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How Prime Minister appealed to other EU countries to help end the slaughter.

I KNOW we all share a strong personal commitment to Africa and that we all agree the tragic situation in Darfur is unacceptable and that the international community cannot turn its back on the millions of people in Darfur who have suffered so much in recent years.

I believe that EU leaders should join with the AU (African Union), US and others to give a very clear message to the Sudanese government and rebel forces.

Our foreign ministers will have the opportunity to discuss this in New York next week. I also propose that we should discuss this at the informal European Council in Finland in October.

The EU should play a central role in mobilising world opinion on this issue. We should strongly call upon the government of Sudan and nonsignatories alike to stop immediately the violence in Northern Darfur. Both sides must abide by the commitments they made under previous agreements.

The Darfur peace agreement signed in May this year by the government of Sudan and one of the rebel movements sets out a path for peace. It provides a framework in which all parties to this conflict can work for a peaceful solution. Therefore, we should also call on the rebel groups who have so far failed to sign up to do so' and on the government of Sudan and other parties to implement the agreement.

We should pay tribute to the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) for its contribution to improving the lives of the people of Darfur. UNSCR 1706 provides for a UN peacekeeping force to take over and to protect the people of Darfur. We should call on the government of Sudan to agree to the continuation of AMIS, and transition to the UN.

We should urge the government of Sudan to rise to the challenge above, make the right decisions to protect the people of Darfur, and put Sudan back in its rightful place at the heart of the family of nations. If it responds, we should commit to provide substantial support for reconstruction and peace through debt relief and aid. But this window should not remain open forever. And if it fails to move, we should agree further measures to isolate and pressure it.

We should work to create the broadest possible coalition to speak with one united voice on this issue. I have spoken in recent days to President Bush and Premier Wen and will also speak to other leaders.

I know we are all determined to ensure that the international community does not fail to protect our fellow human beings facing slaughter. I am committed to do everything I can on this.


Protesters outside the Sudanese embassy in central London
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 18, 2006
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