|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
5947th Meeting (Night)
SECURITY COUNCIL DECIDES TO EXTEND MANDATE OF AFRICAN UNION-UNITED NATIONS
HYBRID OPERATION IN DARFUR BY 14 VOTES IN FAVOUR, 1 ABSTENTION
With less than two hours left before the mandate of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) expired, the Security Council extended its mandate for a further 12 months this evening following extended consultations.
The Council adopted resolution 1828 (2008) by 14 votes in favour, with the United States abstaining. While welcoming and expressing strong support for the mandate extension, the representative of the United States said he had abstained because the language of the resolution would send the wrong message to President Omer al-Bashir of Sudan and undermine efforts to bring him and others to justice.
Several other speakers referred to preambular paragraph 9 of the resolution, by which the Council took note of the African Union’s concerns and those of several Council members regarding potential developments following the application by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court for an arrest warrant against the Sudanese President on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The representative of the Russian Federation said he had serious concerns about the negative developments that might follow the Prosecutor’s request. The possibility of hard-line rebel groups taking advantage of that situation to step up their campaign against the Government in Darfur could not be ruled out.
Belgium’s representative, however, was among the delegates who would have preferred to see stronger language on fighting impunity, voicing support for the work of the International Criminal Court and its pursuit of international justice. Belgium looked forward to the decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber on the Chief Prosecutor’s indictment request.
The representative of the United Kingdom, the resolution’s sponsor, said the Council had taken no position regarding the question of whether to act on the Prosecutor’s proposal to indict the President of Sudan. It was not right to consider that issue as part of the renewal resolution. In resolution 1593 (2005), the Council had decided that the situation in Darfur warranted an investigation by the International Criminal Court, but that discussion would raise profound questions about the relation between peace and justice. It was not something the Council should rush into.
Libya’s representative said his delegation had participated in the negotiations under the basic understanding that the purpose of the resolution was to extend UNAMID’s mandate and ensure its effective deployment, without bringing in other issues. Some of the elements that others had wanted included in the resolution had become mixed up with other issues since the Chief Prosecutor’s application, which was heightening the fears of the League of Arab States and the African Union, the main partner of the United Nations in the international effort to resolve the situation in Darfur. That was what had led Libya and others to propose amendments highlighting the negative impact of the Prosecutor’s action, which could undermine peace efforts as a whole.
China’s representative supported the request by the African Union and other Council members to suspend the indictment, saying no progress would be possible on Darfur without the full cooperation of the Sudanese Government. The indictment was “an inappropriate decision made at an inappropriate time” and would undermine the trust between Sudan and the United Nations while harming the fragile security situation in Darfur.
Sudan’s representative said his country was “really happy” the Council had adopted the resolution to renew UNAMID’s mandate. Sudan had been and would continue to be fully committed to the Operation’s full deployment. The Council, in turn, should be fully supportive of the removal of all impediments to such deployment, including addressing the decision of the International Criminal Court’s Chief Prosecutor and putting and end to the actions of rebel groups, some factions of which had recently tried to seize the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. Indeed, the Council must be wary of sending mixed signals. The resolution adopted today was a positive step and the Council should continue to support national efforts under way to ensure peace in Darfur and wider Sudan.
By today’s resolution, the Council deplored the deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation in Darfur, one year after the decision to deploy UNAMID to quell violence in Sudan’s western region. It welcomed the Secretary-General’s intention to deploy 80 per cent of the force by 31 December 2008, and urged the Government of Sudan, troop contributors, donors, the United Nations Secretariat and all stakeholders to do everything possible all to facilitate deployment.
The Council welcomed the agreement by the Government of Sudan to the Mission’s deployment plan and its signing of a status-of-forces agreement, but demanded that the Government comply with it fully and without delay. It also underlined the need for the joint Mission to make full use of its current mandate and capabilities to protect civilians, ensure humanitarian access and work with other United Nations agencies.
By other provisions of the text, the Council demanded that the Government and all armed groups in Sudan ensure the expeditious deployment of UNAMID and remove all obstacles to the proper discharge of its mandate, including by ensuring its security and freedom of movement. It demanded an end to violence, to attacks on civilians, peacekeepers and humanitarian personnel, and to other violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Darfur. The Council further demanded that all parties cease hostilities and immediately commit themselves to a sustained and permanent ceasefire.
Welcoming the appointment of Djibrill Yipènè Bassolé as Joint African Union-United Nations Chief Mediator, the Council encouraged the mediation to consult with all relevant parties on security issues, with a view to a more effective ceasefire commission, working closely with UNAMID. The Council called upon Sudan and Chad to abide by existing agreements and end support for rebel groups.
Also speaking today were representatives of Costa Rica, Croatia, Burkina Faso, France, Indonesia, Italy and Viet Nam.
The meeting began at 9:40 p.m. and ended at 10:45 p.m.
The full text of resolution 1828 (2008) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Reaffirming all its previous resolutions and presidential statements concerning the situation in Sudan,
“Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, unity, independence and territorial integrity of Sudan and its determination to work with the Government of Sudan, in full respect of its sovereignty, to assist in tackling the various challenges in Sudan,
“Recalling also its previous resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008) on women, peace and security, 1502 (2003) on the protection of humanitarian and United Nations personnel, 1612 (2005) on children and armed conflict and the subsequent conclusions on the Sudan of the Working Group on Children in Armed Conflicts (S/AC.51/2008/7) as approved by the Council, and 1674 (2006) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, which reaffirms inter alia the relevant provisions of the United Nations World Summit outcome document, as well as the report of its Mission to Sudan from 3 to 6 June 2008,
“Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission of 7 July 2008, and recalling the confirmation of President Bashir during his meeting with the Council that UNAMID shall be deployed in full,
“Deploring, one year after the adoption of resolution 1769 (2007), the deterioration in the security and humanitarian situation in Darfur,
“Stressing the need to enhance the safety and security of UNAMID personnel,
“Noting with strong concern ongoing attacks on the civilian population and humanitarian workers and continued and widespread sexual violence, including as outlined in the reports of the Secretary-General,
“Emphasizing the need to bring to justice the perpetrators of such crimes and urging the Government of Sudan to comply with its obligations in this respect, and reiterating its condemnation of all violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Darfur,
“Taking note of the African Union (AU) communiqué of the 142nd Peace and Security Council (PSC) Meeting dated 21 July, having in mind concerns raised by members of the Council regarding potential developments subsequent to the application by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court of 14 July 2008, and taking note of their intention to consider these matters further,
“Reaffirming its concern that the ongoing violence in Darfur might further negatively affect the stability of Sudan as a whole as well as the region, noting with concern the ongoing tensions between the Governments of Sudan and Chad, and reiterating that a reduction in these tensions and rebel activity in both countries must be addressed to achieve long-term peace in Darfur and in the region,
“Expressing its determination to promote and support the political process in Darfur, especially the new Chief Mediator, and deploring the fact that some groups refuse to join the political process,
“Reiterating its deep concern for the decreasing security of humanitarian personnel, including killings of humanitarian workers, in Darfur and the hindering of their access to populations in need, condemning the parties to the conflict who have failed to ensure the full, safe and unhindered access of relief personnel as well as the delivery of humanitarian assistance, further condemning all instances of banditry and carjackings, and recognizing that with many civilians in Darfur having been displaced humanitarian efforts remain a priority until a sustained ceasefire and inclusive political process are achieved,
“Demanding an end to attacks on civilians, from any quarter, including by aerial bombing, and the use of civilians as human shields,
“Determining that the situation in Darfur, Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,
“1. Decides to extend the mandate of UNAMID as set out in resolution 1769 (2007) for a further 12 months to 31 July 2009;
“2. Welcomes the agreement of the Government of Sudan, during its meeting with the Council on 5 June 2008, to the African Union (AU) — United Nations (UN) troop deployment plan; commends the contribution made by troop and police contributing countries and donors to UNAMID; and, in order to facilitate the full and successful deployment of UNAMID and to enhance the protection of its personnel, calls:
(a) for the rapid deployment, as planned by the Secretary-General, of force enablers, including the Heavy Support Package’s engineer, logistic, medical and signal units, and of additional troops, police and civilian personnel including contractors; and
(b) on United Nations member states to pledge and contribute the helicopter, aerial reconnaissance, ground transport, engineering and logistical units and other force enablers required;
“3. Underlines the importance of raising the capability of those UNAMID battalions formerly deployed by the African Union Mission in Sudan and other incoming battalions; requests the continuing assistance of donors in ensuring that these battalions are trained and equipped to United Nations standards; and further requests the Secretary-General to include this in his next report to the Council;
“4. Welcomes the intention of the Secretary-General to deploy 80 per cent of UNAMID by 31 December 2008, and urges the Government of Sudan, troop contributors, donors, the United Nations Secretariat and all stakeholders to do all they can to facilitate this;
“5. Welcomes the signing of the Status of Forces Agreement; demands that the Government of Sudan complies with it fully and without delay; and further demands that the Government of Sudan and all armed groups in Sudan’s territory ensure the full and expeditious deployment of UNAMID and remove all obstacles to the proper discharge of its mandate, including by ensuring its security and freedom of movement;
“6. Underlines, with a view to strengthening cooperation with troop and police contributors as well as their safety and security, the need for enhanced guidelines, procedures and information-sharing;
“7. Underlines the need for UNAMID to make full use of its current mandate and capabilities with regard to the protection of civilians, ensuring humanitarian access and working with other United Nations agencies;
“8. Reiterates its condemnation of previous attacks on UNAMID; stresses that any attack or threat on UNAMID is unacceptable; demands that there be no recurrence of such attacks, and further requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the result of United Nations investigations and with recommendations to prevent a reoccurrence of such attacks;
“9. Reiterates there can be no military solution to the conflict in Darfur, and that an inclusive political settlement and the successful deployment of UNAMID are essential to re-establishing peace in Darfur;
“10. Welcomes the appointment of Mr. Djibrill Yipènè Bassolé as Joint AU-UN Chief Mediator, who has its full support; calls on the Government of Sudan and rebel groups to engage fully and constructively in the peace process, including by entering into talks under the mediation of Mr Bassolé; demands all the parties, in particular rebel groups, to finalise their preparations for and to join the talks; and underlines also the need for the engagement of civil society, including women and women-led organizations, community groups and tribal leaders;
“11. Demands an end to violence by all sides, to attacks on civilians, peacekeepers and humanitarian personnel, and to other violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Darfur; further demands that all parties cease hostilities and immediately commit themselves to a sustained and permanent cease-fire; and encourages the mediation to consult with all relevant parties on security issues with a view to a more effective cease-fire commission working closely with UNAMID to monitor the cessation of hostilities;
“12. Calls on Sudan and Chad to abide by their obligations under the Dakar Agreement, the Tripoli Agreement and subsequent bilateral agreements, including by ending support for rebel groups; welcomes the creation of the Dakar Agreement Contact Group, and the consideration being given to improved monitoring of the border between Sudan and Chad; and takes note of the agreement of Sudan and Chad on 18 July to restore diplomatic relations;
“13. Demands the full implementation of the Communiqué between the Government of Sudan and the United Nations on Facilitation of Humanitarian Activities in Darfur, and that the Government of Sudan, all militias, armed groups and all other stakeholders ensure the full, safe and unhindered access of humanitarian organizations and relief personnel;
“14. Requests the Secretary-General to ensure (a) continued monitoring and reporting of the situation of children and (b) continued dialogue with the parties to the conflict towards the preparation of time bound action plans to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers and other violations against children;
“15. Demands that the parties to the conflict immediately take appropriate measures to protect civilians, including women and children, from all forms of sexual violence, in line with resolution 1820 (2008); and requests the Secretary-General to ensure, as appropriate, that resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 are implemented by UNAMID and to include information on this in his report requested in paragraph 16 below;
“16. Demands that the parties to the conflict in Darfur fulfil their international obligations and their commitments under relevant agreements, this resolution and other relevant Council resolutions;
“17. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council every 60 days after the adoption of this resolution on developments on UNAMID, the political process, the security and humanitarian situation, and all parties’ compliance with their international obligations;
“18. Reiterates its readiness to take action against any party that impedes the peace process, humanitarian assistance or the deployment of UNAMID; and recognises that due process must take its course;
“19. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”
JOHN SAWERS (United Kingdom), speaking after the vote, welcomed the resolution’s adoption, noting that, as an informal coordinator of the negotiations on the text, the United Kingdom was grateful for the help of Council members. The Security Council had come close to achieving consensus on the resolution, and only the lack of time had prevented it from addressing the outstanding concerns of one delegation. The entire Council was behind the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and wanted it to succeed. Having mandated the Mission, it had made a commitment to the people of Darfur, which it had renewed today. It was not a commitment that the Council took lightly. While aware of the difficulties that UNAMID faced daily, the Council owed it to the world to keep peace and stability in Darfur, Sudan and the entire region.
No position had been taken on the question of whether to take any action on the proposal by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to indict the President of Sudan, he continued. The United Kingdom did not believe it was right to consider that important issue as part of the renewal resolution. In resolution 1593 (2005), the Council had decided that the situation in Darfur warranted an investigation by the International Criminal Court, but that discussion would raise profound questions about the relation between peace and justice. It was not something the Council should rush into. It was necessary to accelerate the Mission’s deployment and, in that connection, the Council had endorsed the target of an 80 per cent deployment by the end of the year.
Stressing that the obstacles to be overcome were known to all, he welcomed the appointment of the Joint African Union-United Nations Chief Mediator. The Council would have to continue discussing the indictment, and Sudan’s lack of cooperation with the International Criminal Court would also have to be addressed. While different views had been expressed with respect to tackling the issue of impunity, the need to bring security and stability to Darfur was unstinting, and the Council could not give up on that goal. Peace was attainable and it was necessary to continue striving for it.
VITALY CHURKIN (Russian Federation), stressing his delegation’s consistent support for international efforts to resolve the situation in Darfur, said UNAMID was a good example of the close practical relations between the United Nations and the African Union in maintaining peace and security in Africa. That was one of the reasons why the Russian Federation had supported the text. At the same time, the Russian delegation had serious concerns about the negative developments that might follow from the application by the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, requesting an arrest warrant for the President of Sudan. The possibility of hard-line rebel groups taking advantage of that situation to step up their campaign against the Government in Darfur could not be ruled out.
The African Union had advised that the Council apply Article 16 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to defer issuance of the arrest warrant, he noted, adding that the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the League of Arab States agreed with that view. All those groups represented perhaps two thirds of the international community. However, their concern was not fully reflected in the resolution, owing to resistance by some Council members. The Russian Federation agreed with the need for justice to be done, including in regard to persons indicted for heinous crimes. But while justice must be done, there must be efforts to examine carefully all prevailing circumstances.
JORGE URBINA ( Costa Rica) said the text just adopted not only renewed UNAMID’s mandate, it also renewed the Council’s commitment to ensure peace in the region. During the course of the negotiations, Costa Rica had expressed its view that some issues must not be addressed in the ambit of the resolution; they should be considered seriously at another time and in another manner. Costa Rica preferred the language of the original text, which had referred to the 16 June 2008 statement by the President of the Council. That language had not been included in the text just adopted.
Nevertheless, Costa Rica had voted in favour of the resolution, as it reaffirmed “all statements” and decisions of the Council, he said. Still, the 16 June statement had unanimously reaffirmed Council resolution 1593 (2005) as well as Sudan’s obligation to abide by that text, including its obligation to cooperate with the International Criminal Court. Costa Rica was pleased that the resolution had kept intact the Council’s commitment to seek justice for those who had suffered the most. Costa Rica appreciated the language in support of regional efforts to find a solution to the situation in Darfur, especially by Sudan’s neighbours. Issues of justice were vital to resolving the situation in Sudan.
VICE SKRAČIĆ ( Croatia) said the decision on the extension of UNAMID’s mandate had been reached through extensive dialogue and resulted from Council members’ wish for common ground. Unfortunately, that work had not resulted in consensus. Croatia would have preferred a swift and unambiguous extension of the mandate with the goal of achieving an 80 per cent deployment of the Mission by the end of the year. Such a large and expensive mission as UNAMID should have unanimous support to make its logistics and deployment possible. It was crucial for the people of Darfur who had suffered for far too long. That was the primary reason why Croatia had voted in favour of the resolution, notwithstanding its being burdened with important, but unnecessary, elements.
Recalling that his country had been a victim of brutal aggression in the early 1990s, he said impunity for war crimes did not bring stability, but only prolonged political settlements. The best foundation for peace was justice and justice alone. War crimes were an individual responsibility and, for that reason, Croatia supported the work of the International Criminal Court and its Prosecutor. The Court was an independent body and Croatia did not want any impediments to its work. The Government of Sudan should cooperate fully with the Court to end impunity. Considering the complexity of the problem, there was a need for a regional approach to the problems in Darfur.
GUANGYA WANG ( China) emphasized the importance of the resolution, saying its adoption provided the basic guarantee for the successful deployment of the largest peacekeeping operation in the history of the United Nations. On those grounds, China had voted in favour of the text. The issue of Sudan had attracted enormous attention in recent years, as the situation there had an impact on the region and the entire continent. In recent years, thanks to concerted efforts by the Sudanese Government and the country’s neighbours, in addition to generous assistance from the international community, significant progress had been achieved.
As part of Sudan’s domestic problems, Darfur had been in the spotlight in recent years, he continued. There had been a huge investment in UNAMID, a mission of unprecedented size, and its success concerned not only the situation in Darfur and the delivery of humanitarian assistance, but also the well-being of tens of thousands of peacekeepers. However, without sincere political consensus, there could be no peace in the region, no matter how many peacekeepers were deployed. The basic prerequisite for the success of any mission was cooperation between the Government and people of the country concerned. Through several years of exploration, the international community had gradually formed some basic principles for dealing with such situations. The core was to give equal emphasis establishing mutual trust and cooperation between the United Nations, the African Union and the Government of Sudan. That should be fully supported and respected by all parties.
The Darfur issue was very complicated, he said. In order to achieve desirable results, with genuine support of Sudanese authorities, it was necessary to manage the overall balance and priorities of political negotiations, humanitarian relief, peacekeeping and justice, through coordination among all parties. Any imprudent and hasty action in that regard, without objective conditions, would not gain the approval and support of the international community. No progress would be made without the cooperation of the Sudanese Government. The indictment by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court was an inappropriate decision made at an inappropriate time. It would undermine the trust between Sudan and the United Nations, and harm the fragile security situation in Darfur.
To address impunity by indicting the Sudanese leader would only undermine progress and render useless all efforts to settle the conflict, he continued. The Council must approach the issue from a political perspective to ensure that the overall interests of peace and security were not compromised. China supported the reasonable request by the African Union and other Council members to suspend the indictment. The Government of China had done a great deal to push for a settlement of the Darfur conflict. At present, all its engineering contingents had been deployed in Darfur. China was duty-bound to create favourable conditions for UNAMID, and it would work alongside the rest of the international community to push for an early settlement.
ATTIA OMAR MUBARAK ( Libya) said his delegation had participated in the negotiations under the basic understanding that the purpose of the resolution was to extend the mandate of UNAMID and ensure its effective deployment, without bringing in other issues. Some of the elements that others had wanted included in the resolution had become mixed up with other issues since the application of the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. That application was heightening the fears of those inside and outside Sudan, including the League of Arab States and the African Union, the main partner of the United Nations in the international effort to resolve the situation in Darfur. That was what had led Libya and others to propose amendments that highlighted the negative impact of the Prosecutor’s action, which could undermine peace efforts as a whole.
The amendments called on the Council to apply Article 16 of the Rome Statute to defer the investigation of the situation in Sudan for up to 12 months, he said. The language of that proposal reflected the view of the African Union communiqué sent to the Council, which expressed its conviction that, due to the delicate nature of the situation in Darfur and the wider Sudan, a decision by the Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber could impede or erode current efforts to find a solution to the conflict in Darfur and hamper efforts to end the suffering of the people there. Such a decision might have grave and far-reaching consequences.
The African Union communiqué stated that international justice should be applied in a fair manner to avoid the appearance of selectivity, he pointed out. Having failed to receive the full backing of the Council for the inclusion of the African Union’s concerns, Libya and others had accepted consensual language, allowing the Council to return to the question of the International Criminal Court action at another time. Hopefully, that would happen as soon as possible, because the main issue was peace and security in Sudan and ensuring the full deployment of UNAMID. Libya had wondered during the negotiations if, when faced with the concerns of two thirds of the international community, the Council would not apply Article 16 of the Rome Statute, when and under what circumstances it would be invoked.
MICHEL KAFANDO ( Burkina Faso) said his delegation supported the resolution, as UNAMID was the necessary way to pursue peace and security in Darfur. Indeed, Burkina Faso had provided some 800 personnel to the Mission and appealed to all donors and troop contributors to actively assist in its deployment, so that it could attain the required 80 per cent strength by the end of the year. Burkina Faso had voted in favour of the text, even though it did not take the African Union’s concerns into consideration. It was, therefore, absolutely crucial that the Council take up preambular paragraph 9 of the resolution as soon as possible.
ALEJANDRO D. WOLFF ( United States) welcomed and strongly supported the extension of UNAMID’s mandate, which demonstrated the Council’s sustained support of the Mission mandated to protect Darfur’s vulnerable civilian population. However, the United States had abstained from the vote because the language of the text would send the wrong message to the President of Sudan and undermine efforts to bring him and others to justice. The Council had addressed the situation when it had adopted resolution 1593 (2005) and the United States had abstained at that time as well in light of its concerns about the International Criminal Court. But it strongly supported bringing to justice those responsible for atrocities and ending the climate of impunity. Violators of human rights and international humanitarian law must be held accountable.
Emphasizing his country’s growing concern about situation on the ground, he said it was prepared to take additional measures to ensure the rapid and complete deployment of UANMID. The United States regretted deeply that, one year after the adoption of resolution 1769 (2007), the Operation had barely begun and stood at less than half its authorized strength. The United Nations had fallen short of the responsibility to protect the civilians in Darfur. “We must do better and we must do more.” The lives of millions depended on it.
Underscoring the importance of ensuring the prompt and effective deployment of the Mission, he said his country cooperated in UNAMID’s work by training its peacekeepers to United Nations standards. The United States would continue to provide assistance for the Mission’s rapid and complete deployment, and it called on the Government of Sudan to facilitate that deployment. It should accept all troop contributions without reservations and comply fully with all Security Council resolutions, the status-of-forces agreement and all agreements pertaining to UNAMID. Sudan must ensure free movement for the Mission, and all attacks on its personnel were unacceptable. The United States would continue to support and keep a constant eye on the peace process.
NICOLAS DE RIVIÈRE ( France) said support for UANMID commanded unanimity. The situation in Darfur, like the situation in bordering countries affected by the crisis, deserved the Council’s commitment. UNAMID should be allowed to complete its mission. Regarding the request to defer the process initiated by the International Criminal Court Prosecutor, France was committed to combating impunity and to the Court’s work. It appealed to the Sudanese authorities to cooperate with the Court’s work, including existing indictments. All parties should cease hostilities, cooperate with UNAMID and commit to the peace process under the aegis of the African Union.
HASAN KLEIB ( Indonesia) said it was unfortunate that the resolution had not enjoyed consensus, adding that his country supported UNAMID’s work and all efforts to ensure its full and speedy deployment. Indonesia supported language in the resolution stressing that there could be no military solution to the situation in Darfur, and was pleased that the text mentioned the need for a political settlement. Indonesia also supported the views of the African Union and the call for the International Criminal Court to defer its investigation in line with Article 16 of the Rome Statute. The Council must find ways to respond to any possible obstruction of justice and the maintenance of international peace and security. The Council should seriously consider all views on the situation, especially those of the African Union, which was its main partner in UNAMID. Indonesia wished the resolution would not only support the Mission, but also help alleviate the humanitarian situation.
JAN GRAULS ( Belgium) said the Council had sent a clear message to ensure the full deployment of UNAMID, which was working under difficult circumstance to alleviate the suffering of the people of Darfur. With the resolution calling on the entire international community to support the Mission’s full deployment, it was for Sudan to stop any obstruction in that regard. The text also called on all parties to end violence and specifically for a halt to aerial bombardments. It called for unhindered humanitarian access and an end to violence against humanitarian actors. The resolution also called for a recommitment by all parties to the peace process, including rebel factions that had rejected it thus far.
At the same time, he said, his country would have wished to see stronger language on fighting impunity. As a supporter of the work of the International Criminal Court and its pursuit of international justice, Belgium looked forward to the decision of the Pre-Trial Chamber on the indictment requested by the Chief Prosecutor. The Belgian delegation differed with those calling for the invoking of Article 16 of the Rome Statute in advance of any decision by the Court. That would not be beneficial to the process. The Council, in resolution 1593 (2005), had itself referred the question of crimes committed in Darfur to the International Criminal Court and had many times since called on Sudan to cooperate with the Court, including by handing over those against whom arrest warrants had been issued. Sudan’s obligations in those matters were clear. Belgium would continue to support efforts to ensure that all Council resolutions and decisions were implemented fully.
ALDO MANTOVANI ( Italy) said it was essential to deploy UNAMID and to ensure that it fulfiled its tasks effectively, especially considering the dire situation in Darfur. At the same time, the search for a political solution must continue. In that connection, Italy welcomed the appointment of the Joint African Union-United Nations Chief Mediator. As a founding member of the International Criminal Court, Italy fully supported its independence and its role in fighting impunity.
Council President LE LUONG MINH ( Viet Nam), speaking in his national capacity, said the Council must take a comprehensive approach to the conflict in Darfur, paying equal attention to peace and justice, the deployment of UNAMID and the safety of its staff. Viet Nam shared the concerns of the African Union, the Arab League and the Non-Aligned Movement, as well as those of many Member States and Council members regarding the possible negative impact on the peace process, and the very operations of UNAMID, of indicting the President of Sudan. Those concerns were reflected in preambular paragraph 9 of the resolution.
ABDALMAHMOOD ABDALHALEEM MOHAMAD ( Sudan) said his country was “really happy” that the Council had adopted the resolution to renew UNAMID’s mandate. The Mission had spurred the relationship between the African Union, the United Nations and the wider international community. Since the Mission’s establishment, there had been many positive developments and significant efforts were under way to ensure peace and security in Darfur. Sudan hoped that UNAMID would attain 80 per cent of its authorized strength by the end of the year.
He assured the Council that Sudan had been, and would continue to be, fully committed to the Mission’s full deployment. The Council, in turn, should support fully the removal of all impediments to its deployment, including the decision of the International Criminal Court’s Chief Prosecutor, and end the actions of rebel groups, some factions of which had recently tried to seize control of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. Indeed, the Council must be wary of sending mixed signals. Today’s resolution was a positive step, and the Council should continue to support the national efforts under way to ensure peace in Darfur and the wider Sudan.
He went on to welcome the historic participation of the African Union from the very beginning, saying it was an inherent partner in all efforts to address the situation in Darfur. The regional body deserved commendation for holding an emergency meeting to address the International Criminal Court’s decision, which attempted to call into question the actions of “one of the greatest leaders of the African continent”, who had ended the continent’s longest-running civil war by forging a peace agreement between North and South Sudan. The International Criminal Court Prosecutor’s request was a “recipe for destruction” that threatened not only Darfur, but the wider Sudan and perhaps even the entire continent.
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