“Time for Renewed courage on Darfur” says Darfur Consortium
(BANJUL, June 27, 2023): As the African Union summit gets underway in Banjul it is time for the African Union to reassert its resolve with respect to Darfur.
“Last month saw the signature of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), a new step towards peace in the region,” said Dismas Nkunda, spokesperson for the Consortium.
The circumstances within which the DPA was signed, however, have not resulted in the dividend hoped for the people of Darfur. Insecurity is rife, tensions heightened between Chad and Sudan, and many of the displaced still highly vulnerable to attack, forced recruitment and reductions in humanitarian aid allocation.
Darfur is now at a most critical juncture: on one hand there is the possibility that the DPA can be leveraged to forge a path towards peace; on the other there is potential for further fragmentation.
“African states must assure the people of Darfur that they are serious about creating security. They must send an unequivocal message about the need to halt the violence. The Janjaweed and other militia which have terrorized Darfur must be disarmed,” said Mr. Nkunda.
Although we urge that a UN deployment must be quickly put in place, in this transitional period the African Union mission (AMIS) on the ground needs increased support. We call on the Peace and Security Council to remove the restrictions on AMIS mandate which prevent its troops from effectively protecting civilians and fulfilling the new roles assigned under the DPA.
A pre-requisite for the DPA’s success is the establishment of a minimum of human security on the ground: this means both the creation of physical security and ensuring access to sufficient humanitarian assistance.
“Steps must also urgently be taken to establish security on the Chad-Sudan border, including ensuring that both Chad and Sudan desist from threats or use of force and honor the provisions of the Tripoli Agreement,” Mr. Nkunda continued.
The Darfur Consortium has also forwarded a number of other recommendations to the African Union, including:
- Rapid deployment of a UN mission in Darfur in full cooperation with a continuing mandate for the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS);
- Fulfillment of humanitarian assistance budget requests, reversing the ration cuts which have been imposed;
- Continuing discussion, engagement and compromise with all parties to the conflict with respect to the DPA;
- Strict monitoring of DPA implementation, in particular of those undertakings relating to security and compensation;
- Renewed support for the investigation of the ICC Prosecutor in Sudan, alongside the strengthening the Sudanese justice system and promoting the rebuilding of traditional accountability mechanisms;
- Exploration of the possibility of creating a Truth Commission for Sudan, drawing on the experiences of other States in Africa, in particular Morocco and South Africa.
Last week members of the Darfur Consortium, along with non-governmental organisations from the Arab region, met in Morocco to analyze the latest developments in Sudan. The conclusions and recommendations of that meeting hosted by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies are available at www.darfurconsortium.org.
Contact: Dismas Nkunda, Banjul at + 220 781 5214.
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