-          Your Excellences the Heads of the Diplomatic Missions in Addis Ababa,

-          The UNAMID Force Commander, Lt Gen Frank KAMANZI,

-          The UNAMID Police Commissioner Mrs Priscilla MAKOTOSE,

-          The Officer in Charge of JSCM, Mr Abdourahman Ibrahim,

-          Defence/Military Attaches and Members of the Military Attaches Association in Addis Ababa,

-          Distinguished Invited Guests,

-          Ladies and Gentlemen, 

I welcome you to the UNAMID Troops and Police Contributing Countries Meeting for the quarter ending September 2016. I particularly welcome the UNAMID Force Commander and Police Commissioner for journeying from the mission area in Darfur to make presentations on the military and police operations in Darfur. May I also express my profound appreciation to the Heads of Diplomatic Missions who, together with Defence and Military Attaches, have found time out of their busy schedules to demonstrate solidarity with UNAMID and assist in charting a course for peace for the people of Darfur.  

Since our last meeting in October 2015, here at the AU Headquarters, we have not been able to hold another meeting due to operational exigencies. I am pleased that this time around we are able to meet to update each other as TCCs and PCCs on the military and police operations in Darfur. This meeting is in line with the decision adopted by the AUPSC at its 605th meeting held on 13 June 2016, requesting UNAMID to provide regular updates on the evolution of the situation in Darfur and the implementation of UNAMID mandate.  

On the political front, the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army–Minni Minawi (SLM/A-MM), and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) signed, on 8 August 2016, the Roadmap Agreement of 21 March 2016. The African Union and the United Nations hailed this event as a significant milestone towards the realization of a genuinely inclusive National Dialogue process.   

With the signing of the Roadmap Agreement, discussion on Cessation of Hostilities in Darfur and the two areas commenced on 9 August 2016, here in Addis Ababa. Former President Abdulsalami Alhaji Abubakar chaired the talks on Darfur, while the UNAMID Deputy Joint Special Representative served as facilitator. However on 14 August 2016, the talks were suspended until further notice. The parties could not reach an Agreement when the armed movements, during the last session, re-opened numerous issues that had previously been agreed upon. The main points of contention were: (a) disclosure of locations of forces linked with control over international borders; (b) Doha Document for Peace in Darfur as the basis for subsequent political negotiations; (c) need for a new joint supervisory structure for humanitarian operations; and (d) the introduction of new issues like release of prisoners of war. Although the facilitators presented balanced options, including on the sites where the armed movements would be located, and mechanisms for the monitoring of humanitarian assistance, the Justice and Equality Movement and Sudan Liberation Movement/Mini Minawi rejected the proposals. 

While I will leave the Force Commander and Police Commissioner of UNAMID to brief you in details on the prevailing security situation in Darfur, I would like to highlight that the security situation in Darfur is still tense and unpredictable as incidences of fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Abdul Wahid in Jebbel Mara and movements of IDPs from the areas affected by fighting to near to IDP camps are regularly reported. The increased uncertainties surrounding the lives of IDPs and their return to normal life remain a matter of deep concern for the international community, and for the AU in particular. Communal conflicts, breach of law and order by locals were also reported. Criminal and banditry activities such as attacks, murder, robbery, shooting, theft and rape incidents remain major sources of insecurity in Darfur and UNAMID continues to encounter some incidents involving denial of access/restriction of movement imposed on Humanitarian Actors. 

As I have just said, the Force Commander and Police Commissioner will provide detailed presentations to this meeting on these various issues on Darfur. 

Thank you very much for your attention. And may I now invite Mr Abdourahman Ibrahim to make his welcoming remarks.



Posted by Kodjo Tchioffo

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