General Meeting, Adelaide, Australia
29 September – 1 October 2004
The United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 556 on 30 July 2004:
“Condemning all acts of violence of human rights and international humanitarian law by all parties to the crisis (in Darfur, Sudan), in particular by the Janjaweed, including indiscriminate attacks on civilians, rapes, forced displacements, and acts of violence especially those with an ethnic dimension, and expressing its utmost concern at the consequences of the conflict in Darfur on the civilian population, including women, children, internally displaced persons, and refugees.”
The United Nations estimates that over 1.2 million people are internally displaced in Darfur, a region in Sudan, and another 200,000 have taken refuge in Chad. Those who have fled their homes left behind the bodies of family members and friends who died as a result of raids by Janjaweed militia. Left behind are also charred villages and destroyed croplands burned down as people fled in what appears to be a deliberate effort by the apparent support of the Sudan Government for the Arab militia, the primary perpetrators of this travesty.
What started as an effort to control rebel movement by two groups (the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement) has grown into acts of violence on a scale that has resulted in violations of human rights and international law and genocide. There are two components: the scorched earth policy and its extreme consequences, and, the efforts to curtail and obstruct assistance to the victims of the violence. As recently as 9 September 2004, Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, asserted that more can and should be done. He also reported that security problems persist and that most of the militia have not been disarmed.
Therefore be it resolved that:
WE, the member organisations of the International Federation of Social Workers, condemn and abhor indiscriminate attacks on civilians, forced displacements, rape and starvations as the means of control, and acts of violence especially those with an ethnic dimension.
We support the United Nations in its efforts to resolve these issues with increased disaster assistance and humanitarian assistance. It is also important to support efforts to resolve the underlying causes that led to the present crisis. We call on the Government of Sudan to extend full cooperation with the UN efforts. And, we call on all governments to provide the resources necessary to stop this tragic violation of human rights.