DARFUR (26 May.) - The head of the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), Dr Tijani Sese, on Sunday launched the formation of a Truth and Reconciliation Committee and a Justice Committee, as provided for in the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD). The Darfur displaced are sceptical about the work of the Committees.
The Truth and Reconciliation Committee will evaluate the root causes of the 11-year conflict, investigate human rights violations in Darfur since 2003, and develop a confidence-building and reconciliation culture in the region. The Justice Committee will receive claims by Darfuris affected by the conflict, and assess and determine the nature and amount of compensation.
Omda Ahmed Ateem Osman, coordinator of the North Darfur camps for the displaced, described the idea of a Justice Committee ” a foregone conclusion, and a waste of the rights of the victims”.
“There exists no independent judiciary in Sudan, capable and willing to implement the Committees’ assignments,” he commented. “No victim will come forward and submit a claim, because they know what their fate will be: arrest, murder, of a forced flight from Darfur or from Sudan.”
“We prefer an international justice organ, not the justice announced by Sese and this Khartoum regime. What is happening these days in Darfur is a new genocide and ethnic cleansing by the systematic burning of villages and forced displacement of civilians at the hands of the Rapid Support militias under the command of the security apparatus,” the coordinator stressed. “So how can Sese launch such committees in a time of escalating violence?”
Hussein Abu Sharati, chairman of the Association of Displaced People and Refugees of Darfur, and one of the leaders of Kalma camp in South Darfur, told Radio Dabanga that he “does not think that the Truth and Reconciliation Committee will achieve much in the light of the continuing war and the absence of a comprehensive peace agreement in the region”.
“The Truth and Reconciliation Committee is an empty case with an impossible assignment,” he commented. “How can a committee consisting of criminals judge criminals?”
“Apart from that,” the chairman asked, “Will the DRA be able to protect the members of these committees? Who will protect the committee members when they start their fact-finding missions on the ground?”
Abu Sharati concluded by saying that the Association of Displaced People and Refugees of Darfur rejects any protection programme initiated by the ruling National Congress Party. “The Association’s position is linked to international laws,” he stressed. “There cannot be any solution for the Darfur conflict and the crises in the country without a holistic, comprehensive approach for the sake of the entire population of Sudan.”