for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
In coordination with
The Darfur Consortium
An African and International Civil Society Action for Darfur
Center for Human Rights
and Democracy Studies - Morocco
for Human Rights
Recommendations of the Workshop:
"Peace and Justice in Darfur"
Casablanca 16-17 June 2006
At the invitation of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), the Moroccan Organization for Human Rights, the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Morocco, and the Darfur Consortium, a workshop titled "Towards Integrating the Roles of the Arab and African Civil Society for Issues of Peace and Justice in Darfur", was held in Casablanca during the period 16-17 June, 2006. Participants included 24 Arab and African organizations, a range of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), media professionals and academicians. Representatives of the International Criminal Court attended as observers and a representative of the League of Arab States (LAS) participated in the first session. Participants made the following recommendations:
Abuja Agreement: a first step towards peace
- The Abuja Agreement is a step forward towards defusing the Darfur conflict and creating a vehicle for addressing the humanitarian crisis. The success of the Agreement, however, is conditional, inter alia, on the availability of effective mechanisms to monitor its implementation, in close cooperation with civil society in the Sudan and the regional and international parties concerned. The Government of Sudan cannot be the sole arbiter of the implementation of the Agreement.
- Peace and stability in Darfur can only be built by tackling the root causes of the conflict. Short-term containment will not be effective. Democratization, participation in political decision making, equitable distribution of wealth, sustained development and respect of human rights must be pursued. Ensuring accountability for the egregious crimes committed and securing justice for the people of Darfur are prerequisites for peace.
- The Agreement cannot work without the free consent off all the parties concerned: it cannot be imposed.. It is absolutely imperative that the African Union and international mediators in the peace process do not halt dialogue with those armed movements who have not signed the Agreement in its present form. A compromise acceptable to all parties must be sought. The inter-Darfurian dialogue conceived by the Agreement must be established with participation of all parties, including those elements currently opposing the Agreement. Participation of Arab and African civil society as observers should be encouraged. Consideration must also be given to permitting the dialogue a broader remit than currently conceived.
- The Agreement must be linked to a comprehensive peace and development strategy for Sudan as a whole. The Government of Sudan has demonstrated a lack of commitment to date to carrying out its responsibilities under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the Interim Constitution, especially through dependence on a legislative structure restrictive of rights and freedoms, continuing interference with the independence of the judiciary, harassment of human rights defenders, improper control of the media and access to information, and the persistent marginalization and manipulation of the less-powerful within the political process.
Protection of Civilians
- The reduction in humanitarian aid and humanitarian accesss in Darfur in recent months constitutes a serious threat to human security in Darfur. The Government of Sudan, with the support of the international community, must urgently ensure that sufficient humanitarian aid reaches the millions of Darfurians dependent on assistance for their survival.
- The Arab League, the African Union and the Government of Sudan must support a rapid transfer of peace keeping functions in Darfur to the United Nations.
- In the transitional period, the international community and the AU must immediately ensure that the AU mission in Sudan (AMIS) is equipped with the logistic, financial and personnel capabilities necessary to adequately protect civilians and fulfill its responsibilities under the Abuja Agreement. Most urgently the mandate conditionalities which currently prevent AMIS from effectively protecting civilians in Darfur must be removed..
- Arab League States must fulfill, and expand upon, the commitments expressed at the AL Khartoum summit to provide financial suport to AMIS and to increased humanitarian aid.
- The Government of Sudan must fulfill its undertaking to disarm the Janjaweed Militias and protect the people of Darfur.
- The Government of Sudan must cease all oppressive security practices against human rights defenders and Sudanese and international relief organizations in Darfur, and commit to providing a safe and permissive work environment for such organizations. Those restrictions which have been placed on the operation of NGOs and which contradict the commitments of Sudan under international human rights agreements and the Interim Constitution must be lifted.
- Violence against women is widespread in region. The Government of Sudan must facilitate complaint procedures, pursue investigations and support the work of NGOs assisting the psychological rehabilitation of the victims.
- Tensions between Chad and Sudan are creating a humanitarian and human rights crisis on the Chad-Sudan border, exacerbating an already deeply fragile security situation and threatening thousands of lives. The international community must take the necessary steps to establish security on the Chad-Sudan border, obliging both Chad and Sudan to desist from threats or use of force and to implement the provisions of the Triploi Agreement concluded on 8 February, 2006.
Justice and Accountability
- Sudan and States in the region must fully cooperate with the International Criminal Court and facilitate the work of the Prosecutor. A comprehensive approach to justice and accountability will also include reform of the Sudanese justice system and support for the operation of traditional justice mechanisms in parallel with international processes.
- The independence and impartiality of the operation of the Compensation Fund as constituted in the Abuja Agreement must be safeguarded. Adequate funds must be provided to compensate all the adversely affected in an equitable manner.
- Establishment of an independent Truth Commission for Sudan as a whole as a complementary, rather than alternative, route towards justice should be considered. This would provide an opportunity to recognise the suffering of a greater number of victims and identify the range of possible remedies which might be pursued. The scope of such a Commission should cover the years of conflict in the south. Discussions should begin between civil society organizations and victims around the optimal way to commence this work, drawing on international experiences, in particular those in Morocco and South Africa.
- The Sudanese justice system must be strengthened and its independence and impartiality assured, in order that justice and equity for the victims of human rights violations can be realized at the national level.
- Arab states, the League of Arab States and civil society organizations in the Arab region have a responsibility to mobilize political, human and material resources to help find a lasting solution to the Darfur conflict, in particular through contributing to regional and international political efforts, in addition to providing humanitarian aid and raising awareness in the region of the seriousness, extent and true dimensions of the Darfur crisis.
- Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
- The Moroccan Organization of Human Rights
- Al-Nadim Center for the Psychological Therapy and Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence / Egypt
- The Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections/Lebanon
- Foundation of Human and Humanitarian Rights/ Lebanon
- Emirates Association for Human Rights/ the United Arab Emirates
- Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR)/ Bahrain
- Center for Democracy and Human Rights Studies/ Morocco
- The Tunisian league for Human Rights / Tunisia
- The Syrian Organization for Human Rights/ Syria
- The Moroccan association of Human Rights
- The Darfur Consortium
- The Khartoum Center for Human Rights and environmental Development/ Sudan
- Amel Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture / Darfur, Sudan
- The Center for Information and Rehabilitation for Human Rights/ Yemen
- Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti Violence Studies / Egypt
- African Women’s Development and Communications Network (FEMNET)
- Darfur Relief and Documentation Center/ Switzerland
- West African Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons Network (WARIPNET)
- Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation/ South Africa
- The International Refugee Rights Initiative
- The Sudanese Organization Against Torture/ Britain
- Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme (RADDHO)
- Iraqi Association for Human Rights/ Denmark
African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies
African NGO Refugee Protection Network
African Society of International and Comparative Law
African Women's Development and Communications Network (FEMNET)
Alliances for Africace Studies
Arab Program for Human Rights Activists
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
Centre for Minority Rights Development (CEMIRIDE)
Centre for Research Education and Development of Freedom of Expression and Associated Rights (CREDO)
Citizens for Global Solutions
Conseil national pour les libertés en Tunisie
Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre
Egyptian Organization for Human Rights
Femmes Africa Solidarité
Human Rights Centre, University of Pretoria
Human Rights First
Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA)
Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa
Inter-African Union for Human Rights (UIDH)
International Commission of Jurists
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
International Refugee Rights Initiative
Justice and Peace Commission
Lawyers for Human Rights
Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections
Legal Resources Consortium-Nigeria
Ligue Tunisienne des Droits de l'Homme
Makumira University College, Tumaini University
Minority Rights Group
Open Society Justice Initiative
Rencontre Africaine Pour la Defense des Droits de l'Homme
Sudanese Organization Against Torture
Sudanese Refugee Association in South Africa
Syrian Organization for Human Rights
Universal Human Rights Network
World Organization Against Torture