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The significance of UN Security Council Resolution No. 1973 on Libya and its likely impact on the dire situation of the Darfur Conflict Eight Years on By Mahmoud A. Suleiman
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Mar 30, 2011 - 9:56:48 AM

The significance of UN Security Council Resolution No. 1973 on Libya and its likely impact on the dire situation of the Darfur Conflict Eight Years on

 

By Mahmoud A. Suleiman

 

Political analysts like Ustaz Tharwat Qasim considered Thursday the 17th of March 2011 is a historic day for all the oppressed peoples in the world like the people of Sudan in the Darfur Region. On that very day, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed the Resolution No. 1973 on Libya, allowing foreign military intervention to ‘Protect the Civilians’ in the face of the reported bloody massacres allegedly committed by militias of the ‘regime’. Observers said ‘on that blessed day’ the UNSC acted on the “Principle” of (Responsibility of Protection) for the Oppressed People from the tyranny of the mighty rulers. On that historic day (Thursday 17.03.2011) the UNSC Resolution 1973 has torpedoed  the Principle of non-interference in the ‘Internal Affairs of States’ which the dictators, like the National Congress Party (NCP) President Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir in Khartoum, invoke as a pretext for oppression and subjugation of their people. It is also understood that since that day of the 17th March 2011 International Legitimacy has become the exclusive reference that ‘the entire Nations’ of the World should be committed to and abide by. This means that the UNSC resolution 1973 approved the ‘Principle of International Sovereignty in place of ‘National Sovereignty’ which the despotic rulers depend upon in their arguments. It is noteworthy that the UNSC Resolution 1973 has legitimized the Principle (Regime Change) by outside military intervention under the International law (Jurisdiction) to help opponents to depose despotic rulers and their regimes such as the infamous murderous National Islamic Front/ National Congress Party (NIF/NCP) which has been implicated in the extermination of 350000 lives in the region of Darfur with impunity. According to the Resolution 1973 there shouldn’t have been any immunity for those assailants who remain at large in spite of their indictment by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Although ‘National Sovereignty’ is a sacrosanct for Russia and China, both of whom are Permanent Members of the UNSC, they did not use their right of Veto against the UNSC Resolution 1973. This fact confirms without a thread of doubt that an outside military intervention is something can happen as legitimate and acceptable when backed by the International Law against a tyrant head of a regime which massacres its own people as what continues happening in Darfur under the NCP Arabism Islamism government 8-years on. Based on the Resolution 1973 Forces from the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France and some other European countries have intervened in Libya through Operation Odyssey Dawn. Under the UNSC authorization, the coalition has imposed a no-fly zone (NFZ) in Libya. This means they will shoot down any Libyan aircraft that attempts to fly within Libya. In addition, they have conducted attacks against aircrafts on the ground, airfields, air defences and the command, control and communication systems of the Libyan government. French and U.S. aircraft have struck against Libyan armour and ground forces. There also are reports of European and Egyptian special operations forces deploying in eastern Libya where the opposition to the government is centred, particularly around the city of Benghazi. In actual fact, the intervention of this alliance has been against the government of Colonel Muaamar al-Gaddafi, and by extension, in favour of his opponents in the east.

 

The significance of the UN Security Council Resolution No. 1973 is that the international community made up of the US, European Union and the League of Arab Nations did not abide by the principle which calls for responsibility to protect civilians in Darfur, despite the continued Arial bombardment of unarmed civilians by the National Congress Party government led by Omer al-Bashir 8-years on.. While we do not deny the need for the protection of civilians in Libya during their protests, but the international community was quick to introduce a No-Fly-Zone in record time in Libya whereas it abjectly failed to respond similarly in Darfur for the protection of the civilian Sudanese people in Darfur. The political observers thought that the international community acts by applying the principle of double standards.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed a plethora of Resolutions on Darfur under the UN Charter Chapter Seven though none of them has been properly implemented or activated enough to work on the ground. They only led to the creation of an inept UNAMID under the control of the Government of Sudan (GoS). Its formation was dictated by the GoS that the members of the UNAMID must be ‘all African, or Arab or Islamic’ and speak Arabic!! The UNAMID has failed even to protect itself let alone the people of Sudan in Darfur from the Arial Bombardments by the National Congress Party regime who regularly used the Russian made military aircrafts of Antonov airships and the Mikoyan MiG-29 (Russian: Микоян МиГ-29) Bomber jets to target defenseless unarmed vulnerable groups of children, women and the elderly civilian Darfuris in their dwellings of villages, hamlets, townships, makeship camps for the IDPs and in the water sources killing livestock and destroying livelihood.

 

Some Sudanese scholars see the Non-intervention by the international community in the ongoing plight of Darfur (as opposed to intervention in Libya) is a matter that calls for a question as a matter of puzzlement and wonder. The following Five issues deserve considerations:


(1)
Intervention in Libya by the international community has been completed and made functional after only five weeks of the outbreak of the conflict between the opposition and the Government of Libya, versus waiting for more than 8 years of genocides in Darfur!


(2) Although any unwarranted death of a human being is deplorable, the international community’s intervention in Libya happened after the death of less than 3000 Libyans, compared to the death of 300000 Darfurians in Sudan.


(3)
The International community's intervention in Libya in the absence of any Libyan displaced persons or refugees in camps in Libya compared with more than 4 million displaced persons and refugees Darfurian!

(4) The International community's intervention in Libya took place in the absence of a prior international arrest warrant against Colonel Gaddafi, compared with an international arrest warrant against President al-Bashir on charges of genocide in Darfur!

(5) The International community's intervention in Libya took place in the absence of the government of Libya imposing Islamist sharia Laws, as opposed to a more exclusivist extremist fundamentalist Islamist government in Khartoum

Some political analysts interpret the foregoing as a distinct act of Double Standards driven purely by racism and can not be understood as to the   Western nations’ thirst for the Libyan oil and Petrodollars which allegedly reported to have been said by the Libyan leader.

 

President Barak Obama in his speech addressing the American people on Libya at the National Defense University in Washington on Monday, March 28, 2011Real leadership creates the conditions and coalitions for others to step up as well; to work with allies and partners so that they bear their share of the burden and pay their share of the costs; and to see that the principles of justice and human dignity are upheld by all”. President Obama stressed on two very important resonating Keywords “Principles and Interests” in his speech. Political analysts said that the UNSC Resolution implementations are driven by the interests of the member of the states in the United Nations Security Council rather than the Lofty Principles or the noble slogans broadcast by the Organization of the United Nations or the Resolutions it issues.

On Tuesday the 29th March 2011 when the ‘Coalition’ of the US, EU and the Arab League were meeting in London, the Darfur Union in the United Kingdom and Ireland was holding a rally at the Whitehall to lobby the group and they chanted the slogans calling for: “a No-Fly-Zone over Darfur; Peace for Darfur; Protect the Civilians in Darfur; Protect the Children and Women in Darfur!”. Those were the components of the UNSC Resolution 1973 on Libya which has been promptly implemented and effectively acted upon by the ‘Coalition’ but the following UNSC Resolutions on Darfur have not succeeded to protect the civilians in Darfur from the tyranny of the unjust aggressive Government of Sudan (GoS) led by despotic regime of President Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir, killer of children, women and elderly by the use of Arial Bombardment. With the carrots and the softly-softly approach the US Presidential Envoy, retired US Air Force Major General Jonathon Scott Gration, has been offering to the genocidal regime of Omer al-Bashir, Khartoum could get off the black list of the States that Sponsor terrorism if it complied with the North-South peace accord, notwithstanding what happened in Darfur and what is happening on daily basis now!

.To give some indication of  the utter failure of the UNSC Resolutions on Darfur, the following is a list of the Resolutions passed by the International Community over the past 8 years of the Crisis:

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions on Darfur

1. 1547 (6/11/2004), passed unanimously 15-0-0: first Security Council Resolution
to mention Darfur – “The Security Council today welcomed Secretary-General
Kofi Annan’s proposal to establish, for an initial period of three months and under
the authority of a Special Representative, an advance team in the Sudan to prepare
for a future United Nations peace-support operation following the signing of a
comprehensive peace agreement” (Press Release: SC/8120)

2. 1556 (7/30/2004), passed 13-0-2, with abstentions from China and Pakistan: first
Security Council Resolution to directly confront the Darfur crisis – “The Security
Council today, under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, demanded that
the Government of the Sudan disarm the Janjaweed militias, apprehend and bring
to justice its leaders and their associates who had incited and carried out
violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, as well as other
atrocities in the country’s Darfur region” (Press Release: SC/8160).

3. 1564 (9/18/2004), passed 11-0-4, with abstentions from Algeria, China, Pakistan,
and Russia: “The Security Council today, concerned that the Government of the
Sudan had not fully met its obligations to protect civilians in Darfur, declared
that, should the Sudan fail to comply fully with resolution 1556 of 30 July or to
cooperate with the expansion and extension of the African Union monitoring
presence in Darfur, it would consider taking additional measures, including
sanctions, to affect Sudan’s oil sector and the Government or its individual
members” (Press Release: SC/8191).

4. 1574 (11/19/2004), passed unanimously 15-0-0: “Encouraged by the commitment
of the Government of the Sudan and the Sudanese People’s Liberation
Movement/Army (SPLM/A) who today signed a memorandum of understanding
promising to reach a comprehensive peace agreement before the end of the year,
the Security Council today declared its strong support for those efforts and
reiterated its readiness to establish a United Nations peace support mission to help
implement such an agreement.
Concluding its two-day session in Nairobi, the Council unanimously adopted
resolution 1574 (2004), by which it also extended the mandate of the advance
mission already operating in the Sudan until 10 March 2005” (Press Release:
SC/8249).

5. 1585 (3/10/2005), passed unanimously 15-0-0: “The Security Council today,
unanimously adopting resolution 1585 (2005), extended the mandate of the
United Nations Advance Mission in Sudan (UNAMIS) until 17 March.
The Mission was established by resolution 1547 of 11 June 2004, for an initial
period of three months and under the authority of a Special Representative, to
prepare for a future United Nations peace-support operation following the signing
of a comprehensive peace agreement.

On 30 July 2004, with the adoption of resolution 1556, the Council extended the
special political mission, headed by Special Representative Jan Pronk, for an
additional 90 days to 10 December. Subsequently, in November, the Council
adopted resolution 1574, welcoming the preparatory work already carried out by
the Mission, endorsing the Secretary-General’s proposals to increase its staffing,
and extending its mandate by a further three months until 10 March 2005” (Press
Release: SC/8332).

6. 1588 (3/17/2005), passed unanimously 15-0-0: “Reaffirming its readiness to
support the peace process in the Sudan, the Security Council this morning
extended the mandate of the United Nations Advance Mission in Sudan
(UNAMIS) until 24 March by unanimously adopting resolution 1588 (2005)”
(Press Release: SC/8338).

7. 1590 (3/24/2005), passed unanimously 15-0-0: “The Security Council today
established, for an initial period of six months, the United Nations Mission in
Sudan (UNMIS), which will consist of up to 10,000 military personnel and an
appropriate civilian component, including up to 715 civilian police personnel.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1590 (2005), the Council decided that the
mandate of UNMIS will be to support implementation of the Comprehensive
Peace Agreement, signed by the Government and rebel forces in January ending
their 21-year civil war. The Mission is also tasked with facilitating the voluntary
return of refugees and displaced persons; providing demining assistance; and
contributing towards international efforts to protect and promote human rights in
the Sudan” (Press Release: SC/8343). This force replaces UNAMIS, which
transfers its authority to UNMIS, and coordinates with the overburdened African
Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS).

8. 1591 (3/27/2005), passed 12-0-3, with abstentions from Algeria, China, and
Russia: “The Security Council decided today, in light of the failure of all parties
to the conflict in Darfur to fulfil their commitments, to increase pressure on the
parties by imposing a travel ban and assets freeze on those impeding the peace
process, committing human rights violations and violating measures set out in
previous resolutions. […]
The Council also established a committee consisting of all Council members to
designate those individuals subject to the measures and to monitor their
implementation, and requested the Secretary-General to appoint, for a period of
six months and within 30 days of adoption of the present resolution, a four
member panel of experts based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to assist the committee
in monitoring implementation of the measures.
Further, the Council demanded that the Government of the Sudan, in accordance
with its commitments under the N’Djamena Ceasefire Agreement and the Abuja
Security Protocol, immediately cease conducting offensive military flights in and
over the Darfur region.
In addition, the Council reaffirmed the measures imposed by resolution 1556
(2004), by which States would take measures to prevent the sale or supply of

 

military equipment to non-governmental entities and individuals, and decided that
those measures would immediately also apply to all the parties to the N’Djamena
Ceasefire Agreement and any other belligerents in the states of North Darfur,
South Darfur and West Darfur.
Furthermore, the Council deplored strongly that the Government and rebel forces
and all other armed groups in Darfur had failed to comply fully with their
commitments and the demands of the Council. It condemned the continued
violations, including air strikes by the Government in December 2004 and
January 2005 and rebel attacks on Darfur villages in January 2005.
The Council also condemned the failure of the Government to disarm Janjaweed
militiamen and apprehend and bring to justice Janjaweed leaders and their
associates who had carried out human rights and international humanitarian law
violations and other atrocities. It demanded that all parties take immediate steps
to fulfil all their commitments, to facilitate humanitarian assistance, and to
cooperate fully with the African Union mission in Darfur.
Speaking after the vote, several delegations regretted that more time was not
given to negotiations in order to achieve a consensus text, and that recent
developments had not been taken into account” (Press Release SC/8346).

9. 1593 (3/31/2005), passed 11-0-4,with abstentions from Algeria, Brazil, China,
and the US: “Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the
Security Council decided this evening to refer the situation prevailing in Darfur
since 1 July 2002 to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court” (Press
Release: SC/8351).

10. 1627 (9/23/2005), passed unanimously 15-0-0: “Welcoming the formation of the
Government of National Unity as a significant and historic step towards lasting
peace in the Sudan, the Security Council today decided to extend the mandate of
the United Nations Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) until 24 March 2006, with the
intention to renew it for further periods.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1627 (2005), the Council welcomed
implementation by the Government of the Sudan and the Sudan People’s
Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement
(CPA) of 9 January 2005, urging the parties to meet their obligation commitments
to the Agreement, including, as a priority, the establishment of the Assessment
and Evaluation Commission” (Press Release: SC/8509).

11. 1651 (12/21/2005), passed unanimously 15-0-0. The Resolution states, in part,

that the Security Council:

“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

1.Decides to extend the mandate of the Panel of Experts appointed
pursuant to resolution 1591 (2005) until 29 March 2006, and
requests the
Secretary-General to take the necessary administrative measures;
2.
Requests the Panel of Experts to report and make recommendations to the
Council, through the Committee established by paragraph 3 (a) of resolution 1591

(2005), prior to the termination of its mandate, on the implementation of the
measures imposed by paragraphs 3, 6 and 7 of resolution 1591 (2005) and
paragraphs 7 and 8 of resolution 1556 (2004);
3.
Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

12. 1665 (3/29/2006), passed unanimously 15-0-0: “Acting under Chapter VII of the
United Nations Charter, the Security Council decided this afternoon to extend
until 29 September 2006 the mandate of the Panel of Experts on the Sudan
originally appointed under resolution 1591 (2005) and extended by resolution
1651 (2005)” (Press Release: SC/8678).

13. 1672 (4/25/2006), passed 12-0-3, with abstentions from China, Qatar, and Russia:
14. 1679 (5/16/2006), passed unanimously
15. 1706 (8/31/2006), passed 12-0-3, with abstentions from China, Qatar, and Russia
16. 1709 (9/22/2006), passed unanimously
17. 1713 (9/29/2006), passed unanimously
18. 1714 (10/6/2006), passed unanimously
19. 1755 (4/30/2007, passed unanimously
20. 1769 (7/31/2007), passed unanimously

Prepared by Promit Biswas personal research on the Darfur Crisis

 

. Glenn Kessler the award winning journalist wrote in the Washington Post under the title “Libya, Obama and the tragedy in Darfur “and said  .” The problem is not that major powers avoided thinking about Darfur; it is that they avoided doing much about it, despite deaths in the hundreds of thousands — dwarfing anything done by Gaddafi and his forces in recent weeks”. Mr. Kessler added “Indeed, Darfur is a tragic example of the large gap that can exist between a presidential candidate’s rhetoric and a president’s performance once elected. We will look at this foreign-policy problem as part of an occasional effort to provide context about issues in the news”. The journalist Kessler has also quoted Obama as saying in 2007 ““The United States has a moral obligation anytime you see humanitarian catastrophes,” Obama declared. “When you see genocide in Rwanda, Bosnia or in Darfur, that is a stain on all of us, a stain on our souls. .. We can’t say ‘never again’ and then allow it to happen again, and as a president of the United States I don’t intend to abandon people or turn a blind eye to slaughter.” Kessler said voicing his view point: Stirring rhetoric, yes. But once Obama became president, the Darfur crisis appeared to fade in importance. Rather than confront the Sudanese government, as candidate Obama suggested he would do, the administration’s special envoy for Sudan, retired Air Force Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration, attempted to win Khartoum’s cooperation by offering incentives. As he memorably put it: “We’ve got to think about giving out cookies. Kids, countries — they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement.”

On the other hand, Stephanie McCrummen from the Washington Post Foreign Service wrote as early as the 29th September 2009 saying that the U.S. diplomacy has remained mostly in the hands of Obama's special envoy to Sudan, retired Air Force Maj. Gen. J. Scott Gration, who is pushing toward normalized relations with the only country in the world led by a president indicted on war-crimes charges.

The remaining question is: Would the Coalition on protecting the Libyan Civilians under the authorisation of the UNSC Resolution 1973 activate the foregoing UNSC Resolutions of Darfur with an addition of a “NO-FLY-ZONE” to protect the Civilian people of Sudan in the Darfur Region?

. Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is the Deputy Chairman of the General Congress for Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). He can be reached at [email protected]  

 

 

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