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On the Record

Diplomats Face New Deadline on Darfur

Susan E. Rice

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With us to discuss the situation in Darfur is Susan Rice, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former assistant secretary of state for African Affairs in the Clinton administration.

Welcome to the program, Susan.

Ms. SUSAN RICE (Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution): Good to be with you, Liane.

LIANE HANSEN, host: Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has ordered the African Union peacekeepers to leave the country. Then he plans to send some 10,000 troops into Darfur to replace them. Is this a way to resolve the deteriorating situation in Darfur?

Ms. RICE: Absolutely not. What it is, is an opportunity for the people who have perpetrated genocide, the government of Sudan, to clear out all witnesses and send in government forces to continue the genocide, a second wave of the genocide, with the international community, I’m afraid, poised to stand by and watch.

HANSEN: Well, the United States formally declared the situation in Darfur genocide in September 2004. And less than a month ago, the United Nations approved a resolution to provide additional support to the African Union force. It called also for thousands of U.N. peacekeepers to be deployed in Darfur. So what’s keeping the international community from acting on this?

Ms. RICE: The government of Sudan. The U.N. did pass a resolution. It did not require the consent of the Sudanese government, but the position that the United States and European governments and in fact the international community has taken is that that force cannot deploy without the consent of the Sudanese government. That is incredibly ironic. It is an – it is like giving Milosevic or Hitler a veto over the world stopping the perpetration of genocide. 

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