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Europe

Call for Sanctions Against Sudan

The EU is being pressed to take urgent action to avoid Sudan experiencing a disaster similar to that in Rwanda 10 years ago.

The International Crisis Group today issued a call for the EU and other international actors to act promptly to stop the humanitarian crisis in Sudan's Darfur region in the west of the country. The region has been racked by inter-Arab violence and Arab-African ethnic clashes which have left tens of thousands dead. Between 650,000 and 1.2 million people have been forced to flee their homes. The Sudanese government has been accused of aiding the Janjaweed militia which is causing much of the damage and the strength of voices demanding action from the international community is increasing. Today the Brussels and Washington based International Crisis group called on the EU, U.S. and UN to take urgent action including an "aggressive public and private diplomatic offensive" aimed at easing the situation. "It is too late to prevent substantial ethnic cleansing," said the group, while calling on the EU to engage Sudan's neighbours in an attempt to ease the passage of aid and aid workers to the region. The Sudanese government recently announced that it would be allowing better access for humanitarian groups - granting three month visas. An EU mission to the country has been mooted for some time, although some in Brussels are keen to see the African Union take a lead role. (EUobserver.com)

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