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Thursday, 12 August 2004
Page: 26266

Senator STEPHENS (9:39 AM) —I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) the reports of many independent observers, including those sent by the African Union, that the so-called Janjaweed militias have carried out numerous massacres, summary executions, rapes, burnings of towns and villages, and forcible depopulations in the Darfur region of western Sudan,

(ii) reports by Human Rights Watch that the Sudanese military regime has armed, supported and supervised the militias, and that Sudanese government forces have directly participated in some of these actions,

(iii) estimates by reputable sources that at least 300 000 people have already been killed or died as a direct or indirect result of this campaign, that more than a million people have been made homeless, that more than 100 000 have been forced to seek refuge in Chad, and that an unknown but large number of women have been raped in the course of these attacks, and

(iv) reports that the militias have destroyed mosques, killed Muslim religious leaders and desecrated Qurans in the course of their attacks;

(b) condemns the military regime in Sudan for instigating a policy of forcible depopulation of areas considered disloyal to Khartoum, which has led to massive social dislocation and deaths of innocent civilians, in particular, the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups in Darfur;

(c) holds the Sudanese regime responsible for the crimes committed by its armed forces and by the militias under its control;

(d) welcomes the decision by the Australian Government to allocate $20 million for relief in Darfur, but calls on the Government to make a significantly greater commitment to aid the people of Darfur through appropriate international agencies;

(e) notes that United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 1556 has imposed an arms embargo on Sudan and authorised the creation of an international protection force for Darfur; and

(f) calls on the Australian Government:

(i) in the event that this force does not succeed in preventing further armed attacks on the people of Darfur, to take immediate action at the UN to ensure that the UN force is given a mandate to disarm the militias, secure the withdrawal of Sudanese government forces from the area, protect the people of Darfur and enable all refugees to return to their homes,

(ii) to make a contribution, proportionate with Australia's military capacity, of Australian forces to any peace-keeping force dispatched to Sudan under a UN mandate, and

(iii) to take action at the UN to secure the prosecution for war crimes at the appropriate international tribunal of President Omar Bashir and other officials of the Sudanese military regime responsible for the massacres of civilians in Darfur.

Question agreed to.