Gordon Brown highlights plight of refugee women in Darfur

Gordon Brown highlights plight of refugee women in Darfur

A recent trip to Chad and the border of Darfur by a small group of well-known international women has prompted action by prime minister Gordon Brown.

The trip included ex-President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, and accompanying them was photographer Brigitte Lacombe who documented the refugee women in the villages visited.

The visit was intended to highlight and bring attention to the growing crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Some 200,000 people have died and 2million displaced in Darfur after fleeing more than four years of fighting in the region.

Sudan’s government and the pro-government Arab militias are accused of war crimes against the region’s black African population, although the UN has stopped short of calling it genocide.

At a UN conference on 20 September, some of Brigitte’s photographs were show to global ambassadors, prompting them to take action.

The images motivated Gordon Brown to bring the plight of these women to the attention of the world in his maiden speech at the Labour Party Conference last week.

Speaking to his party Mr Brown explained: ‘People will look back on events in Darfur as they did in Rwanda and say why did you the most powerful countries in the world fail to act, to come to the aid of those with the least power.’

After securing an ‘unequivocal’ UN resolution, Mr Brown said he believed a message had been sent to the government of Sudan: make progress or face tougher new sanctions.

‘And we will not rest until there is an end to the aerial bombings, a ceasefire, a lasting political settlement and justice for the women and children of Darfur.’

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