The Sudan Justice and Equality Movement (JEM)
Executive Board, JEM
A Statement Regarding UN Resolution 1706
The issuing of UN Resolution 1706 on the replacement of AU Forces in Darfur by UN-led International troops was followed by wide debate and consultation within the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). The consultation which involved the Executive Council, the Legislative Council, Head and Deputy Head of the General Congress of JEM, among others, focussed on the Resolution, its implications and consequences and aimed at formulation of a collective position regarding Resolution 1706. In this regard, JEM would like to state the following:
- Resolution 1706 contains commendable aspects represented in the provisions for protection of Darfur unarmed civilians, preservation of human rights and safe return of IDPs to their original villages
- The Resolution suffers fundamental deficiencies that make its full implementation, if ever possible, catastrophic. The deficiencies are as follows:
a. The Resolution is based on presumed necessity of implementation of the DPA (Darfur Peace Agreement); the same DPA that has been rejected by Darfur people including the IDPs, Refugees, intellectuals, youth and student organisations, political and social forces and Darfur armed Movements. The DPA is also rejected by national opposition forces/parties to the exclusion of the ruling junta. The international organisations themselves also affirmed the futility of the DPA. For example, Mr. Pronk, the UN Special Envoy to Sudan described it as paralysed, does not resonate with Darfur people and requires major rewriting. The UN Head of Humanitarian Operations correctly indicated that the DPA, has led to escalation of violence instead of reduction of tension in Darfur. If that is the verdict of all concerned parties on the DPA, it is difficult to see how the United Nations would build its Resolution on it.
b. The Resolution ignores the legitimate political, economic and cultural rights that have led to raising arms in the first place. Instead, it limits itself to dealing with the security consequences of Darfur uprising. In so doing, the Resolution opts for a symptomatic approach that leaves the problem intact.
c. The UN, the AU, the EU and other regional and international bodies, have all recognised JEM and the SLM faction that did not sign the DPA and have dealt with them accordingly through resolutions, protocols and decisions regarding Darfur. Resolution 1706 totally ignores these Darfur Movements, safe for urging them to sign the DPA without delay. The Resolution then proceeds to threaten them together with all Darfur and Sudanese opponents of the DPA with severe sanctions, for the simple reasons that they have objected to the DPA.
d. The Resolution mandates the UN force in Darfur to use all necessary measures to seize and collect arms and related equipment from all armed groups in Darfur, but without defining the nature of these armed groups. The UN force in Darfur is thus granted an absolute mandate to use all necessary force against all those who obstruct the DPA without discriminating between legitimate and recognised Darfur resistance Movements and armed militias (janjaweed) and impervious to the fact that the armed militias have been targeted by various Resolutions from the same Security Council as well as the AU.
e. As the Resolution does not specify intended locations of bases of the UN force in Darfur, the UN force is left with absolute right of presence throughout Darfur and by implication the powers to remove others from their areas. Moreover, the Resolution mandates the UN force to locate itself in any part of the Sudan and without any time limit pertaining to how long it can remain in the country. This out steps stated objectives of the Resolution; namely protection of Darfur people and implementation of the DPA.
JEM leadership acknowledges the positive components of Resolution 1706, represented in the intended protection of Darfur civilians and restoration of human rights. It also indicates that the Resolution suffers serious limitations. Implementation of the Resolution will not have wide support in Darfur as it undermines political and economic demands of its people.
Having formulated its position, JEM will now embark in wide consultation with its partners in the National Redemption Front (NRF) for the purpose of coming up with a united stand. JEM will remain engaged with relevant regional and international organisations regarding this matter. JEM holds the government of Sudan responsible for the current crisis in Darfur and Sudan and expects it to bear its consequences.
Gammali Hasan Galal Aldeen
Secretary for Presidential Affairs, JEM