Sudan Update: Resolution Against Janjaweed Militia Set to Pass

( [email protected] ) Jul 31, 2004 05:51 PM EDT

Sudan may accept the U.N. Security Council resolution demanding the disarmament of Arab militias responsible for what has now been called Genocide in the Dafur region, Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail said on Saturday, July 31.

The resolution, adopted by the Council on Friday, gives the Sudanese government 30 days to act against the “Janjaweed” militia that have been ravaging the western Sudan region for over 17 months. Humanitarian groups, including dozens of Christian-based groups, have long-since called for an end to the violence that has been targeted at black African farmers. A conservative estimate of 30,000 people has died in the conflict and over 1 million has been displaced. The international humanitarian groups have said Sudan has failed to honor its earlier pledge to stomp out the militia, and have thus urged for a more stringent plan of action.

Heeding to the advice and upon witnessing the mysterious “disappearances” of thousands of refugees, members of the U.N. Security Council passed the resolution calling for immediate cease-fire.

Initially, the Sudanese Information Minister El-Zahawi Ibrahim Malik said his country rejected the resolution because it “does not conform with the agreements signed between the government and the United Nations."

However, foreign minister Ismail clarified that the information Minster has no official say on the issue since “The Cabinet is the only body charged with responding to the resolution.”

"If we look closely at this matter, we will find out that there is no reason to reject the resolution as it doesn't contain anything new, anything other than what already has been signed on in the agreement with the United Nations” foreign minister Ismail said, commenting on the new resolution.

Ismail said the Cabinet will meet on Sunday to issue a definitive response.

Should the Sudanese refuse to abide by the resolution, the council could take economic or diplomatic actions against the nation.

According to the Associated Press, Sudan's ambassador to the African Union, Osman al-Said, told reporters in Addis Ababa on Saturday that his government would comply with the resolution.

"We are not happy with the resolution, but we are going to implement it — we have no other option," al-Said said, adding that the task of stabilizing Dafur may be “too much for his government.”

"It is difficult to implement, so we need the U.N. assistance," al-Said said.

Christian humanitarian groups have applauded the recent calls for action by both the U.S. and the U.N., and have asked the faithful to continue assisting the cause.

Donations and offerings can be made online through several Christian humanitarian groups.

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