Fingers Crossed

Christopher Hayes

From Reuters: Sudan and the United Nations have agreed a plan to tackle the humanitarian crisis in Darfur and avert sanctions threatened by the U.N. Security Council. Jan Pronk, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special representative, told reporters on Thursday: "The government of Sudan has to be commended for keeping its promise (on access to Darfur for humanitarian organisations). "We have full access and we have to make full use of this opportunity by coming in with more food, more planes, more trucks, more medication," he added. Pronk said he and Sudanese Foreign Minister Osman Mustafa Ismail agreed on detailed policy measures that should be implemented to save Sudan from Security Council action. "If that text is agreed upon by the (Sudanese) cabinet as a whole and if that text is implemented, then I have very good hope that the Security Council … can only come to the conclusion that there is indeed substantial progress," he said, But U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday that Sudan had not done enough. "Violence and atrocities on a wide scale continue to be committed against the civilian population in Darfur," he wrote. "To date the Government of Sudan has removed many obstacles to humanitarian access, cooperated with the African Union ceasefire monitors and agreed to participate in political talks. The Sudanese government has not, however, taken decisive steps to end the violence," he added. Some 30,000 people are estimated to have been killed and 2.2 million are in urgent need of food, medicine and shelter in the western Darfur region, where two main rebel groups launched a revolt last year, complaining of official neglect.

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Christopher Hayes is the host of MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes. He is an editor at large at the Nation and a former senior editor of In These Times.
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