News and Information

Sudan conflict under UN spotlight
November 17, 2004
Ambassadors from the United Nations Security Council have arrived in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, for a two day meeting on Sudan.

The talks focus on the peace process in the south but are also expected to deal with the conflict in Darfur.

The BBC's UN correspondent Susannah Price says there is some debate on how best to deal with it.

Aid agencies and human rights groups are urging tough sanctions to halt the violence there.

This meeting is only the fourth occasion on which the Security Council has met outside New York.


Talks to end the 21-year civil war between the government and the southern rebels have been under way for two years.

Vice president Taha and the SPLA's John Garang
Former enemies seemed to be close to signing a final deal
On Tuesday, US President George W Bush telephoned Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and southern rebel leader John Garang, to lend his support to the peace process.

The US ambassador to the UN, John Danforth said he would not use the word "optimistic" about the peace process in Sudan, but felt it was very important for the council to come to Nairobi and show that they were doing all they could.

A few months ago, it appeared the government and the rebels in the south were coming close to an agreement on setting up a power-sharing government.

However, since then both the international community and Khartoum have turned their attention to the crisis in the western region of Darfur, where pro-government militias have attacked villages, leaving thousands dead.

Darfur pressure

The BBC's reporter says diplomats remain divided about how any resolution should refer to Darfur, with members such as China reluctant to put too much pressure on Khartoum.

She says the council wants to secure a unanimously-agreed resolution when it comes to the vote on Friday to ensure it sends the strongest possible signal to all parties involved in conflicts in Sudan.

An Arab-looking man, in a uniform with military insignia, stopped his car next to me. He grabbed my son from me and threw him into a fire
Kalima, Kidinyir villager
Rape survivor's account

Q&A: Darfur crisis
The council has already passed two resolutions threatening to impose sanctions on Sudan's government if it does not disarm the militias in Darfur.

But aid agencies and human rights groups say they have had no effect in calming the violence.

On Tuesday, Amnesty International warned that uncontrolled arms exports were fuelling abuses in Darfur.

The human rights group calls on the Security Council to impose a strict arms embargo on Sudan.

This week, the BBC broadcast evidence of mass killings in Darfur, where more than 1.5 million people have been displaced.


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