Open letter to the U.N. Secretary-General and members of the Security Council
After reviewing the most recent draft of the proposed Security Council resolution on Sudan, we unanimously urge members to reject this resolution on the grounds that another weak resolution will exacerbate rather than ameliorate the situation in Darfur. The current draft resolution sends precisely the wrong signal after one year of unfulfilled promises and continued attacks, further emboldening the Government of Sudan. Council members should instead adopt a strong resolution that aims to end the crisis.
Previous Security Council resolutions have been ineffective in bringing the situation on the ground in Darfur under control. Coming six weeks after the Commission of Inquiry's detailed report about ongoing crimes in Darfur, a resolution is needed that requires decisive action by the Sudanese government to halt attacks against civilians.
The African Union (AU) forces are laboring alone in Darfur with a near impossible burden. The United Nations must do all it can to provide the AU with the backing needed and send a clear, enforceable message to Khartoum that it intends to hold the government to its promises and treaty commitments. Appealing to the government to honor past commitments has clearly not worked. Given the magnitude of the ongoing crimes, it is unconscionable to repeat the same stale rhetorical demands with little hope of enforcement. The time for wishful thinking is over.
The Council must establish a no-fly zone over Darfur to provide the AU and vulnerable civilians with the protection they need from Sudanese air attacks. Credible targeted sanctions – not the limited and exemption-ridden sanctions proposed in the current draft – must be imposed. Implementation and enforcement of a no-fly zone and a credible threat of targeted sanctions are absolute minimums to ensure protection for civilians in Darfur.
Security Council members have the responsibility and authority to protect international peace and security; this requires bold and effective measures. The Government of Sudan has repeatedly violated prior resolutions. We therefore urge the Security Council to pass a strong resolution — one that ensures accountability through a referral to the International Criminal Court and provides enforceable mechanisms to protect the people of Darfur.
President and CEO
International Crisis Group
Morton H. Halperin
Security and Peace Institute
Len S. Rubenstein
Physicians for Human Rights
Open Society Institute
Charles J. Brown
President and CEO
Citizens for Global Solutions
Human Rights Watch
Coalition for International Justice
Center for American Progress