Immediate Janjawid disarming urged
African Union mission threatens sanctions if Sudan’s government refuses to comply.
“The meeting decided that where violations had clearly been proven to have taken place, punitive measures including sanctions should be taken against the violators.”
The commission examined “15 confirmed and documented cases of ceasefire violations by signatories and non-signatories of the peace accords” in Abuja and “decided to punish the violators”, the AU statement said.
“The disarmament depends on the political will of the Sudanese government,” Mukaruliza explained. “The government of Sudan has the means to disarm them, it has weapons, but it is up to them to disarm them.”
She said the process of putting the militias’ weapons beyond use should already have started, according to the agreements already signed in Abuja. The delegation from the Sudanese capital Khartoum left the meeting shortly after it started on Friday morning in the Ethiopian capital.
In a confidential report presented to the Joint Ceasefire Commission, the commander of the AMIS peacekeeping force, Nigerian General Luke Aprezi, testified that the Janjawid had recently increased their attacks.
In the six-page report, the general states that “the re-emergence of the Janjawid also negatively affected the security situation”.
The AU also assessed in its official statement that “the security situation in Darfur is fast deteriorating, mainly because of the re-emergence of the Janjawid militias who seemed to have been re-supplied and rearmed”.
International efforts to send a hybrid force of UN and AU peacekeepers have faced Sudanese government resistance.
The war in Darfur erupted in February 2003 when rebels from minority tribes took up arms to demand an equal share of national resources, prompting a heavy-handed crackdown from the Sudanese government forces and their Janjawid proxy militias.