"Up to 400,000 people have died in the Darfur region of Sudan over the last eighteen months. What specifically should Britain and the international community have done for the people of Darfur that has not been done?"
David Cameron: “We should have pressed for the situation to have been described as genocide by the UN, a decision which would have prompted a series of interventions.“
David Davis: ”Those 400,000 people have died while the rest of the world has been busy debating whether it was genocide or not. So the first thing we, the international community, can do is make it quite clear that what we’ve seen in Sudan is state-sponsored genocide. That enables us to consider war trials for those responsible. The UN has been feeble, while the African Union troops deployed to keep the peace are proving to be ineffective, despite their efforts, because there are too few of them. Their number should be increased. The international community should ask NATO to enforce a no-fly zone in the region to stop the Government and militias using aerial bombardment against their victims, and we should seriously consider imposing sanctions on oil and arms against the Sudanese Government. Britain has particular responsibilities in Africa because of our influence through the Commonwealth. It is in Britain’s own interests – as well as those of the people of Darfur and other poverty-stricken regions – to promote democracy, development and the rule of law around the world.”
Editor's Comment: "This response from David Cameron is the poorest of any in this questionnaire. On a number of occasions I've welcomed his commitment to Darfur (see here and more recently here, for example). At his campaign launch he declared: "And when the Conservative Party talks about foreign affairs it can't just be Gibraltar and Zimbabwe. We have got to show as much passion about Darfur and the millions of people living on less than a dollar a day in sub-Saharan African who are getting poorer while we are getting richer." DC's response to this question suggests that the people of Darfur may get passion but they won't get any action. 'Pressing' the UN is a very inadequate response to what is happening in Darfur. The UN is an institution-of-convenience which poseur multilateralists often hide behind as an excuse for inaction. Two of the UN's permanent security council members will never vote for the situation to be identified as genocide. One, China, has extensive oil interests in Sudan. Another, Russia, is selling military hardware to Khartoum. It's better not to promise action than to promise action and do nothing. DD is right to describe the UN response as "feeble". I hope he doesn't mean the UN when he talks of the "international community". We need a coalition of willing democracies to act for the people of Darfur in the ways DD describes. After Rwanda the world said "never again". Those words didn't mean a thing."