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International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
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21 March 2008

(...) Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan questioned whether all countries on the Security Council have lived up to their responsibility to protect civilians in Darfur from atrocities.

Annan said there was "quite a bit of hypocrisy on all sides" in trying to resolve the five-year conflict in Sudan's Darfur region, especially in encouraging the African Union to take on peacekeeping without sufficient resources.

"It is fair to question whether all of them have yet fully lived up to that responsibility -- notably in Darfur," Annan said.

He did not single out any countries on the council, which unanimously passed a resolution authorizing a joint A.U.-U.N. force last year.

China and Russia, two of the five permanent members of the council, have been reluctant to impose new sanctions on the Sudanese government, which has been accused of atrocities in a conflict that has left more than 200,000 people dead and displaced 2.5 million.

Recently Russia proposed sanctioning the ethnic African rebels fighting the Arab-dominated government. But the other three permanent council members -- the United States, Britain and France -- have stressed that Sudan's leaders must also be targeted.

As secretary-general, Annan promoted the concept of an international "responsibility to protect" those caught in conflict that was adopted by world leaders at a 2005 summit. He also played a key role in the establishment of the International Criminal Court, the world's first permanent war crimes tribunal ()

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