The European Parliament (EP) on Thursday passed a resolution on Sudan's Darfur at a meeting in Strasbourg, calling on the United Nations (UN) Security Council to consider arms embargo and other sanctions against Sudan.
With 566 votes in favor, six against and 16 abstentions, the assembly passed the resolution which called for targeted sanctions against "those responsible for the atrocities" in the troubled region of Darfur, but it urged that the sanctions "do not add to the suffering" of innocent civilians.
The European Union (EU) lawmakers strongly condemned the Sudanese government for its alleged support of the militia who killed many civilians and the impunity accorded to them.
The resolution urged the Sudanese authorities to "end impunity and to bring to justice immediately the planners and perpetrators of crimes against humanity, war crimes and human rights violations, which can be construed as tantamount to genocide."
However, the resolution underlines the need for dialogue and political negotiation rather than military intervention in handling the Darfur crisis.
It also stressed the need for the rapid disbursement of EU funds for humanitarian aid operations in Sudan and for the African Union.
The conflict in Darfur, described by the United Nations as the world's current worst humanitarian crisis, has left more than 10,000 dead and one million others displaced in the past 19 months.
The resolution was based on the assessment by a six-member delegation sent by the EP to Darfur, whose members met many refugees during the Sept. 2-7 visit.
An EP resolution is not legally binding for the EU, but will have influence on the EU's decision-making.
Earlier this week, the EU foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels issued a declaration, threatening to impose sanctions on the Sudanese government and relevant parties if "no tangible progress" is achieved in meeting the EU's demands.
(Xinhua News Agency September 17, 2004)