Sudan’s Obstruction of the UN/AU Hybrid Force and Renewal of the Peace Process

In International Advocacy Program by

On August 31, 2006, the United Nations Security Council authorized a UN peacekeeping force for Darfur by passing Resolution 1706. The African Union welcomed the resolution and asked the Government of Sudan to accept a quick transition to a UN mission. While the presence of a UN peacekeeping force in Darfur alone will not bring a final peace to Darfur, it is a critical piece of the puzzle. Their full deployment will serve to protect civilians, encourage a renewal of a comprehensive and inclusive peace process, and help guarantee the continued flow of humanitarian aid. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, however, refused to accept a transition to a UN force, obstructing the international community’s legally authorized efforts to protect civilians in Darfur.

The international community therefore came together in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on November 17, 2006, to end al-Bashir’s obstruction, resulting in the adoption of an agreement calling for a three-phased deployment of a hybrid UN-AU peacekeeping force. This plan was adopted under the guidance of the AU, UN, EU, U.S., China, Russia, and representatives from various African and Middle Eastern states. Despite giving the international community his agreement in November, however, al-Bashir has continued to block the deployment of the UN-AU hybrid force, betraying the trust of every nation that was party to crafting the Addis Ababa agreement.

In light of President al-Bashir’s continued hindrance of international efforts to protect the people of Darfur, [Nation] and the international community must take the following actions:

Enact Coercive Measures to End Sudan’s Obstruction

Given President al-Bashir’s consistent, and thus far successful, rebuffing of diplomatic pressures to allow the deployment of the UN-AU hybrid peacekeeping force to Darfur, it is clear that a stronger course of action is called for. [Nation] must therefore fully join the international community in adding coercive economic and political measures to complement the ongoing diplomatic efforts. These measures should begin with, but not be limited to, passage of a UN Security Council resolution which: applies asset freezes and travel bans on individuals and entities found to be obstructing international efforts to resolve the conflict, and; enlarges the Darfur arms embargo to include the NCP-led Khartoum regime.

Additionally to UN action, individual nations and other multinational bodies should enact and fully enforce economic sanctions targeting the Sudanese government’s oil trade, thereby reducing the government’s ability to continue underwriting this conflict. It is critical that any sanctions be implemented in such a way as to minimize potential negative impact upon Sudanese civilians.

Support African Union Mission in Sudan until Hybrid UN-AU Force is Deployed

Until such time as the hybrid UN-AU force can be fully deployed to Darfur, it is critical that the international community continue to support and bolster the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), currently the only line of defense for millions of endangered civilians. While AMIS is not a viable long term peacekeeping solution for Darfur due to insufficient resources, insufficient available troop strength, and limited institutional peacekeeping experience, it is critical that the international community continue to provide it with monetary, material, and logistical support and expertise until such time as it can be merged with UN peacekeeping units into the planned hybrid force.

*Global Day for Darfur III – Joint Statement.

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