Sudan

Statement by the G8 and AU: Sudan

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1. We, the leaders of the G8 and of Africa, renew our resolve today to see an end to the crisis in Darfur - a crisis that has seen thousands killed, some two million displaced and fearful to return home, and that threatens to undermine a hard-won peace agreement for Southern Sudan, itself the scene of over twenty years of brutal civil war. To this end we have already provided diverse and significant assistance, and we commit here to continuing that support. We also note the need to play close attention to the situation in East Sudan.

2. We congratulate the African Union on their work to resolve the Darfur crisis. We call on the rebel groups in Darfur and the Sudanese Government to respect scrupulously the cease-fire agreement and to negotiate constructively to reach a full political agreement in the African Union-led talks in Abuja. There is no alternative forum for resolution of this conflict. We welcome the signature of the Declaration of Principles by the parties on 5 July. This is an important first step. Without a political resolution the humanitarian crisis will continue, and lasting peace and security will remain beyond reach. Ending impunity for the terrible crimes committed in Darfur is crucial. We call on the Government of Sudan and all other parties to comply with UNSCR 1593 which calls for co-operation with the International Criminal Court; to apprehend and bring to justice those responsible for violations of human rights; and to disarm the Janjaweed and other militias.

3. The African Union is playing a vital role in enhancing security on the ground, protecting civilians, allowing the humanitarian response to function and giving the political talks a chance of success. The troops are having a positive impact. The number of clashes between rebels and Government forces have diminished, and the expansion of the force will help further to improve security. African leaders are giving political direction. G8 members are heavily engaged in supporting the African Union mission and have so far committed $460m. We are working closely together, including through the European Union and NATO, to provide urgently the support and resources that the African Union requires in order to reach full deployment by the end of September.

4. A year ago, the humanitarian response in Darfur was only beginning. It is now, in most parts, an effective operation, though it is still not able to reach all of those in need. We call on the Government of Sudan and rebels to ensure that the vital work of the humanitarian agencies can continue and expand, unimpeded, and without fear of harassment so that the people can return to their homes and resume their normal lives. G8 members have already committed almost $3.5bn over the next three years for Sudan. But gaps still exist. So we today call for renewed efforts by the international community to fill those gaps and to sustain funding while needs remain in the coming years - and we urge donors to fulfil promptly commitments made at the Oslo Donor's Conference in April 2005.

5. Following the signature of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Sudan is now at a critical juncture. The work of the UN Mission is vital and has our full support. We are committed to supporting the Sudanese people as they implement this agreement, and establish a more transparent and democratic system of government. We welcome tomorrow's inauguration of the new Presidency in Sudan, and urge it to make Sudan the peaceful, prosperous and democratic place that its people deserve.