25-October-2020

Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the African Union?United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and the situation in Darfur

By: Ahmed Alhaj (Site Admin)


 


I. INTRODUCTION


1. The present report is submitted as a follow?up to the communiqué adopted by


Council at its 237th meeting held in Kampala, on 21 July 2010, and subsequent reports of


Council on Darfur. The report covers the various aspects of UNAMID activities and the


situation in Darfur for the period 1 October 2010 to January 2011.


II. UNAMID DEPLOYMENT AND PATROLS


2. Efforts towards the full deployment of UNAMID have continued. As at January


2011, the number of UNAMID civilian staff stands at 4,298, representing 78% of the


approved strength of 5,516. The strength of UNAMID military personnel stands at 17,468


representing 89% of authorised strength of 19,555. The current strength of individual


police officers stands at 2,745, which is 73% of authorised strength of 3,772. Of the


authorised 19 Formed Police Units, 16 have deployed with a total strength of 2,234 or 89%


of the authorised strength of 2,660.


3. During the period under review, UNAMID military personnel conducted a total of


11,472 patrols. On its part, UNAMID police conducted a total of 18,158 patrols, and


maintained 24/7 patrolling in 18 camps. UNAMID has taken significant steps to increase its


effectiveness on the ground, including through a robust protection strategy and


determined posture in the face of restrictions to freedom of movement. In this connection,


instructions have been issued to UNAMID military and police units that attacks on UNAMID


patrols are to be responded to robustly and in accordance with the rules of engagement,


proactive measures are to be taken to protect civilians, and the Mission is to work


proactively towards opening routes to facilitate freedom of movement for civilians and


humanitarian actors. The initial effects of these changes were evident in the Mission’s


response to events in Shangil Tobay, Khor Abeche and Shaeria, where UNAMID military


secured civilians around team sites and effectively patrolled areas affected by fighting.


III. SECURITY SITUATION


4. Major developments in the security situation included an increase in clashes


between Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and armed movements, and a decrease in intercommunal


conflict. Targeted attacks on UNAMID and humanitarian personnel also


decreased. However, three kidnapping incidents occurred during the reporting period.


5. Following the mobilization of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) forces in


Darfur, in late October, and the substantial reinforcement of SAF in several locations, JEM


and SAF elements came into contact and clashed on several occasions in North and South


Darfur. In early November, JEM attacks on SAF units and several villages were reported in


South Darfur. Subsequent clashes between SAF and JEM were reported in various locations


in North and South Darfur and, on 8 and 9 November, JEM attacked village markets at Um


Gidan and Um Alkhairat in South Darfur. On 12, 24 and 25 November, SAF conducted aerial


attacks near the Kiir Adhan Bridge in the vicinity of the South Darfur?Southern Sudan


border, apparently against JEM elements suspected to be moving toward Southern Sudan.


6. On 10, 11 and 17 December, following the deterioration of relations between the


Government and Minni Minawi, clashes between SAF and Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)?


Minni Minawi forces took place in Khor Abeche. On 23 December, SLA?Minni Minawi, JEM


and, reportedly, several other SLA factions jointly attacked GoS police in Dar Al Salam, in


North Darfur. Further clashes were reported on 24 and 25 December, south of Shangil


Tobaya. On 26 December, SAF and SLA?Minni Minawi clashed near Shaeria, South Darfur.


7. During the reporting period, 14 deaths attributable to inter?communal conflict were


recorded. While still serious, this figure represents the lowest number of deaths


attributable to inter?communal conflict in Darfur over a 90?day period since the beginning


of UNAMID’s operations. The decrease is partially a result of higher levels of seasonal


rainfall; the renewed effort by the Government to broker reconciliation agreements; and


UNAMID military and police security and protection patrols. The total number of incidents


involving banditry, criminality or the harassment of local civilians by actors other than military or


formal militia units, decreased from 228 cases in the period 1 June to 30 September 2010, to 198 in


this reporting period.


8. UNAMID peacekeepers were attacked twice. On 6 October, UNAMID military was


fired upon by a group of unidentified armed men while conducting a patrol near Kutum in


North Darfur. In the second attack, unidentified gunmen shot a UNAMID peacekeeper


while he was guarding a water point near Kutum, on 5 November. Furthermore, and in a


continuation of a disturbing trend, three kidnapping incidents occurred during the


reporting period, on 7 October and 4 November 2010, and on 13 January 2011. The latest


incident involved three UN Humanitarian Air Services helicopter crew, who were abducted


after landing at Um Shalaya, West Darfur; they are still in captivity. Finally, a total of seven


attempted car?jackings of UNAMID or UN agency vehicles occurred during the reporting


period. Most of these incidents involved armed incursions into offices or guesthouses by


assailants in search of money and valuables. The relatively low number of car?jacking


incidents suggests that recently introduced mitigation measures, which include improved


information?sharing and coordination with Government security services, the increased


use of UNAMID armed escorts and enforcing curfews, are proving effective.


9. UNAMID continues to reduce the threat posed by unexploded ordnance


contamination throughout Darfur. During the reporting period, a total of 133 unexploded


ordnance devices were destroyed and unexploded ordnance risk education was delivered


to 50 teachers. A further 12,092 civilians received lectures on the risk unexploded


ordnance poses and the proper methods for dealing with such risks. The Mission


responded to several reports from local communities of unexploded ordnance threats by


conducting emergency assessments of 41,986m² of land. UNAMID also surveyed 1,154


kilometres of road for possible contamination from unexploded ordnance.


10. On 4 October, the North Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration


Commission commenced the Reintegration Opportunities Programme in al Fashir. A total


of 189 discharged members of Declaration of Commitment signatory movements received


small business and skills acquisition training as part of the program.


PSC/PR/COMM.2(CCLVIII)


11. UNAMID’s freedom of movement was restricted on 45 occasions. Of these, 37


restrictions were imposed by Government of Sudan authorities, 3 by SLA?MM and 5 by


communities. Of the 37 restrictions imposed by the Government, in approximately 75


percent of cases, movement was restricted during and as a result of military engagements


between SAF and armed movements. UNAMID has taken a number of measures to


increase the robustness of its operations and address restrictions of movement.


12. Following a meeting between UNAMID, Government of Sudan (GoS) and the U.S.


Government, chaired by the AU High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), on the subject


of security, UNAMID has supported selected elements of the GoS security plan for Darfur,


where those are in accordance with its mandate and its requirement for respecting human


rights.


IV. PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS


13. UNAMID has updated its strategy for the protection of civilians, in coordination


with the UN Country Team (UNCT). The updated strategy provides comprehensive


strategic, managerial and operational guidance for the implementation of the Mission’s


protection mandate. Taking into account the Mission mandate and an analysis of the


protection environment in Darfur, the strategy outlines four main objectives, these being:


(i) fulfillment by the Government, armed groups and other non?state actors of their


responsibilities to protect civilians in accordance with international human rights and


humanitarian law; (ii) protection of civilians from physical acts of violence; (iii) freedom of


access to populations at risk; and (iv) prevention of violations of human rights, and ensure


effective response, particularly in regard to women and children.


14. The number of people displaced by the clashes between SAF and SLA?Minni Minawi


is estimated at 14,000, in Shangil Tobaya, 15,000 in Dar Al Salam, and 10,000, in Khor


Abeche. UNAMID has maintained a robust presence and an active patrolling program in


and around these and other affected areas to deter fighting and maintain situational


awareness. The Mission continues to assist the humanitarian community to reach people


in need and to provide protection, water and emergency medical assistance for civilians


sheltering around UNAMID team sites in Shangil Tobaya, Khor Abeche and Shaeria.


15. During the reporting period, a number of inter?communal reconciliation


agreements were reached, reducing tensions in many areas of Darfur. On 10 October,


traditional leaders from the two largest tribes in South Darfur, the Southern Rizeigat and


the Fur, signed a Charter for Peaceful Co?existence. On 22 November, the Habaniya and


Fellata tribes in Southern Darfur, which have been sporadically engaged in hostilities since


the early 1990s, signed a peaceful co?existence agreement.


16. UNAMID, in partnership with UNHCR and the El Fasher University, developed and


delivered a course on conflict management to 75 ajaweed (mediation) committee and civil


society organization members to enhance their capacity to address conflict at the local


level. In addition, with a view to supporting verified voluntary returnees in the Korma area


in North Darfur, UNAMID, UNHCR and UNDP delivered training on dialogue, negotiation


and mediation to 25 ajaweed committee members and other local actors.


17. The human rights situation in Darfur remained a cause for concern. UNAMID held a


four?day workshop on human rights and community policing for 25 Government police and


delivered training to 60 Government prison staff. UNAMID human rights officers delivered


training to 200 military, 22 police and 67 civilian personnel in the Mission. On 25


November, UNAMID, agencies and the three State Governments launched a “16 Days of


Activism against Gender Violence” program. In addition, several advocacy and capacitybuilding


activities were undertaken as part of the campaign. In addition, UNAMID Police


conducted several workshops on human rights and policing, and trained 561 communitypolicing


volunteers on the basics of community policing. In an effort to strengthen the rule


of law, particularly in rural areas, UNAMID, UNDP and the West Darfur judiciary held a


workshop on Sudanese criminal law, criminal procedure and laws of evidence for 40 rural


court judges.


18. UNAMID continued to mainstream child protection concerns, monitor and report


violations of children’s rights and to advocate at the community level for the protection of


children. The Mission also engaged in dialogue with SAF and armed groups to gain


commitments to Action Plans to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers.


V. HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE AND EARLY SOCIO?ECONOMIC RECOVERY


19. Prior to the clashes between SAF and SLA?MM, the humanitarian situation had


remained relatively stable. Humanitarian efforts nevertheless remain impeded by


insecurity and access restrictions. Overall, access was consistently limited in eastern Jebel


Marra, intermittently limited in areas where there was fighting between SAF and armed


movements, and limited by the need for armed escorts and remote programming in most


other areas outside main urban centers due to the risk of banditry. Concerted efforts to


address humanitarian access restrictions in Darfur are underway.


20. Access to eastern Jebel Marra has been heavily restricted since February 2010.


General food distribution in the area was last conducted in November 2009 to 87,286


persons. Several agencies accessed part of the area between 13 and 15 October and


identified pressing humanitarian needs, particularly in relation to health, water, sanitation


and hygiene. Clearly, insecurity and risks associated with banditry continue to present


challenges to humanitarian operations. In spite of these difficulties, food aid was


successfully distributed to 90 per cent of the targeted population in October. This high


figure is due in part to the good harvest experienced in 2010, which meant most


beneficiaries of food assistance were IDPs residing in camps rather than communities in


remote locations.


21. The Government announced it has decided to relocate IDPs from Kalma camp to


new settlements located nearby. Following this decision, the Humanitarian Country Team


endorsed “The Application of Guiding Principles in the Context of the Relocation of IDPs in


Darfur”. Government authorities have assured the humanitarian community that


relocations will be voluntary and access will be granted to resettlement sites so IDPs may


determine their appropriateness. In this context, activities were conducted in support of


the voluntary return of 496 IDPs from Kalma camp and Nyala to five villages in West


Darfur.


22. The total number of quick?impact projects approved for implementation between


2007 and 2010 now stands at 482. Of these, a total of 100 projects in such sectors as


education, health, water, sanitation, income generation, and shelter have been completed


to date.


VI. PEACE PROCESS


23. Limited progress has been achieved in the Doha peace negotiations. While the Joint


Chief Mediator (JCM) originally planned to present to the Government and the Liberation


and Justice Movement (LJM) a draft agreement in early September 2010, the parties


requested additional time to negotiate outstanding issues. In the first week of November,


the five joint negotiating committees concluded their work. Thereafter, the JCM worked


directly with the parties to reconcile outstanding differences. The main points of


disagreement remain the powers of a regional authority to implement the peace


agreement in Darfur, as well as issues related to security arrangements, power?sharing,


and compensation.


24. On 5 November, the JCM presented to the AU?UN high?level review meeting in


Addis Ababa, a schedule for the completion of the peace process by 19 December. At that


meeting, the AU and UN, including the Joint Special Representative (JSR) and the JCM,


agreed to a sequenced programme of concluding the Doha talks on that date whereupon


the Doha outcome document, whether in the form of a signed agreement or a mediation


text, would be transferred to the Darfur Political Process (DPP) to initiate the next stage of


the process leading to the Darfur?Darfur Conference (DDC), at which an inclusive and


holistic global political agreement should be reached, in accordance with the AU policy.


25. On 6 November, the Sudan Consultative Forum (SCF) convened in Addis Ababa. On


that occasion, the UN, AU and other partners agreed to proceed with the DPP leading to


the DDC. In accordance with the timeline provided by the Joint Mediation, which foresaw


the conclusion of negotiations in December 2010 the SCF agreed that the DPP would


commence immediately thereafter. It was agreed that the DPP would be based on the


outcomes of the Doha talks and would be led by the AUHIP and UNAMID, in partnership


with the State of Qatar, with the support of other interested stakeholders.


26. From 28 November to 2 December 2010, the JCM and Minister of State for Foreign


Affairs of Qatar, His Excellency Ahmed bin Abdullah Al?Mahmoud, visited Darfur to


promote the provisional outcomes of the Doha negotiations and discuss outstanding issues


with stakeholders. Most of the meetings proceeded without incident. It should be noted


that, in the meeting in Zalingei, a physical confrontation between pro? and anti?Doha


groups resulted in the death of two civilians after Government police used force to


disperse the crowd.


27. The JCM continues to encourage the major armed movements, including the Justice


and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement?SLM/Abdul Wahid, to


take part in the peace process. On 16 December, a JEM delegation agreed to resume


negotiations with the Government on a ceasefire agreement. Thus far, the two sides


remain far apart on basic demands. The Government delegation left Doha on 31 December


2010, in accordance with its stated position and the mediation timeline. However, the GoS


continues to engage with the Mediation in the negotiations, dispatching small negotiating


teams to Doha in order to facilitate the rapid conclusion of the agreement with LJM. Prior


to its departure from Doha, the Mediation presented the GoS with a proposed mediation


text covering the outstanding issues. The GoS rejected the draft. The Mediation is currently


considering how the draft may be enhanced.


28. At a meeting in Khartoum on 15 January 2011, chaired by the AUHIP, the Panel,


UNAMID, GoS and the U.S. Government agreed to the rapid launch of the DPP. The process


is to be complementary to and concurrent with the final stage of the Doha peace talks.


Noting that the Doha outcome document is not yet availed to the DPP, the meeting


insisted that the DPP should not be subject to further delay. The modalities of the DPP


were agreed in outline, including emphasizing that it is to be an independent process


convened jointly by the AUHIP and UNAMID. Before the end of January, UNAMID will


establish a DPP Unit, reporting to the JSR, including all relevant Departments in the


Mission.


29. In the meantime, on 17 January, the AUHIP met the Emir of the State of Qatar. At


this meeting, the Emir confirmed his intention to conclude the negotiations in Doha in the


coming days and to partner with the AUHIP and UNAMID in implementing the next stages


of the process.


30. The credibility of the DPP and its role in assisting the people of Darfur to engage to


reach a definitive political solution to the conflict will depend on the steps the Government


must take to create an enabling environment. These include, inter alia, protection of the


civil and political rights of participants such that they can express their views without fear


of retribution; freedom of speech and assembly to permit open consultations; freedom of


movement for participants and UNAMID; and proportional and equitable participation


among Darfuri interests. I note with satisfaction the commitment of the Government of the


Sudan to do all it can to create conducive conditions for the successful conduct of the DPP.


A joint UNAMID?Government of Sudan technical task force has been established to


monitor the conditions for an enabling environment and to develop modalities for


implementing the DPP.


31. Relations between the Government and SLA?Minni Minawi deteriorated markedly


during the reporting period after SLA?Minni Minawi forces failed to appear for integration


into the SAF in accordance with an agreement reached on 30 October. On 21 November,


Minni Minawi issued a communiqué stating that he refused to disarm his forces on the


grounds that the Government had attempted the disarmament in a manner inconsistent


with the provisions of the DPA. On 3 December 2010, a SAF military spokesperson issued a


statement declaring Minni Minawi an enemy of the Government. President Bashir issued a


decree on 8 December declaring that the Wali of West Darfur had replaced Minni Minawi


as the new Chairperson of the Transitional Darfur Regional Authority (TDRA), and Security


agents arrested 20 SLA?Minni Minawi political personnel at TDRA offices in El Fasher and


Nyala.


VII. OBSERVATIONS


32. While I note with satisfaction the decrease in inter?communal fighting, I am deeply


concerned over the deterioration of the security situation caused by the upsurge in fighting


between Government and movement forces. I am encouraged that the fighting has


recently subsided. However, the potential for further fighting will remain for as long as


there is no agreement between the parties to cease hostilities and pursue negotiated


peace. I, therefore, call on the Government and the movements to reach an immediate


ceasefire and enter into negotiations over an inclusive and comprehensive peace


agreement in good faith and without delay.


33. I would like to reaffirm that a resolution of the conflict in Darfur must be the


outcome of an inclusive negotiating process, involving both belligerent and non?belligerent


parties and constituencies, on a comprehensive agenda. Among the arguments for this


approach is the observation that, negotiating solely with armed rebels, provides an


incentive for disaffected groups or individuals to abandon civic political engagement in


favour of armed rebellion, and gives an opportunity for armed rebels, irrespective of the


extent of their popular support, to hold the peace process hostage to their narrow


agendas. To date, efforts to involve Darfurian civil society in the peace talks have been


purely consultative, selective and ad hoc. This has had the unfortunate result of becoming


a polarizing issue within Darfur itself. And by limiting the talks to the armed groups, this


process has empowered the armed movements to act as spoilers if they so wish.


34. I reiterate my full support to the efforts of the AUHIP and UNAMID to convene the


DPP and my confidence in their ability to conduct it successfully. I commend Presidents


Thabo Mbeki, Abdusalami Abubakar and Pierre Buyoya for their tireless efforts and


outstanding commitment to the promotion of sustainable peace, justice and reconciliation


in the Sudan.


35. I am extremely happy with the high level of partnership between the AUHIP and


UNAMID on all aspects of our efforts to address the challenge of peace in Darfur. I am


particularly keen to see the Darfur Political Process, leading to the Darfur?Darfur


Conference, move into its active phase during the month of February. I am confident that


this will allow the recommendations of the AU Panel on Darfur, adopted by Council as AU


policy in October 2009, to be realized. I commend the JCM and the State of Qatar for their


efforts in seeking to conclude a peace agreement in Doha in accordance with the agreed


schedule, and urge them to cooperate fully with the forthcoming DPP?DDC, which will


mark the culmination of their efforts.


36. In closing, I would like to thank the Joint Special Representative, Professor Ibrahim


Gambari, for his sustained efforts and outstanding commitment to the achievement of


peace in Darfur, as well as for the cooperation and support extended to the AUHIP. I thank


the Force Commander and all of the women and men of UNAMID, who continue to work


tirelessly under difficult conditions.

Sudanow is the longest serving English speaking magazine in the Sudan. It is chartarized by its high quality professional journalism, focusing on political, social, economic, cultural and sport developments in the Sudan. Sudanow provides in depth analysis of these developments by academia, highly ...

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