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Procedure : 2007/2589(RSP)
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Document selected : B6-0311/2007

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PV 12/07/2007 - 6.2
CRE 12/07/2007 - 6.2
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Thursday, 12 July 2007 - Strasbourg Final edition

European Parliament resolution of 12 July 2007 on the situation in Darfur

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Darfur, and in particular those of 16 September 2004(1) , 23 June 2005(2) , 6 April 2006(3) , 28 September 2006(4) and 15 February 2007(5) ,

–   having regard to the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) signed in Abuja, Nigeria, on 5 May 2006,

–   having regard to the Tripoli Consensus on the Political Process for Darfur, adopted in Tripoli on 28 and 29 April 2007,

–   having regard to the African Union (AU) decision of April 2004 to establish the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS),

–   having regard to UN resolution 1706 (2006) proposing a 22 000 strong peacekeeping force for Darfur,

–   having regard to the report of 12 March 2007 drawn up by the High-Level Mission of the UN Human Rights Council on the situation of human rights in Darfur,

–   having regard to the final report of 11 October 2006 drawn up by the Panel of Experts on Sudan, appointed under United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1591 (2005),

–   having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is binding and applied without exception,

–   having regard to the findings of the Darfur Development Committee Delegation which visited Sudan and Chad from 30 June to 5 July 2007,

–   having regard to Rule 91 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas it is deeply concerned over the human rights situation in Darfur, with countless instances of abuses of human rights, among them mass rape, abductions and forced displacement and violations of international humanitarian law, as pointed out by the report of the UN Human Rights Council's High-Level Mission to Darfur,

B.   whereas it is deeply concerned by the fact that the conflict in this region, involving regular troops, pro-government militias and rebels, has resulted in the death of at least 400 000 people and created more than two and a half million refugees and displaced persons during the last three years, despite the signing of the above-mentioned DPA,

C.   whereas the number of people affected by the conflict in Darfur now stands at over four million, the highest ever, which includes 2.2 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of which over 500,000 cannot be reached by humanitarian workers; whereas with a total of more than five million IDPs and international refugees, Sudan has the largest refugee population in the world today,

D.   whereas there is no respect for or adherence to the N'djamena ceasefire agreement of 8 April 2004 and since the failure of the DPA there has been a rise in lawlessness and increased insecurity; whereas continual fragmentation of rebel groups, to the extent that there are currently over 20 of them, is hampering the distribution of humanitarian aid and will make any peace negotiations more difficult,

E.   whereas the Darfur crisis is currently considered by the UN to be the worst humanitarian crisis in the world,

F.   whereas the operating environment for humanitarian agencies has never been worse and indiscriminate attacks on civilians and aid workers are continuing; whereas 19 humanitarian workers were killed in 2006, and 18 AMIS soldiers have also died, including nine in the past month; whereas, already this year, 74 humanitarian vehicles have been ambushed and 82 humanitarian workers temporarily abducted,

G.   whereas sexual violence against women and children has been recognised as a crime against humanity, but rape continues to be used with impunity as a weapon of war by parties in the Darfur conflict; whereas victims who denounce the situation risk being prosecuted under Sudanese law, as proof requires corroboration by four male witnesses,

H.   whereas torture and forced conscription of adults and children have become a feature of the human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law in Darfur, with the victims too frightened to report the abuses,

I.   whereas the UN "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine provides that where "national authorities manifestly fail to protect their populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity", others have the responsibility to provide the protection needed,

J.   whereas the AMIS mandate has been extended until the end of 2007 and the hybrid force will not be deployed until 2008 at the earliest; whereas until the hybrid force is deployed, AMIS is the only force on the ground with a mandate to protect civilians,

K.   whereas it is extremely concerned about the continuing supply of arms and military equipment of all types to Sudan and the use of these items in the current human rights and humanitarian disaster in the Sudanese province of Darfur as documented in recent reports by the above-mentioned Panel of Experts and by Amnesty International,

L.   whereas the Darfur conflict – together with impunity from prosecution – is increasingly affecting the stability of the region and therefore constitutes a threat to general peace and security,

M.   whereas the crisis in Chad is part of a wider regional conflict, the crisis also has its own dynamic and should be treated as a crisis in its own right; whereas the Chadian government is failing in its responsibility to protect civilians and there are currently 230 000 Sudanese refugees in camps in Chad and 190 000 Chadians have been forced to leave their homes,

N.   whereas the UN mandated a multidimensional force in Chad in 2006; since then, no progress has been achieved in the deployment of this force, despite the increasing and serious protection needs of civilians,

O.   whereas the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened an investigation into crimes in Darfur in 2005 and issued arrest warrants on 2 May 2007 against Ahmad Muhammad Harun and Ali Kushayb, as suspects in a total of 51 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including the murder, rape, torture and persecution of civilians in Darfur,

P.   whereas on 10 May 2007 China appointed Liu Giujin as Special Envoy for Darfur; whereas China announced its willingness to send engineers to the area to support UN-backed peacekeepers, following China's support for an AU/UN hybrid force in late 2006; whereas China hosts the Olympic Games in 2008, is a privileged commercial partner of Sudan and as a permanent member of the UNSC holds a special responsibility for pursuing peace in Darfur,

Q.   whereas the latest UN Environment Programme report points to the spread of deserts by an average of 100 km in the last forty years, a loss of almost 12% of forest cover in fifteen years and overgrazing of fragile soil in Sudan,

R.   whereas oil revenues have permitted the national budget to increase from $900 million in 1999 to over $2.5 billion in 2003 and to a projected $11.7 billion in 2007,

S.   whereas the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) provides for elections to take place in 2009,

1.  Deplores the human rights situation in Darfur, where the conflict has directly affected more than four and a half million people and more than three million people depend on food aid;

2.  Calls on the UN to act in line with its "Responsibility to Protect", basing its action on the failure of the Government of Sudan (GoS) to protect its population in Darfur from war crimes and crimes against humanity, and also its failure to provide humanitarian assistance to its population;

3.  Calls on the Member States, the Council and the Commission to assume their responsibilities and make every possible effort to provide effective protection for the people of Darfur from a humanitarian disaster;

4.  Calls on the GoS and the rebel movements to ensure safe and unhindered humanitarian access to those affected by the conflict and to respect international humanitarian law; welcomes the signing on 28 March 2007 of the Joint Communiqué on Facilitation of Humanitarian Activities in Darfur between the GoS and the UN and calls for its full implementation;

5.  Calls on all parties to immediately respect the ceasefire, condemns any violation of the ceasefire agreements and in particular any violence directed towards the civilian population and the targeting of humanitarian workers; insists that the GoS stop the bombing of the Darfur region and disarm the Janjaweed militia; notes that without security, a true development policy to and in Sudan is not possible;

6.  Welcomes the acceptance by the GoS on 12 June 2007 of the AU/UN hybrid force, recalling however that the GoS has made previous unfulfilled commitments to allow the hybrid force into Sudan; stresses the importance of making adequate preparation for the hybrid force and of the swiftest possible deployment and continued cooperation of the Sudanese authorities; calls, therefore, for a rapid deployment of the AU/UN hybrid force with a mandate which enables it to efficiently protect civilians; points out that any solution to the conflict will be a political and not a military one;

7.  Reminds the GoS that it bears the prime responsibility for internal security, and action from the international community should not be taken as a pretext for abdicating this responsibility;

8.  Realises that even a rapid deployment is unlikely to enable a significantly increased number of troops to be in position before spring 2008 and that meanwhile the killings and other abuses are likely to continue;

9.  Calls, therefore, on the EU and other international donors to urgently provide additional support to AMIS under its present structure, including long-term funding commitments as well as much needed technical support for a transitional period until the hybrid force is completely implemented; calls for an in-depth investigation into the fact that at least some AMIS soldiers have not received any pay for many months;

10.  Considers that, in order to protect the civil population and the humanitarian workers, enabling aid distribution to continue, as well as to try to ensure that the GoS abides by its promises to admit a hybrid force unconditionally, a military no-fly zone over Darfur should be immediately established;

11.  Calls on the EU and the international community to reconvene peace talks to improve the content of the DPA and make it acceptable to all parties; calls on international actors to hold all parties accountable under the resulting agreement; urges all parties to the conflict in Darfur to show their commitment to a peaceful solution to the crisis by implementing the agreement without delay;

12.  Calls on the EU, the UN and the AU to show a united front in efforts to resolve the conflict in Darfur and to prioritise a comprehensive peace process, which should include the consultation and representation of Darfur's tribes, IDP communities, women's groups and other civil society groups, all political parties, including the opposition parties as well as relevant regional actors, facilitating a lasting peace;

13.  Calls on the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) to help unify all Darfur rebel factions with a view to their taking part in international negotiations, and calls on the international community to bring pressure to bear on rebel groups to unify, further calls on the GoS to allow the rebels time to regroup;

14.  Urges the GoS to urgently establish a road map for the resettlement of the IDPs and refugees, for the restitution of their property and compensation, for a special fund for the victims of rape, women who have been rejected by their families or borne children as a result of rape, and their rehabilitation;

15.  Calls on the Governments of Chad and Sudan to honour their recently confirmed commitments to halt support to armed movements and to work towards improving their relations;

16.  Calls for the urgent deployment of an international force in Chad, capable of proactively protecting both refugees and IDPs, as well as other vulnerable communities, from violence and stabilising the security situation to allow for improved humanitarian access; urges the international community to coordinate its diplomatic efforts to encourage President Deby to accept the deployment of a UN force in Chad;

17.  Calls on the GoS to fully cooperate with the ICC in order to end impunity; urges, therefore, the GoS to arrest Humanitarian Affairs Minister Ahmad Muhammad Harun and Janjaweed leader Ali Kushayb and to surrender them to the ICC; calls on the AU and the Arab League to put pressure on the GoS to do so;

18.  Considers it vital that the CPA with the South be properly implemented, noting that there has as yet been no agreement on wealth-sharing and border demarcation; points out that the successful implementation of the CPA and the recently concluded agreement with the East would help to establish the trust which will be necessary for any lasting political agreement on Darfur;

19.  Condemns the blatant violation of the UN arms embargo by the GoS;

20.  Calls on the Member States to introduce forthwith stricter monitoring and verification procedures to ensure compliance with the above-mentioned UN Security Council Resolution 1591 (2005) and EU Council Common Position 2005/411/CFSP of 30 May 2005 concerning restrictive measures against Sudan so that the procedures apply to EU nationals, EU registered companies, EU funds and EU-registered vessels and aircraft or companies operating within EU territorial jurisdiction regarding:

   a) a prohibition of the supply of dual-use technology to Sudan which is fully consistent with Council Regulation (EC) No 1334/2000 of 22 June 2000 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports of dual-use items and technology(6) and the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies;
   b) a requirement in the civil-military cooperation framework of the single sky legislation that the Member States and EU organisations strictly monitor cargoes of flights which may contain military or dual-use items and technology that may be destined for Sudan, in particular when those cargoes are passing over the territory of the EU; freight by ships should be monitored as well;
   c) the use of all legitimate means to promote full and strict observance and compliance by all States with the UN arms embargo and sanctions on Sudan as set out in the UNSC Resolutions 1556(2004) and 1591(2005), including strict prohibitions of arms and military items likely to be used by the GoS in Darfur;
   d) the design of a stricter and more comprehensive regime of arms and trade prohibitions on Sudan that applies to the supply of military equipment to Sudan from subsidiaries and associates of EU companies;
   e) measures to avoid the parallel use of means for the transportation of humanitarian aid into the region to transport embargoed military items;

21.  Calls on the EU and other international actors to apply targeted sanctions, including measures to tackle business activities that fuel the conflict, to any side, including the GoS, that violates the ceasefire or attacks civilians, peacekeepers or humanitarian operations and to take all necessary action to help end impunity through the implementation of targeted economic sanctions including travel bans and asset freezes;

22.  Supports the statement of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu that the GoS "must now be subjected to tough and effective sanctions until the suffering ends"; calls on the AU to back such action against those responsible for perpetuating the violence in Sudan;

23.  Calls on the Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, to exert more pressure on the GoS to comply with the positions taken by the UNSC and to emphasise that lack of compliance with UN calls will result in punitive measures;

24.  Welcomes the signs that China is now more willing to promote peace in Darfur, and calls on China, as the purchaser of 80% of Sudanese oil exports, to use its significant leverage responsibly in the region to hold the GoS to its commitments under the CPA and DPA; further calls on China to cease exporting arms to Sudan and to cease blocking decisions on targeted sanctions against the GoS in the UNSC;

25.  Calls on the GoS to address environmental issues and in particular to reduce the environmental impact of its oil industry and agricultural practices and prevent local conflicts over natural resources;

26.  Calls on the GoS to publish the amount of its oil revenues in a transparent way and calls on the Member States to encourage divestment of European companies and funds from Sudan;

27.  Points out that power and wealth, now expanded thanks to oil revenues, is very much concentrated in the centre, to the disadvantage of those in the periphery;

28.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Heads of State and Government of the EU Member States, the Government and Parliament of Sudan, the United Nations Security Council, the Heads of State and Government of the Arab League, the Governments of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the Institutions of the African Union.

(1) OJ C 140 E, 9.06.2005, p. 153.
(2) OJ C 133 E, 8.06.2006, p. 96.
(3) OJ C 293 E, 2.12.2006, p. 320.
(4) OJ C 306 E, 15.12.2006, p. 397.
(5) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2007)0052.
(6) OJ L 159, 30.06.2000, p. 1.

Last updated: 18 March 2008Legal notice