SUDAN WATCH: AU says parties have demonstrated no real political will or commitment to finding solution for Darfur Sudan crisis

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

AU says parties have demonstrated no real political will or commitment to finding solution for Darfur Sudan crisis

8 Feb Reuters report says Taha and Garang told the UN Security Council today not to make prosecuting war criminals as its first priority. Taha said bringing the accused to justice "should not distract us from the need to realise peace first and to put an end to all hostilities."

Taha and Garang said development aid that was promised upon signing of the North-South peace agreement should be provided before the Darfur conflict ends. [Note, the international community is withholding development aid for Sudan until there is peace throughout Sudan]

Taha said the impoverished country should be free of any economic sanctions and that foreign debt should be completely written off. Garang agreed, saying any lack of reconstruction help, in a country that has known only a few years of peace since independence, would be self defeating.

Garang proposed a new force of some 15,000 to 30,000 troops to keep peace in Darfur -- a third from the government, a third from his Sudanese People's Liberation Army and the rest from the African Union and others.

Garang said the janjaweed, needed to be punished -- but only after peace was achieved.
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Parties not demonstrating political will or commitment

Jan Pronk said the Sudanese government was incapable of reining in the Janjaweed, the Darfur rebels were making a power grab and the African Union peacekeeping force needed to be supplemented by a "third force."

Pronk appealed to all parties, including the AU and members of the Security Council, "to find a creative way to expand the present third force into one which can stop all attacks."

Baba Gana Kingibe, the African Union special representative in Sudan, said the number of troops was not the issue.

"So far, I have not found that the parties have demonstrated sufficient political will or commitment to finding a lasting solution to the crisis," he said, adding that 3,320 troops and police would be on the ground by mid-April.
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Sudanese tell UN Security Council it wants all for nothing

8 Feb UN news report excerpt:

Mr. Taha called on the international community to support efforts aimed at reconstruction and development, to lift any economic and trade restrictions or sanctions, to write off all foreign debt, to initiate partnerships with Sudan and to give generously at a forthcoming donors' conference in Oslo, Norway.

Mr. Garang noted the many challenges ahead, including the return of hundreds of thousands of refugees and millions of internally displaced persons (IDPs), some of whom are already moving to their home areas before necessary conditions were in place, thus putting additional strain on host communities. The SPLM needs assistance, he said.

Mr. Annan, who attended the session in view of its historic significance, did not speak, but in his report he emphasizes the substantial resources needed for relief and recovery and calls for the deployment of a multidimensional UN peace support operation that includes more than 10,000 troops and civilian police.

His Special Representative for Sudan, Jan Pronk, underlined the important momentum the peace accord in the south could give to efforts to solve Sudan's other major conflict in the west, in Darfur, where tens of thousands of people have been killed and nearly 2 million displaced in the past two years in what the UN has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission in the Sudan, Baba Gana Kingibe, stressed that the coming weeks would be critical for the smooth take-off of the new agreement and the manner in which its implementation unfolded would determine the future not only of Darfur and other areas in conflict within the Sudan but also to the future of the country as a whole.

Further reading:

8 Feb UN press statement on Sudan by Security Council President, excerpt: The Council calls on all parties to cooperate fully with the African Union mission and to ensure its freedom of movement and safety in all areas of Darfur. In the absence of progress on the ground and in the political process the situation in Darfur can only further deteriorate, and put at great risk the future of the whole country. The Council encourages Vice-President Taha and Dr. Garang to use their leverage in Darfur to ensure speedy progress in the Abuja talks.


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