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Possible deployment of troops to Sudan.



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Kevin Rudd MP Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Security

Robert McClelland MP Shadow Minister for Defence Shadow Minister for Homeland Security

22 November 2004

POSSIBLE DEPLOYMENT OF TROOPS TO SUDAN

Reports today from the United Nations indicate that up to 7,000 troops from member countries will be deployed to Sudan to “monitor respect by the two parties [the Sudanese Government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement] for the peace agreement”.

Labor has long-argued its concern about the ongoing crisis in Darfur.

According to a recent report by the International Crisis Group (ICG), if the current situation continues unchecked, we could witness 110 000 deaths by December this year. The ICG has reported that “other authorities fear that number could be as high as 300,000 to 350,000”. The number of deaths so far have been estimated at 50,000.

In relation to this latest UN development, Labor supports the proposed deployment. Labor also supports Australian participation in the deployment - subject to ADF capacity constraints. On this question, Labor will now consult with the ADF.

At the same time Labor will continue to investigate and promote alternative forms of assistance to enable the United Nations and the African Union to undertake its tasks in support of the humanitarian and peace efforts in the Darfur region.

Ends.

Further information: Alister Jordan (Mr Rudd’s office) 0417 605 823 Lachlan Harris (Mr McClelland’s office) 0409 119 893