Darfur situation 'better, but more has to be done'

By Su Qiang (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-09-19 08:59

Though the situation in Darfur has improved, big challenges remain, and they can only be met with the joint efforts of the international community, China's special envoy for Darfur Liu Guijin said Tuesday.

Liu returned on September 11 from an eight-day visit to New York and Washington where he exchanged views on Darfur with senior US and UN officials, international relations scholars, media professionals and NGO leaders.

"My impression is that our discussion has helped narrow our differences and clear some of our understandings on the issue," Liu told reporters at the Foreign Ministry.

Though improvements have been made, huge challenges lie ahead because some rebel groups are still refusing to come to the negotiation table, because illegal weapons have been found on militants in the refuge camps, because houses left behind by people who have migrated have become a new source of conflict, Liu said.

But the biggest challenge is getting the funds, which will make the UN-African Union "hybrid" peacekeeping mission successful, in time, he said.

The largest-ever peacekeeping mission in UN history can cost up to $2.5 billion a year, and a lack or delay in funds will severely jeopardize its implementation.

Liu said all humanitarian aid, worth 80 million yuan ($10.5 million), which China pledged, has been sent to Sudan.

Two Chinese companies will participate in the construction of water supply lines in southern and northern Darfur. They will supply drinking water not only to the local people, but also to the peacekeepers to be stationed there, Liu said.

The international community should work together for an early and fair resolution of the Darfur issue, Liu said, because differing voices and endless arguments can only make the issue more complicated.

"We should not give up political resolution until all diplomatic resources are used up," he said. "Sincerity, wisdom and action all are needed to resolve the issue."

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours