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10 May 2007
Responsibility to Protect Engaging Civil Society
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In this issue: [WorldPublicOpinion.Org poll and R2P; R2P and Darfur; R2P in the News]

I. WorldPublicOpinion.Org poll and R2P


II. R2P and Darfur


III.R2P in the News


I. WorldPublicOpinion.Org poll and R2P

Chicago Council on Foreign Global Affairs and WorldPublicOpinion.Org
9 May 2007

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and WorldPublicOpinion.Org released a new poll entitled, orld Public Opinion on the Future of the United Nations, showing significant support for R2P principles. The poll asks, among other things, the question of whether the U.N. has the authority to authorize force to prevent human rights abuses and whether the U.N. should have a standing U.N. peacekeeping force. The results reflect that a very large majority in all twelve countries surveyed, representing about half the worlds populations, are in favor of giving the Security Council the power to authorize the use of military force to prevent severe human rights violations, such as genocide. Moreover, when asked whether the Security Council has the responsibility to intervene militarily to protect civilians from severe human rights abuses, the majority in eight countries, as well as pluralities in the remaining four, say the U.N. has such a responsibility. In addition, a majority polled are also in favor of a standing U.N. peacekeeping force.

Another study conducted by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and aimed at U.S. public opinion shows that 65% of the U.S. public is in favor of American troops being used as part of an international force to stop the killing in Darfur. In addition, 83% believe the U.N. security council should have the right to authorize the use of force to stop severe human rights abuses, with 73% saying that it not only has the right but the responsibility.

Full text of the polls and analysis is available online at:

II. R2P and Darfur


By Paul Lungen
Canadian Jewish News
10 May 2007

TORONTO - There wasnt a lot of good news at a recent event to mobilize a public campaign to support an end to the violence in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Some important steps were noted the agreement by the government of Sudan to allow for an expanded African Union/United Nations protection force; a Sudanese official and janjaweed militiaman have been charged in connection with atrocities but Darfuris continue to be murdered, raped and dispossessed.

() Cotler, who acknowledged that the Liberal government in which he served should have done more for Darfur, said events in the western region of Sudan are repudiation of the responsibility to protect doctrine which allows outside states the right to intervene in the internal affairs of countries that are not protecting their own people as well as a etrayal of the people of Darfur.r
() Among his points:

put a hybrid AU/UN protection force on the ground to stop the killing. Dont allow he genocidaires in Khartoum to determine how and when that force is deployed.

Enhance the existing AU force with more troops and support until the new force can be put in place. Canada should take the lead in that effort.

Urge the UN Security Council to impose tough sanctions on Sudan as well as impose a no-fly zone to end the indiscriminate bombing of Darfur refugees by government forces.

Bring senior Sudanese officials before the ICC.

Pressure China, a UN Security Council member. China is Sudans aymaster thanks to its interests in Sudanese oil fields. Shame the Chinese by referring to the upcoming Olympics as the enocide Olympics.r
Press the International Monetary Fund make debt relief conditional on action to stop the genocide in Darfur.

Begin a divestment campaign from companies that do business in Sudan.
Canada should use its influence in international forums to take action against Sudan, Cotler stated. If we dont, y our inaction we are being complicit.r
Full text available at:

By Joschka Fischer
Turkish Weekly
7 May 2007

For four years, violence and terror have ruled in Darfur. After many futile efforts, the EU must get tough with the perpetrators.

()Darfur demands consistent and firm international action. We all bear responsibility to help the displaced return to their homes. In the last three years, the United Nations Security Council has passed ten resolutions requiring the Sudanese government to change course and fulfill its obligation to protect its own people. These include a demand from the Security Council to disarm the Janjaweed. Yet the Sudanese government never follows through on its repeated promises to do so.

()The heart of the matter is this: the Sudanese government is either unable or unwilling to protect its own citizens from mass violence. In accordance with the responsibility to protect doctrine, adopted unanimously by heads of state and government at the UN World Summit in September 2005, if a state fails to meet this primary obligation, responsibility shifts to the international community, which may exercise various measures, including, if absolutely necessary, military force.

But military intervention in Darfur without the Sudanese governments consent is not an option today. Not only is there insufficient political will for an international force, but, more importantly, there are valid doubts about the feasibility and prospects for the success of such an operation.

Even so, the international community still has options. Although it would be best if these options were adopted by the UN Security Council, the EU itself can and must act to increase the costs to the Sudanese government of its continued obstruction of aid deliveries and its delaying tactics on deployment of international peacekeepers.

That is why it is so important that EU foreign ministers heed the European Parliaments call for serious sanctions against the Sudanese government, whose key players were clearly identified by a UN Commission of Inquiry and Panel of Experts. The EU must freeze these individuals assets and impose an EU-wide travel ban on them.

In addition, measures should target the Sudanese government where it hurts most: revenue and foreign investment inflows into Sudans petroleum sector, and supply of goods and services to that and associated sectors. The EU and its member states governments must enact legislation to ban companies based in their countries from direct involvement in Sudan's petroleum sector and in industries related to it.

Moreover, an investigation into the offshore accounts of Sudanese businesses affiliated with the National Congress Party, the ruling majority party in Khartoum, should be launched, paving the way for sanctions against the regimes commercial entities, which form the main conduit for financing its Janjaweed proxies in Darfur.

Such targeted sanctions would affect the power and privileges of the key players in this crisis. By imposing them, Europe would finally take a real step towards stopping the killing in Darfur and extending meaningful help to its people.

Full text available at:

By Joseph Quesnel
Winnipeg Sun
5 May 2007

Let's hope United Nations peacekeepers expected to deploy in Sudan do a better job than the African Union in helping to stem the violence that has already engulfed Darfur.

It took diplomatic pressure over a long period to convince the Sudanese government to accept African Union forces. Since deployment, however, they have not been able to stop the bloodshed.

Once again, another international peacekeeping body is being asked to referee a conflict requiring military action. If nothing else, troops should be able to defend aid workers bringing relief to civilians.

() These issues are complicated. Initially, Sudan insisted on African Union peacekeepers only. This makes sense, but they have proven ineffectual. Does that mean we cannot send any one just because they aren't African?

Entering sovereign countries, even where human rights abuses are involved, is a serious matter and could set negative precedents. The world has not defined the limits of the so-called Responsibility to Protect. This international commitment recognized that states have an obligation to protect citizens from genocide and ethnic cleansing.

That's nice, but very academic. The principle also recognizes a right for the international community to respond, which is trickier.

Predictably, states where governments are not protecting citizens will resist giving the commitment real teeth. Sudan is a case in point. The state itself is involved in the atrocities and resisted outside intervention. This is a familiar pattern.

I also have a problem that a world made up of non-democratic countries, many showing bias and hostility towards the U.S. and Israel, would be defining this Responsibility to Protect.

This principle must be defined concretely and fairly.

Otherwise, we will only see more tragedies and more academic debates about why the world did nothing.

Full text is available at:

III. R2P in the News

By Tawanda Mutasah
7 May 2007

I had never seen a combat machine gun in a civilian hospital until the day I went to Harare's Avenues Clinic to visit two women, pro-democracy leaders who had just survived a brutal, methodical beating at the hands of the police.

() Zimbabwe's "3/11" -- the day 50 people set out to attend a prayer meeting but ended up suffering hours of torture by security agents -- shocked the world and raised hopes that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's impunity might at last be halted. But barely a month later, the television news cameras are pointing elsewhere, and international leaders are switching off their phones, declining to hear the shrill cries coming out of Zimbabwe. Why? There are two reasons.

() In her seminal 2003 book America and the Age of Genocide, Samantha Power warned that when it comes to preventing loss of life and the torture of groups and individuals at the hands of armed, predatory regimes, the world community always does too little too late.

Yet in 2005, the UN Security Council rightly decided to discuss Operation Murambatsvina, under which the Zimbabwe government destroyed the homes of 700,000 people and the livelihoods of at least 20 percent of Zimbabwe's poor population. Now, Zimbabwe is again at a point where the UN needs to act to end the escalating abductions and torture.

South Africa's UN ambassador, Dumisani Kumalo, argues that Zimbabwe's crisis is not an appropriate matter for the Security Council, because it does not threaten international peace and security. Yet Mbeki himself has spoken of the huge humanitarian "burden" on his country as a result of the chaos next door. Indeed, 3 million Zimbabweans have escaped into neighboring countries, fueling increased poverty, crime and xenophobia.

We must learn from history. Kumalo undoubtedly approved when the UN General Assembly passed its resolution of September 30, 1974, against South Africa. Yet it was not premised on apartheid's threat to security, but on its serious violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In Security Council resolutions passed this year on Somalia, Haiti and others, the Council has appropriately observed that serious human rights abuses pose a threat to peace and security in the regions where those states are situated. Zimbabwe's crisis meets this standard.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his human rights commissioner, Louise Arbor, made a good start when they spoke out about the abuses in Zimbabwe in March. The UN could take the next step by sending in a mission to review, monitor and call for an end to abductions and torture, and to protect human rights defenders. This falls clearly within the UN's responsibility to protect, no matter what local diplomatic initiatives African leaders undertake and regardless of how South Africa feels about it.

It is unconscionable that no one, so far, has been willing to try to stop the perpetrators of Zimbabwe's terror.

Full text available at:

Mail and Guardian
7 May 2007

The African Union should play a vanguard role in upholding human rights on the continent, its chairperson, Ghana president John Agyekum Kufuor, said on Monday.

Addressing the opening session of the seventh session of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) in Midrand, he said the situations in Sudan and Darfur had exposed limitations of the AU.

"As much as we all value the principle of sovereignty and integrity, Africa of today should play the vanguard role in respecting and upholding human rights within the continent generally, and much more so within the component states," he said.

"We have to regret the situation within some sister nations where domestic policies are or seem to be at variance with these principals," Kufuor added.

()He added that if Africa wanted to sustain good developments such as an average economic growth of 8%, there was a need for continued peace.

"There must be improvements in the law-and-order situation all over the continent," he said. ()

Full text available at:

20 April 2007

The following are excerpts from a transcript of the book launch, organized by the UN Correspondents Association (UNCA) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), which took place at 1 pm 20 April 2007 on the 3rd floor of the United Nations Secretariat Building. Allan Thompson is a former journalist for the Toronto Star and Professor of Journalism at Carleton University. In the transcript, he explains the Medias role, both domestic and international, in the Rwandan Genocide. Romeo Dallaire, a Canadian Senator, was commander of the United Nations Observer Mission in Rwanda at the time of the genocide.

Romeo Dallaire, Allan Thompson, Mary Kimani, UNCA, April 2007

() Allan Thompson: I know there's a lady in the back who's really anxious to answer [SIC] a question. But I'll try to answer this quickly. Because of where you work, you'll be accustomed now to hearing Canadians talk about their responsibility to protect. I borrowed that concept and called the epilogue of this book "The Responsibility to Report."

I think there is a responsibility for individual journalists to take it upon themselves to write these stories. And I know thats pretty simplistic, and it sounds like something that you'd expect to hear from an undergrad journalism student, but I believe in it deeply.

And I dont think we will ever figure out--I worked at the Toronto Star of 17 years. I could never figure out what got a story on the front page. One day your story was on the front page. The next day a mediocre story was on the front page, and a good story was buried or on the spike.

I don't know if we'll ever figure out how the gatekeepers make these decisions. But I think we underestimate the power of individual journalists cumulatively, taking it upon themselves, to continue to pursue these kinds of stories.

And you can gain a reputation for being the kind of journalist who does these kinds of stories. I know. That happened to me at the Toronto Star. And you can, to some degree, become pigeonholed because of that. It might even compromise your career that you are somehow seen as being an advocate rather than a journalist.

And I think thats nonsense. I think journalists all make decisions about what they believe in, where they stand, when they decide what story they are going to devote themselves to. They shelve those things when they actually do the story, do the research, and produce the journalistic product.
But I think we need to come to this much more driven about the responsibility to report and go out and just do these stories and then use our resources to prevail upon the gatekeepers to get them

Q: Are we going to be saying the same things years from now about Darfur that we're saying about Rwanda now? Do you feel the Security Council, for instance, is doing little or nothing about Darfur now? Should we be saying now more, "Why isn't something being done about Darfur?"

Romeo Dallaire: I think that we won't be saying the same because we've got Rwanda as a reference point, and so we've got less of an ability to hide behind history or not comprehending what's going on. We know and comprehend what's going on.

In regards to whether or not all these years of study and work and efforts to bring in a new doctrine-like responsibility to protect and things of that nature, whether that has shifted the political will for sub-Sahara black Africa? One would contend that it hasnt.

In fact, one of the perverse dimensions that have come up is that we all believe and we've sort of nearly instilled, I believe, in the African Union, the new African Union, that they should sort out their own problems. I mean, we might come in in support.

Knowing full well that the African stand-by force concept is barely five years in, and it still doesn't have the ability by each sub-region to produce the brigade and all the command and control and everything else.

() In regards to Darfur, I would contend that when we started to raise it a few years ago we needed at the time, I estimated a deployment of about 44,000 troops to--before the situation has degenerated to what we have now. And that was not only to protect the people but was also to give them the protection to go back to where they ultimately will go once thats negotiated. And we haven't even come close to negotiating the return of these people with the frictions that created the problem in the first place.

And it was rather interesting that at that time when I was raising it, people were telling me that it is absolutely inconceivable that we'll move [?] 44,000 troops into Darfur. And I said it was rather interesting that before Dayton, the UN had 23,000 troops in Yugoslavia. We get a peace agreement and we put 67,000 in Yugoslavia. And now we've got a country thats at least 30 times the size, we've got millions more being moved around and so on, and that is not a factor that can be moved in.

So I would contend that we have taken a decision politically not to get involved. So in the interim what we've been doing is we've been buying off ourselves by throwing a whole bunch of humanitarian aid at it. And we've been fiddling with the books, and we have not called China's bluff, until somebody mentioned the Olympics. And then all of a sudden the whole world has changed.

It hasnt been proven yet. I mean, Bashir agrees, but there's a long way between his bureaucrats letting actually that happen.

And so we now come close to the UN and the Security Council. I think that a number of the resolutions that have been passed are good. I mean, the no fly zone one and so on. The problem is that none of the sovereign states want to play. No one who has the capabilities wants to play. And the AU is nearly maxed out in its capacities of doing what it's doing.

And so we have essentially let a country that was using and abusing the massive extent of its population slide into becoming a genocidal government. Because the day that the Sudanese government said that it's not going to let the UN come in to protect is the day it turned into a genocidal government.

And so you have it in front of you, and no one wants to come. No one even wants to do the contingency planning under R2P to maybe, maybe we might want to deploy. Now, to do contingency planning on that scale, the UN doesn't have the skills to do it. You need NATO or a bit of a coalition under a big power.

() Now, the Sudanese know full well that no one maybe has the tools to go in. That is to say, because of Iraq and Afghanistan, those who have the capabilities are fully committed. I say thats false. I say there are still tens of thousands of troops available in the European Union that are going nowhere. And so the culprit in the ability to respond to it is, in my opinion, the European Union followed by middle powers like Canada and Japan.

Now, what's my solution? My solution is you should squeeze the Chinese and you get them to put the peacekeeping force and put somebody above them to keep an eye on them. ()

Full text of the transcript is available at:

More information about the book is available at:

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