SUDAN WATCH: Darfur - European Parliament urges UN Security Council to draft clear mandate under Chapter VII of UN Charter, on or before 1 Oct 2006

Friday, April 07, 2006

Darfur - European Parliament urges UN Security Council to draft clear mandate under Chapter VII of UN Charter, on or before 1 Oct 2006

European Parliament says Darfur is "tantamount to genocide" AP reported earlier today. More on this from Noticias Info 7 Apr 2006 - excerpt:

In a resolution on Darfur, adopted by 76 votes in favour, none against and no abstentions, Parliament deplores the continuation of violence and rape by all sides, and condemns the Government of Sudan's continued support for the Janjaweed militia. It urges the United Nations Security Council to meet to address the violence in Darfur, which is tantamount to genocide, and to act on its responsibility to protect civilians by drafting a clear mandate under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, on or before 1 October 2006 (following the expiry of the mandate of the African Union mission in Darfur on 30 September 2006). It calls on the UN Security Council to extend the arms embargo in Darfur throughout Sudan and support the African Union's efforts in Darfur to reach full operational capacity and to robustly interpret its mandate to protect civilians until the transition to a UN mission.

MEPs underline that the mandate of the AMIS force has primarily been to observe violations of the humanitarian ceasefire agreement. They criticise the international community for not having acted to protect civilians sooner and call upon EU Member States to honour the commitments they have already made to provide military observers, staff officers and civilian police to increase security in Darfur and to ensure that the current AMIS mission is adequately funded and equipped to enable it to interpret its limited mandate as broadly as possible.

Parliament welcomes the decisions taken by the UN Security Council in March on a ban on offensive flights in Darfur. It calls for an effectively enforced no-fly zone across Darfur. It further calls on the EU, the US and other international actors to take all necessary action to help end impunity by enforcing the Security Council sanctions regime and seeking for this regime to include targeted sanctions against individuals who obstruct the deployment of the UN force and otherwise contribute to abuses of civilians.

MEPs call for the international community to support the International Criminal Court's investigation into violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Darfur. They join the UNHCR in calling for an end to forced conscription of Sudanese refugees in Chad and also call for the implementation of a Chad-Sudan border monitoring force, as foreseen in the accord signed by the Presidents of the two countries on 10 February 2006. They strongly criticise the Government of Sudan for preventing Jan Egeland, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, from visiting Darfur.

Parliament asks the African Union to continue to play a leading role in the Abuja peace talks, and for all those involved in the talks to work to achieve these ends. It calls on the Government of Sudan to work alongside the NGO community for the benefit of its people and urges the Government to revise the Organisation of Voluntary and Humanitarian Work Act 2006 to bring it into line with international human rights standards. MEPs insist that Sudan's Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) facilitate the issuing of visas and travel permits to humanitarian workers and stop the harassment of international NGOs; they criticise the lack of independence of the HAC from the Government of Sudan;

Parliament calls on the Government of Sudan to release Ms Amouna Mohamed Ahmed, Ms Fayza Ismail Abaker, Ms Houda Ismail Abdel Rahman and Ms Zahra Adam Abdela while their case is investigated and considers that these girls should be given appropriate care as victims of attempted rape.

Finally, MEPs criticise Russian and Chinese efforts to block UN Security Council actions over Darfur. They urge the international community to exert more pressure on these countries in order to prevent their economic interests in oil and arms sales from undermining efforts to bring peace to Darfur.

[Note, Austrian Presidency of the EU 1 January - 30 June 2006. See A Guide to the European Parliament]

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