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FAAE Committee Report

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Government Response to the Second Report of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development

Situation in Darfur

Detailed Responses to the Recommendations

DETAILED RESPONSES TO THE RECOMMENDATIONS

The Government of Canada would like to thank the members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development for their work leading to their report on the current situation in Darfur, Sudan.

Canada continues to implement a whole of government, all of Sudan strategy to resolve the crisis in Darfur, support the implementation of the peace agreements, support peace operations, contribute to humanitarian and reconstruction efforts throughout Sudan and promote regional security.

Recommendation 1
That the Government recognize that the Darfur Peace Agreement, signed on May 5th 2006, has already been violated by its signatories.
Response

Canada has repeatedly called upon all parties to the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) and to the N’Djamena Ceasefire Agreement to uphold their responsibilities. The Minister of Foreign Affairs has publicly noted the violations by all parties. Canada condemns all acts of violence committed in violation of the DPA, as well as reported violations through inaction. In addition, Canada supports the recent African Union communiqué issued in New York on September 20 by the AU Peace and Security Council which calls upon all parties to the agreements to fully honour their commitments, and demands that those parties who have not signed the DPA do so without delay. Canada also fully supports Security Council Resolutions 1679 and 1706 which call upon the full implementation of the DPA.

Recommendation 2
That the African Union has admitted that it is incapable of preventing violence in the region or in protecting aid convoys from interference or attack.
Response

United Nations Security Council resolution 1556 endorsed the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) which was established in 2003 by the African Union. The African Union was established in 2001 and AMIS is its first peacekeeping operation. The African Union has made a difference where it has been deployed in Darfur and has provided important protection of civilians under very difficult circumstances. Canada fully supports AMIS and continues, along with other international donors (primarily the USA, United Kingdom and European Union) to provide the mission with technical and financial assistance necessary to conducts its operations. The AU, however, does not have the resources or the capacity to sustain the large peacekeeping force required in Darfur. On 10 March, 2006, the African Union Peace and Security Council requested the Secretary General of the AU to begin discussions with the United Nations with view to a transition of the AU mission to a UN-led mission in Darfur. The United Nations has responded to this request through the adoption of Security Council resolution 1706. Canada fully supports the resolution and is working with the AU, UN and other international parts to convince the Government of Sudan to accept the transition to a UN mission.

Recommendation 3
That the only means in which the people of Darfur are going to be safe is through the deployment of a robust Chapter VII peacekeeping force as soon as possible.
Response

The United Nations has responded to the deteriorating situation in Darfur by issuing resolution 1706 on 28 August 2006, which invites the Government of Sudan’s consent to establish a UN-led mission in Darfur. The UN has recognized in this resolution that “the situation in the Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security”. The UN resolution does include a Chapter VII protection of civilians mandate, as well as UN support of the AU mission in the interim. The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations has had planning underway for some time, to deploy a force that will assume responsibility from AMIS operations in Darfur. Canada along with other donor nations and AU member states, has been a key partner to the UN and AU in this process. All efforts are being made to plan for an operation with appropriate African involvement, and Resolution 1706 specifically states that “a United Nations operation in Darfur shall have, to the extent possible, a strong African participation and character”. It is Canada’s priority in Sudan to help end the humanitarian, human rights and security crisis by supporting international efforts to ensure the legal and physical protection of civilians in Darfur. Canada will continues strong diplomatic efforts to this end, while continuing our humanitarian assistance, and the peacebuilding and peace operations support essential to laying the groundwork for sustainable peace.

Recommendation 4
That the government prepare to support this mission through all diplomatic, economic and military means available.
Response

Canada is very engaged, diplomatically and financially, in the efforts to bring peace to Sudan. Canada will continue to provide essential support to the African Union mission now, and through the transition to a UN mission. Canada has contributed over $320 million towards efforts to bring peace to Sudan since 2004, including $190 million to the African Union mission, and Canadian military and police advisors have been deployed to support the AU mission. The government stands ready to consider UN requests for the specialists that will be the key to the UN force’s effectiveness. These could include key staff positions, logistical and technical specialists and other expertise, which could include military, police or civilian personnel. Canada would also be one of the principal financial supporters of this mission through our UN peacekeeping assessed contributions providing approximately $42 million dollars towards an expanded UN mission in Sudan that would include the region of Darfur. Canada also continues to play a very active diplomatic role, including through close and constant contact with the AU, UN and our key international partners. The Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs have spoken to their counterparts on issues relating to Sudan to ensure that this issue remains at the top of the international agenda. Canada is also playing an important role in peacebuilding and reconstruction efforts in support of the acceptance of the Darfur Peace Agreement, and to ensure implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the long running and tragic war between North and South Sudan. Canada continues to pursue a whole-of-government and all-of-Sudan approach to our efforts to resolve Sudan’s conflicts, and bring an end to the suffering of its peoples.