Sumario: 18 June 2007, Luxembourg- 2809th EXTERNAL RELATIONS Council meeting, Council Conclusions on Sudan
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
1. As the crisis in Darfur continues, the humanitarian and security situation remains distressing. The Council is particularly alarmed by the continuation of violence and condemns the renewed bombings of civilians by the Sudanese Air Force in clear violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1591, as well as the attacks by rebel factions on AMIS personnel. The Council reiterates its call upon all conflict parties to abide by the existing ceasefire agreements, to respect the neutral role of AMIS and to ensure safe and unhindered humanitarian access throughout Darfur. The EU welcomes the first steps taken towards implementation of the Joint Communiqué on Facilitation of Humanitarian Activities in Darfur agreed by the Government of Sudan and the UN. As member of the High Committee charged with monitoring its implementation, the EU will continue to urge further progress. The EU for its part will undertake to identify options for improving humanitarian access. It stands ready to consider further measures, notably in the UN framework, to ensure humanitarian deliveries and protection of civilians.
2. Emphasising its continued commitment to a peaceful resolution of the crisis, the Council recalls that is the primary responsibility of the Sudanese parties to end the suffering of the people of Darfur by finding a sustainable political solution to the root causes of the conflict. In line with Resolution 1591, the Council will consider any party failing to constructively engage in this process as an obstacle to peace and will promote appropriate further measures against them, notably in the UN framework. Those violating the human rights of civilians must be held responsible. In this context, the Council reiterates its support for the International Criminal Court in its efforts to end impunity for atrocities committed in Darfur. Following the Court's decision to issue arrest warrants against two individuals, the Council urges the Government of Sudan to comply with the requests for their extradition.
3. Stressing the need for an inclusive political solution to the conflict in Darfur, the EU reaffirms its full support for the joint AU/UN initiative to revitalise the political track. It welcomes the consensus reached in Tripoli on 29 April by all relevant regional and international actors that their efforts shall be co-ordinated under the leadership of the AU and UN Special Envoys. The Council further welcomes the proposal by the Special Envoys for a Road Map towards negotiations as well as the first steps taken by them to increase capacity of the Joint Mediation Support Team. In this regard, the EU welcomes the positive contribution by the SPLM to reinvigorate the political process. The EU calls upon all rebel movements to step up their efforts to formulate a common platform for negotiations and encourages regional actors to ensure greater coordination of their initiatives with the AU and UN Special Envoys.
4. The Council welcomes the forthcoming international meeting on Sudan in Paris with a view to further strengthening international support for the AU/UN initiative and the participation of key international and regional stakeholders in the meeting.
5. The EU recognises that sustainable peace across Sudan, including Darfur and the Eastern part of the country, cannot be achieved without the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). It underlines that a failure in the North/South peace process could jeopardize the situation in Darfur as well. The Council urges the parties to intensify their efforts to speed up its implementation and calls upon all other political forces to constructively engage in this process. Of particular importance will be the full redeployment of armed forces by July 2007 in accordance with the CPA, and an acceleration of the preparations for national elections.
6. The EU reiterates its continued support for AMIS and stresses the need to strengthen the mission in the period of transition to the AU/UN hybrid mission. In this context, the Council welcomes recent decisions, including by the ACP-EU Council of Ministers, securing the continuation of much-needed EU financial support for AMIS through the replenishment of the African Peace Facility. As a first step, a sum of 40 million euros will be released in June 2007. The Council also welcomes the announcements of voluntary contributions by Member States. In view of the pressing need for additional funds to cover all AMIS expenses, the Council encourages AMIS partners to continue their support and urges other international partners to also contribute to the mission.
7. The Council emphasises the need to further strengthen and expand the peacekeeping mission in Darfur, and in this context welcomes Sudan's acceptance on 12 June of the AU/UN hybrid operation as described in the joint AU/UN report of 5 June 2007. The Council is further encouraged by the constructive discussions on this issue during the UNSC visit to Sudan on 17 June and expects the Sudanese Government to swiftly take action to effectively facilitate the deployment of the UN Heavy Support Package to AMIS, and, subsequently, the hybrid operation. It calls upon the AU and the UN to ensure a speedy transition to the hybrid operation and reiterates its readiness to consider further measures, notably in the UN framework, against any party which obstructs its implementation.
8. The Council expresses its continued deep concern about the impact of the Darfur crisis on the humanitarian and security situation in neighbouring countries. It however notes as a positive development the recent high-level contacts in Saudi Arabia between the governments of Sudan and Chad aimed at improving their bilateral relations, and encourages both countries to continue and intensify these efforts. The Council supports endeavours by the UN to prepare the deployment of a multidimensional UN presence in Eastern Chad and North-Eastern Central African Republic and looks forward to the report of the UN fact-finding mission to Eastern Chad as the basis for further discussions.
9. The Council will continue to look at how best to reinforce and develop its engagement in pursuit of the objectives set out in these conclusions and invites the General Secretariat of the Council, the Commission and the relevant bodies of the Council to work in this regard with a view to possible decisions.