As the messages from candidates about Darfur come pouring in, here’s one from Andrew Telegdi, the Liberal candidate standing for re-election in Kitchener-Waterloo.
Thank you for emailing me on such an important issue. After the Rwanda genocide, the world community promised to never again allow such a thing to happen. The tragedy in Darfur is a shameful failure of humanity to keep that promise.
Under the previous Liberal Government, Canada was engaged in diplomatic, military and humanitarian efforts to address the crisis and provided $190 million to the African Union’s peacekeeping mission in Sudan for tactical and training support, making Canada one of the biggest contributors to the mission.
The Conservative Government, as on many other international issues, has been content to fund existing efforts and has only given an additional $48 million to the African Union mission. The Liberal Opposition has repeatedly urged the government to become more actively engaged in resolving this horrible situation. However, the Prime Minister and his Minister of Foreign Affairs have shown very little personal engagement and have not put forward a single new initiative aimed at resolving this terrible crisis.
As General Romeo Dallaire put it, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other world leaders will have “blood on their hands” if they fail to press ahead with global efforts to halt the murderous conflict in Darfur.
In Sudan, the United Nations faces an historic test. January 2008 marked the deployment of the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping mission to Darfur. If fully deployed, it will be the biggest peacekeeping mission in history.
As I stated in the Record and Rogers Television Candidate debate on September 23^rd , I would like to see our troops participate in missions such as the one in Darfur once our commitment in Afghanistan has come to an end.
Canada has a duty to ensure this mission succeeds and a Liberal government will ensure Canada does its part. As a first step, a Liberal government would contribute resources to the mission so it can contract the tactical and heavy lift helicopters it needs. We can contribute logistics, command and control, signals and intelligence expertise to the mission or provide pre-deployment training to troops from contributing countries.
Once again, thank you for contacting me on this very important issue.
Boy, with all this attention on Darfur, if I were a politician, I’d start getting a little worried if I hadn’t mentioned it yet…