International community guilty of lots of talk, no action regarding Darfur, says archbishop

.- It’s a lot of talk but no action when it comes to the international community's reaction to the devastating situation in Darfur, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations offices in Geneva, said this week.

“The crisis under discussion has provoked debates and international complaints, but insufficient effective actions,” the archbishop told the 4th Special Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Dec. 12.

“The victims are not just statistics; they are real people. Indeed the priority is action to end the killings and the abuses over political arrangements and commercial interests,” he said.

He said the Vatican has been following the situation in Darfur for the last three years “with grave concern” and he urged that active cooperation be put in place among the UN, the African Union, and the Sudanese government in order to end the violence in Darfur, to improve relations among the countries of the region and to enable the people to rebuild their lives.

“The situation on the ground, as a variety of official and private first-hand witnesses indicates, shows a horrific violation of human rights: killing of children, sexual abuse and rape of girls and women, forced uprooting of population, burning of villages, attacks on Internally Displaced People camps, targeting of unarmed civilians,” said the archbishop.

He added that the disruption of agriculture greatly limits the production of food and, “as the danger of regional destabilization increases, traumatized refugees find it harder to start life again.”

“The Darfur conflict is a major humanitarian challenge of huge proportions, but also an opportunity to address in a new collaborative way endemic problems so as to create a future of hope for Sudan and for the entire African continent,” he said.

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