Posted by: APO | 16 June 2008

Sudan / Europe / Council Conclusions on Sudan

Sudan / Europe / Council Conclusions on Sudan

KARTHOUM, Sudan, June 16, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — 2879th EXTERNAL RELATIONS Council meeting – Luxembourg, 16 and 17 June 2008 :

The Council adopted the following conclusions:

“1.    The Council expresses its deep concern over the deterioration of the security situation in Sudan seriously jeopardising the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Darfur. The Council calls on all parties to abide by their commitments to a political process and obligations by international law, notably with regard to the protection of civilians, humanitarian workers and peacekeepers, and re-commit themselves to a viable political solution of all outstanding problems.

 

2.    While deploring the recent military confrontation in Abyei between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the Council welcomes the Road Map on Abyei agreed on 8 June 2008 by the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). The Council hopes that this agreement will provide the basis for resolving the dispute and finding
a lasting solution to the implementation of the Abyei Protocol. It urges the parties to fully respect the provisions of this new agreement, particularly the security arrangements including an effective Joint Integrated Unit (JIU), so that the population can voluntarily return to their former homesteads. The Council calls on both parties to grant unhindered access to UNMIS and to humanitarian organisations, including facilitating an independent investigation into the recent events in the entire Abyei area. Increased UNMIS presence in Abyei is required to effectively fulfil its mandate. All efforts should be made to prevent a recurrence of incidents that may undermine the effective implementation of the CPA. The EU stands ready to assist in meeting the humanitarian needs of the people displaced from Abyei and the recovery of Abyei town to allow for a return in safety and dignity. The Council supports the efforts by the Assessment and Evaluation Commission (AEC), in its crucial role of monitoring the CPA implementation, to pay particular attention to the alarming situation in Abyei.

 

3.    The Council recognises the CPA and the interim national constitution as the basis for a democratic transformation, peace and stability in the whole of Sudan, and for making unity attractive. The Council welcomes the progress on the census and calls on all parties throughout Sudan to constructively engage in the preparations for the elections scheduled for 2009, in particular the approval of the electoral law. The Council urges the National Congress Party (NCP) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) to improve their cooperation in good faith and to fully assume their obligations according to the CPA. A successful implementation of CPA will create a conducive climate for a negotiated settlement of the Darfur conflict and would have a stabilising effect on the whole region.

 

4.     The EU reiterates its strong condemnation, together with the UN and AU, of the attack by the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) on the Government of Sudan (GoS) in Omdurman in early May, as well as recent bombing of and attacks on civilians in Darfur perpetrated by Government forces and their militias. The Council calls on the parties to commit to immediate cease-fire and underlines the urgency of reactivating the political process in Darfur under the UN/AU facilitation and strongly urges rebel movements to enter into negotiations with a common approach. The Council recognises the significant contribution to confidence and peace-building in Darfur that can be played by the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation (DDDC). The Council reiterates the need for an inclusive peace process and urges all parties to provide access and free movement for this grass root dialogue and consultation to take place.

 

5.     The Council emphasises the need to accelerate the UNAMID deployment and for it to be equipped to fulfil the mandate given to it by UNSC Resolution 1769
(2007), including the protection of civilians. The Council condemns the recent attacks on UNAMID. The Council once again calls on the GoS to fully implement its responsibilities under the Status of Force Agreement (SOFA), particularly in regard to UNAMID’s freedom of movement, and make all technical and administrative efforts to facilitate swift deployment of UNAMID troops and police selected by the UN and AU. UN member states capable of providing logistical and other military equipment necessary for the effectiveness of UNAMID, according to the Enhanced Deployment Plan, are invited to do so.

 

6.     The Council remains concerned by the continued violence against civilians, peacekeepers and humanitarian personnel, as well as the evidence of continued high levels of gender violence and sexual crimes. Perpetrators of such crimes and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law cannot go unpunished. The Council recalls the importance of UNSC Resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security.

 

7.    The Council also reiterates its readiness to take further measures, notably in the UN framework, against any party failing to engage constructively in the peace process in Darfur, against any party that impedes the establishment of an effective UNAMID force and against any party that undermines peace and security in Darfur and the region by committing acts of violence and especially against any party that obstructs humanitarian access to those in need.

 

8.     The Council reiterates its support for the International Criminal Court (ICC). It deeply deplores the continued failure of the GoS to cooperate with the ICC and underlines that the GoS has an obligation, and the capacity, to cooperate. Any arrest warrant issued by the ICC should be respected. The individuals Ahmad Harun and Ali Kushayb should be surrendered to the ICC and the GoS should demonstrate its commitment to end impunity for the planners and perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Council stands ready to consider measures against individuals responsible for not-cooperating with the ICC, should the obligation under the UNSC Resolution 1593 on cooperation with the ICC continue to be disregarded. The Council calls upon all parties to use their constructive leverage to ensure that the GoS fully cooperates with the ICC and pursue effective investigations and prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur and ultimately ratify the Statute of the ICC.

 

9.     The Council appreciates the 7th report of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) presented to the UN Security Council on 5 June 2008. It is particularly concerned by the Prosecutor’s report that the decisions to commit, to deny and to disguise such crimes are being taken at the highest level.

 

10.    The Council is concerned about the regional ramifications of the crisis in Sudan. In view of diffusion of the ongoing tensions between Sudan and Chad the Council urges both countries to adhere to the 13 March 2008 Dakar Agreement and to fully cooperate with the Contact Group, of which the EU is an observer. The Council welcomes the ongoing diplomatic efforts carried out by the AU and calls on the regional partners to maximise their leverage on all parties to attain a lasting stability for the region.

 

11.    The Council recalls that EUFOR Tchad/RCA is a key contributor, together with the UN mission in Chad (MINURCAT) and the UN/AU mission in Darfur (UNAMID), to bringing security to the region and, by consequence, contributes to the efforts to consolidate peace and reconciliation in the region, including an improvement of the humanitarian situation.”

SOURCE : European Council


 


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