18 January 2010
To: H.E. Djibril Bassole, AU/UN Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur
To: H.E. Ahmed Abdalla Aal Mahmoud, State Minister for Foreign Affairs; State of Qatar
We, the undersigned representatives of Darfur civil society organisations in the Diaspora and refugee camps, highly value your relentless efforts to resolve the armed conflict and achieve peace for our beleaguered people in Darfur.
The Darfur Civil Society Inaugural Conference convened in Doha in November 2009 was a welcome step in the right direction. It would empower Darfur civil society and allow their contribution to a peaceful resolution of the country’s crisis including Darfur. In fact, that important gathering comes in fulfilment of UN Security Council Resolution S/RES/1828 (2008) of 31st July 2008 in which the Security Council underlined “… the need for the engagement of civil society, including women and women-led organizations, community groups and tribal leaders” in the peace process in Darfur.
However, we are inclined to believe that inclusive representation of civil society in the Inaugural Conference was not met. The refugees were neglected, the Diaspora was represented by three individuals who could speak only on behalf of themselves and most of the IDP camps have had no meaningful representation. Instead, there was a prevailing presence of supporters of the Government of Sudan some of whom stand accused of playing active role in tormenting the people of Darfur. Yet they were present in Doha to speak on behalf of their victims.
It is very unlikely that the government of Sudan would either "ease security measures and guarantee freedom of movement" in particular for independent-minded representative of the people of Darfur or comply with the recommendations of UN Security Council resolution 1769 (2008)’ to make the participation of the Darfur IDP camps dwellers in civil society gatherings abroad possible. You would appreciate that in such situations the views of the participants at any consultations would not be equitably balanced in case there is disproportionate representation of Darfuris from the IDP camps, refugee camps and those in the Diaspora. To have any inclusive and meaningful consultations with Darfur civil society, we do believe it is imperative that the three groups mentioned above be adequately represented. Partial ownership of a peace agreement is rather self-destructive.
Therefore, we earnestly urge the Joint Mediation and the government of the State of Qatar to ensure adequate representation of Darfur refugees, IDPs and Darfur civil society in the Diaspora in all upcoming civil society consultations so that they can voice their views and play a constructive role in both the peace- making and in the post- conflict peace-building phases.
The list of potential signatories:
Darfur Union in UK & Northern Ireland, UK
Ahmed M. Mohamedain
Darfur Union, The Netherlands
Darfur Relief & Documentation Centre, Switzerland
Dr. Mariam Suliman
Darfur Training Committee, Ireland
Darfur Women Action Group, USA
Darfur Call, The Netherlands
Darfur Association Galgary, Canada
Darfur Association, Belgium
Darfur Heritage & Culture, Belgium
Darfur Association, Norway
Darfur Friedens- und Entwicklungs-Zentrum, Switzerland
Darfur Reconciliation & Development, USA
Darfur Victim’s Organization for Rehabilitation Relief, UK
Dr. Mohammed Ali Mustafa
Darfur IPDs & Refugees Union, Chad
Darfur Solidarity Group, South Africa
Darfur Association Ontartio, Canada
Darfur Self Reliance Education, USA
Dr. Mahmoud Braima
Darfur Association of North America, USA
Ahmed Adam Ali
Darfur Association of Colorado, USA
Darfur Rehabilitation project, USA
Darfur Association of Lincoln, USA
Dr. Adam Mohamed Ahmed
Darfur Solidarity Group of North America, USA
Mohamed Adam Sharaf,
Darfur Solidarity of Arizona, USA
Darfur Women Action Group, USA