The Forum on the participation of the NGOs in the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the 9th Human Rights Book Fair held at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Banjul, The Gambia from May 18 – 20 2004,
Considering the provisions of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, the Charter of the United Nations, as well as those of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter) and other regional and international human rights instruments to which the Sudan is a state party;
Mindful that, Sudan, as a State Party to the aforementioned instruments, is morally and legally bound to fully and effectively implement the provisions of these instruments and respect and promote the human rights and fundamental freedoms set therein without discrimination on any ground;
Noting with great concern the massive violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including mass killings, extra-judicial executions, sexual violence as a means of warfare, and the abduction of women and children perpetrated by the government of the Sudan and/or armed groups under its control or allied to the government, including the Janjaweed, many of which may amount to war crimes and/or crimes against humanity as stated in the May 2004 report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights;
Deeply concerned about the widespread human rights abuses committed by all parties to the ongoing conflict in the Darfur region, Western Sudan;
Deeply concerned about reports of ongoing violations of the 45 day cease fire agreement that came into effect April 11,2004 and the potentially escalating cross-border impact of the hostilities, which threatens regional peace and security;
Alarmed by reports from various sources, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, indicating a pattern of forced displacement of the region’s indigenous population by militia groups allied to the Sudanese government;
THE NGO FORUM CALL UPON the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights:
a) to adopt at its 35th Ordinary Session, a resolution publicly condemning all violations of international human rights and humanitarian law committed by any party to the conflict in Darfur and calling for the complete and immediate implementation of all the recommendations made in the May 2004 report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
b) to monitor the implementation of the resolution referred to above and to immediately designate a Special Rapporteur or any other appropriate mechanism on the Situation of Human Rights in Darfur to act urgently and make public reports to the African Commission’s Ordinary Sessions on his/her activities;
c) to urge the African Union to look into ways and means of collaborating with other international partners, in order to put in place an international peace keeping force in the region
d) to establish an Independent International Commission of Inquiry into the atrocities committed by all parties in the conflict, and to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.
Done in Banjul, The Gambia on the 20th of May 2004
1 Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Situation of human rights in the Darfur region of the Sudan U.N. Doc. No. E/CN.4/2005/3 (7 May 2004).