Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2005

Main Text > Part II ODA DISBURSEMENTS IN FISCAL YEAR 2004 > Chapter 2 Details and New Policies about Japan's ODA: Striving for Further ODA Reforms > Section 4. Operational Status of the Principle of ODA Implementation > 2. Sudan

2. Sudan

The situation regarding the abuse of human rights in Sudan from the second half of the 1980s to the early 1990s was appalling. Even though the international community, including Japan, repeatedly appealed to Sudan to improve the situation, no changes in the approach of the Sudanese could be seen. Japan therefore suspended all assistance in October 1992, except for assistance of an emergency or humanitarian nature, based on the principles of the former ODA Charter. Since then, Japan has been implementing limited aid through international organizations such as the World Food Programme ( WFP ) and the United Nations Children's Fund ( UNICEF ). However, taking into account the situation in Sudan, since there are internally displaced persons ( IPDs ) due to the long-running civil war and an influx of refugees from neighboring countries, Japan has introduced grant assistance for human security projects to Sudan from 1999 and has been providing assistance through NGOs that are engaged in measures such as health care and support for refugees.

In the midst of such circumstances, on 9 January 2005, the North-South Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army ( SPLM/A ) was concluded, bringing an end to the civil war in Sudan which had lasted for more than 20 years and was one of Africa's longest-running conflicts. Judging from the overall perspective that consolidating peace in Sudan, the largest country in Africa and one that shares borders with nine other countries, would be important for the Middle East and African region as a whole, Japan decided to implement active assistance to Sudan for the consolidation of peace through direct assistance to the Government of Sudan. On the occasion of the Oslo Donors' Conference for Sudan held on 11 April 2005, Japan announced that it would implement assistance totalling US$100 million for the consolidation of peace in Sudan. The conference was attended by representatives of more than 60 countries, regions, and international organizations, including Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan. In response to requests for assistance of US$4.1 billion over a period of three years starting in 2005, participating countries including Japan announced their intention to provide assistance amounting to US$4.5 billion.

On the other hand, in the Darfur region in western Sudan, conflicts that had emerged in 2003 between the government army, in collaboration with the Arab militia (Janjaweed), and the anti-government resistance forces further intensified, resulting in a grave humanitarian situation that included the emergence of a large number of refugees and IDPs. During the period from July 2004 to March 2005, the Security Council of the United Nations adopted the following resolutions: the resolution urging the Government of Sudan to disarm the Arab militia and punish the perpetrators; the resolution indicating the possibility of economic sanctions against the Government of Sudan; the resolution concerning the implementation of measures to expand the embargo on arms imports, freeze assets, and prohibit travel; and the resolution submitting the large-scale abuses of international humanitarian and human rights laws in Darfur to the International Criminal Court ( ICC ).

Concerns were also expressed at the Oslo Donors' Conference, including those of Japan, concerning the serious humanitarian situation and state of law and order in Darfur.

Along with the implementation of assistance for the consolidation of peace, as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, Japan will actively participate in discussions in the Security Council concerning the Darfur issue. In addition, Japan will continue to persistently call on the Government of Sudan and all other related parties for concrete efforts towards the resolution of the issue. With regard to the full resumption of ODA to Sudan, Japan will make a comprehensive assessment based on its observations of the actual progress that is being made by the Government of Sudan towards improving the humanitarian situation in the Darfur region. With regard to the assistance activities of Japan's NGOs, these are being administered to IDPs in Darfur by NGOs under the umbrella of the Japan Platform, utilizing funds provided by the Japanese government.