Update on Darfur

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 16, 2011

The U.S. Institute of Peace hosted an important workshop on Darfur this week, which was attended by key Darfuri armed movements, Darfuri civil society, and key stakeholders in the international community, including U.S. government officials. The workshop produced frank and constructive discussions on Darfur and served as a unique opportunity to foster dialogue among some of the key stakeholders.

The United States remains deeply concerned about the situation in Darfur. Although some progress has been achieved on the road to a definitive settlement, fundamental issues remain unresolved and a serious humanitarian and human rights crisis is ongoing in the region. Civilians continue to live in insecurity, as a result of the ongoing fighting between government forces and the armed movements, continued aerial bombardments in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, as well as lawlessness and general banditry.

Durable peace requires dialogue among key stakeholders about the future of Darfur, and progress on key issues including compensation of victims, accountability for genocide and atrocities, settlement of land disputes, protection of human rights, and disarmament of militias. The Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, signed between the Government of Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement, is a step forward in the peace process.

We strongly urge the parties to implement the agreement fully and transparently. We also call upon the Government of Sudan and all armed movements to pursue their political goals through peaceful means, including through negotiations and compromise. Finally, we urge the Government of Sudan to remain open and flexible to negotiations with the armed movements. Discussions between the Government of Sudan and the non-signatory movements should proceed without unrealistic demands or incendiary rhetoric that risk permanently immobilizing the peace process.

The United Nations-African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur continues to serve a critical role in protecting civilians and in the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur. We are committed to ensuring that the mission has the resources and political support necessary to carry out its renewed mandate.

PRN: 2011/1950