Home | Press Releases    Wednesday 28 July 2004

AU communiqué on the crisis of Sudan’s Darfur region



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- 13th Meeting
- 27 July 2004
- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia



The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its thirteenth meeting, held on 27 July 2004, adopted the following communiqué on the crisis in the Darfur region of the Sudan:


1. Reiterates its deep concern over the grave situation that still prevails
in the Darfur region of the Sudan, in particular the continued attacks by
the Janjaweed militia against the civilian population, as well as other
human rights abuses and the humanitarian crisis;

2. Underlines the urgent need to implement decision AU/Dec.54(III) on
Darfur, adopted by the 3rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of
State and Government of the AU, held in Addis Ababa, from 6 to 8 July 2004,
and which provides a framework for addressing the crisis. In this respect,
Council stresses the urgent need for the Government of the Sudan (GoS) to
expeditiously implement its commitment to neutralize and disarm the
Janjaweed militia and other armed groups and to bring to justice the
perpetrators of human rights abuses. Council also reiterates the need for
the rebel forces to be cantoned at mutually agreed sites;

3. Stresses the need for the AU to continue to lead the efforts to resolve
the crisis in Darfur and, in this respect, welcomes the support extended by
the international community, including the UN Security Council. Council
calls on the latter and all the AU partners to continue to support these
efforts, including financial and logistical assistance to sustain the
AU-led mission deployed in Darfur and to enhance its effectiveness;

4. Calls upon all parties, namely the GoS, the Justice and Equality
Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A), to
scrupulously comply with the Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement of 8 April
2004 and to extend full cooperation to the Ceasefire Commission (CFC) and
the military observers deployed in Darfur;

5. Welcomes the convening in Addis Ababa, on 15 July 2004, of a meeting
between the parties and, in this respect, regrets that the JEM and the
SLM/A leadership failed to attend the talks. Council stresses the need for
a speedy resumption of the dialogue and calls on the parties to be
represented at the highest level at the next round of the political talks,
with a clear mandate, and to negotiate in good faith with the view to
achieving a lasting solution to the Darfur conflict;

6. Encourages the Chairperson of the Commission and his Special Envoy for
Darfur, Hamid El Gabid, to actively pursue their consultations with the
parties to expedite the resumption and successful convening of the
political dialogue. In this respect, Council urges the parties to agree,
as soon as possible, on a general framework for the pursuit of the
dialogue, including the agenda of the discussions and their venue;

7. Appeals to all Member States to fully back the ongoing efforts and, in
this respect, welcomes the efforts of the Chairman of the AU, President
Olusegun Obasanjo, in support of the search for a lasting solution to the
conflict in Darfur;

8. Takes note of the progress made in the deployment of the military
observers and the steps taken towards the deployment of the Protection
Force, provided for by the Agreement of 28 May 2004 on the Establishment of
the CFC and the Deployment of Military Observers, and whose mandate, as per
the understanding reached during the 3rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly,
includes the protection, within the capacity of the Force, of the civilian
population. Council welcomes the decision by Nigeria and Rwanda to
contribute troops for the Protection Force;

9. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to prepare and submit to it,
for consideration, a comprehensive plan on how best to enhance the
effectiveness of the AU Mission on the ground, including the possibility of
transforming the said Mission into a full-fledged peacekeeping mission,
with the requisite mandate and size, to ensure the effective implementation
of the Ceasefire Agreement, with particular emphasis on the disarmament and
the neutralization of the Janjaweed militia, the protection of the civilian
population and the facilitation of the delivery of the humanitarian

10. Calls upon the international community at large, including AU Member
States that are in a position to do so, to provide the much-needed
humanitarian assistance to the civilian population affected by the crisis.
Council further encourages African humanitarian NGOs to contribute to the
ongoing efforts and requests the Commission to extend full support to them;

11. Requests the Commission to submit to it a comprehensive assessment of
the situation in Darfur, including the steps taken to disarm and neutralize
the Janjaweed militia, to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian
assistance, to bring to justice the perpetrators of human rights
violations, as well as the violations of the ceasefire and the status of
the political dialogue;

12. Decides to remain seized of the matter and requests the Commission to
report regularly on the situation, including the simultaneous efforts to be
deployed to find a lasting solution to the conflict.

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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