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19 June 2007
Responsibility to Protect Engaging Civil Society
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In this issue: [R2P and Darfur; R2P and North Korea; Other Reports of Interest]

I. R2P and Darfur
II. R2P and North Korea
III. Other Reports of Interest

I. R2P and Darfur

By Lydia Polgreen
New York Times
18 June 2007

The United Nations Security Council and the Sudanese government on Sunday hammered out the major details of a proposal to send more than 20,000 peacekeeping troops to Darfur, clearing the way for a joint force with the African Union, which will be led and paid for by the United Nations.

After a two-hour meeting with senior Sudanese officials in Khartoum, the delegation from the Security Council announced at a news conference there that it had reached an agreement for the force to be under United Nations command, though its day-to-day operations would be run by the African Union. The issue had been a sticking point for countries that might contribute troops to the operation but balked at being under African Union command.

After meeting with Sudans president, Omar al-Bashir, and foreign minister, Lam Akol, the Security Council ambassadors said at the news conference that senior Sudanese officials had made an unconditional commitment to the new force.

()The statement appeared to lay to rest momentarily concerns that Sudan would insist that only African troops be allowed to serve in the peacekeeping force, which will shore up a beleaguered African Union force of 7,000 troops struggling to maintain order in the lawless region.

The United States had warned that if Sudan set such conditions it could be cause to press ahead with plans to place new sanctions on Sudan over the violence in Darfur.

()Sudan has resisted allowing a United Nations force to deploy in Darfur, saying such a force would represent an unacceptable violation of the countrys sovereignty, despite the fact that there is already a large United Nations force in southern Sudan.

The ambassadors said they would ask the United Nations to pay for the force out of its peacekeeping budget. The African Union force has been largely supported by the United States and other Western donor nations, but has been nearly bankrupt for months as Sudan resisted the deployment of a stronger force and donors lost confidence in its peacekeeping efforts.

Mr. Akol, the foreign minister, said Sudan was ready to work toward peace. can tell you that we, together with the United Nations and the African Union, will work together to resolve the problems in Darfur, he said at the news conference. his tripartite cooperation should therefore not come as a surprise because we all aim to achieve peace and stability in Darfur.

The new force is not expected to be sent until next year, but when it does it will face chaos in Darfur and an even more complicated military and political environment than at the start of the conflict. The rebel groups are fractured, tribal militias fight among themselves and there is no currently recognized cease-fire.

Emyr Jones Parry, Britains ambassador to the United Nations, said reaching a new cease-fire agreement and new negotiations for a political deal to end the conflict were paramount. here isnt going to be an enduring peace unless there is a political settlement, Mr. Jones Parry said.

Full text available at: (by registration only)

By Helen Scanlon
The Sunday Independent (South Africa)
17 June 2007

(...)Respect for the sovereign rights of governments remains central to relations between states. But the question of when intervention is necessary during a humanitarian emergency increasingly challenges the international community.

In former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan's Millennium Report in 2000, he called on the international community to tackle the contradiction of intervention versus respect for sovereignty during humanitarian crises. The Canadian-sponsored International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty was created as a result, and produced a report, The Responsibility to Protect, in 2001. It argued that, if governments are unwilling or unable to protect their citizens from serious harm, then the international community has a duty to protect them, in effect ignoring the principle of non-intervention.

This idea gained widespread international legitimacy when it was adopted at the UN World Summit in September 2005. The Outcome Document of the meeting argued that the UN must "affirm that every sovereign government has a 'responsibility to protect' its citizens and those within its jurisdiction from genocide ... and massive and sustained human-rights violations".

Some heads of state, such as Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, cautioned that this concept could be abused by powerful states to infringe on the "sovereignty and territorial integrity of weak countries". Because of the history of colonialism, many African governments remain opposed to international interference in their domestic affairs. But, the crisis in Darfur has seen increasing numbers of African leaders at the African Union invoking the "responsibility to protect" principle, deploying a 7 000-strong AU force in the region and calling for a stronger UN peacekeeping role.

Since last year, the UN Security Council has made several references to this principle with regard to the Sudan. The council has called for the deployment of UN peacekeepers to the Darfur region in order to address human-rights violations occurring there.
Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president, has grudgingly approved the deployment of a 3 000-strong UN force to supplement the beleaguered AU force already present in Darfur.

(...)Last year's UN high-level mission to investigate human-rights abuses in Darfur, led by Nobel Peace laureate Jody Williams, argued that the Sudanese government had not only failed to protect its citizens, but that it has participated in human-rights violations against them.

But, Williams later observed that "it is quite clear that many in the international community feel that their responsibility is to protect the small group of men clinging to power in Khartoum, rather than the people of Darfur from the abuses of that power".

It remains to be seen whether this caustic observation is well founded or whether the international community will embrace the responsibility principle and act to protect the citizens of Darfur.

Full text unavailable

By Eric Reeves
The New Republic

Last August, U.N. Security Council Resolution 1706 authorized the rapid deployment of a robust force of 22,500 U.N. troops and civilian police to Sudan, with an explicit mandate to protect civilians and humanitarian operations and attempt to staunch the spreading genocidal violence in the Darfur region. Had it been deployed, such a force could have done much to avert the massive human displacement and destruction of the past nine months. But the Sudanese regime refused to allow the peacekeepers into the country, and the United Nations declined to intervene without Khartoum's approval.

That approval seemed to come on Tuesday, as the Khartoum regime agreed to allow a joint peacekeeping force comprising U.N. troops and African Union forces into Darfur. Noureddine Mezni, a spokesman for the African Union, called the announcement "a breakthrough moment." By now, however, there is a long history of such breakthroughs on Darfur each of which has proved worthless.

It has been almost three years since the regime made the first of numerous agreements to disarm the deadly Janjaweed militia.

()There is no reason to suppose the current agreement will be any different. Key issues, including the critical matter of command-and-control for the deploying force, have been left deliberately vague in an expedient effort to prevent disagreement between the U.N. and the AU. The composition of the force and the role of non-AU troops have also not been addressed seriously. Like all other "agreements" Khartoum has made, this one will prove vacuous ubject to reneging, re-interpretation, dilatory review, and obstructionism. Indeed, Khartoum has already suggested that it may attach certain conditions to the agreement that will curtail its effectiveness.

Rather than a real solution to the crisis in Darfur, Tuesday's agreement is very likely little more than a way for this canny regime to undercut the impending U.N. Security Council meetings in Accra and Addis Ababa, which seek to address a range of troubling issues in Africa.

But, even if Khartoum were sincere, there is reason to doubt the effectiveness and urgency of the new hybrid force. Since last year, fewer than 200 U.N. technical personnel have deployed to assist the crumbling and badly demoralized African Union mission in Darfur. This small force was to have been the first of three "phases," vaguely agreed to in the document that emerged from a meeting of Khartoum's gnocidaires, the U.N., and the AU in Addis Ababa last November. The hybrid force now being so widely touted was to have been the "third phase." But "phase two" of the Addis plan remains unimplemented, without any sign of the support personnel or logistical resources critical to the on-the-ground success of the large hybrid force. Indeed, until phase two is completed the hybrid force cannot deploy.

The earliest this force could deploy, then, is 2008. That could be hundreds of thousands of deaths from now, especially if international aid organizations are forced to withdraw because of increasing insecurity. The urgency reflected in Resolution 1706 is nowhere in evidence. And the latest "breakthrough moment" will likely hit yet another wall.

Full text available at:

4. CHINA AND DARFUR: IGNS OF TRANSITIONr By Gareth Evans and Donald Steinberg
Guardian Unlimited
11 June 2007

(...)As the Darfur crisis drags into its fourth year, with President Omar al-Bashir's regime in Khartoum continuing to stare down international concern, China has often been tagged the villain in the drama. Certainly Beijing has regularly blocked tougher action in the UN Security Council against its energy supplier and commercial partner, invoking the principle of non-interference in internal affairs which has for decades been at the core of its foreign policy.

But like so much in China, attitudes toward Darfur are evolving rapidly. This is not just because of Beijing's concern about possible embarrassment at the 2008 Olympics, although this has certainly agitated policymakers. In fact, the Darfur crisis coincides with a fundamental reassessment of China's entire approach to foreign policy. Meeting regularly, as we do, with Chinese officials and foreign policy experts, we find clear signs of at least four transitions now underway.

First, China is moving slowly from a foreign policy based on strict adherence to non-interference in others' internal affairs - stemming both from its own unhappy experience and that of the decolonised states whose cause it so long championed - to one fully engaged in addressing such transnational concerns as terrorism, trafficking in arms, drugs and humans, health pandemics and climate change.

Second, China is coming to accept that its global role vis-a-vis developing countries is no longer simply to defend them against western interference, but also to promote their long-term stability and responsible behaviour. China does not want to be perceived globally as a defender of authoritarian regimes that perpetrate or are oblivious to human suffering.

Third, China is adjusting to the reality that its bilateral relations with countries like the United States cannot be disentangled from certain difficult third-country issues, such as North Korea, Iran, and Sudan. It is becoming more responsive to diplomatic concerns being expressed not only about familiar internal and bilateral issues, but about the behaviour of its friends in Africa and Asia.

Finally, while actively pursuing its immediate global economic interests, especially in energy and other natural resources, China is increasingly adopting a longer term and more nuanced perspective. In Sudan it is becoming convinced of the need to pressure Khartoum for a solution to the Darfur crisis, starting to recognise that its continuation could undercut the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended decades of war in southern Sudan, and lead to new fighting that will shut off oil production entirely.

China was moving in these directions well before the Darfur-related heat became anything like scorching. At the 2005 World Summit it accepted the "responsibility to protect" principle, that state sovereignty is no licence for atrocity crimes. From mid-2006 there were signs of quiet pressure being applied to President Bashir to moderate his position. In mid-March 2007, UN ambassador Wang Guangya, openly expressed his frustration that Bashir had reneged on his earlier agreement to allow a hybrid UN-African Union peacekeeping mission to enter Darfur to protect civilians. President Hu Jintao has apparently pressured Bashir to accept the UN plan for the heavy support package and the hybrid force, and offered 275 engineers to support that force. And last month [May] it appointed Liu Guijin, one of its top Africanists, as a special envoy - very rare in its foreign policy structure - for Darfur.

None of this means that the international community should reduce its pressure on China to do the right thing in Sudan. Beijing still regularly depicts the situation in Darfur as "stabilising" or "improving", and has yet to openly accept that tough sanctions must be part of the effort to persuade the Khartoum regime to abandon its murderous policies. And Chinese calls for "patience" over Darfur are wearing thin after so many years of death, destruction and colossal human misery. But there is mounting evidence that balanced and intelligent argument for more effective action on this and similar issues will find resonance in Beijing.

Global leadership has been sorely lacking in facing down Sudan, and China is not itself going to provide that. (...)But there is reason to believe that Beijing is shifting in Sudan from being an obvious part of the problem to a significant part of the solution, and that this is part of an important evolution in its wider foreign policy.

Full text available at:

By Haider Rizvi
OneWorld US
11 June 2007

The U.S. Congress is under increasing pressure to support the creation of a new UN peacekeeping force that would help stop armed conflicts in the world before they turn into a Darfur-like humanitarian catastrophe.

A wide array of civil society groups sent a letter to federal legislators today urging them to support the proposed House Resolution 213 calling for the formation of the new force, named the UN Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS).

Signed by as many as 37 humanitarian and peace organizations, the letter noted with concern that, in recent years, despite repeated calls for rapid and effective action, the world community has failed to tackle emerging crises.

The groups blamed the failure to respond effectively to emergency situations on the lack of appropriate tools, adding: "We believe the time has come to [create] a permanent emergency response service, designed to complement the UN capacity to provide stability, peace, and relief in deadly emergencies."

The resolution in support of UNEPS was sponsored by Rep. Albert Wynn (D-MD) and Rep. James Walsh (R-NY). As envisioned by the two Congressmen, UNEPS would recruit, train, and employ 10,000 to 18,000 professionals with a wide range of skills, including police, military, judiciary, and relief workers.

Supporters of the proposed legislation say because such a force would be permanent, with mobile field headquarters, it could easily move to quell an emergency within 48 hours of UN Security Council authorization.

Currently, in order to prevent genocide and other forms of crimes against humanity, the UN has no reliable capacity to move quickly to save civilian lives. Experts cite massive killings in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, East Timor, Sierra Leone, Congo, Liberia, and Sudan as clear examples of UN failure.

Signers of the letter said the permanent UN force would be useful for the international community to fulfill its "responsibility to protect" civilians, adding that it would also help create a climate of stability so that confidence-building measures can take place to sustain peace in volatile regions.

()Signers said they hoped the new UN force would not only save millions of lives but also billions of dollars, prevent small conflicts from growing into full-scale wars, and keep fragile countries from becoming failed states()

Full text available at:

Letter available at:

II. R2P and North Korea

Independent Online
19 June 2007

()In a report, British non-governmental organisation Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) claimed there was a "prima facie" case against Pyongyang, including reclusive President Kim Jong-Il, for crimes including murder.

There was also evidence of "extermination, enslavement/forced labour, forcible transfer of population, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, persecution, enforced disappearance of persons, other inhumane acts and, perhaps, rape and sexual violence", the report suggested.

()The study is based on seven years of research and focuses on North Korea's "extensive political prison camp system".

It was written by international lawyers and includes testimony from, and interviews with, North Korean defectors.

"It is vital that the international community recognises the scale of what is taking place against the North Korean population," said CSW lawyer Elizabeth Batha, launching the report, "North Korea: A Case to Answer - A Call to Act."

"The UN has recognised that it has a 'responsibility to protect' populations where national authorities are manifestly failing to protect their populations from crimes against humanity and genocide," she said.

"We urge the international community to respond urgently and effectively bring and end to the terrible crimes being perpetrated against the North Korean people."

She added: "Our recommendation to establish a UN commission of inquiry would be a first crucial step towards this end."

The group, which specialises in religious freedom, said that mass killings and other violations against perceived political opponents did not qualify as genocide because such groups are not included in the definition of the term.

They said there was "insufficient evidence" for what it said was "the practice of infanticide and forced abortion of babies carried by North Korean mother coming from China" to make a genocide finding.

"However, there are indicators of genocide against religious groups, specifically Christians, implemented in particular in the 1950s and 1960s," it added.

The following is excerpted from the Christian Solidarity Worldwide Report, orth Korea: A Case to Answer- A Call to Act

()In the case of North Korea, a growing body of evidence points to the ongoing commission of a range of crimes as tate crimes. It is manifestly evident that the national authorites are failing to protect their population from international crimes, because they are the very authorities and persons responsible for such crimes. There can be little doubt that this is one of the few situations for which the responsibility to protect was envisaged().

()With the present focus on the nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threat emanating from North Korea, the permanent members of the Security Council mentioned above have so far not seriously considered the options of setting up a commission of inquiry and/or referring the situation to the Prosecutor of the ICC. However, if sufficient impetus to act were generated by UN human rights bodies, the UN General Assembly, civil society worldwide and individual states, the Security Council might well be willing to consider setting up a commission of inquiry as a first step towards fulfilling its responsibility to protect the North Korean population from further international crimes().

()However, the serious violations of human rights amounting to international crimes that have taken and continue to take place in North Korea can in themselves constitute a threat to peace and security, as recognised by the UN Security Council.

An important consideration in this respect is the United Nations responsibility to protect, which should be applied in instances of the apparent commission of crimes against humanity and other international crimes by state authorities, such as in North Korea. Against North Koreas apparent failure to protect its population, the United Nations, including the Security Council, has the responsibility to act in order to ensure protection. An additional threat to international peace and security are the cross-border repercussions of the dire human rights situation in North Korea, namely the large number of North Koreas who try to escape the country().

()States and the United Nations have a responsibility to respond effectively to international crimes. This has been recognised expressly in the notion of the responsibility to protect, which is triggered where ational authorities are manifestly failing to protect their population from international crimes, as is the case in North Korea().

Full text of article available at:

Full Christian Solidarity Worldwide Report available at:

III. Other Reports of Interest

bducted: The Lords Resistance Army and Forced Conscription in Northern Uganda was published by the Berkeley-Tulane Initiative on Vulnerable Populations in June 2007. The Berkeley-Tulane Initiative on Vulnerable Populations is a joint project of the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley and the Payson Center for International Development at Tulane University.

The full Berkeley-Tulane Initiative on Vulnerable Populations Report is available at:

n Axis of Peace for Darfur is written by John Prendergast and Colin Thomas-Jensen, for the ENOUGH Project. The ENOUGH Project is a joint initiative of the International Crisis Group and the Center for American Progress. n Axis of Peace for Darfur is the ENOUGH Projects 3rd Strategy Paper on Darfur.

The full ENOUGH Project report is available at:


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