U.N. envoy says Security Council must threaten to use stick as well as offer carrots in Sudan peace talks

Friday, November 5th 2004, 6:57 am
By: News On 6

UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ The U.N. Security Council must threaten to use its ``stick'' as well as offer ``carrots'' to speed up settlement of the 21-year civil war in Sudan and the 20-month conflict in Darfur, the top U.N. envoy to Sudan says.

Jan Pronk urged the council on Thursday to turn its upcoming meeting on Sudan into ``an event which really is decisive in influencing the events on the ground.'' The council is scheduled to meet Nov. 18-19 in Nairobi, Kenya.

U.S. Ambassador John Danforth, the current council president, said a resolution which members will adopt in Nairobi will ``present the concept of the carrot _ namely that the international community will be there for Sudan if there is peace.''

But if there is no peace, he said, the council will make clear that ``nothing good is going to come to the various groups.''

Pronk told the council Darfur faces increasing insecurity and violence and the ``dire'' possibility of falling into anarchy and control by warlords.

To avert this scenario, he said, the African Union force sent recently to Darfur must be expanded and quickly deployed to hotspots, all leaders and would-be leaders must protect civilians and be held accountable for human rights violations, and the pace of peace negotiations must quicken.

In Nairobi, he said, council members must talk tough to the government and rebel groups offering ``not just a carrot, but also a stick.''

``Strong political language'' hasn't been used so far but should be, Pronk said. ``They will listen to it if the big powers are saying so.''

The Security Council should set a deadline, demanding that the government and rebels in southern Sudan finalize an agreement to end the civil war by the year's end.

Council members should ``threaten'' both sides, he said, and tell them: ``We do not tolerate any more delay. If you continue to do it, there's no money any more for you.''

Pronk said the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement is expected to get a lot of international financial support after it becomes the government of Sudan, and a U.N. peacekeeping mission, but first there must be a peace agreement.

The end of the year should also be the deadline for the government and rebels in Darfur to agree on an agenda and timetable for political negotiations, he said.

Danforth, who came up with the idea of holding the council meeting in Nairobi, the site of peace talks to end the civil war, reiterated Thursday that he can't understand why the one remaining issue can't be wrapped up ``in short order.''

The government and southern rebels cannot agree on who should pay for the rebel force that isn't integrated into the national army, he said.

Danforth, who was President Bush's point man on Sudan before coming to the United Nations, said a north-south peace agreement is critical not only to promoting stability throughout the country but also to serving as a model for a future power-sharing accord in western Darfur.

Pronk said the council should also make clear that the international commission appointed by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to study human rights violations and determine whether a genocide occurred in Darfur will be looking at violations that resulted from provocation or action by the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement.

Council members must deliver the message that all perpetrators of human rights violations will be held accountable and impunity will not be tolerated, he said.

Britain's U.N. Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry, who is drafting the council resolution, said it will spell out international support for the government and rebels if there is a north-south peace agreement and progress on a Darfur settlement.

``This is a bit more of the carrot,'' he said, ``but it's a conditional carrot, dependent on them making progress.''