Home | News    Monday 6 February 2006

Repeated violences cast doubts on Darfur peace talks - mediator

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

Feb 5, 2006 (ABUJA) — The African Union special envoy and chief mediator for Darfur peace talks in Abuja urged the warring parties to stop violence, saying the repeated ceasefire violations cast serious doubts on the Abuja process.

JPEG - 7.4 kb
Salim Ahmed Salim

In a plenary session held after his return from the Nations Unies, Salim Ahmed Salim Salim said the escalation of violence on the ground in Darfur - in violation of a ceasefire agreement signed by the government of Sudan and two Sudanese rebel groups - was ’deplorable.’

’Each month since October has been worse than the last in terms of increased fighting and more restrictions on humanitarian operations,’ he said, saying the violence ’cast serious doubts’ on the peace process.

The efforts of African Union troops to maintain peace in the region were constantly being overshadowed and undermined, he added.

A report earlier this week by the African Union’s envoy to the Sudanese peace process, Nigeria’s Baba Gana Kingibe, said Darfur rebel SLA Minawi faction and Arab militias known as janjaweed continued to roam the region, killing, raping and burning.

As Kingibe reserved his strongest criticism for the rebel Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA), Salim condemned violations by all parties to the conflict. The wanton violations serve no political purpose and only punish and frighten innocent people,’ Salim said.

Salim also warned that the international community was growing increasingly sceptical about the peace process, given the repeated ceasefire violations.

’The international community is drawing the conclusion that Darfur is lawless and the parties are not serious about making peace. Even worse, there is an imagined perception in the world that neither the government nor the rebel groups sufficiently care for their people,’ the envoy stressed.

’We must have an immediate cessation of hostilities,’ he urged, noting that the parties were close to reaching agreement on the distribution of wealth in Sudan, the issue that sparked the conflict.

Au top mediator said that agreements reached on ceasefire, power- and wealth sharing must be immediately translated into action on the ground if the Abuja process is to be credible.

Below the full text of the African Union special envoy and chief mediator for Darfur peace talks at the Plenary Session, Chida International Hotel, Abuja, 4 February 2006:

— 

We have been in Abuja now for two months in almost continuous negotiation. The Abuja Talks have entered a new stage with heightened serious discussion of the substantive issues and real engagement between the Parties on a wide range of issues. Real negotiations are underway and progress is being made in a steady incremental way.

There is real progress. We have stable teams of negotiators on each side discussing issues of Power Sharing, Wealth Sharing and Security Arrangements in parallel. Substantial agreement has been reached in every Commission. But it is essential that the pace is quickened. We cannot afford to stay in this hotel talking for months while people are suffering and dying in Darfur.

I have been away for a week and returned yesterday. But while I was traveling I left the guidance of the process in capable hands and followed the situation on a daily basis. I watched the situation here in Abuja and on the ground in Darfur closely. What dominated my concern was the ongoing violence and violations in Darfur. These are my main preoccupation and they are also what is preoccupying the world.

The escalation of violence on the ground in Darfur is deplorable. Each month since October has been worse than the last in terms of increased fighting and more restrictions on humanitarian operations. Ambassador Kingibe’s Statement clearly identifies the culprits that include all sides. The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General Mr Jan Pronk has repeatedly expressed his outrage on the deteriorating situation and the shrinking of the humanitarian space.

Let me say this unequivocally. These repeated violations cast serious doubts on the Abuja process. Our efforts to make peace are continuously overshadowed and undermined. These wanton violations serve no political purpose and only punish and frighten innocent people. No side gains advantage. All are marred by it. The international community is drawing the conclusion that Darfur is lawless and the Parties are not serious about making peace. Even worse, there is an imagined perception in the world that neither the Government nor the Movements sufficiently care for their people.

This is intolerable and must change. The Parties must demonstrate a clear and unequivocal commitment to end the fighting on the ground. Our most basic challenge is to end the carnage. We cannot talk peace and wage war at the same time. It makes no sense. We must have an immediate cessation of hostilities.

How can this happen? We need action here in Abuja and we need visible and immediate results in Darfur that make a real difference in the lives of people. Concretely, this means that there must be an end to gunfire now. Instead, there must be protection of those who are providing food and medicine to the millions of people in need.

The Security Commission has made progress towards agreeing some of the elements for a proper, enforceable ceasefire. There is agreement on substantial points for creating a more robust monitoring and verification mechanism that includes reporting violators to the AU Peace and Security Council. We are making progress too on identifying how to enhance humanitarian access and protect IDPs and others at risk.

The agreements reached on various points must be immediately translated into action on the ground if the Abuja process is to be credible. An immediate, robust and durable cessation of hostilities is essential. The Parties have repeatedly committed themselves to a ceasefire. I cannot emphasize too strongly that this solemn commitment must be taken seriously and fully implemented without delay. The responsibility for this lies first and foremost with the Parties. The AU and AMIS can do nothing if the Parties are not seriously committed. We are determined to help you achieve this indispensable action.

Meanwhile, we must accelerate our progress towards a political agreement.

The Wealth Sharing Commission is close to agreement with just three issues outstanding for resolution: details of compensation, mechanisms for resolving land disputes, and Darfur’s entitlement to a specific allocation of funds from the federal government. We are working hard to bridge these gaps.

The Power Sharing Commission has exhaustively examined the positions of the Parties on all issues. On many of these, we are now in a process of narrowing the gaps and identifying the criteria for determining Darfur’s share. We have identified the key issues where agreement will be most difficult but still attainable.

We in the Mediation will do our part in helping the parties bridge the gaps. You the Parties also have a cardinal responsibility to cooperate with us through visible indications of good faith as we enter the last lap of the process.

Our position as a Mediation has been, from the outset, that we will assist any Party that wishes to negotiate in good faith to achieve a fair settlement. By definition, any agreement reached here in Abuja is not all-inclusive, because there are parties that are not represented here.

The Darfur-Darfur Consultation will play an essential role to bring in all other Darfurian stakeholders and enhance the agreement. It would therefore be important to discuss and agree on the modalities and mechanism for how to make this Consultation a reality, in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Declaration of Principles signed last year.

Achieving peace in Darfur requires a collective effort. We are all in this together. The main burden of responsibility for finding and implementing a solution lies with the Parties. We, the African Union, the United Nations and the international partners, can only assist. We shall do our utmost to find a just and fair solution.

The AU Mediation is confident that a comprehensive agreement can be reached here in the coming weeks. I shall be consulting with my colleagues in the Mediation and with the international partners to ensure that our strategy for the next stage of the Talks is successfully implemented. We aim at accelerating the process to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion.

The African Union and its Member States, as well as the United Nations and the international community, are all united in helping you achieve a just, inclusive and durable peace. The eyes of the world are on Darfur.

Let me repeat, the primary responsibility for peace lies with the Parties to the conflict. You, the Parties, must mean what you say. We must be in a position to give credence to your statements and commitments. You must demonstrate to the people of Darfur that your words are not just empty talk but translate into something tangible in the lives of people in Darfur. You, the Parties, must ask yourselves the unavoidable question each day: what have we done today to fulfill the expectations of the people of Darfur?

People who are living in displaced and refugee camps, who are living in miserable conditions of hunger and disease, who live each day with the fear of assault or rape or death, must see that we are achieving practical results to ameliorate their intolerable conditions of life.

The international community is growing deeply skeptical of the agreements signed and the words of peace spoken. What we see is a list of ceasefire agreements and humanitarian protocols, which are violated every day. We cannot continue like this. We must hold ourselves to higher standards of respect for our words.

What we are asking you, the Government of the Sudan and the Armed Movements, to do, is simple: to demonstrate that you are serious in your quest for peace and adhere to the commitments you have already made. I make this call, loud and clear, on behalf of the African Union, the international community and the people of Darfur, who have already suffered too much for too long.

Everybody represented in this room has a responsibility for solving the crisis in Darfur. But the paramount responsibility is on you, the Parties to the conflict. Only when you take the lead can the international community play its role.

The people of Darfur have entrusted to us the onerous responsibility of finding a peaceful settlement to the conflict, and for ending their needless suffering. There is no greater responsibility than this. Let us not fail the people of Darfur. Let us not fail the people of the Sudan.

I appeal to all of you to take up this challenge especially bearing in mind that last month we celebrated the Fiftieth Anniversary of Sudan’s Independence. Before I conclude, giving what have been said today in this meeting, and the emerging clear trend of moving with speed and decisiveness in our current Talks, I would like to appeal to all the other leaders of the Movements who are not here, to come to Abuja so as to facilitate consultations at the highest level.

Finally, while thanking Mr Pronk for his contribution today which reflects his commitment and engagement, I would like to request him to convey our appreciation to the United Nations Secretary General Mr KOFI ANNAN for his commitment and support in our efforts to achieve an end to the conflict in Darfur.

Thank you.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.



Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


What if Dr. John Garang were alive today? 2019-12-05 08:21:57 By Nhial T. Tutlam Let’s imagine that on the fateful day of July 30, 2005 the helicopter carrying Dr. John Garang from Uganda back to his base in Southern Sudan arrived safely. Let’s further (...)

The cries of South Sudanese women in Australia 2019-12-04 07:13:57 Biong Deng Biong Amidst Melbourne’s African youth crime saga and its associated political chaos, a quiet cohort watch events unfold, weary and grim-faced. They are the struggling mothers of the (...)

South Sudan’s Security Arrangements: flawed rhetoric vs real practice 2019-12-02 06:41:06 By Steve Paterno Some compatriot South Sudanese wrote on his Facebook status, jokingly by urging people to flock to cantonment sites in big number to fulfil the required 83,0000, a threshold the (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


S. Korea supports UN communities building resilience project in Sudan’s Blue Nile 2019-09-09 09:26:41 UNDP Sudan September 5, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - An agreement was signed on 5th of September between the Korean Ambassador, His Excellency. Lee Ki-Seong and Dr. Selva Ramachandran, Resident (...)

Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders back calls for civil rule 2019-04-26 10:22:06 Press statement by 55 Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders on Sudan Sit-in and Peaceful Protest Khartoum -24/04/2019 We, the undersigned (55) Sudanese lawyers and human rights defenders, (...)

South Sudan’s Lafon youth condemn killings of civilians by Pari community 2019-04-03 21:54:29 Press Statement on the Fighting between Pari/ Pacidi and Lotuko/Lokiri on 24/3/2019 Release by The Lafon County Youth Union: We, the Lafon County Youth Union hereby condemn the atrocities and (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2019 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.