Resolution Number: Resolution Number
Moved By: Peter Coffin from the Diocese of Diocese of Ottawa
Seconded By: Donald Phillips from the Diocese of Rupert’s Land
Note: The mover and the seconder must be members of the General Synod and be present in the House when the resolution is before the synod for debate.
BE IT RESOLVED:
a. Urge the Government of Canada to press the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the U.S., the UK, and Norway (The “Troika”), 1 and the Sudanese parties to the peace process to ensure that the final peace agreement is robust and comprehensive in the area of human rights.
b. Urge the Government of Canada to pursue all possible venues for the establishment of an international human rights monitoring team either within a UN mission, or operating under the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights or other international auspices. Canada should urge the parties, the Troika and other concerned countries to guarantee the diplomatic protection and funding necessary for the effective operation of this team. Canada should provide financial and technical support to UN and/or other international monitoring arrangements on human rights in Sudan.
EXPLANATORY NOTE/BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
Remembering the General Synod Resolution of June 1995 (Act #52), the General Synod Resolution of May 1998 (Act #40), and the General Synod Resolution of July 2001 (Act #52), the above resolution builds on these acts of General Synod and the Council of General Synod.
Sudan has been wracked by civil war for more than 43 years. The Machakos Protocol of July 20, 2002, 2 contains the agreement by the Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement / Army (SPLM/A) to a referendum for southern self-determination six and a half years after the peace agreement is signed. Despite the imminent signing of the peace agreement, violations of humanitarian and human rights law occur with extraordinary frequency.
A massive and growing humanitarian crisis in Darfur Province (northwestern Sudan) is taking place between the Government and local agriculturalists. The local agriculturalists have taken up arms to resist the incursions of nomadic militias who are armed and backed by the Government. The parties appear to have agreed on a settlement, but this is not the first agreement. The conflict over land rights has been brewing for years, and has resulted in past years, as in the present, in tens of thousands fleeing to neighboring Chad to escape government and militia persecution. Any peace agreement should address this conflict in a meaningful way.
Sudan’s observers assert that the peace agreement will be incomplete if attention is not given to the groups other than the Government of Sudan and the SPLM/A. In order to have a comprehensive and lasting peace agreement, all efforts should be made to ensure that contact is made with groups such as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and its constituent elements, the northern opposition and civil society, southern groups outside the process, and those fighting in Darfur and Eastern Sudan. If the final peace agreement does not give voice to these marginalized groups, they could in the future act as spoilers in the implementation of the peace process.
The IGAD mediators and international observers deserve credit for their management of the process. The U.S. in particular has taken a critical and steadily growing part in the diplomacy, using Khartoum’s exposed post-September 11 position as a former host of Osama Bin Laden. American interest in resolving the conflict increased as the situation in Iraq and U.S. relations with the Middle East in general worsened. Nevertheless, the process nearly fell apart after the July 2003 round of talks and remained deadlocked until the September breakthrough. The current round began on 1 December 2003, with growing expectations of final agreement by the New Year.
Despite the progress, the work of the international community is just beginning. It should act immediately to ensure that a serviceable international monitoring mission is operating by the time the agreement is signed. Donor governments should begin to channel their collective leverage and funding capacity to support the building of democratic institutions and human rights throughout the country.
1The U.S., the UK and Norway are commonly refered to as "the Troika" in the IGAD-led peace process in Sudan.
2 The Machakos Protocol was signed in July 20, 2002 in Kenya. It provided
a framework for future negotiations. It was a deal in which each side gained
something critical: it granted self-determination referendum to southerners,
following a six and a half year interim period, in which they would have the
option of remaining with the north or seceding - a basic SPLA demand; it granted
the government the right to keep Islamic sharia law throughout the North,
a core government position (International Crisis Group, Africa Report No.
51, Sudan's Best Chance for Peace: How Not to Lose It, 17 September
Partners in Mission Committee
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