Source: Sudan Consultative Forum (AU and UN)
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, November 11, 2010 — Second meeting of the Sudan Consultative Forum / Communiqué
- The Sudan Consultative Forum (SCF) established by the consultative meeting that took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 8 May 2010, held its second meeting in Addis Ababa, on 6 November 2010. The meeting was co‐chaired by the African Union (AU) Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, and the United Nations (UN) Under Secretary‐General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Alain Le Roy.
- In addition to the AU and the UN, the following states and organizations participated in the meeting: (i) neighbouring countries of the Sudan (namely, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, which is chairing the Intergovernmental Authority on Development – IGAD, Kenya, Libya, which is also chairing the AU Peace and Security Council for the month of November 2010, and Uganda; (ii) Malawi, as the country chairing the AU; (iii) the representatives of the permanent members of the UN Security Council (namely, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America) and the African members of this organ (Gabon and Nigeria, in addition to Uganda); (iv) Norway and Qatar; (v) IGAD (Secretariat and Chair), the League of Arab States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the European Union (EU); and (vi) the Assessment and Evaluation Commission (AEC). Other participants included Algeria, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Africa and Sweden.
- The meeting listened to presentations by the Sudanese Parties, representing the signatories to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), as well as the Government of National Unity (GoNU) and the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS), followed by an interactive session on all the aspects of the situation in Sudan and the efforts being made towards the implementation of the outstanding provisions of the CPA and the search for peace in Darfur. The meeting received presentations from the Special Representative of the UN Secretary‐General for UNMIS, the AU/UN Joint Special Representative for UNAMID and the AU/UN Deputy Joint Chief Mediator. The meeting also received a briefing from the Chairperson of the AU High‐Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) on the Sudan on its efforts, both with respect to the implementation of the CPA and Darfur.
- The participants noted that the SCF was convening its second meeting at a critical juncture in the history of the Sudan, with the referendum on self‐determination for Southern Sudan little more than two months away. They noted that the situation requires that the Sudanese Parties demonstrate exceptional leadership and commitment to rise to the challenges of this historic moment and the trust placed in them by the people of the Sudan. The meeting noted, in particular, the burden of responsibility placed upon the President of the Republic of the Sudan and the First Vice President and the commensurate obligations of courage, principle and leadership that fall upon their shoulders. It expressed its confidence that Sudan’s leaders would rise to the challenge.
- In this respect, the meeting noted that the Sudanese Parties were engaging with each other in order to reach agreements on the steps that need to be taken in the coming weeks to ensure the successful conclusion of the implementation of the CPA. It welcomed the commitment of the CPA Parties at the High‐Level Meeting on Sudan, chaired by the UN Secretary‐General, in New York, on 24 September, to overcome the remaining political and technical challenges, to ensure that the referendum is held on 9 January 2011 and to promote good relations between northern and southern Sudan no matter the outcome. The meeting urged the Parties to increase efforts towards resolving outstanding issues, including security, Abyei and border demarcation. It drew particular attention to the issue of citizenship rights and the importance of ensuring that the people of the Sudan do not suffer any abrogation of human rights during or after the referendum on self‐determination.
- The meeting welcomed the progress made by the Southern Sudan Referendum Commission in preparing for the conduct of the referendum. At the same time, it noted that much remains to be done to facilitate a timely, free, fair and credible process. The meeting called on the Government of the Sudan (GoS) and the GoSS to fulfil their obligations and transfer funds to accelerate progress. It also called on donors to honour the pledges they have made to assist finance the process.
- The meeting expressed concerns about the difficulties faced by the Parties in reaching an agreement on the issue of Abyei. It called upon the Parties to spare no effort in seeking a holistic solution to the Abyei issue consistent with agreements entered into and the rights and interests of the communities that reside in and utilize the resources of Abyei.
- The meeting expressed strong support for the sustained efforts of the AUHIP the leadership it has demonstrated in all aspects of its engagement with the Sudan, including its partnership with UNMIS and UNAMID. The meeting supported the Panel’s facilitation of negotiations between the Parties on outstanding issues in CPA implementation and postreferendum arrangements, which are scheduled to start on 7 November 2010. It urged the Parties to remain engaged with the Panel’s facilitation in the search for an amicable settlement of all issues of concern.
- The meeting welcomed efforts by the Parties and relevant state authorities to take forward preparations for the Popular Consultations for Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States, and stressed the importance of finalising the Popular Consultations in both States before the end of the interim period.
- The meeting welcomed recent efforts to promote reconciliation between various Southern stakeholders, including the Southern Sudan Political Parties Conference held from 13 to 16 October 2010. It took note of the GoSS capacity‐development plan and underlined the need to support the GoSS in developing functioning, accountable government institutions, able to deliver services to the people of southern Sudan.
- While the security situation in Southern Sudan remains relatively calm, the meeting noted with concern the humanitarian challenges facing Sudan. It stressed the need to put in place contingency plans in case of population movements within Sudan and the broader region, including GoSS/GoS agreement on a plan for accelerated returns and reintegration. It called on GoS/GoSS to ensure that returns are voluntary and in accordance with international humanitarian and human rights norms and standards, and on donors to provide additional funds to assist Sudan during this critical period.
- The meeting welcomed the commitment of the Parties to respect the outcome of the referendum, complete the implementation of the CPA and ensure a peaceful and stable Sudan in the aftermath of the referendum.
- The meeting reviewed the progress in the peace negotiations for Darfur conducted, under the auspices of the State of Qatar, by the AU‐UN Joint Mediation. It commended the perseverance of the mediators in attempting to bring all the Parties to the table and to obtain an agreement, welcomed the progress by the Parties present at the negotiating table (GoS and the Liberation and Justice Movement), and regretted the continued absence of the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudan Liberation Movement (Abdul Wahid al Nur) from the peace talks. The meeting called on them to immediately participate without preconditions and in good faith in the Doha talks, with the objective of reaching agreement before the end of the year, and stressed the negative consequences for them if they do not do so.
- The meeting agreed that the Doha negotiations should result in an Outcome Document to be completed no later than December 2010, in accordance with the timetable agreed to by the Parties. It noted that the Doha outcome will be the point of departure for the initial meeting of the Darfur Political Process, which is planned to take place in Darfur in mid‐December under the auspices of the AUHIP and UNAMID, in partnership with the State of Qatar. This meeting will set the agenda for the Darfur Political Process to result in a Darfur‐Darfur Conference at a date in early 2011. The objective of the Political Process, thereby inaugurated, is to conclude an inclusive political settlement based on the consensus of the people of Darfur. An appropriate framework by which to involve other actors in support and steering of the political process will be developed through consultations.
- The meeting called upon the Government of Sudan to create a conducive environment for the Political Process, and on all the Darfur communities, stakeholders, parties and armed movements to participate in the inclusive negotiations. It emphasized the importance of a credible Political Process, enjoying the confidence of the people of Darfur.
- The meeting commended the Government of Sudan for developing its comprehensive Darfur Strategy, including components of security, resolving the problems of internally displaced persons including facilitating their safe return to their places of origin, and justice. It noted that the implementation of the Strategy would also lead towards conditions necessary for the voluntary return of refugees. The meeting recognised the importance of further engagement with the Government of the Sudan towards the implementation of the strategy in alignment with Sudan’s own Constitution, as well as relevant international standards, including humanitarian law.
- The meeting expressed deep concern over insecurity in some areas of Darfur, which has led to a considerable loss of human life and new displacements, and called upon the Government of Sudan, armed movements and all relevant stakeholders to take all necessary steps to improve the situation. It called on all Parties in Darfur to provide their full cooperation to UNAMID in the implementation of its mandate.
- The meeting recognized that in order to meet the challenges facing them, the Sudanese Parties need the full support of their regional and international partners. The meeting agreed that the international community should demonstrate unity of purpose, the required flexibility in facilitating the task of the Sudanese Parties, and extend the required support. As much as the Sudanese Parties have to demonstrate exceptional leadership, the international community should also do the same. In this respect, the meeting looked forward to the forthcoming meeting of the UN Security Council at ministerial level, on 16 November 2010, to discuss the situation in Sudan. It also welcomed the convening of an AU Peace and Security Council meeting at the level of Heads of State and Government, in Tripoli, on 30 November 2010.
- The meeting agreed that the Forum will convene its next session in December to review the situation ahead of the self determination referendum.
External file: Second meeting of the Sudan Consultative Forum / Communiqué