Despite forceful Security Council moves, atrocities continue in Sudan’s Darfur region – UN report

29 December 2005

Despite a consistent and forceful Security Council response to the crisis in Sudan’s western Darfur region, reports from there confirm a marked deterioration since September, including an increase in ethnic clashes, destabilizing elements crossing in from Chad and continuing banditry, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a report released today.

Despite a consistent and forceful Security Council response to the crisis in Sudan’s western Darfur region, reports from there confirm a marked deterioration since September, including an increase in ethnic clashes, destabilizing elements crossing in from Chad and continuing banditry, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a report released today.

For more than a year, the Council has sought an end to the violence, the disarming of the Janjaweed militia, a halt to impunity and a political solution. The Council has also imposed an arms embargo, assets freeze and travel bans on belligerents in Darfur, and has referred the situation there to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Since the Secretary-General’s first report in August of last year, however, the Sudanese Government has taken no major steps to bring to justice or even identify any of the militia leaders or perpetrators of the attacks, Mr. Annan says in his latest update to the Council, pointing out that Southern Darfur experienced its highest rate of violence last month.

“I strongly urge the Government of the Sudan once again to take decisive steps to address these manifest failures,” he says.

Though countless lives have been saved through a massive, UN-led humanitarian relief effort, those most exposed to violence and gross violations of human rights continue to live in fear and terror, the report states.

“Large-scale attacks against civilians continue, women and girls are being raped by armed groups, yet more villages are being burned and thousands more are being driven from their homes,” Mr. Annan says.

The Security Council has extended through March the mandate of its Committee monitoring the targeted measures and designating individuals subject to sanctions.

“As the Security Council has stated repeatedly, ultimately only a political solution can end the violence and allow some 2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees to return home,” the Secretary-General writes.

Given these stakes, the current round of the peace talks in Abuja, Nigeria, is “critical and must be decisive,” despite serious difficulties encountered in the lead-up to the talks as a result of the division within the rebel Sudanese Liberation Movement (SLM), he says. That split came about as a result of an internal leadership struggle between two rival SLM leaders, Abdul Wahid al-Nur of the Fur people and Minni Arko Minawi of the Zaghawa people.

Mr. Annan also calls on donors to help fund efforts to meet the “massive humanitarian needs” of the people of Darfur.

 

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