World has let Darfur down, says Rice
The US secretary of state has called on the international community to be ready to make difficult choices to bring peace to Darfur
Also In The News
Gordon Brown has been confirmed as leader of the Labour party, with Harriet Harman voted in as his deputy.
Monday, 25, Jun 2007 07:20
US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice has said the international community has failed to live up to its responsibilities to the people of Sudan's wartorn area of Darfur.
She was addressing a joint press conference with French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner in Paris ahead of a summit on the humanitarian crisis in the western area of the African country.
Representatives from the US, France, China and Egypt will participate in the conference.
Ms Rice said: "I will be very frank. I do not think that the international community has really lived up to its responsibilities here."
She added that finding a solution to the crisis, which the US government called genocide in 2004, required will-power and the courage to make "difficult choices" to "compel Khartoum to do what it must".
Sudan recently gave permission for a 20,000-strong UN peacekeeping force to enter the country to assist African Union peacekeepers in maintaining order.
The secretary of state also raised doubts over Sudan's willingness to allow a UN peacekeeping force to prevent the conflict in the region from resulting in further violence.
She said: "If in fact the Sudanese are prepared to accept the hybrid force, they need to accept it once and for all and stop the process of trying to scale it back."
Mr Kouchner called for an immediate end to the violence in the region.
He added that the summit had three core aims: to gather support for the joint peacekeeping effort, offer political backing to efforts to bring together the warring rebel groups and to make arrangements for the funding of the hybrid peacekeeping force.
The violence in Darfur between rebel groups and a government-backed militia has led to a refugee crisis in the region and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.