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«Human Rights Watch Brussels London New York Washington, D.C. Copyright © 2003 by Human Rights Watch. All rights reserved. Printed in the United ...»

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1568 The IGAD Partners Forum members in 2001 are listed in a footnote above under “Neglect of the Environment: Environmental Issues Regarding the Sudd and the Jonglei Canal.”

–  –  –

by an informal “Troika” composed of the U.S., the U.K., and Norway, with the Kenyan government playing a leading role and providing the chief mediator.

This team succeeded in achieving the signature of the Sudanese government and the SPLM/A on a ground-breaking agreement on July 20, 2002, addressing the key DOP issues on self-determination and the relationship between the state and religion. The agreement was that a self-determination referendum would be conducted to determine southern choice (between unity or independence)—six and a half years after the signing of the final peace agreement. As to religion, shari’a was confirmed as the religion and source of laws in the northern two-thirds of the country, and the south was free to be a secular or other state as it desired during the interim six and a half year period, when a southern regional government would have substantial autonomy within a unified Sudan.

The mediators also managed to reconvene and push forward the second round of talks in October 2002, although the government had walked out of the talks in September on the grounds that the SPLA had captured the government garrison town of Torit, in Eastern Equatoria. As of the writing of this report, the parties have come to verbal agreement on security (military) arrangements but other items remain.

An agreement on sharing the oil and other revenue has not been concluded, however, although the parties are said to have agreed on a formula and most details save for the exact percentage each will receive under that formula. The World Bank provided technical expertise to the parties.

The U.S. and its diplomatic allies have shown unprecedented willingness to bring enormous pressure to bear on the parties. Short of full international engagement in the Sudan peace process, however, the parties would likely continue to fight indefinitely. Congressional attention to Sudan also continued, responding to the peace process. In October 2002, the original Sudan Peace Act providing for capital market sanctions on companies doing business in Sudan was jettisoned and a compromise reached between key legislators on the sanctions. The bill was refashioned to put pressure on the Sudanese government to continue participating in the peace process (at the time, it had walked out of the talks). If within six months of the enactment of the bill (i.e., April 21, 2003) the president certified that the Sudanese government (1) was acting in “bad faith,” or (2) had “unreasonably interfered with humanitarian assistance efforts,” then four sanctions would be enacted, including taking “all necessary

506Foreign Corporate Complicity, Foreign Government Support

and appropriate steps” to ensure that the Sudanese government could not use oil revenues for the purchase of military equipment.1569 If the SPLM/A was in bad faith and negotiations failed, then the sanctions would not apply to the Sudanese government. This bill was signed into law by President Bush on October 21, 2002.1570 The bill also provided that the rebels would receive one hundred million dollars, regardless of the Sudanese government’s compliance, over a three-year period. The ability or willingness of the U.S.

government to provide these funds, if the peace talks collapse, may be called into question in the aftermath of the U.S. military engagement in Iraq.

1569 The four sanctions are: 1) the U.S. will oppose any funding for Sudan from international financial institutions; 2) the U.S. will suspend diplomatic relations with Sudan; 3) the U.S. will take "all necessary and appropriate steps” to deny the Sudanese government access to oil revenues to ensure that it "neither directly nor indirectly utilizes any oil revenues for the purchase of military equipment;" and 4) the U.S. will seek a U.N. Security Council arms embargo against the Sudanese government. Sudan 107th Peace Act, Public Law 107-245, Congress, http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgibin…07_cong_public_laws&docid+f:publ245.107 (accessed November 18, 2002).

1570 “Bush Signs and Commends Sudan Peace Act,” Statement by the President, October 21, 2002; U.S. State Department Fact Sheet on the Sudan Peace Act, October 15, 2002. Text of bill, http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c107:5:./temp/~c1072cIX1F (accessed August 21, 2003).

–  –  –

EUROPEAN UNION

The European Union (E.U.) has been engaged in political dialogue with the government of Sudan, beginning with a meeting in November 1999. That dialogue was intended to lead to normalization of relations. Normalization included reestablishing development aid programs to Sudan, previously suspended because of the war—although in 1999 the war had not abated and has even escalated in the Muglad Basin oil region. The E.U. target date of year-end 2002 for making the normalization decision, however, was deferred in order for the E.U. to coordinate its efforts with the rest of the international community that was deeply involved in the IGAD peace negotiations.

The political dialogue with the Sudanese government was conducted through regular meetings between E.U. ambassadors in Khartoum and government officials. An African-Caribbean-Pacific-European Union (ACP-E.U.) Joint Parliamentary Assembly mission to Sudan in June-July 2001, however, reported disappointment with the government’s lack of cooperation in the dialogue since the end of 2000. It noted several areas of human rights concerns that were discussed but not addressed by the government, such as detention without charges, restrictions on press freedom, abduction and forced labor, and bombing. Notably, the government declared a state of emergency and suspended the National Assembly in December 1999, shortly after the commencement of the E.U. talks. The state of emergency was extended for several years [and continues to date of the writing of this report]. The National Assembly was recalled after the president’s group, headed by First Vice President Osman Ali Taha (a key decisionmaker in the peace talks), effectively removed from power their former mentor Dr. Hassan al Turabi.





The E.U. economic assistance program called “humanitarian plus” of € 15 million was the subject of discussions beginning in 1999 and was to be implemented in 2001, focusing on food security, health, water, and education. This activity accompanied a surge in European commercial and investment interest in Sudan, which was never barred by any E.U. or individual country sanctions, except an E.U. ban on arms trade with Sudan.

508Foreign Corporate Complicity, Foreign Government Support

The E.U. took the laboring oar in drafting human rights resolutions at the General Assembly and at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights when the U.S. dropped this effort in 1998 following the Al Shifa bombing. These E.U.-drafted resolutions, however, did not mirror the views of the successive special rapporteurs on human rights in Sudan appointed by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. The resolutions were progressively watered down but the rapporteurs found very little improvement in human rights.

E.U.-Sudan Political Dialogue The E.U. suspended development aid to the Sudanese government in 1990 because of its concern about human rights, democracy, rule of law, and peace talks. There were no E.U. restrictions on its members’ investments in the Sudan oil industry, although an arms embargo was put in place. The E.U. funded the humanitarian efforts of NGOs in Sudan through the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO).

By 2001, the ECHO humanitarian financing for Sudan had amounted to some € 160 million since 1994, averaging about € 23 million a year, slightly half of which was spent in the rebel-controlled areas of the South, mostly to non-SPLM/A controlled areas after February 2000, when the E.U. suspended aid to SPLM/A areas in response to the SPLM/A position on the Memorandum of Understanding issue.1571 This meant that NGOs in receipt of E.U. funds were barred from working in SPLM/A-controlled areas, a policy the E.U. gradually moved away from as the peace talks progressed.

The E.U.’s political dialogue with the Sudanese government from November 1999 addressed five particular issues: human rights; democracy, the rule of law and good governance; the peace process;

1571 ACP-E.U. Joint Parliamentary Assembly, “Report on the mission to the Sudan, 26 June – 2 July 2001,” September 28, 2001, CR\446637EN.doc, APP/3221.

–  –  –

terrorism; and cooperation between the Sudan and neighboring countries. E.U. representatives said the November 1999 meeting was useful and had produced “very positive results.”1572 Significant progress was made in monthly meetings until the end of 2000, according to the report of the ACP-E.U. delegation that visited in June-July 2001. “Since then [December 2000] there was a discernible lessening of enthusiasm and engagement on the Sudanese side, which the EU Member States found most discouraging.”1573 This coincided with the continuation of the state of emergency and the split within the National Congress Party, with Dr. Turabi forming a new, separate Islamist political party;

suspension of the National Assembly; the separate arrests of opposition National Democratic Alliance members and Dr. Turabi; and the time when the special rapporteur of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights noted deterioration in the movement toward human rights and democracy.

An ACP-E.U. delegation noted in its September 2001 report that “a major issue was that of the use of oil revenue.... There seems to be a complete lack of transparency in this area.... At the EU-Sudan political dialogue meeting on 15 May, the Minister of Justice promised to provide figures to show how government oil revenues were being used.”1574 Otherwise, “Most time had been spent discussing human rights.”1575 By the time of this mid-2000 visit, the European Commission had begun implementing a new program, “Humanitarian Plus,” budgeted at € 15 million, financed in the form of a grant. This aid was to focus on re-establishing self-reliance in the sectors of food security, basic health, water, and sanitation— considered medium-term operations—to strengthen the delivery of basic services at the local community 1572 “Sudan Country Profile 2001” Economist Intelligence Unit, London, 2001, p. 13.

1573 ACP-E.U., “Report on the mission to the Sudan, 26 June – 2 July 2001.” 1574 Ibid.

1575 Ibid. At the end of the first phase the parties decided that the political dialogue would continue with the discussion of the first three subjects, as there was no terrorism problem and relations with neighbors had improved.

–  –  –

level.1576 It was not being implemented in the SPLM/A areas because the SPLM/A insisted on control of the programming.1577 In a November 2001 resolution on Sudan, the ACP-E.U. Joint Parliamentary Assembly stated that it was “aware of the currently destabilizing effects of oil production but also of its extremely valuable potential

contribution to the country’s economic development.” It also stated, on the oil issue, that the assembly:

–  –  –

17. Believes that the GoS would improve its own position, and increase the chances of a durable peace within the whole country, were it to ensure that oil revenues were used to a greater extent to alleviate hardship and strengthen the economy;

–  –  –

Following the urging of the ACP-E.U. delegation, the European Union dispatched representatives of the E.U. “troika” (the governments of the current, outgoing, and incoming E.U. presidents) to visit Sudan 1576 Ibid.

1577 Ibid.

1578 ACP-E.U. Joint Parliamentary Assembly, Resolution on the situation in Sudan, ACP-EU/3227/fin, adopted November 1, 2001, in Brussels, Belgium, http://www.europarl.eu.int/intcoop/acp/bru2001/pdf/res_004_en.pdf (accessed June 24, 2002).

511Human Rights Watch

in December 2001.1579 This marked the close of the second year of political dialogue. The troika, led by Ambassador Frank De Coninck, Director General in the Foreign Ministry of Belgium, representing the E.U. Presidency, met on December 8 and 9, 2001, in Khartoum with Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Mutrif Siddiq. In a joint communiqué, they announced that the management unit for the Humanitarian Plus programme would start its activities in Khartoum in January 2002. They said that Sudan and the E.U. would strive for progressive normalization of relations1580 under article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement that regulates relations between the E.U. and ACP states, referring to political dialogue.1581 The E.U. termed it “possible resumption of development assistance,” contingent on reassessment of the progress in political dialogue at the end of 2002.

Within the framework of the Cotonou agreement, two grant allocations were envisaged for Sudan: € 135 million for the next five years (poverty reduction) and € 20 million potentially available for emergency assitance, debt relief, and mitigation of unstable export earnings. The amounts were indicative, not entitlements, and might be revised. Releasing Sudan’s unused allocations from previous funds would substantially increase these figures.1582 1579 E.U.-Sudan Joint Communiqué, Press Release: Khartoum (9/12/2001) - Press: 467 Nr: 15216/01, http://ue.eu.int/newsroom/newmain.asp?lang=1 (accessed June 24, 2002).

1580 E.U.-Sudan Joint Communiqé, Press Release: Khartoum (9/12/2001) - Press: 467 Nr: 15216/01, http://ue.eu.int/newsroom/newmain.asp?lang=1 (accessed June 24, 2002).

1581 Partnership Agreement between the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), of the one part, and the European Community and its Members States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou, Benin, on 23 June 2000 (notification by Sudan, October 29, 2001); Official Journal of the European Communities, L. 317/ 8 EN, 15.12.2000, article 8 (“Political Dialogue”).http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/pri/en/oj/dat/2000/l_317/l_31720001215en00030286.pdf (accessed June 24, 2002).



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