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Vol 45 No 16

Published 6th August 2004


Deaths mount, time passes

Diplomatic failures are hampering efforts to hold the militias and their masters to account

Bureaucratic squabbles and diplomatic evasions are derailing plans for a peacekeeping force to protect civilians or even ceasefire monitors in Darfur. No interested government has called the National Islamic Front's bluff and offered it 'technical support' to disarm the Janjaweed militias as it promised. Nor do Western or African governments seem to have any clear action plan, a lapse the NIF has not failed to exploit. Without a protection force, many believe it will be impossible to stop the continuing attacks on civilians by Janjaweed militias and their government controllers - or to produce the full report on security and human rights conditions on the ground which the United Nations Security Council is demanding. UN human rights investigators have been reduced from 60 to eight and are blocked in the capital.

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