IRC urges intense efforts to break impasse in Sudan peace process

News and Press Release
Originally published
In a letter to Colin Powell, the IRC's President George Rupp and the leaders of three other aid organizations have commended the Secretary of State's "determination" to help get Sudan's peace negotiations back on track. The groups called on the international community to push for a fair and lasting settlement to the Sudan conflict and unhindered humanitarian access to war-affected populations.
The text of the letter follows:

September 10, 2002

The Honorable Colin L. Powell
The Secretary of State

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We are writing to commend your determination to resolve the impasse in the Machakos peace negotiations. As international humanitarian agencies working in Sudan, we would like to add our collective voice in support of these efforts. Clear, unrelenting and convergent pressure from the international community is needed now if the warring parties are to resume negotiations.

We strongly believe that there can be no military solution to the conflict. A just and enduring peace can only be achieved through negotiation. The recent military activity by both sides has created additional human suffering and undermines whatever trust may have been established during the talks between the warring parties. It is clear that a further escalation of hostilities would only deepen suffering and make the prospect of a peaceful settlement more remote.

We urge:

  • The international community to press the parties to agree to a cessation of hostilities while negotiations are underway.

  • The international community, working in partnership with regional governments, to use all of the political, economic and diplomatic instruments at its disposal to push for a fair and final settlement to the conflict.

  • The U.S., other concerned governments and multilateral institutions such as IGAD, the EU and the UN to construct a clearly defined package of incentives and penalties so that the warring parties can see the benefits of peace and the price of continued war.

  • All parties to re-affirm and agree to ensure unequivocal humanitarian access to populations in need.
Making war while talking peace is an untenable strategy and only causes more suffering for the people of Sudan.

Yours sincerely,

Peter D. Bell, President

Charles F. MacCormack, President
Save the Children

Dr. George Rupp, President
International Rescue Committee

Richard Stearns, President
World Vision