Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy in The London Times
There has been important progress on Darfur in the past two months. In July we agreed on the deployment of a robust UN/African Union (AU) force and the start of peace talks. But the situation remains completely unacceptable. In the coming weeks and months, we commit as leaders to redouble our efforts to make further progress.
At the end of July the UN agreed to our plan. UN Resolution 1769, passed –– for the first time –– unanimously, was the culmination of intense diplomatic activity over the crisis in Darfur. In the next few weeks, one of the largest UN troop deployments –– this time in partnership with the African Union –– will begin arriving in Darfur. Twenty thousand peacekeepers and nearly 4,000 police will contribute to ensuring the security of Darfur’s people –– as well enabling safe delivery of essential supplies of food.
Moreover, on the political front, most of the Darfuri rebel groups met in Tanzania early this month under UN and AU auspices to prepare for political negotiations. They reached agreement on their common demands and said that they would commit to a ceasefire if the Sudanese Government also made the same commitment.
But there is still a gap between the efforts pursued by the international community and the dramatic situation that remains on the ground.