SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS -- (Senate - September 07, 2006)
SENATE RESOLUTION 559--CALLING ON THE PRESIDENT TO TAKE IMMEDIATE STEPS TO HELP STOP THE VIOLENCE IN DARFUR
Mr. BIDEN. (for himself, Mr. DeWine, Mr. Lugar, Mr. Kerry, Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Cantwell, Mr. Dodd, Mr. Nelson of Florida, Mr. Levin, Mr. Feingold, Mr. Durbin, Mrs. Boxer, Mr. Voinovich, Mr. Specter, Mr. Chafee, Mr. Sununu, Mr. McCain, Mr. Brownback, Mr. Coleman, Mr. Lieberman, Mr. Salazar, Mr. Schumer, Mr. Leahy, Mrs. Murray, Mr. Inouye, Mr. Hagel, Mr. Frist, and Mr. Smith) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
Whereas the Darfur Peace Agreement, signed on May 5, 2006, between the Government of Sudan and rebels in Darfur has not resulted in a cessation of hostilities in Darfur;
Whereas, although the United Nations Security Council approved Security Council Resolution 1706 (2006), which provides for a United Nations peacekeeping presence in Darfur to replace the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), the Government of Sudan has rejected the deployment of United Nations peacekeepers;
Whereas the Government of Sudan is engaged in a major offensive in Darfur, in direct violation of the Darfur Peace Agreement;
Whereas violence in the Darfur region has increased since the signing of the Darfur Peace Agreement;
Whereas Jan Egeland, the United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, has stated that the coming weeks may result in a ``man-made catastrophe of an unprecedented scale'' in Darfur;
Whereas the African Union has decided to terminate the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) at the end of September 2006;
Whereas it is unlikely that the United Nations will have the logistical means or capability to deploy peacekeepers to Sudan until the end of 2006;
Whereas the people of Darfur cannot wait that long for security to be re-established; and
Whereas the international community must renew its efforts to stop genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in Darfur:
Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate--
(1) strongly condemns--
(A) the current military offensive of the Government of Sudan in Darfur in violation of the terms of the May 5, 2006, Darfur Peace Agreement and the April 8, 2004, N'Djamena cease-fire accord; and
(B) the rejection by the Government of Sudan of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1706 (2006);
(2) commends the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) for its actions to date in monitoring the April 8, 2004, N'Djamena cease-fire agreement in Darfur and encourages the African Union to leave the AMIS force in place until a United Nations peacekeeping mission is deployed to Darfur;
(3) calls upon the Government of Sudan to immediately--
(A) cease its military offensive in Darfur; and
(B) comply with the deployment of United Nations peacekeepers to Darfurt called for by the United Nations Security Council;
(4) calls upon the United Nations--
(A) to deploy as quickly as practicable peacekeeping troops as authorized by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1706 (2006) that are well trained and equipped; and
(B) to begin considerations of sanctions as called for by paragraphs 6 and 7 of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1556 (2004) and paragraph 14 of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1564 (2004);
(5) urges the President to take urgent steps to help improve the security situation in Darfur, including by--
(A) pursuing the imposition of a ``no-fly zone'' in Darfur in cooperation with the United Nations, NATO, or NATO allies;
(B) garnering support for NATO assistance with the handover by the African Union of the AMIS mission to the United Nations;
(C) working through diplomatic channels to obtain the support of China, Russia, and United States allies in the Arab League in securing the compliance of the Go vernment of Sudan with the deployment of United Nations peacekeepers as provided by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1706 (2006);
(D) supporting full funding for the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Sudan;
(E) securing the necessary support from United Nations member states to schedule a special session on Sudan in the United Nations Human Rights Council; and
(F) appointing a Special Envoy to Sudan to head the Office of the Presidential Special Envoy established pursuant to chapter 6 of title I of the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery, 2006 (Public Law 109-234; 120 Stat. 439); and
(6) urges the international community--
(A) to support the deployment of United Nations peacekeepers to Darfur financially, with logistical and equipment support, or through troop contributions;
(B) to fulfill financial obligations to United Nations and international humanitarian aid agencies for responding to thep i is in Darfur or addressing humanitarian needs throughout Sudan;
(C) to impose targeted sanctions against members of the National Congress Party determined to be responsible for human rights violations, war crimes, and crimes against humanity; and
(D) to impose sanctions consistent with paragraphs 6 and 7 of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1556 (2004) and paragraph 14 of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1564 (2004)
Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, today I am introducing a resolution along with my colleague Senator DEWINE urging the President to take immediate action to avert a looming tragedy in Darfur, Sudan. The government of Sudan has launched an all-out military offensive in Darfur that could result in hundreds of thousands of additional deaths. The United States must lead the international community to save those lives. It is urgent that we act.
How did we arrive at such a situation? And what must we do to stop it?
Over the past two years the situation in Sudan has remained dire. As many as 400,000 people may be dead. Two million people have been displaced from their homes, over 200,000 are refugees in Chad, and three million rely on international aid. Those numbers haven't diminished over time, they have gotten worse. And now, they may be on the brink of becoming even more catastrophic.
In May of this year, the government of Sudan and rebels in Darfur--specifically the Minni Minnawi faction of the Sudan Liberation Army, SLA,--signed a peace agreement. Rather than improving the security situation, the Darfur Peace Agreement has made things worse. The agreement never had the support of the entire SLA, or the other major rebel movement in Darfur, the Justice and Equality Movement. Nor did it have the support of people living in displaced camps in Darfur. In the days and weeks after news of the agreement spread, violence in camps increased either because people misunderstood what was in the agreement, or they felt the agreement was flawed. And violence on the ground became worse, as the rebel factions split and fighting erupted between those who had signed the Darfur Peace Agreement and those who had not.
Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in fighting since May--fifty thousand in the last two months alone. Many of them have taken refuge in camps for the internally displaced. Attacks on humanitarian aid convoys have increased by a factor of more than ten compared to this time last year. Twelve humanitarian workers have been killed in the past four months--more than during the previous year. Two hundred internally displaced women have been raped and another two hundred violently assaulted in over the course of the past five weeks.
The United Nations, after months of delay, finally extended the mandate of the U.N. Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) to Darfur at the end of August. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1706 authorizes the deployment of over 17,000 peace keepers and 3000 civilian police to Darfur. Regrettably, however, the government of Sudan has rejected the deployment of the U.N. force, instead launching a military offensive in Darfur. African Union officials have stated that they will not extend the mission in Sudan past the end of this month. And even if the aforementioned impediments did not exist, it would be months before a U.N. mission could fully deploy.
Just to make absolutely sure a peacekeeping force is never deployed, the government of Khartoum has gone on the offensive. If it scorches enough earth--and people--there will be no need for the peacekeeping force because there will be no one left to protect and no peace to keep.
We are at a pivotal moment. Hundreds of thousands of Sudanese are in camps, vulnerable to aerial and ground attacks from government forces. We cannot stand by and do nothing.
This resolution is straightforward. It calls on the President to undertake three key actions, some of which the Senate has asked him to do before: First, it once again calls on him to pursue the imposition of a no-fly zone through the U.N., NATO or NATO allies. The Senate asked the President to propose that NATO consider how to implement and enforce such a no-fly zone in March of this year. If anything, the need to enforce a no-fly zone has increased.
Second, it asks that the President secure the necessary support from United Nations member states to schedule a special session on Sudan in the United Nations Human Rights Council. The international community must speak out on the atrocities which continue to unfold in Sudan--and it must act.
Third, it asks the President to appoint a Special Envoy to Sudan to head the office that Senator DEWINE and I
established at the State Department through a provision in the supplemental appropriations bill that was signed into law in June. The administration has avoided doing so for years, and our diplomatic efforts have suffered as a result.
I'm under no illusion that these actions alone will stop the Sudanese government. The international community must put a credible force on the ground as soon as possible. NATO should be prepared to help the AMIS hand-off to the United Nations. It is imperative that the President pick up the phone and talk to our NATO allies about how to do that. He should also call the president of the African Union and the U.N. Secretary General about going to Khartoum to talk to President Bashir about his government's rejection of the U.N. Security Council resolution. And the Secretary of State must get involved in diplomatic efforts to convince the Sudanese to cooperate with the implementation of Security Council resolution. I understand that Assistant Secretary of State Frazer was sent to Khartoum over the Labor Day weekend. She met with President Bashir, but according to all reports, the meeting did not result in any change in Khartoum's posture towards the deployment of U.N. troops. I applaud the administration for sending Dr. Frazer. But with all due respect I think we need to be engaged at higher levels.
It has been 12 years since the international community watched nearly a million people get killed in Rwanda, and 11 years since the world stood by as the massacres in Srebrenica occurred. Since then, President Clinton took decisive action to stop ethnic cleansing act in Bosnia, and then in Kosovo. Both missions were controversial--even unpopular. But the cost of inaction was too high. The cost of inaction in Darfur is too high as well.