nations ended with promises to support peacekeeping and promote a political solution in the troubled Sudanese region, but with no concrete steps.

“There are four points,” said French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.
“Political support, pressure to support the initiatives taken especially by the UN and the African Union, finance for tomorrow and fourthly, monitoring the situation in the whole region.”

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Khartoum must keep its word and accept the AU/UN peacekeepers: “The US will continue to argue that there must be consequences for Sudan if it does not live up to obligations it has undertaken,” she said.

Darfur has been in turmoil since early 2003, when black African rebels in the remote, arid region clashed with pro-government Arab militia. It is estimated that 200,000 people have been killed and two and a half million others displaced since fighting began. Sudan was not represented at the talks but China, its biggest oil customer and ally, said Khartoum would attend all-party talks in August.

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