International Efforts Failing to Protect Civilians in Darfur: Security Council Resolution Gives Khartoum Veto Power
New York, NY – Human Rights First today expressed dismay that international efforts on Darfur, in particular the draft Security Council resolution sponsored by the United States and Britain, fall far short of what is needed.
“There is a real danger that a Security Council resolution authorizing a U.N. force to protect civilians in Darfur will be an empty promise,” said Maureen Byrnes, Executive Director of Human Rights First. “The resolution even risks being counterproductive because it gives the appearance of action when in fact the Khartoum government will have veto power over the U.N.’s role in providing security.”
In the face of spiraling violence in Darfur, U.N. member states have failed to pressure the Sudanese government to abide by its agreements, protect its citizens, and lift its objections to the deployment of U.N. peacekeepers. In addition, the United States and other Security Council members have missed opportunities to promote peace and enhance civilian protection in the region, especially through the initiation of the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation, which is mandated in the Darfur Peace Agreement.
At the same time, the Sudanese government has become increasingly defiant — confident that the international community lacks the political will to stop the ethnic cleansing and mass murder. As U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland recently warned “insecurity is at its highest levels since 2004” and “we may well be on the brink of a return to all out war.”
To lead the international community toward a genuine, peaceful solution in Darfur, Human Rights First is continuing to urge U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to appoint a senior diplomatic envoy for Darfur who would lead the international efforts to end the killings of innocent people in Sudan.