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Phil Goff

25 July, 2004

Goff, Downer joint statement on Darfur

Foreign Minister Phil Goff, and his Australian counterpart Alexander Downer today expressed grave concern over the humanitarian situation in Darfur, Sudan.

"We are appalled and outraged by the humanitarian and human rights disaster now taking place in Darfur," the Ministers said in a joint statement.

"This tragedy is the responsibility of the Government of Sudan, and the result of the government’s failure to take action against the Janjaweed militia."

Mr Downer said he had already expressed his grave concerns directly to the Sudanese Foreign Minister. Both Ministers called on the Sudanese government to fulfil its responsibility for the well-being and security of its own people.

"We strongly endorse the similar call by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan. We call on the members of the Security Council to pass a resolution resulting in effective, practical action to stop the flow of weapons to Darfur; the imposition of realistic sanctions against the government of Sudan; and support for the planned deployment of the African Union.

"We will do what we can to ease the suffering of the people of Sudan. We will announce shortly and separately increases in our humanitarian assistance. We will keep this tragic situation under active review.

"We will each consider what further action our governments can take to put pressure on the government of Sudan to act immediately and effectively to bring this unnecessary catastrophe under control," the Ministers said.

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