Home | News    Saturday 16 December 2006

Sudan walks out from AU meeting on Darfur

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Dec 15, 2006 (ADDIS ABABA) — The Sudanese delegation walked out from the meeting of the Joint Ceasefire Commission on Darfur in Addis Ababa after the refusal of its demand to move the meeting to 21 December.

Sudanese Deputy Permanent Representative to the African Union, , Ambassador Al-Tayeb Ali, said more time was needed to prepare well in order to address all items that the Government proposed for inclusion in the agenda of the meeting. Khartoum delegates walked out of the meeting after the rejection of their demand.

Al-Tayeb said Sudan believes that it is very important not to dedicate such meetings to the violations to the ceasefire only because this increases gaps and divisions.

Regarding the outcomes of the meeting, Ambassador Al-Tayeb said the Friday meeting came out with a communiqué with reference to Sudan’s requests to delay the meeting.

He explained that the communiqué further described the security situations in Darfur as deteriorating and referred to “violations committed by the so-called Janjaweed” and some 15 violations committed by the movements compared to the one case by the government forces.

As from now the African Council for Peace and Security and the UN’s Security Council will impose sanctions on any party that violate the cessation of fire, Al-Tayeb quoted from the communiqué.

"The security situation in Darfur is fast deteriorating mainly because of the re-emergence of Janjaweed militias," said an AU communique issued at the end of a meeting on Darfur.

"(They) seem to have been supplied and rearmed and have been carrying out nefarious activities with impunity in parts of Darfur, particularly in areas controlled by the government of Sudan."

The statement added that another cause for the decline was Khartoum’s insistence on a military option to quell the conflict.

The Deputy Permanent Envoy explained that the next meeting of the cease-fire committee will be held on January 3.

Below the full text of a statement by the African Union on the Fourth Meeting of the Darfur Peace Agreement Joint Commission held in Addis Ababa on 15 December 2006.

(ST)

— -

Communiqué of the Fourth Meeting Of the Darfur Peace Agreement Joint Commission

15 December 2006

1. The DPA Joint Commission held its fourth meeting on 15 December 2006 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The meeting was chaired by the Acting Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Mrs. Monique Mukaruliza, and was attended by the signatories of the DPA and DoC, the UN, the EU and the US as members, and Canada, Egypt, France the League of Arab States, Libya, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway and the UK as observers.

2. The GoS representative moved a motion for the postponement of the meeting to 21st Dec 06 on the ground that more time was needed to prepare well in order to address all items that the Government proposed for inclusion in the agenda of the meeting. The GoS was also of the view that adequate arrangements had not been made for the meeting to take place as scheduled and therefore requested that the meeting should be postponed. However, the JC, in line with Paragraph 255 Article 25 of the DPA decided that the meeting should take place as scheduled particularly in view of the necessity to address the deteriorating security situation in Darfur. On this note, the meeting proceeded and GoS representatives walked out.

3. The meeting considered the report of the Chairperson of the Ceasefire Commission (CFC), Maj Gen LK Aprezi, on ceasefire violations, which also contained a review of the current security situation in Darfur, and presented 15 investigated cases of violation for consideration from 6 June – 12 November 2006. The JC endorsed the Force Commander’s report.

4. On the prevailing security situation in Darfur, the Joint Commission noted:

That the security situation in Darfur is fast deteriorating, mainly because of the re-emergence of the Janjaweed militias who seemed to have been re-supplied and rearmed, and have been carrying out nefarious activities with impunity in parts of Darfur, particularly in areas controlled by the Movements and GOS in city centres as well as the country sides. In this regard the meeting expressed deep concern on the prevailing situation in El Fasher, El Geneina, Kutum and Mellit characterized by harassment, attacks and killings of innocent civilians including IDPs as well as attacks against AMIS.

That the Janjaweed/Armed Militias’ activities, mainly attacks on innocent civilians including IDPs, had increased tension and led to further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Darfur.

That another factor leading to deterioration of the situation was the resolve by GoS to pursue a military solution to the Conflict and also attacks on GoS positions by some non-signatory parties particularly the NRF.

The meeting also:

Concluded that these were clear violations of the ceasefire, and in particular deplored the attacks on AMIS personnel and its installations. It also condemned the abduction of an AMIS military officer on 10 December 2006 in El Fasher and called on the perpetrators to immediately and unconditionally free him.

Noted the security arrangements provisions of the DPA, particularly the section requiring AU verification of areas of control (Paragraph 310) and called for the parties to set dates for such inspection, in conjunction with ongoing ceasefire violations investigations.

Condemned in its strongest terms these violations and called for a complete and comprehensive cessation of hostilities by all the parties, whether signatory or non-signatory. This was necessary not only because it will arrest the situation of killings and all kinds of abuses, but it will also give chance to the ongoing efforts to reenergize the peace process and make it more inclusive. The meeting however welcomed the understanding reached by the DPA/DoC signatories to cease hostilities amongst themselves and call on them to respect this commitment.

Took note of the circumstances that led to the failure of the second CFC chamber to convene as decided by the JC at its third meeting, and stressed that the FC/CFC Chairman should use his discretion to make it work as quickly as possible.

Decided that where violations had clearly been proven to have taken place, punitive measures including sanctions should be taken against the violators by the appropriate bodies including the AUPSC and the UNSC. In this regard the meeting resolved that the process for the disarmament of the Janjaweed should be finalised as quickly as possible so that the actual disarming begins without further delay.

5. The meeting considered 15 investigated cases of violations submitted by the CFC Chairperson, which were carried out by both signatories and non-signatories. The JC upheld the conclusions on the CFC that these violations indeed took place and decided to condemn the perpetrators as follows:

- NRF/JEM for attacking AMIS personnel and properties on 19 August 2006 where 2 AU troops were killed. On this, the meeting decided that follow up action should be taken in order to make the perpetrators account for their actions in line with the recommendation of the CFC.
- SLM/A (W) for holding AMIS patrol team hostage on 14 June 2006.
GOS for attacks on IDPs on 28 July 2006 (Gosmino), on 1 August 2006 (Arusharow and Gosmino) and on 3 September 2006 (Abu Shouk IDP Camp).
- SLM/A (W) for attacks on GOS camp at Bardi on 11 August 2006.
- SLM/A (M) for attacks on SLM/A (FW) on 16 October 2006.
- SLM/A (W) for harassment and abduction of IDPs on 28 August and 6 September 2006 respectively.

6. The meeting stressed that no party should be allowed to veto the functioning of the JC consistent with earlier decisions.

7. The JC decided that the next regular meeting should take place in the third week of January 2007.

Addis Ababa, 15 December 2006

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