African Women Khartoum Declaration 22nd October 2008

African Women held a peace meeting on Darfur region of Sudan, with the Sudanese Women in Khartoum from the 20th – 21st of October 2008. The Conference was initiated by Women Advancement for Economic and Leadership Empowerment in Africa WAELE/ARCELFA in collaboration with the Sudanese Women General Women Union (SWGU)
After deliberation from participants from 28 African Countries on various issues, including the indictment and warrant of arrest by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of H.E. President Omer Al-Bashir, the forum affirmed the following :-

We recognize the ongoing efforts by the Sudanese people in realizing peace and stability in Sudan. We commend the people of Sudan in their efforts to bring peace to Darfur. Furthermore, requesting fair justice for those who are really guilty in committing crimes in Darfur and other parts of Sudan.

Priority should be given to the realization of peace and stability in Darfur and all parts of Sudan in general.
Respect for the sovereignty of Sudan and the unity of its region in order to support realization of peace and National reconciliation between the people of Sudan.

African women must therefore, unite and speak with one voice to confront challenges facing our Continent.

Support the courageous decisions of African Union Leaders in resolving the National issues of African Countries and totally reject any form of foreign interference in the interior affairs of Sovereign African States.

Align with efforts of African Union (AU), Arab leagues and the United Nations (UN) for solving the problem of Darfur and all initiatives including the joint Afro – Arab initiative.

We urge African Leaders and AU to take positive and urgent steps in putting an end to the conflicts in Somali, DRC and Zimbabwe.

WAELE/ARCELFA regret the loss of life and properties during Regional and National crises, we call on warring factions to immediately stop killing and rapping of African women and children. African Leaders must continue to pursue peace and conflict resolution for the sake of African women.

There should be collective effort in enhancing African women economic and leadership empowerment for effective and efficient participation in peace and development of the continent.

There should be continuous contact and networking between African women, through civil societies organizations in order to share common concerns and exchange of experiences.

The forum takes into consideration the illegal allegations of ICC, which is politically motivated to escalate the internal conflicts in Darfur in particular in order to destabilize the peace agreements and weaken the Sudanese people in general.

Foreign plans to control Sudanese resources by instigating internal conflict will only increase the suffering of women and children, hinder the political reforms and democratic transformation which target free and fair elections for the enhancement of the Sudanese people and sustainability of its National unity, in addition to empowerment of women through 25% representation in the Government as approved by the Sudanese Parliament.

1) The total solidarity with the Sudanese women and Sudanese people in general and Darfur women in particular against any plots that target the sovereignty, Unity and Stability of the Republic of Sudan.

2)  Reassure the importance of the Sudanese judiciary and its independence in its administration of Justice and rule of Law.

3) The full rejection of the claim by the general prosecutor of the ICC in issuing an arrest warrant against the President of the Republic of Sudan H.E. Mr. Omer Al – Bashir.

4) Rejection of any attempt to politicize the International justice principles and to utilize them in order to attack the Sovereignty, Unity and Stability of African States and Leaders.

5)  Rejection to any kind of double standard regarding the implementation of legal rules of agreements and laws, such as the second and sixth paragraph of the Security Council resolution No. 1593/2005 issued on 31st March 2005.

6) Important to respect the sovereignty and will of a State to join any International treaty as well as making sure that Sovereignty of the State is expressed in the agreement to be sign by them.

7)  Recognition of immunity of heads of States given to them according to the International Law and custom that express the Independence and Stability of States and their people who represent the National Sovereignty. Moreover, every issue should be settled according to Internal Legal systems of the States.

8) Call upon the African States which have joined Rome Convention that established the ICC to withdraw from such Convention, in order to show rejection of double standard in utilization of mechanisms of International justice for realization of political objectives that will humiliate African Leaders and target resources of their Countries.

9) WAELE/ARCELFA supports African Union, African Parliaments and all Regional African Organizations such as ECOWAS, SADEC, CENSAD, IGAD and COMESA for its continued rejection of ICC pronouncements. We also urge the joint action to reinforce the civil reconciliation for bringing back peace in Darfur as well as accepting the practical steps and serious efforts of the Sudanese people forum which will bring the Sudanese peoples initiative into implementation.

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