Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA P. O. Box 3243 Tel : (251-11) 551 3822 Fax : 551 9321
Email: [email protected] website : www. africa-union.org
STATEMENT BY THE AFRICAN UNION MEDIATION ON THE ASSAULT ON
TWO DELEGATES PARTICIPATING AT THE INTER-SUDANESE
PEACE TALKS ON DARFUR
On Saturday 28 January 2006, two Members of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Mr. Ibrahim Sideeq and Mrs. Amani Basheer, were brutally attacked by three members of the same Movement, after some unfortunate developments, that were internal to the Movement.
Following investigations conducted by the AU Mediation and by the International Partners/Observers/Facilitators participating at the Talks, as well as an internal investigation carried out by the Leadership of the Movement, it was established that the following Members of the JEM were involved in that assault :
1. Mohamed Mansour Kitir
2. Mohamed Bushara Yahia
3. Salih Basheer Tiyya
The AU Mediation Team, Facilitators and the International Partners from the United Nations, the European Union, the League of Arab States, the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Norway are deeply appalled by this brutal attack perpetrated by a few misguided members of the JEM, against their fellow members. The African Union and the International Partners condemn in the strongest possible terms and without any reservation whatsoever, such blatant and unwarranted attack and deplore its barbaric nature as totally unacceptable and unjustified under any pretext.
The AU Mediation and its Partners believe that this violent act perpetrated by people who ostensibly came to Abuja to seek peace for their troubled land, is all the more reprehensible. Worst of all, the flames of ethnic hatred that have been stoked by this unfortunate incident can only have a negative impact on the entire peace architecture being painstakingly constructed in Abuja, as well as on the already volatile situation on the ground in Darfur itself.
The AU Mediation and its International Partners empathize with Mr. Ibrahim Sideeq and Mrs. Amani Basheer over the unnecessary suffering and personal humiliation that was inflicted on them and undertake to assist them in every possible way, to facilitate their quick recovery from the attack. In this connection, the AU Mediation and its International Partners, appeal to them and their well-wishers, to remain calm and to put the higher interest of peace in their community over their unfortunate personal experience.
While welcoming the prompt and positive response by the Leadership of the JEM in Abuja, and the measures announced by the Movement to contain the situation, the AU Mediation and its Partners believe that there is no place for impunity, intimidation and violence in the conduct of a peace process and negotiations. Consequently, the following decisions will be implemented with immediate effect:
1. Messrs Mohammed Mansour Kitir, Mohammed Bushara Yahia and Salih Basheer Tiyya, will be expelled from the Talks and repatriated to Darfur by the AU, as a matter of top priority. There will be no replacements for them during the remaining period of the 7th Round.
2. The Justice and Equality Movement shall be responsible for the entire cost of the treatment of Mr. Ibrahim Sideeq and Mrs. Amani Basheer, as may be determined by the Doctor/Medical Centre, treating them, in consultation with the AU Mediation Team;
3. The leadership of the JEM should consider other administrative and disciplinary measures to be taken against the culprits and inform the AU and the International Partners, of such action, within the shortest possible time and in any case, before the end of the 7th Round;
4. The Leadership of the JEM and the SLM/A, should enter into immediate discussions to resolve the outstanding issue of the membership of the two victims of the attacks, in order to enable a serene atmosphere to prevail at the venue of the Talks;
5. In consultation with the host Authorities, security within the venue of the Talks, will be enhanced, with appropriate instructions to security personnel, to deal firmly and decisively with any future breach or threats to Parties, the safety and security of participants at the Talks;
6. Henceforth, Heads of Delegations of participating Parties, will be held personally accountable for the conduct of their members, within the venue of the Talks.
The AU Mediation and its International Partners wish to assure all the participants at the Talks, the Resource Persons and Advisors, as well as all law-abiding Darfurians, that no effort will be spared to maintain the integrity of the process and guarantee the freedom of representatives of the Parties to negotiate in an atmosphere devoid of hatred, fear and intimidation.
Finally, the AU Mediation and its Partners believe that this matter should now be put to rest, to enable the Parties settle down to the business of concluding a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, that is being anxiously awaited by the People of Darfur and the World at large.
Abuja, 31 January 2006