THE SITUATION IN DARFUR
In the course of the last few weeks, the Secretary-General has received numerous communications from individuals, groups and organizations all over the world containing expressions of deep concern about the humanitarian and human rights situations in the Greater Darfur region of the Sudan, asking him to ensure that emergency assistance is delivered to those in need and calling on him the United Nations in general to do all possible to prevent the situation from deteriorating further.
- The Secretary-General fully shares the concerns of the public at large, and in that regard, would like to inform all those who wrote to him that he has been following the situation in Darfur very closely and with great concern. In the early days of the crisis in Darfur , he engaged the Government of the Sudan , as well as external actors concerned, and sought a political settlement to the problem. He regrets that those efforts could not help in preventing the grave humanitarian emergency and the massive violation of human rights in Darfur .
- However, the negotiations between the Government of the Sudan and the rebels in N'Djamena, with the UN participating as an observer, led to an agreement to resume, in late May, discussions on the comprehensive issues.
On the humanitarian side,
- The Secretary-General dispatched the mission headed by Mr. Morris. The findings of the Mission were made known to the Security Council, and to the public at large.
- He welcomes the recent decision of the Government of the Sudan to provide the humanitarian community full access to the population in need and hopes that it would be implemented in full and without delay.
- At the same time, the Secretary-General stresses the need to ensure that the IDPs, other civil population, have full protection and that the nomadic militias (Janjaweed) are under continuous and full control of the authorities, as provided for in the ceasefire agreement of 8 April 2004.
- The Secretary-General sees the extension of the humanitarian ceasefire as crucial for the overall success of UN humanitarian activities in Darfur . Very limited time remains available to allow humanitarian partners to reach the most vulnerable before the rainy season comes into full strength.
- In that regard, the Secretary-General fully supports the efforts by the African Union and other external actors to ensure a speedy deployment of the ceasefire monitoring mechanism and stresses the need to make it fully operational without delay.
Protection of human rights
- The Secretary-General's position on this issue is well known. He has impressed on the Sudanese Government the urgent need for responding to numerous reports of human rights violations in Darfur . Protection of the population against violations of human rights is a direct responsibility of the Government of the Sudan .
- The Secretary-General authorized the dispatch by the OHCHR of a mission to Chad and Western Sudan , whose findings have also been made public in early May.
- The Secretary-General stresses the need for a thorough investigation of the allegations of the violation of human rights and expects that those found guilty would be brought to justice in full compliance with the international obligations of the Sudan .
On the political side:
- The Secretary-General would like to emphasize his strong belief that the most important priority in the political area is to address the root causes of the crisis in Darfur , through diplomacy and negotiations.
- In that regard, the Secretary-General stands ready to continue to help the Sudanes parties, in close coordination with the AU, the Government of Chad and other parties concerned, to reach a political settlement soon. To that end, he will designate an envoy, who will represent him at the political talks due to resume in N'Djamena shortly.