The man-made crisis in the Darfur region of the Sudan is a human rights disaster ["The Stakes in Darfur," editorial, July 22].

Germany and the European Union have made clear demands of the parties to the conflict: The cease-fire agreement of April 8 must be respected, the Janja- weed militia must be disarmed and security must be restored. Access to humanitarian assistance must be given and the parties must strive for a political solution. The Sudanese government must live up to its responsibility for the protection of its own people in Darfur.

The Darfur conflict was introduced in the United Nations Security Council by Germany during its presidency in April. As early as May 2003, Joschka Fischer, the German foreign minister, urged his Sudanese counterpart, Mustafa Osman Ismael, to take the necessary measures in Darfur.

The European Union has pledged more than $260 million to help refugees. Germany also has earmarked more than $105 million for the reconstruction of Sudan after a peace agreement is signed.

Germany supports the work of the Cease Fire Commission of the African Union and is contribut- ing money and personnel to this effort.

Pressure on Sudan is starting to increase humanitarian access. But most of the commitments made by Sudan have not been implemented. We need to see the disarmament of the Janjaweed militia. Instead, we get reports of the integration of militia members into the Sudanese forces.

Mr. Fischer and I traveled to Khartoum on July 11 and made it clear to the government there that Germany will not normalize relations unless the situation in Darfur improves significantly. On July 26, the foreign ministers of the European Union appealed to the Security Council for sanctions.

I welcome that the Security Council passed on Friday the U.S. resolution, which Germany co-sponsored. It is an important step.

We hope that this resolution makes clear that the international community expects the Sudanese government first of all to implement the commitment it has voluntarily taken in the joint communique with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan on July 3.

This communique lays out a path to normalization and stability in the Darfur region. The Security Council will assess progress in 30 days and will then have to decide whether further action and sanctions have to be taken.

I strongly support the E.U.-proposed establishment of an independent international commission to examine human rights violations in Darfur.

Germany will do whatever is in its power to stop the violations of human rights in Sudan and to solve the humanitarian crisis and the political conflict in Darfur and elsewhere in that country. It will support all efforts to find a political solution to the underlying problems. This also would be an important contribution to our common fight against terrorism.


Minister of State for Foreign Affairs

Federal Republic of Germany