‘UN action against Sudan possible’
* US warns of 1 million deaths in Sudan
DOHA: UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Tuesday his trip to Sudan this week could lead to Security Council action against Khartoum if it does not act to ease a humanitarian crisis in Darfur.
“Depending on what we see on the ground, the Council may have to take further steps,” Annan said in response to questions about punitive measures against Sudan. “If that government is not able or willing to do it (protect people in Darfur), the international community has to do something about it.”
Annan did not elaborate. He declined to set a timetable for Khartoum during his news conference in the Qatari capital Doha, but said he would discuss the issue with African leaders.
US official: Up to one million displaced Sudanese could die this year in the western Darfur region in a humanitarian crisis blamed on Khartoum, a senior US official said on Tuesday.
International donors and relief organisations are racing to beat incoming rains to place food and medicine at camps for those driven from their villages in what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Secretary of State Colin Powell will fly to Sudan late on Tuesday in the highest-level US visit for more than two decades to press the Khartoum government to allow aid access and stop supporting marauding Arab militia, blamed for driving most of the refugees out of their homes.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who is expected to meet Powell in Khartoum on Wednesday, will also press the government.
Criticised for responding too slowly to the crisis and under pressure in Congress to do more, Powell will threaten to push for UN sanctions against the oil-producing nation and warn government officials they could be pursued as war criminals, US officials have said. reuters