It’s official: EA will back Sudan for AU Presidency
It’s official. East Africa will back Sudan on Monday unless things change. Important for the public to speak directly to the Office of the Presidents in Africa within the next 24 hours and organise press conferences in African capitals particularly East African capitals Kenya and Tanzania. Kenya and Tanzania are potential alternatives to Sudan.
Revised Press release
AFRICAN ORGANISATIONS REACT WITH ANGER TO EAST AFRICAN SUPPORT FOR SUDAN TAKING THE PRESIDENCY
We receive with profound shock the news that the East African group of Ministers, meeting on the margins of the 6th Ordinary Session of the African Union Summit, are supporting the Sudanese bid for Presidency of the African Union.
Such an action will deeply undermine and erode the credibility of the AU and at the same time compromise the authority of its institutions. Despite the assurances by the Sudanese Vice-President in the opening Session of Executive Council Meeting this morning, the human rights and humanitarian situation in Sudan’s Darfur region continues to be one of the worst in the world.
The Government of Sudan is one of the parties considered responsible for this situation, where an estimated 300,000 people have been killed and two million others mainly women and children deliberately uprooted from their homes since February 2003. This has largely been attributed to the activities of the Government of Sudan and her allied Janjaweed militia. A United Nations Commission of inquiry report on Darfur further confirmed the above and formed the basis of the UN Security Council’s referral of the situation to the International Criminal Court.
The assertion that Sudan is a model that other African countries should emulate is a slap in the face of the people of Darfur and African peace-keepers who have lost their lives over the last year. It is one thing for foreign Ministers to stand in honour of the peace-keepers that have died and another to then award the Presidency to one of the parties responsible for .
What the conflict in Darfur requires is the strengthening of the AMIS’s mandate to ensure civilians are protected, humanitarian organisations have unimpeded access and civilians are able to return to their homes. The AU need increased resources and to approach both traditional and non-traditional donors to support AMIS. Both these requirements will be strangled by Sudan being awarded the Chairpersonship. Africa quite simply, will have failed the people of Sudan. Rather than rewarding one of the parties complicit in the conflict, we would urge the African Union Summit to award the Presidency to a neutral Government.
Signed the following
Africa IDP Voice
Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation
Fahamu - Networks for Social Justice
Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA)
Joseph Y K, DRC
Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT)
The Darfur Consortium
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
Dismas Nkunda, The Darfur Consortium, +256 78 310404,