Letter Troika ECOS Benchmarks EU-GOS


Dear Ambassador Lysholdt Hansen,


It is with pleasure that we note that you will be heading the upcoming EU Troika Mission to Sudan. During the Danish chairmanship the EU's has made significant contribution to the ongoing peace process in Sudan and we think that your upcoming visit and meetings in Khartoum provides an excellent opportunity to continue this important work.


On behalf of the European Coalition on Oil in Sudan (ECOS), we are happy to forward to you our proposals for a set of benchmarks to guide the continued dialogue between the EU and the Government of Sudan over possible future normalisation of the mutual relationship. ECOS has a membership of over 80 European civil society organisations. In Denmark, Mellemfolkelig Samvirke and DanChurch Aid are active members of ECOS.


So far, 2002 has seen important progress in the peace process in Sudan and a temporary cessation of hostilities is in place until March 31, 2003. Significant improvements in humanitarian access have also taken place as of October 25. But 2002 has also seen a continued pattern of gross and systematic human rights violations in Sudan as it has been spelled out by human rights organisations, NGOs working in Sudan and the UN Human Rights Rapporteur in his latest report to the UN Third Committee, November 6,



As you are fully aware, the outlook to a possible normalisation of relations between the EU and Sudan may have a significant impact on the peace process in Sudan. Below we have laid out what the ECOS membership believe are necessary and rational benchmarks to guide the political dialogue.


Our main concern is, that the EU does not engage further in a normalisation process with the Government of Sudan until at least the following can be guaranteed and verified in a transparent process that include the European Parliament, members of respective EU national parliaments and civil society groups in Sudan and Europe:


European Coalition on Oil in Sudan Benchmarks for EU-GOS political dialogue:


(1) The peace process

(1a) GOS full commitment to the peace process on the basis of the Declaration of Principles, including the right to self-determination and freedom of religion;

(1b) an end to all targeting of civilian populations and installations, whether through bombing, military action or other, and whether by units belonging to the Army or Government supported militia.

(1c) unconditional, unimpeded and safe access to all regions of Sudan for humanitarian aid organisations;

(1d) guarantees that the revenues generated by the exploitation of natural resources, including oil, are used in a transparent process, and exclusively for a peaceful development of the country.


(2) Democracy and the rule of law

(2a) a new constitution, agreed in an open and transparent democratic process, including all major political and opposition groups and civil society organisations, that incorporates Sudan's international legal obligations and fully guarantees its people's rights under international law;

(2b) separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers;

(2c) an enabling process and binding time-frame put in place to allow the people of Southern Sudan to exercise their right to self-determination;

(2d) a transparent, enabling process put in place to satisfy the legitimate political and social aspirations of the peoples in the marginalised areas.

(3) Human rights

(3a) respect for and active promotion of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 16 December 1966 International Covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and on Civil and Political Rights, and fundamental freedoms;

(3b) respect for and active promotion of international Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Conventions;

(3c) creation of an enabling environment for all inhabitants of Sudan to realise their social, economic and cultural rights;

(3d) creation of an enabling environment for all inhabitants of Sudan to realise their civil and political rights;

(3e) unconditional, unimpeded and safe access to all regions of Sudan for human rights organisations;

(3f) constructive co-operation with UN human rights mechanisms and other, including non-governmental, human rights organisations;

(3g) full respect for the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement;

(3h) assurance and facilitation of the voluntary return of all refugees and IDPs who so wish, to their places of origin, in consultation with international and civil society organisations.

While forwarding to you these proposed benchmarks, we sincerely hope that we will be able to, at a later point, meet and be informed of the outcome of your mission to Sudan at this crucial moment in time.


Wishing you a safe and fruitful journey and mission we remain,






Peter Lodberg

G. S. DanChurch Aid

G.S. Danish Association for International Co-operation (M.S.)

cc. The EU Heads of Mission in Khartoum