NGO statement on armed militia groups in Africa

Resolution on the situation in Darfur

The Forum on the participation of NGOs in the 37 th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Banjul, Gambia, 24th – 26th April, 2005:

Considering the provisions of the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU), the Charter of the United Nations Organisation (UN) as well as those of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other regional and international human rights instruments to which the Sudan is a state party and that as a state party the Sudan is morally and legally bound to fully and effectively implement the provisions of these instruments and respect and promote the human rights and fundamental freedoms set therein without discrimination on any ground;

Recalling relevant Decisions and Communiqués adopted by the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government and those of the Peace and Security Council on the situation in Darfur notably

Decisions AU/Dec.54(III) and Assembly/AU/Dec.68 (IV) adopted at the 3 rd and 4th Ordinary Sessions of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government respectively as well as Communiqués PSC/PR/Comm.(XIII) and PSC/PR/Comm.(XVII) adopted by the AU Peace and Security Council at their 13 th Meeting and 17 th Meeting respectively,

Welcoming Resolutions 1556/2004 of 30 July 2004 and 1590/2005, 1591/2005 and 1593/2005 adopted by the UN Security Council on the situation in Sudan and Darfur in March 2005.

Recalling also the Resolution of 4 th June 2004 adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights at its 35 th Ordinary Session on the situation in the Darfur region of Sudan as well as Resolution E/CN.4/2005/L.36/Rev.3 adopted by the UN Commission on Human Rights on 21 st April 2005 on the situation of human rights in Sudan.

Deeply concerned at the continuing grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Darfur as documented by the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur in its report of 25 th January 2005 submitted to the UN Secretary General and Security Council, which concluded that the crimes committed in Darfur are “… no less serious and heinous than genocide…”

1. We call on the government of Sudan to:

o Comply with its obligations under the AU Constitutive Act, the UN Charter, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other relevant instruments to which the Sudan is a state party, and in particular comply with the following:
o Stop, with immediate effect, all attacks against civilians in Darfur and ends the grave violations of human and peoples’ rights in particular the forced de-population of entire areas in the region, rape and sexual violence against women and girls, abduction of women and children, and to cease all support, including the provision of supplies, to the Janjaweed militiamen.
o Provide the necessary support to all international agencies and humanitarian organisations in order to ensure immediate, full, safe and unhindered access to the war affected areas of Darfur and to facilitate delivery of humanitarian assistance to civilian populations.
o Fully and unconditionally cooperates with the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in his efforts to investigate and bring to justice all persons suspected of perpetrating war crimes and crimes against humanity as prescribed in the report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur.

2. We call on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to:

* Make public the report on its mission to the Darfur region, which was carried out in July 2004, without any further delay and ask the government of Sudan to implement the recommendations contained therein.

3. We call on the international community to:

* Continue supporting the AU in its efforts to help end the crisis in Darfur including by providing all equipment, logistical, financial, material, and other resources necessary to support the rapid expansion of the AU Mission in the region.
* Take all the appropriate measures to ensure that the government of Sudan complies with the provisions of UN Security Council Resolutions 1556/2004 of 30 July 2004 and 1590/2005, 1591/2005 and 1593/2005 adopted on 29 th and 31 st March 2005 respectively.

Done at Banjul, The Gambia, on 26th April 2005.

NGO statement on Darfur to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Resolution on the situation in Darfur

The Forum on the participation of NGOs in the 37 th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Banjul, Gambia, 24th – 26th April, 2005:

Considering the provisions of the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU), the Charter of the United Nations Organisation (UN) as well as those of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other regional and international human rights instruments to which the Sudan is a state party and that as a state party the Sudan is morally and legally bound to fully and effectively implement the provisions of these instruments and respect and promote the human rights and fundamental freedoms set therein without discrimination on any ground;

Recalling relevant Decisions and Communiqués adopted by the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government and those of the Peace and Security Council on the situation in Darfur notably

Decisions AU/Dec.54(III) and Assembly/AU/Dec.68 (IV) adopted at the 3 rd and 4th Ordinary Sessions of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government respectively as well as Communiqués PSC/PR/Comm.(XIII) and PSC/PR/Comm.(XVII) adopted by the AU Peace and Security Council at their 13 th Meeting and 17 th Meeting respectively,

Welcoming Resolutions 1556/2004 of 30 July 2004 and 1590/2005, 1591/2005 and 1593/2005 adopted by the UN Security Council on the situation in Sudan and Darfur in March 2005.

Recalling also the Resolution of 4 th June 2004 adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights at its 35 th Ordinary Session on the situation in the Darfur region of Sudan as well as Resolution E/CN.4/2005/L.36/Rev.3 adopted by the UN Commission on Human Rights on 21 st April 2005 on the situation of human rights in Sudan.

Deeply concerned at the continuing grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Darfur as documented by the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur in its report of 25 th January 2005 submitted to the UN Secretary General and Security Council, which concluded that the crimes committed in Darfur are “… no less serious and heinous than genocide…”

1. We call on the government of Sudan to:

o Comply with its obligations under the AU Constitutive Act, the UN Charter, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other relevant instruments to which the Sudan is a state party, and in particular comply with the following:
o Stop, with immediate effect, all attacks against civilians in Darfur and ends the grave violations of human and peoples’ rights in particular the forced de-population of entire areas in the region, rape and sexual violence against women and girls, abduction of women and children, and to cease all support, including the provision of supplies, to the Janjaweed militiamen.
o Provide the necessary support to all international agencies and humanitarian organisations in order to ensure immediate, full, safe and unhindered access to the war affected areas of Darfur and to facilitate delivery of humanitarian assistance to civilian populations.
o Fully and unconditionally cooperates with the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in his efforts to investigate and bring to justice all persons suspected of perpetrating war crimes and crimes against humanity as prescribed in the report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur.

2. We call on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to:

* Make public the report on its mission to the Darfur region, which was carried out in July 2004, without any further delay and ask the government of Sudan to implement the recommendations contained therein.

3. We call on the international community to:

* Continue supporting the AU in its efforts to help end the crisis in Darfur including by providing all equipment, logistical, financial, material, and other resources necessary to support the rapid expansion of the AU Mission in the region.
* Take all the appropriate measures to ensure that the government of Sudan complies with the provisions of UN Security Council Resolutions 1556/2004 of 30 July 2004 and 1590/2005, 1591/2005 and 1593/2005 adopted on 29 th and 31 st March 2005 respectively.

Done at Banjul, The Gambia, on 26th April 2005.

A new hope for justice in Sudan

(KAMPALA and NEW YORK, April 1, 2005) The Darfur Consortium today welcomed the UN Security Council’s referral of the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a milestone on the road to justice. The Darfur Consortium, an umbrella group of primarily Africa-based civil society organizations, has urged the international court to be given jurisdiction to prosecute those committing the most serious crimes in Darfur.

“The Security Council has served notice to perpetrators of atrocities in Darfur that the world will not tolerate their behavior,” said Dismas Nkunda, a representative of the Consortium.

The Darfur Consortium also welcomed the Security Council’s acknowledgement that the Court has a role to the play in supporting complementary domestic efforts to achieve justice and reconciliation. Alongside the ICC’s prosecution efforts, there is a need for support to rebuild Sudan’s justice system, which has been eroded through decades of conflict.

The decision yesterday to allow the ICC prosecutor to pursue those most responsible for crime in Darfur follows two other resolutions approved in the last week. The first resolution authorized sending a mission, including 10,000 troops, to assist with implementation of the peace agreement ending the North-South civil war. The second imposed targeted sanctions against those suspected of responsibility for the violence. These steps, alongside the ICC referral, are essential to achieving a peaceful and stable Sudan.

“There is still more work to be done,” said Dismas Nkunda, “but we hope that this week’s votes in the Security Council are a signal that the plight of Darfurians has been pushed to the top of the international agenda.”