Algeria reaffirms its firm condemnation of the grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed in Darfur. It also expresses its sympathy for and solidarity with the victims of that tragedy. From the outbreak of the crisis, Algeria has been involved in the international community’s efforts to end the suffering of the civilian population and to find a political solution. In that regard, Algeria has spared no effort to support the effective measures taken by the African Union and its Chairman, President Obasanjo, to stabilize the situation and help the parties to find a peaceful solution to that fratricidal conflict.
Algeria firmly believes that fighting impunity is a crucial element for the entrenchment of peace and stability. That need is all the more essential in the case of Darfur because the conflict, which has raged for several years, has damaged relations between the communities. The process of fighting impunity must therefore also aim at restoring harmonious relations between the populations of Darfur and serve the cause of peace.
From our point of view, all steps taken by the international community must seek four equally important objectives. First, they must bring to justice those guilty of crimes through credible, fair and transparent trials. Secondly, they must render justice to the victims by restoring their rights and by compensating them for the moral and material damages they have suffered. Thirdly, the steps taken must promote national reconciliation, a political settlement of the crisis and the strengthening of peace and stability throughout the Sudan. Finally, they must gain the Sudanese people’s support for a process in which they are the most important concern and that ensures, in particular, the Government’s cooperation, which is essential for bringing that process to completion.
Taking those considerations into account, Algeria believes that the African Union is best placed to take charge of that sensitive and delicate undertaking. We are convinced that the African Union can satisfy the requirements for peace without sacrificing the requirement of justice that we all owe the victims. For, while it is true that there can be no peace without justice, it is equally true that without peace, there will be no justice.
On behalf of the African Union, President Obasanjo made a proposal founded precisely on the desire to reconcile those two fundamental requirements, mindful that utmost prudence must be exercised when taking action. We regret that the members of the Council have declined to study that proposal in depth or to assess it in the light of the possibilities it offers for attaining our common objective of placing the fight against impunity in the service of the strengthening of peace and national reconciliation.
We also underline that one cannot claim to support the African Union and leave to it the task of proposing African solutions suited to the various types of crises the continent has experienced, only to brush aside its proposals to the Council without even deigning to consider them.
In that context, I wish to recall that when the situation in Darfur erupted, only the African Union dared to send soldiers to monitor the ceasefire and protect the civilian population, and that, in the face of a complex crisis, only the African Union was able to persuade the parties to engage in negotiations for a peaceful solution to the conflict.
What is true of the situation in the Sudan is true of all conflicts in Africa, where African heads of State, through often intense mediation, have been able to put an end to conflicts. And it is the African approach, based on justice and reconciliation, that has enabled communities that have ripped one another apart to make the effort, once justice has been served, to learn how to live together once again. The resolution that has just been adopted took a different approach. My delegation had no choice but to abstain.
I wish to conclude my statement by expressing a regret. I regret that, out of a concern for compromise at all costs and at whatever price, those defending the principle of universal justice have in fact ensured that, in this domain, the use of double standards — of which some have accused the Council — and a two-track justice were most unexpectedly demonstrated.