Home | Press Releases    Saturday 8 November 2003

Resolution on the armed conflict in Darfur adopted by African human rights Organisations

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The 34th Session of the African Commission
on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the associated NGO Forum that took place in
the last days. Below is a Resolution on the armed conflict in Darfur
which was adopted by the representatives of more than 100 African human
rights organisations (NGOs)..

============================================

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
Adopted at Banjul (The Gambia), Wednesday, 5th November 2003

===========================================

We, the representatives of NGOs present at the Forum on the Participation of
NGOs in the 34th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and
Peoples’ Rights held in Banjul (The Gambia) during the period 3rd-5th
November 2003;

Considering the provisions of the Constitutive Act of the African Union as
well as those of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights which
require that African States undertake all the necessary measures to ensure
the safety and personal security of all individuals living within their
geographic boundaries without distinction on any ground;

Mindful that the Sudan is a State Party to the aforementioned instruments
and, therefore, it is morally and legally bound to fully and effectively
implement their provisions and respect and promote the human and peoples’
rights concepts set therein;

Alarmed by the numerous reports by UN agencies, and by national and
international human rights organisations and that such reports continue to
document massive and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental
freedoms in many parts of the country despite the ongoing peace negotiations
to end the civil wars in the Southern and Central regions of the country;

Deeply disturbed by the devastating armed conflict between the Sudan
Liberation Movement and the Government and its allied militia groups that
erupted in the Darfur region since March 2003 and in which indiscriminate
aerial bombardment by Government military jets and ground assaults by the
army and its allied militia groups are routinely conducted and that
thousands of innocent civilians, mainly from the Black African tribes of the
region in particular members of the Fur, Zagghawa, Massaleet and other
African tribes, have lost their lives as a result of these military
operations;

Alarmed further that the armed conflict in Darfur has caused massive
internal displacement of at least half a million person mainly from among
the African tribes and that these persons currently live in abject poverty
around major towns of the region as they lost all their property and
livelihood while others, in particular women, children and the elderly, were
forced to seek refuge in neighbouring Chad;

Deeply concerned that various reports issued by UN Agencies and other
international humanitarian organisations indicated that the internally
displaced persons, refugees and those affected by the armed conflict in the
Darfur region are living under precarious conditions without enough food,
shelter, sanitation or medical services and that these persons lack safety
and security;

Noting with appreciation the important role being played by the Office of
the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, humanitarian
organisations and the Government of Chad in the provision of relief material
to refugees from Darfur despite the difficulties they encounter and that the
Government of Sudan has not yet allowed UN agencies and humanitarian
organisations access to the affected persons inside the Darfur region;

We call on the Government of Sudan to undertake the following measures:

1. It should fully and unconditionally respect its obligations under
the
African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights as well as other regional and
international human rights treaties to which the Sudan is a State Party.

2. Undertakes immediate measures to end the military operations in the
Darfur region and in particular arrest military activities by its allied
militia groups, compensate the victims of atrocities and bring those
responsible for the crimes committed in the region to justice.

3. Dissolves and outlaws all groups and organisations known to be
committing
killings and violence or propagating racial hatred and intolerance in the
Darfur region in particular the Janjaweed and Murahleen militia groups as
well as the Arab Congregation and its affiliates Gureesh I and Gureesh II
which were established since 1988.

4. Rebuilds the destroyed areas, reinstate the displaced persons in
their
original villages, and ensure their safety and personal security and that
immediate measures be undertaken to end the growing tendency of confiscation
of land and property owned by African tribes by other groups.

5. The Government should embark on a genuine process of reconciliation,
democratisation and development in the Darfur region by addressing the root
causes of the ongoing crisis and work out a lasting solution to the problems
of exploitation and underdevelopment faced by the people of the region.

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

6. We call upon the 34th Ordinary session of the African Commission on
Human
and Peoples’ Rights to take up the situation of human and peoples’ rights in
the Darfur region in its present session and undertake all possible measures
to ensure that these violations come to a halt as a matter of priority.

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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