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Sudan: Promises and Plans
Apr 27, 2005 (050427)
(Reposted from sources cited below)
"Time is running out for the people of Sudan. We need pledges
immediately converted into cash and more protection forces in
Darfur to prevent yet more death and suffering. If we fail in
Sudan, the consequences of our actions will haunt us for years to
come." - United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan
The latest debate in Washington on Sudan is about estimates of the
number dead in Darfur, with the Washington Post in an April 24
editorial criticizing Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick for
citing a report of 60,000 to 160,000 dead in the last two years,
in contrast to higher estimates ranging up to 400,000 from human
rights groups and other analysts. But this debate, like the earlier
and continuing international debate over whether to call the
atrocities in western Sudan genocide, is largely a surrogate for a
more fundamental debate over the international political will to
Even the lower numbers being cited, or the January report from an
international commission that found evidence of "crimes against
humanity" while declining to rule on whether these crimes were
genocide, are more than sufficient grounds for action. There is
wide agreement in principle on some measures, such as providing
more humanitarian aid and increasing the numbers of Africa Union
troops on the ground in Darfur. The International Crisis Group has
just released a new report with a comprehensive set of specific
actions needed to provide greater security and prevent new deaths.
In theory stronger language or higher estimates of the death toll
might lead to greater pressure for action. The danger is that
debates about words or numbers will instead substitute for action.
This AfricaFocus Bulletin contains an op-ed by Secretary General
Annan from The New York Times of April 13, a press release from the
World Food Program on the precarious state of food supplies for
Darfur, and a press release and excerpts with specific action
proposals from the New Sudan Action Plan released by the
International Crisis Group (ICG) on April 26. More details of the
ICG plan are available on the group's website
For previous AfricaFocus Bulletins and additional links on Sudan,
For current news, including recent articles on funding
for humanitarian operations in both Darfur and southern Sudan, see http://allafrica.com/sudan and
http://www.africafocus.org/country/sudan_irin.php. For the most
detailed coverage of the issue of numbers of deaths in Darfur, see
++++++++++++++++++++++end editor's note+++++++++++++++++++++++
Billions of Promises to Keep
By Kofi A. Annan
The New York Times
April 13, 2005
This is a make-or-break year for Sudan, Africa's biggest country.
In Oslo this week, donor countries pledged $4.5 billion in aid to
Sudan, but while I applaud the donors' generosity, promises alone
are not enough.
Time is running out for the people of Sudan. We need pledges
immediately converted into cash and more protection forces in
Darfur to prevent yet more death and suffering. If we fail in
Sudan, the consequences of our actions will haunt us for years to
After more than two million dead, four million uprooted, and 21
years of warfare, southern Sudan is at last on the threshold of
peace. It is, of course, a volatile, fragile peace. Violence,
disease and displacement are still daily realities in this
desperately impoverished region, where one in four children die
before the age of 5, nearly half of all children are malnourished,
and only 5 out of 100 girls attend primary school.
Peace will not be easily consolidated in such an environment. Nor
will it come on the cheap. Indeed, roughly half all countries that
emerge from civil war lapse back into violence within five years.
International support is urgently needed to help Sudan weather the
rocky transition from war to peace.
The needs are many - and immediate. More than three million
civilians, displaced by violence, can now return to southern Sudan
and rebuild their lives. Two million of them need food aid. If
people are not fed, if former soldiers are not reintegrated or
retrained, peace will quickly unravel.
The billions pledged this week can help. But hungry people cannot
eat pledges. Through long and bitter experience we've learned that
donor pledges often remain unfulfilled. In Cambodia, Rwanda,
Liberia and elsewhere, a large percentage of promised funds failed
to materialize, and many lives were lost as a result.
For example, in 1992, donors pledged $880 million for Cambodian war
rehabilitation; three years later, only $460 million had been
delivered. Nearly a year after donors promised $1 billion to deal
with the devastation caused by the 2003 earthquake in Bam, Iran,
less than 20 percent of the money had been delivered.
Clearly, we must do better in Sudan. I urge donors to convert their
generous pledges into cash without delay. And I urge the public to
hold them accountable for their promises. This time, let us keep
our commitments, and not turn a blind eye to a whole generation of
Sudanese who have earned this peace and desperately need it.
In Darfur, rations at camps already have been cut - and soon
Sudan's rainy season will begin, making aid more difficult and
costly to deliver. In a matter of weeks we will run out of food for
two million people.
No one really knows how many people have died in Darfur since the
conflict began, but some analysts estimate it could be 300,000 or
more. If the situation deteriorates further, up to four million
people - two-thirds of Darfur's population - may need food aid by
But more than food aid is needed - we also need to hold the
perpetrators of violence in Sudan accountable. The International
Commission of Inquiry, which I appointed at the request of the
United Nations Security Council, has amply documented the murder,
mass rapes, abductions and other atrocities committed in Darfur, as
have many others. We know what is happening in Darfur. The question
is, why are we not doing more to put an end to it?
Last summer, the Security Council, the United States and the
European Union all said Darfur was their top priority. But it was
only last month that the Security Council agreed to impose
sanctions on people who commit violations of international law in
Darfur and, in a historic first, to refer the situation in Darfur
to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, thus taking
a critical step toward ending the prevailing climate of impunity.
Last week I handed the prosecutor the sealed list of those
identified by the Commission of Inquiry.
While we are grateful to African leaders for their contributions
thus far, we need thousands more - and not today or tomorrow but
After all, giving aid without protection is like putting a Band-Aid
on an open wound. Unarmed aid workers, while vitally necessary,
cannot defend civilians from murder, rape or violent attack. Our
collective failure to provide a much larger force is as pitiful and
inexcusable as the consequences are grave for the tens of thousands
of families who are left unprotected.
We saw this all too well in Bosnia a decade ago. Back then, Bosnian
civilians watched the aid trucks continue to roll while their
neighbors were gunned-down in full daylight. "We will die with our
stomachs full," they used to say. Are we now going to stand by and
watch a replay in Darfur?
I also urge all those with influence over the warring parties to
persuade them to return quickly to the negotiating table and agree
on a political settlement.
In this watershed year for Sudan, it is vital that the
international community move speedily to provide the resources to
consolidate a fragile peace in the south, and to protect civilians
from recurring violence in Darfur. We know what we need: money to
help win the peace in the south, more African Union boots on the
ground to help end the atrocities in Darfur, and political pressure
to settle the conflict. It's that simple, and that essential.
United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
Quick U.S. response allows WFP to cancel ration cut in Darfur but
funding still critical
26 Apr 2005
Khartoum - The United Nations World Food Programme announced today
that thanks to a rapid donor response, the agency will not be
forced to carry out expected ration cuts in May for close to two
million people living in Sudan's western region of Darfur. The
reprieve follows WFP's warning three weeks ago of impending ration
cuts due to a lack of funds which remains a concern.
As a last resort due to severe under-funding, WFP had planned to
halve the non-cereals part of the daily ration for general
distributions in Darfur in May. However, the United States Agency
for International Development (USAID) Food for Peace has stepped in
and redirected to Sudan around 14,000 metric tons of non-cereals
already on the high seas.
"We are extremely appreciative of the urgent efforts made by the
United States to prevent ration cuts at such a critical period,"
said Ramiro Lopes da Silva, WFP's Representative and Country
Director in Sudan. Even before this new donation, the United States
has contributed 60 percent of the food and 50 percent of cash
towards WFP's emergency operation.
However, WFP warned that despite this stop-gap measure for the
current non-cereals shortfall, the overall emergency operation in
Darfur still remains severely under-funded. Of the US$467 million
WFP needs for the Darfur operation, only US$281 million has been
received, leaving a 40 percent shortfall.
Adding to the difficulties is the recently increased estimate of
people requiring food aid. WFP contingency planning projects a
worst-case scenario of 3.5 million people in need during the
leanest months of July and August, of which WFP will target 3.25
"The rainy season coincides with the peak of the hunger season,"
Lopes da Silva said. "With limited food supply, the situation is
going to be dreadful for hundreds of thousands of Sudanese."
International Crisis Group
A New Sudan Action Plan
Nairobi/Brussels, 26 April 2005: Despite recent UN Security Council
resolutions and a peace agreement covering the south, parts of
Sudan remain at war or threatened by war and the security situation
in Darfur is deteriorating. Stronger measures are needed to restore
security and prevent further mass deaths.
A New Sudan Action Plan, the latest briefing by the International
Crisis Group, outlines a policy blueprint for the next steps
required in Darfur, where as many as 10,000 civilians or more die
each month, and elsewhere in the giant country.
"The UN, NATO and the EU need to get together urgently with the
African Union (AU), decide who can do what best in Darfur and then
do it without regard for institutional prerogatives or national
prestige", says Suliman Baldo, Crisis Group's Africa Program
Director. "How to maximise cooperation between these four
organisations -- how to get the necessary additional troops on the
ground quickly enough with equipment, structure and command
organisation to be effective -- is probably the single most urgent
and complex issue the international community faces with the entire
The UN Security Council resolutions at the end of March 2005 were
welcome, if long overdue, steps, raising the prospect that senior
Khartoum officials will finally be held criminally accountable for
their Darfur policy. But the situation remains very grave, and more
action is needed to:
- protect civilians and relief agencies in Darfur by reinforcing
AU peacekeepers with a stronger mandate and more troops -- up to at
least 10,000 total -- that are properly resourced; enforcing the
arms embargo and military flight ban over Darfur; neutralising
government-controlled militias and enabling IDPs and refugees to
- implement accountability by getting the proposed Sanctions
Committee operational; by widening targeted sanctions; and aiding
the International Criminal Court investigation;
- build a Darfur peace process by devising a blueprint for
negotiations and appointing a lead senior mediator from the AU as
well as U.S., EU, and UN envoys to lend support;
- implement the existing peace agreement for southern Sudan by
deploying the proposed UN mission rapidly; effectively managing the
oil sector; pressing for security sector reform; and ending the
capacity of Khartoum hardliners to use the Ugandan insurgency, the
Lord's Resistance Army, to sabotage stability in southern Sudan;
- prevent new conflict in the east, before it becomes the next
major civil war.
"In the absence of more assertive action, a resumption of war
threatens the south, fighting could intensify in the east, and
mortality rates will skyrocket in Darfur, where localised famine
threatens", says John Prendergast, Special Advisor to the President
of Crisis Group. "The future of the Sudanese state and its people
are at stake, and their fate will be determined by the actions the
international community now takes -- or fails to take -- to counter
atrocity crimes and promote peace throughout the country".
Contacts: Andrew Stroehlein (Brussels) +32 (0) 485 555 946 Jennifer
Leonard (Washington) +1 202 785 1601
Objective One: Protect Civilians and Relief Supplies in Darfur
Action One: Give the AU force (AMIS) a stronger mandate.
The government of Sudan has failed in its responsibility to protect
its citizens. Therefore, the AMIS mandate -- primarily a monitoring
one at present, though with a narrow provision to "protect
civilians whom it encounters under imminent threat and in the
immediate vicinity" -- must be strengthened to focus
unequivocally on the protection of civilian life and humanitarian
operations, and to leave AMIS commanders and troops in no doubt
that they are expected to operate proactively. The Rwandan
government has made it clear that it will pull its forces out of
Darfur if the AU does not seek a more robust civilian protection
mandate. The Security Council should lend its weight to support
such an AU effort and should endorse the new stronger mandate.
Action Two: Send more troops, properly resourced.
AMIS was authorised in October 2004 to field 3,320 troops. Only
just over 2,000 have thus far reached Darfur. Both figures are
inadequate even to accomplish the current mandate of primarily
ceasefire observation. A minimum of 10,000 are needed to carry out
the stronger mandate that the situation requires. A number of
questions must be addressed urgently:
* where the additional troops are to come from -- AU member states
and/or other contributors;
* what additional equipment is required and whether this can be
provided by the troop-contributing states or must be provided by
* how the additional troops and their equipment can be deployed
* what command and control adjustments the larger force may
The young AU is the only body that has stepped up to the Darfur
tragedy in a meaningful fashion. It is vitally important that it
develop, as it desires, the capacities, institutions, practices and
procedures to handle security crises on the African continent.
However, the difficulty evidenced in deploying in six months only
a little more than half the inadequate number of authorised troops
shows it needs assistance to master this crisis. Three
organisations are capable of helping: the UN, which already has a
mandate under Security Council Resolution 1590 to deploy 10,000
troops in Sudan, not necessarily limited to the south; NATO, which
has unrivalled trained manpower and logistical resources; and the
EU, which has growing peacekeeping abilities and ambitions and the
right to call on NATO resources.
How to maximise cooperation between these four organisations -- how
to get the necessary additional troops on the ground quickly enough
with equipment, structure and command organisation to be effective
-- is probably the single most urgent and complex issue the
international community faces with the entire Sudan portfolio.
Crisis Group will analyse this more fully in a subsequent report.
The immediate requirement, however, is for senior representatives
of the four organisations and key governments to consult urgently
and decide who now can best do what. Among the questions and
options on their agenda should be:
* how many of the necessary additional troops the AU can provide
and how quickly, and how and from where any shortfalls can be made
* whether NATO or the EU should be the primary provider of Western
assistance to the efforts in Darfur and what lift, capacity
training, and equipment can be provided; and
* whether part of the UN peacekeeping deployment authorised for
Sudan under Resolution 1590 should be sent to, or earmarked as
available in emergency for, Darfur, and if so what the relationship
to the AMIS mission should be in terms of subordination or
superiority and/or division of tasks or zones of responsibility.
These matters need to be settled quickly between the organisations
on a basis of what can work and without regard for jurisdictional
prerogatives or prestige. The results should be confirmed and
formalised in a Security Council resolution.
Action Three: Enforce the Security Council's ban on offensive
military flights over Darfur.
Although the Sudanese military's use of aerial assets has decreased
in recent weeks, its helicopter gunships and Antonov bombers remain
a threat to civilians. Resolution 1591 invites the AU's Ceasefire
Commission to provide the Security Council with information about
compliance with the ban and envisages application of targeted
sanctions against individuals responsible for violations. More
direct and immediate safeguards should be provided, including a new
Security Council resolution requiring that an AMIS or UN observer
be present on all military fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters that
fly over Darfur, with any violations to be reported immediately to
the Security Council, which in turn should be prepared to authorise
the international troops on the ground to seize the offending
aircraft and also be prepared to call an especially serious breach
to the attention of the ICC. Additionally AMIS and NATO/EU should
consider the feasibility of and procedures for establishing AWACS
radar coverage of Darfur's airspace.
Action Four: Neutralise the militias.
Despite innumerable commitments to do so, the Sudanese government
has not yet made a serious effort to disarm or otherwise rein in
the Janjaweed militias -- an essential step if civilians are to be
secure and peace is to return to Darfur. The responsibility is
Khartoum's. The Security Council should give the government one
last opportunity to discharge that responsibility by ordering it to
produce a plan for review by the Council and to implement it
promptly. AMIS should report within 30 days on that implementation,
and if progress is not sufficient, the Security Council should
impose targeted sanctions against those deemed responsible, bring
full details to the attention of the ICC and task the international
troops on the ground to produce their own plan to improve the
situation. That plan would need to involve proactive measures
including use of force sufficient at least to make the militias
realise that matters had fundamentally changed, and there would be
high costs to further depredations.
Action Five: Enable IDP/refugee return.
Two years into the crisis, the UN has yet to articulate a
comprehensive plan for persons displaced by the conflict to return
to their homes and to assist them in rebuilding their villages. The
Secretary General should urgently develop such a plan, with clear
delineation of responsibilities and timelines, after which the
Sudanese government will need to cooperate with it. The plan should
include a Neutral Resettlement and Claims Commission composed of
representatives of the government, the rebels and civil society
known for their integrity, chaired by a UN representative, and with
a mandate to:
* record criminal complaints against groups or individuals for
injuries, wrongful deaths and material losses such as looted
livestock and household and commercial goods;
* consult with women and local organisations in planning and
implementing IDP and refugee returns;
* create mechanisms for restitution, compensation and
investigation of charges by victims; as the entity responsible for
the policies that have led to the devastation of Darfur, the
Sudanese government should be expected to bear full responsibility
for setting up a restitution/ compensation fund;
* collaborate with investigations by responsible third parties
into violations of international humanitarian law; and
* establish land usage rights to resolve the inevitable disputes
that will arise when displaced persons return to their villages.
Action Six: Monitor and enforce the arms embargo.
The Security Council needs to move quickly to put in place the
institutions envisaged by Resolution 1591: a Council Committee to
identify transgressors against whom member states are to apply
targeted sanctions and a Panel of Experts to assist it. At least
the former should be up and working by 28 April 2005 -- 30 days
after passage of the resolution and the date envisaged by the
resolution for entrance into force of the initial sanctions. The
Security Council has not yet identified a member state to chair of
the Committee, and the Secretary General has not named the Panel of
Experts. Reports of the Panel of Experts and the Committee should
be public, and the Council and member states should act
expeditiously upon them. The same Committee and Panel of Experts
are charged as well with responsibility for the targeted sanctions
regime with respect to other aspects of Resolution 1591.
[For specific actions on objectives 2 through 5, see the full report
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