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20 July 2006

Responsibility to Protect Engaging Civil Society

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In this issue:

[New on the R2PCS website, R2P in the News, Darfur, Somalia, Uganda]





New on our website:



***For Education Tools on the Responsibility to Protect, please see http://www.responsibilitytoprotect.org/index.php/features/556?theme=alt5



***Also, please find on our website in the Women and Conflict section, a recent report by International Crisis Group on women and peacebuilding in Sudan, Congo and Uganda.





List of Articles:



I. R2P in the News


1. REMARKS BY UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL KOFI ANNAN AT THE OPENING OF A U.N. CAMPUS/COMPLEX

2. SECRETARY-GENERAL SPEAKS AT MEETING WITH ITALIAN PARLIAMENTARIANS

3. UN: CIVIL SOCIETY TO DISCUSS EFFECTIVE PARTNERSHIPS FOR HUMAN SECURITY, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AT 59TH ANNUAL DPI/NGO CONFERENCE, 6-8 SEPTEMBER



II. Darfur

1. DONORS PLEDGE TO BOOST AFRICAN FORCE

2. SUDAN; BLOCKING A SOLUTION ON DARFUR

3. CRITICAL FOR DONORS TO GIVE AID NOW TO AFRICAN UNIONS MISSION IN DARFUR; ANNAN



III. Uganda/Somalia

1. UGANDA REJECTS REBEL DEMANDS, SAYS NO TRUCE UNTIL PEACE DEAL

2. UGANDA; NORTH PLAN READY

3. ISLAMISTS HANDED MOGADISHU PORT

4. UN COUNCIL EYES FOREIGN PEACEKEEPERS FOR SOMALIA

5. DIALOGUE BETWEEN PARTIES IN SOMALIA RAISES HOPE FOR NORMALIZATION: UN ENVOY





I. R2P in the News



1. REMARKS BY UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL KOFI ANNAN AT THE OPENING OF A U.N. CAMPUS/COMPLEX
UN News Service

11 July 2006


()The [2005] Summit was a milestone. While world leaders did not achieve everything we might have hoped for, they did agree on progress across a broad front. They recognized that development, security and human rights are not only important in their own right, but also reinforce and depend on each other. They reaffirmed an unambiguous resolve to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. And on one crucial issue -- the responsibility to protect -- the Summit achieved a breakthrough: all Member States expressed their will to act collectively, through the Security Council, when a population is threatened with genocide, ethnic cleansing or crimes against humanity.



Important steps have also been taken since the Summit. A new Human Rights Council started work last month, and I am pleased that Germany is among the members seeking to give us a fresh start in this vital area. Germany is also a member of the new Peacebuilding Commission, which has also started work and which should allow us to assist countries coming out of conflict in a much more effective manner. We have launched a Democracy Fund, and strengthened our emergency relief fund. Member States are discussing the counter- terrorism strategy that I proposed, and are in the midst of reviewing all mandates older than five years, so that we can eliminate waste and duplication and focus on the real issues of the day rather than accumulated workloads of yesteryear.()



Full text: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/sgsm10561.doc.htm






2. SECRETARY-GENERAL SPEAKS AT MEETING WITH ITALIAN PARLIAMENTARIANS

UN News Service

13 July 2006



At [the 2005 Summit] we achieved a historic breakthrough on the responsibility to protect populations threatened with genocide, ethnic cleansing or crimes against humanity. It led to a massive boost in financing for development and genuine progress on debt relief. Fourteen African countries had their debt cancelled since then and eight more had their debts considerably reduced. And it committed us to a renewed and reinvigorated United Nations responsive to the needs of the 21st century.()



Full Text: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2005/dsgsm271.doc.htm





3. UN: CIVIL SOCIETY TO DISCUSS EFFECTIVE PARTNERSHIPS FOR HUMAN SECURITY, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AT 59TH ANNUAL DPI/NGO CONFERENCE, 6-8 SEPTEMBER

UN News Service

13 July 2006



A week before the opening of the sixty-first session of the General Assembly, more than 2,500 representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other civil society activists from more than 90 countries are expected to gather at United Nations Headquarters in New York to discuss the unfinished business of the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. They will meet from 6 to 8 September 2006, during the annual three-day gathering, organized by the Department of Public Information in partnership with associated NGOs. This year, the 59th Annual DPI/NGO Conference, will look at Unfinished Business: Effective Partnerships for Human Security and Sustainable Development.()



Conference participants will be able to attend two out of six multi-stakeholder round tables, featuring representatives of the United Nations, Governments, civil society and the private sector. The round tables will address the following themes: science and technology for education; emerging approaches to health care, including gender-based HIV and AIDS; human security: responsibility to protect and the peacebuilding commission; civil society and global partnerships for development; commitment to reducing extreme poverty and hunger; and promoting respect for cultural diversity in conflict resolution.



As an annual meeting of NGOs, civil society and private sector with United Nations representatives, the Conference provides an established forum for networking and exchange of best-practices on relevant issues()



Full Text: http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/ngo600.doc.htm





II. Darfur



1. DONORS PLEDGE TO BOOST AFRICAN FORCE

IRIN

18 July 2006



Aid donors meeting in the Belgian capital have pledged about US $220 million in additional funding to the African Union (AU) force struggling to keep the peace in Sudan's western region of Darfur.



The funding will help the Africa Mission in Sudan protect civilians and monitor the implementation of a Peace Agreement signed in May between the Sudanese government and some of the rebel groups in Darfur.()



"I can't foresee any realistic exit of the Darfur conflict without such a transition [from AU to UN peacekeeping], and I can't either imagine that the government of Sudan would continue to oppose it," the EU's foreign policy chief Javier Solana said at the conference.



Limited funding and lack of equipment have impaired the capacity of the 7,000-strong Africa Mission to effectively carry out its peacekeeping mandate in Darfur.()



The United States said it would give $116 million to be used to strengthen the Africa Mission in Sudan, while the EU will make available $31.2 million to the Mission on top of an additional $50 million for the humanitarian effort in Darfur. The Netherlands pledged $31.2 million, Britain $36.6 million, France $2.5 million and Belgium $1.25 million.



The pledges would only be enough to sustain the Mission until the end of September; it needs an extra $450 million to operate until year-end, to pay for extra soldiers to be deployed, communications equipment, air support capability and more vehicles.()



Full Text: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/IRIN/b4639e3e3ae15be5da000f1c3edbeb93.htm





2. SUDAN; BLOCKING A SOLUTION ON DARFUR

Human Rights Watch

Georgette Gagnon

14 July 2006



()The Darfur Peace Agreement, barely three months old, is already in tatters, victim of a flawed process, the recalcitrance of Sudan's government and rebel groups and a dearth of international support for its implementation. The conflict is bleeding into neighboring Chad, where Janjaweed militias and Chadian rebels in the volatile border zone have displaced some 50,000 Chadians from their homes.



After almost three cruel years of human suffering and loss, the tragedy of Darfur could actually get worse. Humanitarian agencies, reeling from increased attacks on their staff and convoys, are losing access to hundreds of thousands who need their assistance. Fears are mounting that Darfur's crisis could spread beyond eastern Chad and into the Central African Republic, sparking a truly regional disaster.



All of this is well known to the G8 leaders. But despite strong words from UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and some Western leaders, the group has done little to end the crisis and has entirely failed to put sufficient pressure on Khartoum to end its scorched earth campaign against the people of Darfur. In fact, precisely the opposite is happening: The Sudanese government continues to receive backing from a number of countries, including Russia.()



As chair of the G8, Russia can and should intervene with Khartoum with a very clear message: G8 leaders want Sudan to accept the urgent deployment of a UN force in Darfur. Russia should step up and ensure Sudan's leadership hears, understands and complies with that message.()



These UN troops must have a muscular mandate under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to use "all necessary measures" to protect civilians. Without this robust mandate, the UN mission may prove ineffectual.



Finally, Russia must tell Khartoum it will no longer block strong measures by the Security Council against Sudan, such as tougher and broader sanctions and an arms embargo expanded to cover all of Sudan, not just Darfur, if Khartoum continues to block the deployment of a UN force.



Khartoum has resisted every effort to stop the killing in Darfur. But if Khartoum knows Russia will no longer provide it with a diplomatic shield, el-Bashir's objections to a UN force will disappear. Almost three years of failing to confront Sudan has wrought unbearable damage on civilians in Darfur and eastern Chad and cost the lives of many. Further delay will only serve to drive the death toll higher. It's time for Moscow to stop letting Khartoum get away with murder.



Georgette Gagnon is deputy director of the Africa division at Human Rights Watch.



Full text: http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/07/14/darfur13740.htm





3. CRITICAL FOR DONORS TO GIVE AID NOW TO AFRICAN UNIONS MISSION IN DARFUR; ANNAN

All Africa.com

18 July 2006



Decrying a eversion to violence in Sudans conflict-hit Darfur region, despite a recent peace deal, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today in Brussels called for an end to hostilities and urged donors to support the African Union mission there, saying it was critical to act now to safeguard the agreement and stop further bloodshed.()



hat must not happen, but at present is happening much too much, is a reversion to violence. Some of it is perpetrated by parties that refused to sign the Agreement, but some also by parties that did sign it. This must stop, immediately, he declared.()



While there exists precious window of opportunity to end this cruel conflict, he warned that nless we leap through that window now it will very soon close.()



President al Bashir has agreed on the need to strengthen AMIS and to consolidate the peace accord in Darfur, which has seen scores of thousands of people killed and over 2 million displaced, but he has so far rejected the idea of a UN force as being colonial or having a hidden objective, something Mr. Annan again rejected today.()



The Secretary-General said the UN would continue ctive discussions with the Government of Sudan on this basis, emphasizing that the world body, the African Union and Khartoum share the same goal of lasting peace in Darfur.()



III. Uganda/Somalia



1. UGANDA REJECTS REBEL DEMANDS, SAYS NO TRUCE UNTIL PEACE DEAL

Agence France Presse

19 July 2006



The Ugandan government on Wednesday flatly rejected demands for a truce from the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and said there could be no ceasefire until a full peace settlement is reached.

As peace talks resumed here under Sudanese mediation the Kampala delegation took a hard line against a raft of proposals from the LRA's negotiators, an AFP correspondent reported.

The Ugandan team rejected LRA demands for the dissolution of the national army, compensation for alleged atrocities committed against them and the disbanding of camps in northern Uganda housing around two million people.

"We do accept the principle of cessation of hostilities, however we think its signing should take place at the end of the peace talks," Deputy Ugandan Foreign Minister Okello Oryem, a delegate at the talks, told AFP.

"This is because in the past when the government declared a truce, the LRA took the opportunity to regroup, collect more weapons, recruit soldiers and expand its network. The LRA is very much aware of its conduct.

"We must negotiate and sign everything as a complete package. We do not want to sign peacemeal agreements," he said.

The minister said that at any rate the army was not interested in attacking the insurgents during the talks.

"The Ugandan army will not attack anybody. It's responsibility is to protect the people of Uganda and that is what it will do," Oryem said.

"The LRA should show committment to the peace talks and not attack any target, and that is when it will have demonstrated that it is committed to reaching a lasting peace in Uganda."

Government delegation spokesman Paddy Ankunda said Kampala will never trust the insurgents and sign anything less than a final peace deal.

"We shall not make that mistake again," he said, adding however that talks were progressing well.

"We may disagree which is expected, but the positive thing is that we agree later and move on... We hope to get back to Uganda with peace. If we don't we shall have an explanation as to why," Ankunda said.

The rebels had wanted to secure at least a temporary truce to allow them to make more contact with their supporters among the Acholi ethnic minority in northern Uganda.

LRA delegation spokesman Obonyo Olweny spokesman said the government's stance cast doubts on its willingness to make peace.

"That is a demonstration that the government is not committed to the peace talks," Olweny said, hours before talks were due to resume.

"We are committed to the peace talks and that is why we have not put up any obstacles. We appeal to the government to refrain from such obstacles so that we can together deliver peace to Uganda and the people can return back home," he told AFP.

Oryem said the government also would not disband the Uganda People's Defence Forces (UPDF), which the rebels claim is loyal to President Yoweri Museveni and not to the nation.

"We totally and categorically reject calls to disband the UPDF. The UPDF is a professional, disciplined army that is composed of every single Ugandan tribe and therefore it is free from any tribalism and nepotism," he said. "We will not even consider or imagine disbanding it."

But Oryem said the government had softened its earlier demand for the rebels to immediately disband, saying they could hand in their weapons after any peace agreement is signed. ()



2. UGANDA; NORTH PLAN READY

New Vision

By: Milton Olupot and Cyprian Musoke Kampala

10 July 2006



The Government has finalised an emergency humanitarian plan for resettling internally displaced persons in the areas affected by Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army 20-year war.



Prime Minister Prof. Apolo Nsibambi yesterday chaired the discussion of the plan at Kabira Country Club in Kampala.



It contains emergency intervention strategies to ameliorate the suffering of the people. The meeting also discussed funding strategies.



Nsibambi said in addition to providing security, the Government would focus on protecting human rights by deploying Police in key areas, providing emergency food, water, shelter and health services in order to lower mortality rates and promote reconciliation in the communities.



The plan of action is drawn by the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) set up by President Yoweri Museveni. The JMC was set up by the government and development partners to consolidate humanitarian interventions in the north.



"This is a welcome development and an indication of continued commitment by the government and development partners to bring the northern region to the path of recovery and development.



"This initiative comes at a critical time when the government is working closely with the government of Southern Sudan to engage the LRA in a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Key bilateral partners have supported government in this process," Nsibambi said.



He told the meeting attended by various ministers, permanent secretaries, ambassadors and security officials that the Government has a comprehensive plan for the peace, recovery and development of the northern region.



He instructed ministers whose portfolios are related to the emergency plan to ensure that priority is given to northern Uganda in the next six months in order to reverse the negative situation there.



Foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa said the prospects for peace in the north were clear and appealed to development partners to support Uganda in implementing the plan.



The plan was presented by the Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister's office, Martin Odwedo





Full text: http://allafrica.com/stories/200607100149.html



2. ISLAMISTS HANDED MOGADISHU PORT

BBC News

12 July 2006



Militiamen have handed over control of the potentially lucrative main port in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, to the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC).



The Security Council is considering a UK proposal to partially lift an arms embargo and allow peacekeepers into Somalia - a move the UIC objects to.



The UIC now has almost total control of Mogadishu, after two days of heavy fighting earlier this week.



They should begin talks on Saturday in Sudan with the weak interim government.



The transitional government's minister for ports, Mohamed Jama Furuh, said that with the UIC in control of the capital, the only option was to hand over "national property to a responsible hand".



In response, Islamist leader Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed said the step was the beginning of greater progress in Mogadishu.



"I ask all those who occupy the national property to hand over to the Islamic courts so that they will serve the people".



Mogadishu's main port has been closed for the last 15 years, because rival factions failed to agree who should run it.



Aid



Earlier, the United Nations emergency relief co-ordinator, Jan Egeland, said he hoped UN aid agencies will be able to return to Mogadishu within weeks to provide badly needed assistance to the civilian population.



On Sunday, a team from the UN met the UIC, one of whose leaders is alleged to have links with al-Qaeda.



According to Mr Egeland the militia pledged not to hinder the flow of aid into Mogadishu and instead called on the UN to step up its operations in the city. The UN has been unable to use the port in recent years to deliver aid.



One week ago the city's main airport was handed to the Islamic courts by militia who previously dug up the runway to resell cheap gravel for other construction work.



"It is certain that security in Mogadishu is better now than it was when controlled by warlords and this seems to be an opportunity for the Somali people and the UN. The UN can now assist the suffering people in Mogadishu and its environs," he said.



The UN is especially keen to help those displaced by the recent fighting between the Islamists and warlords who until recently had been in control of the city since the collapse of the last effective government 15 years ago.



Somalia has the highest rate of child mortality in the world and the smallest enrolment of children in school anywhere at just 20%.



On Tuesday, some 500 Somali fighters loyal to the last member of an alliance of warlords in Mogadishu surrendered. Almost 100 people died and 200 were wounded in the two-day battle.



Talks



Overall the UN believes the UIC currently controls just under 20% of the country.



The UN's special envoy on Somalia, Francois Fall, said opposition to the deployment of foreign troops by the UIC did not rule out a decision taken to deploy troops.



He admitted they were concerned that the Islamic militia could ultimately form a hardline government.



But he said his aim was to encourage talks between the more moderate wing of the organisation and the UN-backed transitional government.



Talks between the weak interim government based in Baidoa and the UIC are due to begin in Khartoum on Saturday.



Full Text: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/africa/5172000.stm



3. UN COUNCIL EYES FOREIGN PEACEKEEPRS FOR SOMALIA

Reuters

11 July 2006



Britain circulated a draft U.N. Security Council statement on Tuesday that diplomats said could eventually open the door to a long-delayed deployment of foreign peacekeepers in Somalia.



The draft statement, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, would express the council's willingness to consider plans for a "peacekeeping support operation" as proposed by the African Union and the seven-nation regional Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, or IGAD.



Council support for foreign peacekeeping troops for the Horn of Africa country -- which has had no real central authority since 1991 -- would be crucial as the soldiers could not go in unless the council eased a 1992 arms embargo.



The draft would also express the council's readiness to ease the arms ban to enable Somalia's shaky Transitional Federal Government to develop its own security forces.



The Western-backed interim government was formed in neighboring Kenya in 2004 with help from IGAD. It is based in Baidoa, 150 miles (240 km) northwest of Mogadishu, because it was too weak to set up in the former capital.



Mogadishu, long dominated by feuding warlords, was captured on June 5 by Islamists seeking to impose Sharia law across the country. The Islamists also oppose foreign peacekeepers, although interim President Abdullahi Yusuf says they are needed to get his government on its feet and pacify the country.



Council action on Somalia has been stalled for weeks over internal divisions. The United States has been hesitant to embrace the idea of easing the arms embargo, while China has argued this was merited by the need for foreign peacekeepers.



A formal council statement would require a unanimous vote of the 15-nation council to be issued.



Francois Lonseny Fall, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special envoy for Somalia, told the Security Council in a closed-door briefing on Monday that Islamic hard-liners aspired to control all of Somalia and posed a serious threat to its fledgling interim government, his office said in a statement.



But Fall told reporters on Tuesday he was encouraged that the interim authorities and the Islamists had met once in Sudan in June and were due to meet there a second time on Saturday.



He urged both sides to launch talks aimed at stability.



Full Text: http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N13197032.htm





4. DIALOGUE BETWEEN PARTIES IN SOMALIA RAISES HOPE FOR NORMALIZATION: UN ENVOY

UN News Service

11 July 2006



Though ardliners within the Islamic groups that now control the Somali capital of Mogadishu are causing serious concern, talks between those groups and the Somali Transitional Federal Institutions (TFI) hold out the possibility the situation can be normalized, the top United Nations envoy to the country said today.



y assessment is not that the situation is now normalized, Secretary-General Kofi Annans Special Representative for Somalia, Franois Lonsny Fall, told reporters at UN Headquarters following his briefing yesterday to the Security Council, which he said also covered humanitarian issues, violations of the arms embargo and proposed exemptions to the embargo to allow proposed peace support forces or national security forces to arm themselves.



y assessment is that we should continue to encourage the TFI and the new reality in Mogadishu to enter into genuine dialogue and to continue the dialogue to find the best solution to normalize the situation, he continued.



In his latest report on the situation in Somali, released last week, Secretary-General Annan said it was crucial that the transitional Government be supported during the current crisis so as not to lose the ainstaking political gains in the country, which has been without a functioning Government since the collapse of President Muhammad Siad Barres regime 15 years ago.



Full Text: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=19165&Cr=somalia&Cr1#





--Listserv compiled by Shawn Pelsinger.
 

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