The tragedy of Darfur is also under the spotlight in Portugal. 200 thousand people are thought to have died in years of violence, and the EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso says he’s told Sudan the killing must stop: “We’ve made our worries very clear to President Bashir, and told him we expect him to cooperate with the United Nations,” he said. “Sudan has agreed to cooperate in principle, but in reality that takes time, and delays are not acceptable to us.”
Summit host Portugal insists no subject is taboo. But Sudan, and the crisis in Darfur, hardly feature on the agenda. And one of Africa’s most charismatic leaders, Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi, believes it may already be too late for Darfur: “Each time we ignore the crisis in Darfur, the problem gets worse,” he said. “But, if we concentrate only on Darfur, the crisis will never end. Outside intervention in Darfur will only inflame the situation.”
Critics denounce Sudan’s General Omar el-Bashir for stoking the violence in Darfur. The United Nations called it the world’s worst humanitarian crisis; the United States has called it genocide.