Posted by: africanpressorganization | 26 July 2010

European Council conclusions on Sudan

 


 

 

European Council conclusions on Sudan

 

 

BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, July 26, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — 3029th FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting

The Council adopted the following conclusions:

“1. The Council recognises the enormous challengesfacing Sudan over the forthcoming months

while noting the opportunities that exist for securing lasting peace and stability for the

Sudanese people. In the context of this critical period, during the final stages of the

Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the Council underlines the EU’s readiness to

support:

• the upcoming referenda processes in South Sudan and Abyei through substantial

technical and financial assistance,

• peaceful implementation of the CPA, reaching an agreement on post-referendum issues

and working towards long term regional stability,

• the work of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel,

• capacity building and assistance to meet the challenges faced by South Sudan,

• efforts to address insecurity and reach a lasting peace settlement for Darfur,

• the work of the International Criminal Court,

• continued development and humanitarian assistance across Sudan.

The EU reiterates its commitment to coordinate closely with the Sudanese parties, the African

Union (AU), the United Nations (UN), IGAD, the United States and other national, regional

and international partners.

2. The Council reiterates its strong support to the full and timely implementation of the CPA,

including the holding of the referenda on Abyei and on self determination in South Sudan in

January 2011. The Council expresses concern over the delays and urges the Sudanese parties

to make progress in key areas of CPA implementation such as the finalisation of the border

demarcation and the organisation of the Abyei referendum. The Council calls upon the

Sudanese authorities to continue the preparations for credible and inclusive popular

consultations in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile.

3. Ensuring peaceful and constructive relations between the parties irrespective of the outcome

of the referendum is of crucial importance for the people of Sudan and the wider region. The

Council welcomes the recent formal launch of the negotiations on post-referendum issues,

engaging the main parties in Khartoum and Juba and calls on all parties to strive for

inclusiveness in this process. The Council stresses the importance of reaching agreement

before the referendum on South Sudan’s self determination. It supports the AU High Level

Implementation Panel for Sudan under the aegis of former President Thabo Mbeki. In that

vein the Consultative Forum for Sudan plays a crucial role in supporting the efforts of the

Sudanese parties to fulfil their commitments. In addition, the Council stresses the important

role of the Assessment and Evaluation Commission.

4. The Council welcomes the establishment of the South Sudan referendum commission in view

of preparing the referendum in South Sudan and urges all actors to expedite further

preparatory work in particular with regard to voter registration. The EU remains fully engaged

in supporting the preparations of the referendum, notably in close collaboration with UNMIS

(United Nations Mission in Sudan). The Council underlines the importance of transparent

and credible referenda which clearly reflect the will of the people and whose outcomes are

accepted by all.

5. The Council expresses its readiness to send an EU Election Observer Mission to Sudan on

time to observe all steps of the referendum process, including voter registration, and looks

forward to receiving an early invitation from the Sudanese authorities. It recalls the

recommendations made by the EU Election Observer Mission in the follow-up to the

Sudanese elections in April 2010 whose central aspects should be taken into account when

preparing for the referendum. This includes in particular the necessary improvements

regarding voter registration, the neutrality of security services and armed forces, freedom of

media and respect of Human Rights and regarding the transparency of the overall process.

6. The Council recognises that South Sudan faces significant development challenges regardless

of the outcome of the referendum. The Council urges the Government of South Sudan to

actively consider how it will address these challenges, notably those related to governance,

rule of law, capacity building and the capability to deliver basic social services. The EU is

strongly committed – through Union instruments and bilateral cooperation by Member States

– to support the Government of South Sudan in addressing these issues. The EU also remains

committed to intensive political dialogue with the Government of Sudan in Khartoum on

issues of mutual concern.

7. The Council expresses concern about a pattern of increasing political repression and the

deteriorating environment for civil and political rights in all areas of Sudan. It is, in this respect,

deeply concerned about the recent closure of newspapers and the arrests of a number of

journalists. It remains greatly concerned about the overall human rights situation in Sudan,

particularly as regards Human Rights Defenders. Specific attention should be paid to the

protection of children affected by armed conflict.

8. The Council calls on all parties to end hostilities in Darfur and is increasingly concerned

about the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation. Attacks on civilians and on United

Nations – African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) constitute a war crime. The increasing

cases of abductions of humanitarian aid workers, both Sudanese and international staff, are

unacceptable. The Council emphasises the particular responsibility of the Government of

Sudan to take effective action against perpetrators and to bring an end to impunity. The

Council calls upon all parties including the Government of Sudan to allow urgent, unimpeded

access to all populations in need of humanitarian assistance. The Council supports the

important role of UNAMID in Darfur, reaffirms the priorities of protecting civilians and

enabling humanitarian access and calls on the Government of Sudan to remove all obstacles

to UNAMID’s full and proper discharge of its mandate.

9. The Council calls for increased international efforts in support of the ongoing AU/UN

initiatives towards an inclusive political solution in Darfur, addressing the root causes of the

conflict, ensuring the protection and promotion of human rights, justice and reconciliation and

adequate participation of civil society. It expresses support for the AU/UN Mediation and

welcomes its achievements so far, including efforts for increased participation of Darfurians,

especially women, civil society organisations and internally displaced persons and refugees,

in the peace process.

10. The Council welcomes the signing of a framework agreement between the Government of

Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement towards a global peace agreement, calls on

other rebel groups to join the negotiations and stresses the need for an all inclusive process

that would lead to the conclusion of a comprehensive peace agreement for Darfur.

11. The EU remains committed to responding to the humanitarian needs in all parts of Sudan.

Moreover, the Council recalls its decision on mobilizing decommitted funds from the 9th

EDF (EUR 150 million) to address the needs of the most vulnerable populations in Sudan, in

particular in the war-affected areas, including the South of Sudan and Darfur, in the border

regions between North and South Sudan (the Three Areas) and in East Sudan. The funding

complements ongoing development and humanitarian programmes in Sudan, including over

EUR 500 million in development assistance committed since 2005 and over EUR 750 million

in humanitarian assistance since 2003. In addition, support is provided under the Instrument

for Stability (EUR 15 million) for the provision of basic services in South Sudan and the

referendum process.

12. The Council recognizes the regional complexity and the internal and cross-border

implications of conflicts, as well as the challenges related to the Nile water resource issue.

The EU will ensure enhanced diplomatic efforts with the AU, League of Arab States (LAS),

IGAD and the East African Community (EAC) to foster regional integration.

13. The Council recalls that war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide are the

most serious crimes of concern to the international community and that impunity for these

crimes can never be accepted. The Council reiterates its support for the International Criminal

Court (ICC) and calls upon the Government of Sudan to cooperate fully with the ICC in

accordance with its obligations under international law.

 

SOURCE 

European Council


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