Thursday, June 28, 2007

Diplomat Urged Stronger Action on Darfur

By The Associated Press

As a political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Ronald Capps got a close-up view of the destruction taking place in Sudan's troubled western Darfur region and worried that Washington wasn't doing enough to stop what it had itself described as ``genocide.''

A week before several of Darfur's rebel groups and the Sudanese government signed a tenuous peace deal in May 2006 in Abuja, Nigeria, Capps wrote a cable to the State Department urging more forceful U.S. action, including leading an international military force to replace African Union peacekeepers to halt the bloodshed.

Capps would not discuss the April 28, 2006, cable when asked Wednesday, but The Associated Press independently verified the accuracy of excerpts that first appeared on a Web site devoted to the crisis in Darfur.

Excerpts follow:
``Stopping the violence in Darfur will require a military force with first-world leadership, first-world assets, and first-world experience. US and coalition experience in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq is relevant here. Putting together such a coalition and getting it into place to do its work will require that the United States government and our military take a lead role, at least initially. Our NATO and other first-world military partners will not be keen to step forward without our participation, and many of the traditional UN troop contributing countries lack the military capability to successfully complete the mission.'' Read more >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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