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U.N., EU Contemplate Sanctions on Sudan

The European Union threatened to back a U.N. vote to impose sanctions on Sudan if the government did not crack down on the murder spree of Arab militias on Monday.

The U.N. Security Council is expected to vote this week on whether to impose sanctions on Sudan.

Last week, reports pointed to concrete evidence that the Sudanese government has been backing the systematic killing of black Sudanis by Arab militias since 2003.

The Sudanese government denies the claims and promised to disarm the militia earlier this month.

The EU statement comes among talk of military intervention. The Sudanese government has opposed such a move.

The U.S. has also supported international sanctions against Sudan.

Violence erupted last year as non-Arab minorities in Darfur began a revolt against the Arab-dominated government. Their main complaint was that they got no cut of the country’s oil-profits.

Western Sudan is inhabited by Arabs and black tribes. Most of the black tribes converted to Islam hundreds of years ago. But the hard-line Islamists, followers of Hasan Turabi – a prominent Islamic thinker – still consider them pagans.

The conflict in western Sudan is an outgrowth of the twenty-year civil war between Sudan’s Muslim government and non-Muslims in the south. The groups have recently signed a peace treaty.