The Darfur crisis in western Sudan has claimed perhaps as many as half a million lives since it began in 2003. More than 2.5 million people have fled the area and are now refugees. The ethnic groups that are the subject of targeted joint attacks by the Sudanese government and Janjaweed, a rebel militia force, face genocide.
In Southern Sudan, more than 98% of voters cast their ballots in favour of independence from Sudan in the January, 2011 referendum. Southern Sudan borders on Darfur. It is feared that the democratic success of the recent referendum has taken world eyes from Darfur. The situation, already deemed by the United Nations ‘the world’s worst humanitarian crisis’, continues to deteriorate.
In August 2006, the UN Security Council approved sending peacekeepers to supplement the African Union (AU) Stabilization Force there already. Sudan strongly objected, deeming the UN personnel ‘foreign invaders’. The combined UN-AU group continues to be plagued by serious lack of resources. Canada has provided a limited amount of equipment, and, as of April 2010, 34 Canadians were among the peacekeepers.
We must stop the catastrophe unfolding in Darfur. Climate change and environmental degradation are at the origin of the conflict. The crisis is crying out for global intervention and Canadian statesmanship. The Rwandan genocide must not be repeated through a failure of political will and heart. Canadian Greens believe Canada should assume leadership in rapidly organizing an international emergency initiative to deal decisively and effectively with the situation.
Based on the Green Party’s holistic approach to international affairs, we reiterate our consistent pleas for action of past years but now urgently call on Canada to assume leadership by taking an immediate ‘whole of government’ approach to bring a stop to the fighting and provide humanitarian assistance on an urgent basis.
Green Party MPs will:
Demand the government of Sudan fully comply with UN Security Council resolutions;
Press the UN Security Council to apply sanctions against any violation of negotiated ceasefires or attacks on civilians, humanitarian workers, or peacekeepers, and interpret and enforce its mandate to the fullest extent possible;
Provide new, increased financial, political, and logistical support to the UN/AU mission in Sudan, to help quickly strengthen its capacity to protect civilians at risk;
Ensure Canadian diplomatic assistance, as determined by the African Union, to keep all parties negotiating towards a new comprehensive peace agreement that delivers democracy, shared power, shared wealth, and stability, while securing adherence to existing agreements;
Mobilize additional emergency humanitarian aid and support organizations struggling to deliver essentials to those in desperate need both in Darfur and nearby;
Support women’s effective participation in governance and sustained support to building women’s capacities and visibility in the political sphere, based on the joint North-South women’s agreement, ‘Sudanese Women Vision of the Referendum Scenarios’;
Recognize the larger regional factors of the conflict, and offer diplomatic and development assistance to accelerate further peace-building and cooperation among neighbouring nations and through existing regional organizations;
Engage and encourage the AU and the Great Lakes Pact signatories to declare and enshrine access to water as a basic human right within their respective agreements and constitutions;
Refocus long-term aid on efforts to cope with desertification, drought, and climate change;
Recognize the larger collective need for development throughout the region, and the futility of and excessive financial burden of military solutions, and immediately move to accelerate poverty alleviation and development of sustainable communities and strong, sovereign governments on the African continent.