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22 August 2006

Responsibility to Protect Engaging Civil Society

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In this issue:

[R2P in the News, Darfur]

List of Articles:

I. R2P


1. REFORM OR COUNTERREVOLUTION AT THE UN?
2. A VOICE FOR THE VICTIMS; THE DOCTRINE OF HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION IS IN RUINS SOMEWHERE IN THE RUBBLE OF BEIRUT

II. Darfur
1. GENOCIDE, CONTINUEDND A UN RESOLUTION THAT COULD STOP IT
2. ARAB LEAGUE SUPPORTS AU FORCE IN DARFUR
3. KHARTOUM PRESSURED TO ACCEPT UN FORCE
4. EMPTY PROMISES FOR DARFUR
5. LETTER TO UN SECURITY COUNCIL ON SANCTIONS AND CIVILIAN PROTECTION IN DARFUR

I. R2P

1. REFORM OR COUNTERREVOLUTION AT THE UN?
Foreign Policy in Focus
Ian Williams
7 August, 2006

Although the American media generally depicted Kofi Annan's end-of-term reform package for the United Nations as a failure, its achievements are by no means negligible.Above all, the successful adoption of the esponsibility to Protect at last year's summit far outweighs any perceived or alleged failures in mere administrative reform. Such a framework of principles to protect human rights goes directly to what many of the world's people expect of the organization. ()

Kofi Annan's negotiating genius has been to balance institutional and functional changes in the United Nations system against aid and trade concessions for the developing world. One of the payoffs for the global south was the success of Annan's team in bypassing John Bolton's resistance and getting the commitment of the world community and even from George Bush, for the social and development targets of the Millennium Development Goals (even though it may be as hard a job again to implement the commitments) .

Another achievement has been the reinterpretation of international law and the UN Charter to incorporate the Responsibility to Protect, a recognition that the international community and the UN not only have the right, but the duty, to intervene when states fail to protect their citizens. Of course, there is a long distance from acceptance of the principle to its application, as the continuing horrors in Darfur and the new ones in Lebanon demonstrate. But to get states such as China, Sudan, and indeed Bolton's United States to accept the principle will almost certainly go down as Kofi Annan's greatest achievement. It reflects the occidentocentric view of eforms that neither the MDG, nor the Responsibility to Protect, is usually counted as a reform success. ()

Ian Williams contributes frequently to Foreign Policy In Focus (online at www.fpif.org) on UN and international affairs. He is the editor of the forthcoming CQ press Guide to the UN

2. A VOICE FOR THE VICTIMS; THE DOCTRINE OF HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION IS IN RUINS SOMEWHERE IN THE RUBBLE OF BEIRUT
GLEN PEARSON
London Free Press (Ontario)
12 August 2006

On April 29, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1674 on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict -- the climax of seven years of relentless effort in the UN to recognize the rights of innocents caught in battle zones.

Only three months later, to the day, my wife, Jane Roy, and I interviewed Hassan, a 12-year-old boy from war-torn southern Lebanon. The week previous, a bomb landed directly on his house, instantly killing seven of his family members. Only he and his 14-year-old brother survived. ()

() It is the job of humanitarians to speak on behalf of civilians caught in armed conflict. Clearly, the current response to this necessary advocacy indicates the doctrine of humanitarian intervention is in ruins somewhere in the rubble of Beirut.

What is now required is the adoption of a new doctrine, the third leg of the stool. Taking a cue from the Red Cross, we could call it humanitarian diplomacy.

It was Canada that introduced the doctrine of "responsibility to protect" at the UN, and Canadians have guided it through the labyrinth of UN bureaucracy to ultimate acceptance.

Rather than provide a restrained response to the Lebanese situation, this country should now be taking a robust and advocative role, not against Israel or Lebanon, but for civilians.

We should be pressing for the full inclusion of the ICRC and the UNHCR at every round of discussion -- political, military, humanitarian -- as impartial contributors fighting for those unable to fight for themselves.

Would their presence at diplomatic talks prove a hindrance to those seeking to carry on or extend the war, thereby causing more civilian deaths? Absolutely. And that is precisely why their role must be elevated at such discussions.

The innocent civilians of Lebanon have no means of resolving the conflict in which they are caught. The international community must now prove that it does, not by just passing a resolution, but by deploying a serious military force -- one that will assist the Lebanese army or serve as a multinational peacekeeping component. ()

Full text: unavailable

II. Darfur

1. GENOCIDE, CONTINUEDND A UN RESOLUTION THAT COULD STOP IT
The Washington Post
22 August 2006

SUDAN'S DIPLOMATS have sometimes had the gall to describe the killing in Darfur as a problem of underdevelopment. Poverty creates desperation and violence, they plead; rather than blaming the Sudanese government for the suffering that results, the United States and its allies should show that they care about Africans by offering practical assistance. Well, last week Britain and the United States circulated a U.N. Security Council resolution that would get about 20,000 peacekeeping troops and police officers into Darfur; if such a force were actually deployed, it would represent the greatest step forward for Darfur since the killing started. But Sudan's president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, seems determined to frustrate this offer of assistance.
() The only outspoken critic of the resolution on the Security Council is Qatar, which is reflecting the collective unwisdom of the Arab League. The Arabs have long opposed a U.N. deployment in Darfur, apparently because they believe in the sovereign right of governments to slaughter civilians. To disguise the brutality of this position, the Arabs have in the past professed a preference for the existing African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur, even offering to provide resources to it. But that was just talk. Virtually all the funding for the African Union force has come from Europe and the United States. It will dry up at the end of September, making a U.N. follow-on force vital.
Fortunately, the Arabs' cynical stance need not prevent the resolution from being adopted. But to deploy the proposed force, the United Nations will need cooperation from Sudan's government; it cannot fight its way into Darfur. ()
The world needs to be clear what Mr. Bashir's position amounts to. As a result of his government's systematic destruction of African villages in Darfur, more than 2 million displaced people there depend on humanitarian relief, but mounting violence that claimed the lives of eight aid workers last month makes the delivery of relief extremely difficult. In these circumstances, barring the entry of peacekeepers is to condemn thousands of displaced civilians to starvation. It is to continue the policy of genocide that has marked this crisis from the outset.
Full text: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/21/AR2006082101472.html
2. ARAB LEAGUE SUPPORTS AU FORCE IN DARFUR
Financial Times Information Limited
21 August 2006

The Arab League's council of foreign ministers, in an ordinary meeting in Cairo Sunday [20 August], affirmed the importance that the African Union (AU) continues its efforts in Darfur and completes its task in tackling the crisis in the region, particularly with regard to its political mediation and supporting and monitoring of the cease-fire.

At the conclusion of its meeting at the premises of the Arab League Secretariat General, the council affirmed that sending any other forces to Darfur necessitates consent of the Sudanese government.

The council further urged the Arab states to provide financial and material support to the AU mission to enable it continue its tasks, calling on the Arab states to enhance its participation in the AU forces and monitors in the region.

In the meantime, the Arab foreign ministers decided to bear the cost of the AU forces' presence in Darfur for six months as of 1 October 2006. ()

Full text: Unavailable

3. KHARTOUM PRESSURED TO ACCEPT UN FORCE
Reuters
18 August 2006

Pressure mounted on the Sudanese government on Friday to allow a U.N. peacekeeping force to replace the 7,000-strong African troops in Darfur, and both U.N. and U.S. officials warned of increasing violence.

Britain and the United States have introduced a Security Council resolution that would field up to 17,000 troops and 3,000 police in the lawless western region, despite opposition from the Arab-dominated government in Khartoum.

The U.S. deputy ambassador, Jackie Sanders, said Sudan's consent ``is not required'' for the resolution to be adopted although troops cannot be sent without agreement from Khartoum.

()``Something very ugly is brewing there,'' Mark Malloch Brown, the deputy U.N. secretary-general, told reporters.

``We are extraordinarily concerned. We are extremely worried about the deterioration of the humanitarian and security situation in Darfur, and the absence of a clear path to the deployment of a U.N. force.''

()The New York-based Human Rights Watch said it had obtained a copy of a proposal, drawn up by Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, to send 10,500 new government troops to Darfur.

The organization said this would be in direct violation of the fragile Darfur Peace Agreement signed by the Sudanese government on May 5 because it ignores provisions for protection of civilians.

``This Sudanese plan is just the latest maneuver to prevent a U.N. force from helping protect civilians in Darfur,'' said Peter Takirambudde, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. ()

Full text: http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/world/international-sudan-un-darfur.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

4. EMPTY PROMISES FOR DARFUR
Africa Action
Ann-Louise Colgan
10 August 2006

Ann-Louise Colgan is the acting co-executive director of Africa Action, the oldest Africa advocacy organization in the U.S.
As the violence in the Middle East dominates the deadlines, the crisis in Darfur grows worse by the day.
() There is a clear and urgent need for a United Nations peacekeeping force to provide protection to civilians and humanitarian operations and to pave the way for a political settlement. But the government of Sudan adamantly refuses to allow a U.N. mission into Darfur. Only the United States can pressure the government in Khartoum to break the deadlock.
() The establishment of such a U.N. peacekeeping mission has now received broad international support. It is also entirely consistent with the esponsibility to Protect principle, according to which all U.N. member states agreed last September that there is an international obligation to protect populations against genocide and other crimes against humanity.
However, despite this broad international consensus around the need for a U.N. peacekeeping operation in Darfur, such a mission has yet to be authorized or initiated. In an outrageous manipulation, the government of Sudans vehement opposition to a U.N. operation continues to dictate the pace and the extent of the international response to this crisis. As the stalemate persists, the death toll in Darfur grows, and there has been no effective challenge to Khartoums stonewalling.
() Last week, the U.N. Secretary-General made his recommendations to the Security Council on the requirements for a U.N. mission for Darfur. The necessary next step is for the U.S. to weigh in and show its strong support for a U.N. peacekeeping force by challenging Khartoums stance. A U.N. mission is only the first step on the long road to peace in Darfur, but it is essential to stabilize the situation and protect the vulnerable, and it is needed now.
Next month marks the two-year anniversary of the Bush administrations recognition that what is happening in Darfur constitutes genocide. With major events planned in Washington, D.C. and in New York, among other cities around the country, pressure is building on the administration to take new action to stop the ongoing genocide in Darfur. Countless lives can still be saved if the U.S. acts now to bring effective pressure to bear on Khartoum to accept the international communitys demand for a U.N. peacekeeping mission.
Without such U.S. action, there may be no end in sight to the genocide in Darfur.
Full text:http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2006/08/10/empty_promises_for_darfur.php

5. LETTER TO UN SECURITY COUNCIL ON SANCTIONS AND CIVILIAN PROTECTION IN DARFUR
Human Rights Watch
Peter Takirambudde
14 August 2006

The following is a letter to the U.N. Security Council on Sudan Sanctions and Civilian Protection in Darfur
() The precedent of international dealings with the Sudanese government shows that this government will not respond unless faced with hard-hitting measures, but that it is likely to concede once they are imposed. The Security Council must take the following steps to compel Khartoum to agree to a U.N force for Darfur:
Apply targeted sanctions to Sudanese government officials should they continue to fail to consent to the deployment of the U.N. force in Darfur beyond August 15, as already described in Security Council Resolution 1591, section 3 (e) of March 29, 2000. The resolution must specifically mention the Sudanese government's failure to assume its responsibility to protect civilians.
()Sudan is a government demonstrably incapable of protecting its own citizens in Darfur, and unwilling to do so. Our reports have shown that it and its militias are guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes across Darfur. It is unacceptable for such a government to repeatedly defy Security Council efforts since early 2004 to protect civilians and stabilize Darfur, Chad and the region.
()The Security Council must provide a sufficiently strong mandate and capacity for the U.N. force for Darfur, including:
Assist in the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA), including
actively participate in disarmament, in close cooperation with others.
monitor and verify implementation of redeployment and disengagement under the Darfur Peace Agreement.
actively provide security and patrol DPA demilitarized and buffer zones and areas where internally displaced persons are concentrated, key migration routes, and other vital points.
Use "all necessary means" to protect civilians under Chapter VII of the U.N. Charter and to deter potential spoilers through robust action.
Authorize at least 17,300 forces and 3,300 civilian police specifically for Darfur.
Assure that the forces possess sufficient capacity [including surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities; an assessment capability to steer operations; and air and ground reaction forces with sufficient military power] to deter or defeat spoilers, as requested by the Secretary-General.
Monitor the arms embargo imposed by the U.N. Security Council on Darfur in Resolution 1556 and elaborated on in Resolution 1591.
Promote and protect human rights, cooperate with efforts to end impunity, including the International Criminal Court, and publicly report on human rights developments.
Monitor the arms embargo and the Chad-Sudan border and to protect Darfurian refugees and Chadian internally displaced persons in Chad including by basing some U.N. forces in eastern Chad.
The 10,000 U.N. Mission in Sudan forces designated for support of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of January 2005 and mostly based in southern Sudan should not be relocated to or used for Darfur, absent extraordinary circumstances. That would be robbing Peter to pay Paul. The situation in southern Sudan remains volatile.
We urge you to act firmly on behalf of Darfurians who are now at greater risk of violence than they have been since they were driven from their homes two to three years ago. All other means have been exhausted, and the Security Council stands as their last resort.

Full text: http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/08/14/sudan13973.htm

 

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