Home | News    Wednesday 12 April 2006

UN Security Council says Darfur peace deal must occur by April 30

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April 11, 2006 (UNITED NATIONS) — The U.N. Security Council demanded Tuesday that the Sudanese government and rebels reach agreement by April 30 to end the conflict in Darfur and reaffirmed its determination to hold accountable those blocking peace and violating human rights.

This month’s Security Council President, Wang Guangya ( China) .

A presidential statement adopted by consensus by the 15 council members stressed that "an inclusive political settlement is key to peace in Sudan" and backed the peace talks in Abuja, Nigeria, led by the African Union which resumed Monday.

The Security Council endorsed the decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council setting April 30 as "the final deadline for reaching an agreement." The council "demands that all parties make the necessary efforts to reach an agreement by this date," the statement said.

Decades of low-level tribal clashes over land and water in the Darfur region erupted into large-scale violence in early 2003 when ethnic African tribes took up arms, accusing the Arab-dominated central government of neglect. The government is accused of responding by unleashing Arab tribal militias known as Janjaweed to murder and rape civilians and lay waste to villages - a charge it denies.

The fighting in Darfur has left about 180,000 dead over the last three years - most from disease and hunger - and displaced another 2 million from their homes. Seven rounds of talks in Abuja since August 2004 have yet to yield a breakthrough to end the fighting.

But the decision in the latest talks to negotiate directly could result in the signing of a new cease-fire proposed by mediators "in the coming days" and lead to the conclusion of a peace agreement, an African Union statement cited A.U. chairman Denis Sassou-Nguesso, the Republic of Congo’s president, as saying.

In its statement, the Security Council reiterated concern "that the persisting violence in Darfur might further negatively affect the rest of the country as well as the region, including the security of Chad."

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in a separate statement from his spokesman, expressed deep concern at the recent intensification of fighting along Chad’s eastern border with Sudan’s Darfur region and the extension of the armed confrontations to the southern borders with the Central African Republic.

He condemned recent attacks on refugee camps in southern Chad and the killing of two doctors on a U.N.-backed humanitarian mission in the northern Central African Republic, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Annan said "the increased violence is heightening political tensions in Chad and that its spillover effect is undermining international efforts to contribute to the stabilization of the situations in neighboring Darfur and the Central African Republic," Dujarric said.

In its statement, the Security Council reiterated "in the strongest terms the need for all parties to the conflict in Darfur to put an immediate end to the violence and atrocities."

The council expressed regret at the Sudanese government’s recent refusal to allow U.N. humanitarian chief Jan Egeland to visit Darfur and called for an explanation. It also expressed regret at the government’s refusal to renew the contract of the Norwegian Refugee Council, which was running one of the largest camps, and expressed "grave concern over the humanitarian consequences."

The council commended the work of the 7,000-strong African Union force which has been trying to prevent the Darfur conflict from worsening and welcomed the A.U. Peace and Security Council’s decision in principle March 10 to hand over peacekeeping to a U.N. force.

It called on all parties to provide additional support to the A.U. peacekeeping force until Sept. 30 and "to take all necessary measures to ensure a smooth and successful transfer to a United Nations operation."

(ST/AP)

— 

The Following is the full UN security Council Statement:

Security Council in presidential statement, expresses ’grave concern’ over decision by Sudanese government not to renew contract of Norwegian Refugee Council

SC/8688

Security Council 5409th Meeting (AM)

Reiterates ?Full Support’ for Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks; Demands That All Parties Make Efforts to Reach Agreement by 30 April

The Security Council this morning expressed its regret at the decision of Sudan’s Government of National Unity to deny entry of the United Nations’ Emergency Relief Coordinator to Darfur and called for an explanation.

In a presidential statement read by this month’s Council President, Wang Guangya ( China), the Council also expressed its regret and its “grave concern over the humanitarian consequences” at the Government’s decision not to renew the contract of the Norwegian Refugee Council.

The Council, reiterating its full support for the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks on the Conflict in Darfur in Abuja, Nigeria, endorsed the decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council that 30 April was the final deadline for reaching an agreement. It demanded that all parties make the necessary effort to reach an agreement by that date, reaffirming its determination to hold accountable those impeding the peace process and committing human rights violations.

Reiterating its welcome of the 10 March decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council to support in principle the transition of the African Mission in the Sudan (AMIS) (see Press Release SC/8672 of 24 March), the Council called on all parties to ensure a smooth and successful transfer to a United Nations operation. In that regard, the Council stressed that a United Nations operation would have strong African participation and character and called for a United Nations assessment mission to Darfur by 30 April.

The meeting started at 10:45 a.m. and was adjourned at 10:53 a.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2006/16 reads, as follows:

“The Security Council strongly commends the efforts of the African Union to achieve lasting peace in Darfur, which have its full support. It reiterates in the strongest terms the need for all parties to the conflict in Darfur to put an immediate end to the violence and atrocities; reaffirms its concern that the persisting violence in Darfur might further negatively affect the rest of the country, as well as the region, including the security of Chad; and expresses its utmost concern over the dire consequences of the prolonged conflict in Darfur for the civilian population.

“The Security Council regrets the decision of the Government of National Unity not to renew the contract of the Norwegian Refugee Council and expresses its grave concern over the humanitarian consequences. It also regrets the decision of the Government of National Unity to deny the entry of the United Nations’ Emergency Relief Coordinator to Darfur. It looks forward to the forthcoming briefing by the Emergency Relief Coordinator and him being able to visit Darfur at the earliest possible opportunity. The Security Council also calls for an explanation from the Government of National Unity on its decision.

“The Security Council reiterates its full support for the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks on the Conflict in Darfur in Abuja, noting that an inclusive political settlement is key to peace in the Sudan, that the Talks provide a mechanism to achieve such a settlement and that the African Union should maintain leadership. It welcomes the timely involvement of the Chair of the African Union and the President of Nigeria in the Talks during their visit to Abuja on 8 April; endorses the decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council that 30 April 2006 is the final deadline for reaching an agreement; demands that all parties make the necessary efforts to reach an agreement by this date; and reaffirms its determination to hold accountable those impeding the peace process and committing human rights violations, noting the view of the African Union that the Security Council has a critical role in this respect.

“The Security Council commends the African Union for what the African Mission in the Sudan (AMIS) has successfully achieved in Darfur despite exceptionally difficult circumstances, and the efforts of Member States and organizations that have assisted AMIS. It reiterates its welcome in resolution 1663 of 24 March 2006 of the decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council of 10 March to support in principle the transition of AMIS to a United Nations operation, and to extend the mandate of AMIS until 30 September 2006; calls therefore on all parties to take all necessary measures to ensure a smooth and successful transfer to a United Nations operation; urges Member States and international and regional organizations to provide additional assistance to AMIS so that it may be strengthened in line with the conclusions of the Joint Assessment Mission report of 10-20 December 2005; and calls for the convening of a pledging conference.

“The Security Council reiterates its commitment to the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of the Sudan, which will be unaffected by the transition to a United Nations operation.

“The Security Council stresses that the Secretary-General should consult jointly with the African Union, in close and continuing consultation with the Security Council, and in cooperation and close consultation with the parties to the Abuja Peace Talks, including the Government of National Unity, on decisions concerning the transition; stresses that a United Nations operation will have strong African participation and character; recalls its request in resolution 1663 of 24 March 2006 that the Secretary General expedite the necessary preparatory planning for the transition of AMIS to a United Nations operation; calls in this regard for a United Nations assessment mission visit to Darfur by 30 April 2006; and calls on international and regional organizations and Member States to provide every possible additional assistance to a United Nations operation.”

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