Geneva, August 29, 2006 – With increasingly alarming news coming out of the Darfur region of Sudan, UN Watch today launched an urgent global campaign calling on the UN Security Council and General Assembly to suspend and eventually expel Sudan from the world body, until it ceases to defy UN resolutions and the basic principles of international human rights law. Thousands of citizens from around the world are expected to send emails from the website of the Geneva-based monitoring group to General Assembly President Jan Eliasson and the five permanent members of the Security Council.
Independent reports confirm that the government of Sudan and its janjaweed militias are continuing to terrorize and slaughter the people of Darfur. Since early 2003, an estimated 2 million have been displaced, and 200,000 killed. Despite widespread international condemnation and repeated UN Security Council resolutions—the latest, in May, authorizing a UN force under Chapter VII, the UN Charter’s enforcement provisions—Khartoum continues to defy international law, block UN intervention (including by threatening violence against UN forces), and pillage, rape and kill with impunity.
Recent reports suggest that, instead of admitting the Security-Council mandated force, the Sudanese Government is preparing to launch a military offensive in the region. UN humanitarian chief Jan Egeland said yesterday that “a man-made catastrophe of an unprecedented scale” is looming.
“Article 5 of the UN Charter expressly empowers the Security Council and General Assembly to suspend a state against which the Security Council has taken enforcement action, like Sudan,” said Hillel C. Neuer, UN Watch Executive Director. “Although an extreme sanction, we believe that suspension is wholly appropriate in Sudan’s case. The Khartoum government has flouted one Security Council resolution after another, and now appears to be about to escalate its genocidal campaign in Darfur.”
“This despicable conduct is entirely inconsistent with the requirements of UN membership,” continued Neuer. The Charter requires that UN members must be “peace-loving states” and, among other obligations, must “give the United Nations every assistance in any action it takes” in accordance with the Charter. UN members also must not act in ways inconsistent with the organization’s purposes—which include maintaining peace and security, and protecting and promoting human rights.
If the suspension remedy fails to persuade Khartoum to change course, said Neuer, the UN should move to expel Sudan under Article 6, which applies to a member state that “persistently violated the Principles” of the Charter.