"We want security, we want justice"

«We want security, we want justice »: this was the leitmotiv of all the Sudanese refugees met by the FIDH delegation while visiting the camps in Eastern Chad, in June 2007. The report1 of the mission which is released today makes this claim a prerequisite to the conflict settlement.

Executive Summary| Full Report PDF version |FIDH mission movie | FIDH Mission pictures

United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1769 (2007) and 1778 (2007) authorizing the deployment of international forces in Darfur, Eastern Chad and North-East of the Central African Republic, should ensure, in the near future, the protection of civilians in the region. In this regard, the international community should give the necessary means for the effective deployment of the forces and the concerned authorities have to ensure them unhindered access.

Meanwhile, in light of the upsurge of violence in the last months between Sudanese army and the rebels, and the attacks against civilian population, humanitarian workers and the staff of the African Union Mission in Sudan, FIDH calls on all warring parties to participate in the peace negotiations opening in Libya, October 27, 2007, and to secure a priori an effective cease fire.

As stated by the United Nations Secretary-General during a meeting with FIDH on October 10, « Peace and justice are indivisible ». Thus, the nomination of Ahmad Harun as co-director of a newly created Committee on Human Rights Violations in Darfur and the release from detention of Kushayb, for both of whom arrest warrants have been issued by the International Criminal Court, are true insults to victims in Sudan. Sudan must transfer the two suspects to the ICC and the negotiators should treat the effective cooperation of Sudanese authorities with the ICC as a matter of priority.

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Executive summary

On the eve of the Darfur peace negotiations and against the backdrop of ongoing violence in the region, FIDH releases an international fact-finding mission report

While the peace negotiations between the government and the Sudanese rebels are supposed to start on the 27 October 2007 in Libya, FIDH releases [1] a report following a fact-finding mission held in the Eastern Chad Sudanese refugee camps in June 2007, with recommendations for the effective resolution of the conflict.

The present report emphasizes the persistence of grave violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law in Darfur as well as in the sub-region. There has been an upsurge of violence, with each warring party increasing their military activities in the attempt to gain political leverage during the peace talks. In this respect, testimonies of Sudanese refugees, newly arrived in Eastern Chad are instructive. Civilians continue to flee the aerial bombardments carried out by the Sudanese army as well as rebel attacks. Above all Janjaweed militias continue to commit grave crimes against the populations, on both sides of the Sudan-Chad border: killings, torture, rape, sexual violence, looting. Besides, the Chadian rebel forces remain active and inter-ethnic violence in Chad is exacerbated by the neighbouring conflict in Darfur.

FIDH considers that the situation raises serious concerns about the implementation of the «three track» strategy - military, humanitarian and political- presented on 12 September 2007 by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon for the resolution of the conflict in Darfur and in the neighbouring countries.

FIDH welcomed the announcement of the hybrid force African Union- United Nations deployment in Darfur and of the multidimensional force in Eastern Chad and North-East of the Central African Republic [2] . FIDH calls now on the international community to urgently provide adequate resources necessary for the rapid and effective deployment of the forces. At the same time, the governments of Sudan, Chad and CAR should facilitate their deployment.

This report confirms that the current insecurity in the region contributes to the worsening of the humanitarian catastrophe. In addition to the 2 million internally displaced people in Darfur, over 235,000 Sudanese have sought refuge in Chad. More than 170,000 Chadian have been forced to flee. In light of the unwillingness or inability of the Sudanese and Chadian authorities to meet the civilian population’s needs, the international community must increase its support to help these people still in danger.

FIDH believes that the participation of all the warring parties and the establishment of an effective cease-fire between Khartoum authorities and rebels, pursuant to Resolution 1769 of the Security Council, are the precondition for successful peace negotiations. FIDH also calls upon the Chadian and Central African governments to strengthen negotiations with rebels in order to reach an effective peaceful solution to the conflict, in compliance with international law.

Finally, FIDH considers that alongside the «three track» strategy, the political negotiations in Darfur and in the sub-region should include a fourth component: justice. The total impunity which prevails in the sub-region is one of the reasons of the persistence of the crimes committed against civilians. This has been highlighted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor during his visit to the UN headquarters at the end of September 2007 : "In Darfur today, there can be no political solution, no security solution, and no humanitarian solution as long as the alleged war criminal remain free in the Sudan". Thus, Sudan must transfer the two suspects for whom international arrest warrants were issued. The international intervention forces in Darfur, Chad and CAR also have to cooperate with the ICC.

On the 10 October 2007, the UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon held a meeting with an FIDH delegation during which he asserted that «peace and justice are indivisible ». FIDH calls on the negotiators to consider the effective cooperation between the Sudanese authorities and the ICC as a priority.

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