Friday, July 09, 2004

Why do we keep bothering with the French?

France says it does not support US plans for international sanctions on Sudan if violence continues in Darfur. The UN Security Council is debating a US draft resolution imposing sanctions on militias accused of "ethnic cleansing" against non-Arabs. ...

Some one million people have fled their homes and at least 10,000 have been killed in what the UN calls "the world's worst humanitarian crisis."

A rebellion broke out in Darfur early last year, when two groups took up arms, accusing the government of ignoring the region. ... France led opposition to US moves at the UN over Iraq. As was the case in Iraq, it also has significant oil interests in Sudan.

Mr Muselier also dismissed claims of "ethnic cleansing" or genocide in Darfur. "I firmly believe it is a civil war and as they are little villages of 30, 40, 50, there is nothing easier than for a few armed horsemen to burn things down, to kill the men and drive out the women," he said.

Human rights activists say the Janjaweed are conducting a genocide against Darfur's black African population.

The Sudan has been in a civil war for 20 years. Over the last year or two things have escalated to a monstrous point. 10,000 dead, hundreds of thousands forced to flee but, the French think it's all a few horsemen being bad boys.