A New Sudan Action Plan
Africa Briefing N°24
26 Apr 2005
Despite the passage of important resolutions by the UN Security Council in the last week of March 2005, the situation in Sudan remains grave. In Darfur, where as many as 10,000 people or more, overwhelmingly civilians, continue to die each month, stronger measures are still needed to restore security and prevent further mass deaths. More effective measures are also needed to preserve and implement the peace deal that in January 2005 ended the 21-year conflict between the Khartoum government and the insurgent Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/SPLM), and to forestall the outbreak of serious new civil conflict in the eastern part of the country. The key international organisations and concerned governments should urgently agree and coordinate at a high level on what is necessary, without regard to institutional prerogatives or national prestige. This briefing spells out the details of the action required on all these fronts, to meet the five following objectives:
One: Protect civilians and relief supplies in Darfur. This requires a stronger civilian protection mandate for the African Union (AU) force, a major increase in the force size, and a much bigger contribution from the three organisations capable of making a difference – the UN, the EU and NATO – particularly in logistic support and ensuring adequate command and control and headquarters capacity for that enhanced AU-led mission.
Two: Implement accountability in Darfur. This requires effective implementation of decisions taken by the Security Council in March, in particular getting the Sanctions Committee operational (so that the arms embargo and the ban on offensive flights in Darfur are enforced and those responsible for atrocities and other spoilers are speedily targeted for travel bans and asset freezes), and supporting the investigation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) into violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law in Darfur; sanctions should also be extended to further sensitive areas such as the oil industry.
Three: Build a Darfur peace process. This requires the holding of a high level meeting between representatives of the AU, the UN, the EU, the U.S. and other key international and national players to develop and then act on a blueprint and structure for negotiations, in coordination with the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between Khartoum and the SPLM.
Four: Implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between Khartoum and the SPLM. This requires in particular getting the UN-mandated peacekeeping mission (UNMIS) rapidly into southern Sudan; dealing with the trouble developing over the oil fields and oil revenues; pushing security sector reform in Khartoum; catching up with missed deadlines, especially for writing the Interim National Constitution; ensuring the democratisation elements of the agreement are implemented; and putting an end to the capacity of Khartoum hardliners to use the Ugandan insurgent movement, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), to sabotage stability in southern Sudan.
Five: Prevent new conflict in Sudan. This requires proactive efforts to deal with the explosive situation in the eastern part of the country before it becomes the next major civil war.
Nairobi/Brussels, 26 April 2005