(Washington, D.C.) July 26, 2007: As Khartoum continues to bomb civilian targets in its strategy to divide and destroy Darfur, calls for the military enforcement of a no-fly zone over that embattled region are intensifying. In a strategy paper released today, the ENOUGH Project demonstrates why using military force with no preparation for its consequences would make matters much worse on the ground in Darfur. Instead, ENOUGH proposes a strategy to “monitor, name, shame, and sanction” the Sudanese regime through the UN Security Council for violations of the Council’s Resolution 1591, which bans offensive military flights over Darfur.
ENOUGH Co-Chair John Prendergast argues, “Sudanese bombing of civilians requires a real response from the international community, not just vague military threats that are not backed up by planning and preparation. There are better policy options available that could give immediate traction to the enforcement of a no-fly zone, rooted in spotlighting and punishing the perpetrators and their war crimes.”
ENOUGH analyses the no-fly zone question and applies a “balance of consequences” test. It concludes that a militarily-enforced stand-alone no-fly zone would have unintended repercussions: the regime would likely ground all aid flights and use any international attack as a rallying cry throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds, the rebels would likely increase attacks, and the proxy war between Sudan and neighboring Chad – which would likely host the aircraft to be used in a no-fly zone, would further deteriorate, spurring new rounds of cross-border attacks. Furthermore, most civilian attacks are ground-based, and thus unaffected by such an initiative.
The report proposes three ways to “monitor, name, shame, and sanction” violators. First, an African Union or UN observer should be present on all military flights over Darfur, with any violations immediately reported to the UN Security Council. Second, governments with technological capabilities should coordinate intelligence to monitor and publicize violations of the UN ban on offensive military flights. Third, the Council should impose targeted sanctions on the violators.
ENOUGH policy analyst Julia Spiegel asserts, “If the goal is to compel Khartoum to stop bombing civilians, the international community must force the regime to alter its political calculations by putting in place an effective strategy backed by action..”
To read “Khartoum Bombs and the World Debates: How to Confront Aerial Attacks in Darfur,” go to www.enoughproject.org.