European reluctance on genocide accusations in Darfur
Sudan-European Union, Politics, 9/11/2004
European states showed reluctance to agree with the US description of what is taking place in the Sudanese Darfur as a genocide. A spokesman for the German foreign ministry Walter Lendner said that Berlin wants to reach a consensus at the UN Security Council concerning the crisis.
The spokesman described what is taking place in Darfur as a humanitarian issue "with the possibility the situation to be converted to a genocide." He expressed his country's concern over conditions in the area noting that it is clear that the conflict has "ethnic dimensions." He urged continued pressures on Khartoum.
For its part, Britain called for caution in dealing with the issue of genocide, which it said might have taken place in Sudan and declared by Washington.
The second official at the British foreign office Cress Mollin said that the priority should be given to providing humanitarian relief of food and medicines and not to push the Sudanese government to take positions that would obstruct the efforts to correct situations of scores of thousands of refugees.
Khartoum announced rejection for the accusations raised by Washington. Sudan's foreign minister Mustafa Othman Ismael described the American accusations of Sudan as an isolated position and a deception for serving the campaign of President George W. Bush's re-election. Ismael who is visiting South Korea said that the Bush administration is making use of the humanitarian crisis in the area to divert the attention from the number of American killings in Iraq.
He indicated that the European Union and the African Union do not agree ti the description made by the US of the situation in Darfur.
This came, after diplomatic sources at the UN announced that the UN Security Council was split on Friday over an American draft resolution threatening Sudan of oil sanctions, unless it halts what is called violations in Darfur, while several countries like China, Pakistan, and Algeria showed rejection during consultations at the UN Security Council.
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