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Sudan: Peace Steps, Peace Gaps
Jul 19, 2005 (050719)
(Reposted from sources cited below)
This month Sudan has taken several new steps towards peace: a new
government of national unity in Khartoum, a new declaration of
principles agreed between Khartoum and rebels in Darfur on future
negotiations, and arrival of additional contingents of African
Union peacekeeping troops for Darfur. But even the force of 7,700
expected to be in place by the end of September is widely agreed to be
insufficient to protect civilians in most of Darfur.
This AfricaFocus Bulletin contains two short updates from the UN's
Integrated Regional Information Networks, a press release from the
African Union, and a call from the International Crisis Group for
more rapid deployment of a larger force with a stronger mandate in
For previous AfricaFocus Bulletins with additional background and
links on Sudan, see http://www.africafocus.org/country/sudan.php
For extensive and frequent updates, visit http://www.sudantribune.com and http://www.reliefweb.int
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Sudan: New government must show peace dividend - mediator
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN)
[The material contained in IRIN reports may not necessarily reflect
the views of the United Nations or its agencies.]
Nairobi, 11 Jul 2005 (IRIN) - The new Sudanese government of
national unity, sworn into office on Saturday, must reach out to
former adversaries and show its people tangible peace dividends,
the chief mediator in Sudan's peace process has said.
"The main task of the government of national unity is not about
words and documents now, it is about the hearts and minds of the
Sudanese people," Lt Gen (rtd) Lazaro Sumbeiywo, said on Monday.
"Politically, the new government has to be inclusive and offer the
olive branch to former adversaries," Sumbeiywo, who was named
mediator by the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development
(IGAD), told IRIN in an interview.
IGAD sponsored lengthy talks between the government in Khartoum and
the southern Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). The
two parties signed a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) on 9
January in Nairobi, Kenya, paving the way for the new government of
The chairman of the SPLM/A, John Garang, was sworn in as First Vice
President, while Umar al-Bashir retained the presidency of Africa's
"In the north," Sumbeiywo added, "that means getting the National
Democratic Alliance [NDA, the main coalition of northern opposition
parties] fully on board, and stopping conflict in Darfur and in the
east with the Beja rebels. In the south, a solution has to be found
for the South Sudan Defence Force [SSDF, a government-aligned
southern militia group]."
He stressed: "The government has to show the people that there is
a tangible peace dividend. They must see war stop, and that schools
and roads are being built - things that have not been done for the
past 50 years.
"In terms of demobilisation and disarmament, a lot of ground-work
has been done already. Many people will be happy to hand in their
arms, but the new government must give them something to do in
their community," he added.
Separately, the Darfur programme coordinator for the Justice Africa
advocacy organisation, Hafiz Mohamed, said he felt the Sudanese
peace process was moving in the right direction.
He warned, however, that several key players had not been involved
in the negotiations that led to the CPA.
"They [the government of national unity] have to focus on the
conflicts in Darfur and the east that are still going on," he
urged. "The most important is the political will to do something
about it and we hope the new government of Garang himself will take
on this problem and convince the other parties."
"If you want the CPA to be comprehensive, you have to make sure
other groups feel they are part of the process," he added. "You
have to include them to overcome the difficulties and achieve
progress in the implementation of the peace agreement - many groups
feel alienated right now."
The Popular Congress, the Ummah party and the Communist Party
recently formed an alliance with a number of smaller parties to
form an opposition to the government of national unity.
"They will be part of the process and will challenge the present
government. They will have a role to play, even when they are not
part of the government," Mohamed said.
The NDA, which recently signed the Cairo agreement with the
Sudanese government and endorsed the CPA, is also not yet part of
the unified government.
"The issues that have not been resolved yet are the future of the
NDA armed groups and the size of NDA representation in the new
government. As their share will be very small, it is not clear
whether they will accept it," Mohamed said.
"The government urgently has to address the social and economic
issues as well," he said. "Seventy percent of the Sudanese people
live below the poverty line."
During Saturday's ceremony, the leaders of the National Congress
Party and the SPLM/A signed the new interim constitution.
"Today, 9 July 2005, is Sudan's day," Garang said.
The CPA provides for a government based on a transitional
constitution and a six-year interim period. Following this interim
period, a referendum would decide whether the south was to remain
part of the country or become independent.
"I welcome brother Garang and his movement and you will find full
cooperation from our side," al-Bashir said as he was sworn in as
The outgoing First Vice President, Ali Uthman Muhammad Taha, was
appointed Second Vice President of the Republic of Sudan.
The Secretary-General of the UN, Kofi Annan, the Arab League chief,
Amr Mussa, the Deputy US Secretary of State, Robert Zoellick, and
heads of state from the Central African Republic, Djibouti, Kenya,
Senegal, South Africa and Uganda were among the dignitaries who
attended the inauguration.
Annan said the UN was concerned about the situation in Darfur in
the west, and in the states of Kassala and Red Sea in eastern
"The peace process between north and south must be made
irreversible, which it will not be unless it takes root in the east
and in the west as well," he said.
On Sunday, al-Bashir issued a decree ending the country's
16-year-old state of emergency - which gave authorities wide powers
to detain people without charge and to crack down on opposition
forces - in all the states of Sudan except the three strife-torn
states of Darfur and two eastern states bordering Eritrea.
Sudan: AU $200 m short for Darfur peacekeeping
Addis Ababa, 8 Jul 2005 (IRIN) - The African Union (AU) warned on
Friday that it faced a US $200 million shortfall for its
peacekeeping operations in the war-ravaged western Sudanese region
The AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Said Djinnit, said the
shortfall was "a source of concern" to the 53-nation bloc in its
bid to resolve the conflict in Darfur.
"Our partners should realise we have a financial gap," Djinnit told
journalists at a press conference at the AU headquarters in Addis
Ababa, Ethiopia. "We have a shortfall of around $200 million as of
today. It is a source of concern."
His comments came as 680 Nigerian troops prepared to fly into the
conflict-ridden region on Saturday as part of an expanded
peacekeeping force of 7,000 troops.
Currently the AU has around 3,200 peacekeepers in Sudan but the
organisation plans to more than double its force by the end of
September, Djinnit added.
"By the end of September we will have all the troops on the
ground," he said. The AU, Djinnit said, was trying to secure
support from Canada, and would also receive some funding from a
250 million ($298.6 million) European Union peace fund set up last
Djinnit told reporters that attacks in Darfur had decreased, and
praised a new deal agreed by the Sudanese government and two Darfur
rebel groups on ground rules to resolve the conflict. The deal was
signed on 5 July in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.
In May, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appealed to wealthy nations
to back the AU with cash and military hardware for the peacekeeping
mission. He told a pledging conference at the AU headquarters that
"time was running out" to help refugees and families displaced by
the war that flared up in February 2003.
Aid workers estimate that two million people have been affected by
the Darfur conflict since 2003. The war pits Sudanese government
troops and militias allegedly allied to it, against rebels fighting
to end the perceived marginalisation of and discrimination against
Darfur's inhabitants by the state.
African Union (AU)
13 Jul 2005
Document available on http://www.reliefweb.int and on
The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union welcomes the
progress made in Darfur
1 - Following the successful convening of the 5th Ordinary Session
of the Assembly of the African Union, the Chairperson of the
Commission of the African Union (AU), Mr. Alpha Oumar Konare,
wishes to express satisfaction for the progress being achieved in
the Peace process in Darfur. He commends the Sudanese parties, the
AU Special Envoy for Darfur, the representatives of the African
mediators and facilitators, as well as the AU partners for the
successful conclusion of the 5th Round of the Inter-Sudanese Peace
Talks, with the signing, on 5 July 2005 of the Declaration of
Principles (DoP). The DoP paves the way for the substantive
discussion on the important issues of power and wealth sharing, as
well as on security arrangements, to consolidate peace in Darfur.
The process would require serious preparations, in which the
African Union will be fully engaged in the forthcoming weeks.
2 - The Chairperson also hopes that the signing of the DoP will
further encourage the Sudanese Parties to continue to maintain the
calm, which has been prevailing in Darfur over the last weeks. He
seized the opportunity to urge the Parties to exercise maximum
3 - On its part the African Union continues to do its utmost to
enhance AMIS' capacity. In this regard, the Chairperson of the
Commission expresses his satisfaction on the progress made on the
deployment of AMIS troops, with more than 600 police officers out
of the 815 authorized already deployed, in addition to the full
deployment of the military observers. He also expresses
satisfaction on the beginning of the 24 hours police monitoring in
IDP camps and on the fact that the efforts of the AU, with the
strong backing and support of its partners are bearing fruits with
the beginning of the deployment of the first Nigerian battalion, as
part of the implementation of the decision of the 28th meeting of
the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), held on
28 April 2005, which decided that AMIS strength be increased to a
total of 6,171 military personnel, with an appropriate civilian
component, including up to 1,560 civilian police personnel, by the
end of September 2005. The Chairperson of the AU Commission would
like to stress that every effort is being made to deploy the troops
and police as scheduled.
4 - The Chairperson of the AU Commission also wishes to express his
appreciation to the AU partners for their commitment to support the
AU in its efforts to achieve a lasting peace in Darfur. He wishes,
however, to bring to their attention that, while logistical
requirements are met, more financial contributions are needed to
sustain AMIS. The Chairperson would like to appeal to AU partners
to consider providing additional support.
5 - Finally the Chairperson welcomes the positive news from
Khartoum, Sudan, that President Omar el-Bashir, Dr. John Garang,
Leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) and Ali Osman
Taha, have respectively been sworn in as President, First Vice
President and Second Vice President of the Sudanese Government, as
part of the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement
(CPA), signed on 10 January 2005, between the Government of the
Sudan, (GoS) and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). He
believes that the establishment of the interim-government of the
CPA will usher in an era that will lead to a new political
dispensation in the country as well as create conducive conditions
for the resolution of the conflict in Darfur and the rest of the
Addis Ababa, 13 July 2005
The AU's Mission in Darfur: Bridging the Gaps
International Crisis Group
Africa Briefing N 28
Nairobi/Brussels, 6 July 2005
[full report available on http://www.crisisgroup.org]
The international community is failing in its responsibility to
protect the inhabitants of Darfur, many of whom are still dying or
face indefinite displacement from their homes. New thinking and
bold action are urgently needed. The consensus to support a rough
doubling of the African Union (AU) force to 7,731 troops by the end
of September 2005 under the existing mandate is an inadequate
response to the crisis. The mandate must be strengthened to
prioritise civilian protection, and a force level of at least
12,000 to 15,000 is needed urgently now, not in nearly a year as
This requires more courageous thinking by the AU, NATO, the
European Union (EU), the UN and the U.S. to get adequate force
levels on the ground in Darfur with an appropriate civilian
protection mandate as quickly as possible, which in practical terms
means within the next two months. Otherwise, security will continue
to deteriorate, the hope that displaced inhabitants will ever
return home will become even more distant, and prospects for a
political settlement will remain dim.
While the UN and international non-governmental organisations
(NGOs) have taken the lead in responding to growing humanitarian
needs and authorising accountability measures against those
responsible for atrocities, the AU has the lead for reaching a
political solution to the conflict and monitoring the humanitarian
and ceasefire agreements. The AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS) has had a
positive impact on security in some areas by often going beyond the
strict terms of its mandate -- but its ability to protect civilians
and humanitarian operations is hamstrung by limited capacity,
insufficient resources and political constraints.
The assumption that the Sudanese government will fulfil its
responsibilities and continued reliance on its cooperation as a
pre-requisite for action against the militias with which it is
allied are egregious self-deceptions. Khartoum's interest in
seeking a lasting solution to the conflict is disingenuous, and it
has systematically flouted numerous commitments to rein in its
proxy militias -- collectively known as the Janjaweed. It has
consistently opted for cosmetic efforts aimed at appeasing
international pressure, minimised the political dimensions of the
conflict, and inflamed ethnic divisions to achieve military
Equally flawed is the concept that the atrocities are African-only
problems that require African-only solutions. The well-documented
abuses that continue to occur demand broader and more robust
international efforts aimed at enhancing the AU's ability to lead.
In view of the Sudanese government's abdication of its sovereign
duty and to the extent that the AU cannot adequately protect
Sudan's civilians, the broader international community has a
responsibility to do so.
Civilian protection needs to become the primary objective. Crisis
Group recommends the following immediate steps, building on AU
efforts, to deploy a multinational military force with sufficient
size, operational capacity and mandate:
- agree on a stronger mandate. The AU must strengthen AMIS's
mandate to enable and encourage it to undertake all necessary
measures, including offensive action, against any attacks or
threats to civilians and humanitarian operations, whether from
militias operating with the government or from the rebels. Without
a stronger mandate, the ability of AMIS -- or any other
international force -- to provide protection will remain extremely
limited, regardless of its size;
- recognise that many more troops are needed. 12,000-15,000 should,
in Crisis Group's estimate, be on the ground now to protect
villages against further attack or destruction, displaced persons
(IDPs) against forced repatriation and intimidation, and women from
systematic rape outside the camps, as well as to provide security
for humanitarian operations and neutralise the government-supported
militias that prey on civilians;
- support a much more rapid reinforcement of AMIS. The current AU
plan is to reach 7,731 -- including 1,560 civilian police -- by
September 2005. The AU believes this relatively small force could
largely stabilise the situation and that it might then need to go
up to 12,300 by the second quarter of 2006 in order also to
facilitate the eventual return of the displaced to their homes.
Crisis Group believes even the latter number is at the low end of
what is required first to provide stability in a still lethal
situation, that these troops need to be appropriately equipped,
trained and of a quality to undertake a dangerous civilian
protection mission and that the AU should consequently approve and
commence an immediate increase in AMIS to 12,000-plus highly ready
personnel, to be in-country within 60 days. The need for civilian
police is especially urgent;
- provide strong, immediate international support. To meet these
objectives, the UN, EU and NATO must offer the AU additional help
in force preparation, deployment, sustainment, intelligence,
command and control, communications and tactical (day and night)
mobility, including the deployment of their own assets and
personnel to meet capability gaps as needed;
- develop a Bridging Force Option. If the AU cannot meet these
objectives -- numbers and quality of troops, and time -- NATO
should work closely with the AU to deploy its own bridging force
and bring the total force up to 12,000 to 15,000 within 60 days and
maintain it at that level until the AU can perform the mission
entirely with its own personnel. The AU should agree that until
such time, its units would come under command and control of the
NATO mission. The UN Security Council should authorise the mission
with a civilian protection mandate but if it does not, the AU and
NATO would need to assume the responsibility and agree on an
appropriate mandate. If the Sudanese government does not accept
such a mission, NATO and the AU would need to prepare a much larger
one to operate in a non-permissive environment; and
- enforce the Security Council ban on offensive military flights.
The AU and NATO should agree on enforcement measures to be applied
if Khartoum violates the prohibition in UN Security Council
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