Global Policy Forum

More Active UN Role in Sudan Urged


Associated Press
October 26, 1998

Four aid organizations urged the U.N. Security Council on Monday to take a more active role in ending Sudan's civil war, which has killed an estimated 1.5 million people.

CARE International, Oxfam, Doctors Without Borders and Save the Children, all of which work in Sudan, met with Security Council members at Sweden's U.N. mission to press their campaign.

The United Nations has largely stayed out of the political aspects of the war, focusing mainly on humanitarian relief for those suffering from 15 years of fighting and starvation.

"Humanitarian assistance alone, in a political vacuum, will not solve Sudan's problems or stop the next famine,'' said Guy Tousignant, secretary general of CARE International. "What we need is political will to end the war.''

Specifically, the groups called for an extension of a three-month cease-fire begun in July, and said it should be expanded beyond the southern province of Bahr el-Ghazal.

They asked the United Nations to "generate a forceful and positive lobby for peace,'' while improving the ability of aid groups to reach starving people.

The rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army has been fighting the Muslim government since 1983 to demand more autonomy for Christians and adherents of tribal faiths in the south.

More than 1.5 million people have died in the battles and famines, which have been worsened by fighters on both sides burning and stealing crops to thwart their enemies.


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