Global perspective Human stories

Annan sees positive signals that Sudan will cooperate with resolution

Annan sees positive signals that Sudan will cooperate with resolution

Kofi Annan briefs reporters
Sudan is indicating it wants to comply with the Security Council's demand that it show progress in meeting its dual pledges to disarm the armed militias that have conducted deadly attacks in the troubled Darfur region and to restore security for the estimated 1.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

A day before he is due to brief the Council on the latest developments in Sudan, Mr. Annan told reporters at United Nations Headquarters in New York that he expects Khartoum will cooperate with the resolution adopted last Friday by the Council.

That resolution paves the way for the 15-member Council to introduce measures under Article 41 of the UN Charter against the Sudanese Government if it does not take action on commitments made last month in a joint communiqué with the UN. Those measures include economic penalties, restricting transport and communications, and severing diplomatic relations.

The Secretary-General said Khartoum's reaction to the passage of the resolution proved it "has got the message loud and clear."

He added that the Council wants to see "results on the ground" - not necessarily that the Sudanese authorities have fixed the problems within 30 days, but that they have shown "demonstrably that they are determined, that they are serious, and that they are protecting the people. And this has to be seen by the people and felt by the people, [and] not by public declarations."

Asked about press reports that Khartoum considered any 30-day deadline to undermine separate agreements to take action within 90 days, Mr. Annan said the 90-day agreement refers only to humanitarian commitments - such as making access easier for aid workers and allowing relief supplies to enter.

Mr. Annan spoke positively of yesterday's meeting in Khartoum of the Joint Implementation Mechanism (JIM), a body set up by Sudan and the UN to make sure the content of the communiqué is put into practice.

Jan Pronk, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Sudan and the co-chair of JIM, told the BBC that Sudan has made positive progress in implementing its commitments.

Mr. Pronk said that a UN-Sudanese observer mission to the area last week also found no evidence that Khartoum is continuing to force some of the IDPs to return to their home villages against their will.

But he said that many Janjaweed militiamen remain active, causing "a great deal of insecurity," and that the activities of two rebel groups opposed to Khartoum are also adding to the insecurity.

The Janjaweed stand accused of killing and raping thousands of civilians since two rebel groups in Darfur rose up against the Government last year. UN officials have also said that the Janjaweed have been armed or sponsored by Khartoum.