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EU Parliament Resolution is a Significant Support to the Peace and Democracy in Sudan


Press Release
April 4, 2004

From Organization’s Peace Observers’ Group:

European Parliament Resolution on the Sudan: Significant Support to the Peace Process and Democratic Transition

The Sudan Human Rights Organization Cairo Office welcomes the European Parliament resolution to enhance the Sudan peace process and the humanitarian situation of DarFur.

Emphasizing the human rights situation in DarFur "as one of the worst in the world," according to "overwhelming evidence" collected by the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for the Sudan, Mukesh Kapila, which indicates "complicity" and reported "government provision of financial, logistical and other support given to the Janjaweed militia ? killings, the use of sexual violence against women, looting and general harassment, as well as forced recruitment, including of children ? continued reports of disappearances, abductions and rapes," the EP strongly condemned the Sudan Government’s involvement in the ongoing crimes against humanity in DarFur, including the February 2004 Tawilah massacres, rapes, and abductions - while drawing attention to the political importance of the peace process between government and the SPLM/A and the need to widen people participation in peace.

SHRO-Cairo commends the EP clear position regarding the Sudan Government’s state obligation to put immediate "end to the government-led campaign of ethnic cleansing in the region of Darfur and the resumption of unrestricted access for humanitarian aid to the population at risk in the region? greater recourse to the United Nations and international NGOs in delivering aid." The Organization welcomes further the EP criticisms "to the systematic delays and obstruction by the Government of the Sudan with regard to access by humanitarian aid workers, in violation of the principle of the neutrality of humanitarian aid."

Particularly important, SHRO-Cairo strongly supports "the EU Calls on the Sudanese authorities to end impunity for government officers and military personnel and to bring to justice the perpetrators of human rights violations and other crimes, for example the individuals, i.e. army personnel, who have been involved in rapes and murders, arms
trafficking, including the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), cattle theft and looting." Equally important is the EP call on the "UN to appoint a special representative of the Secretary-General for the Sudan to monitor the situation in Darfur, who would be responsible for overseeing a thorough investigation into the atrocities committed by the Janjaweed militias against civilians and for bringing the perpetrators to justice."

Aware of the national and international obligations of the Sudan Government to stop government-militias’ criminality and lawlessness, the Organization welcomes the EP concerns for the insurance of full human rights and compensation for the people displaced "by oil development," besides the EP deep concerns for community participation in national decision making, SHRO-Cairo takes this opportunity to call upon the European Parliament to exert the strongest pressure possible on European companies that collaborate with the Sudan Government to impose the Hamadab Dam, Kajbar, and perhaps other planned constructions, irrespective of the need to exercise effective national democratic decision making with respect to people’s interests, prior consent and compensation, and popular participation.

The EP concern to "facilitate talks between the different parties to the conflict" and the EP "Calls on all the parties to the conflict in Darfur to agree without delay on an immediate ceasefire and to open negotiations to end the conflict in the region" constitute a significant international move to enhance the peace process and democratic transition of the Sudan. Related to this, the Organization welcomes the EP resolution "to monitor carefully the situation in Darfur, to take the necessary steps to bring about a peaceful solution ? notably with regard to respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law."

Emphasizing the Sudanese national concerns for full participation in all aspects and measures of the Sudan peace process, the SHRO-Cairo special Peace Observers’ Group welcomes the EP "support of a possible UN peace support mission" that should be collaborating for peace related activities, as might be jointly decided by the Sudan Government on equal terms with the Sudanese democratic opposition [the SPLM/A-NDA Joint Military Command and the Sudan civil society groups] (see in this respect the SHRO-Cairo position paper, "A Horizon For Permanent Peace" in: The Sudanese Human Rights Quarterly Issue 17, February 2004).

SHRO-Cairo highly appreciates the EP statement that "peace in the Sudan can only be considered to be achieved when all parties involved in areas of conflict across the country agree to, and respect, a ceasefire, and when factions have been undertaken and concluded, including in Darfur." The Organization has consistently drawn regional and international attention to support the peace process by involving "community and tribal leaders, MPs, civil society and women’s groups." In this regard, We appreciate the EP clear understanding of the workable path of peace, namely the full participation of all parties to the conflict to the peace process which urges the negotiating parties: "once the peace agreement is concluded, to widen the scope of that agreement, in a spirit of national unity, to ensure the development of the whole country and to ensure that the distribution of wealth, including oil revenue, benefits all regions of the Sudan."

The EP conditionality of releasing funds on the basis of "specific benchmarks building on those already established in the framework of the EU/Sudan Political Dialogue in relation to democracy, human rights and good governance" is a necessary step to get the Sudan Government to honor state constitutional obligation towards people peace and well-being.

Commending further the EP resolution call on the Sudan Government to stop Shari’a Law application upon the non-Muslim population, child recruitment, abductions [enslavement] and the other gross international human rights violations, SHRO-Cairo supports all national and international endeavors to motivate the Sudan Government to comply fully with international norms. The EP decision call to "convening an international conference of NGOs committed to the Sudan in order to address capacity problems for delivery of future aid" resembles a significant step to help create the climates conducive for peace. While the Organization strongly welcomes the EP important resolution, We reiterate previous appeals to the international community to include all indigenous organizations in such conferences, as well as the peace negotiating table.

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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