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I. INTRODUCTION

1. The present report covers the period from 1 April to 30 June 2014, and provides an update on the different aspects of the situation in Darfur and the implementation of the mandate of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfour (UNAMID). The report concludes with observations on the way forward.

II. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DOHA DOCUMENT FOR PEACE IN DARFUR AND MEDIATION ACTIVITIES

2. There has been some progress in the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), particularly its provisions on security arrangements. During a meeting convened on 18 May 2014 by the Ceasefire Commission between the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the Justice and Equality Movement-Sudan (JEM-Sudan), the latter committed to commence troop verification exercise and to submit details on its troop disposition to the Ceasefire Commission. On 4 June 2014, one battalion of JEM-Sudan combatants arrived in El Fasher to prepare for the implementation of the security arrangements. JEM-Sudan is now fully represented in the Implementation Follow-up Commission, the Ceasefire Commission and the Joint Commission.

3. On 13 April 2014 and 19 May 2014, the GoS and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), under the auspices of the Ceasefire Commission, met to assess progress made towards the integration of 2,430 LJM combatants into the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Government Police. The Government has prepared reception camps for the LJM combatants in South Darfur which have been verified by UNAMID, and has also earmarked the required funding for integration activities. However, the LJM has yet to submit the required information on the disposition of its combatants.

4. On 25 May 2014, the Chairperson of the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) appointed members of the Justice Committee and the Truth and Reconciliation Committee to operate under the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, as provided for under the DDPD. The Committees were formally launched on 22 June 2014, and are expected to work with the Native Administration or Ajaweed Council to address the root causes of the conflict in Darfur. On its part, UNAMID continued to enhance the technical capacity of the DRA. UNAMID and the DRA also commenced technical and legal arrangements for joint broadcast of programmes on FM radio.

5. At the second meeting of the Darfur Development Strategy (DDS) Executive Board, held in El Fasher on 27 April 2014, the Government of Qatar confirmed its pledge of US$88 million to finance the DDS Foundational and Short-Term (FaST) projects. On the same day, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Government of Qatar and the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sudan whereby the former released US$10 million, out of the US$88 million, to the United Nations Darfur Fund.

6. The Darfur Internal Dialogue and Consultation Implementation (DIDC) Committee was formally inaugurated in El Fasher on 26 May 2014. The 17-member Implementation Committee was established to lead the process and ensure local ownership, inclusiveness and transparency. The process is estimated to cost US$7 million to be funded through voluntary contributions to a Trust Fund managed by the UNDP. Of this, the State of Qatar pledged US$1.7 million as seed money.

7. The Joint Special Representative (JSR) and Joint Chief Mediator (JCM), Mohamed Ibn Chambas, continued with his high-level engagements with both the GoS and the armed movements, to explore best ways and means of bringing the non-signatory armed movements to join the peace process on the basis of the DDPD and to encourage them to utilize the initiative for national dialogue, announced by President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir in January 2014, as a platform to promote their proposal for a holistic approach to address the conflicts and challenges facing Sudan. In this regard, the JCM intensified coordination with the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) and the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Sudan and South Sudan, to synchronize mediation efforts for the conflicts in Sudan.

8. On 5 May 2014, the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui, and the JCM met the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for the Council of Ministers Affairs of the State of Qatar, Ahmed bin Abdul Al-Mahmoud. The latter reiterated his country’s support for the national dialogue and cautioned against the jettisoning of the DDPD in the absence of a credible alternative for decisive progress towards peace in Darfur.

III. SECURITY AND HUMANITARIAN SITUATION

9. Fighting between Government forces and armed movements has reduced significantly during the reporting period. However, inter-communal violence continued, mainly with renewed fighting between tribes competing for resources and retaliation against acts of criminality.

10. Acts of belligerence decreased from 21 incidents from the previous reporting period to 11 in the current reporting period. Attacks were reportedly launched on the villages of Gadara, Birmaza, Birdik, Gaoud al Azraq village in Kutum, North Darfur on 7 April and 16 April 2014, resulting in the death of a number of civilians. Four cases of air attacks were recorded in North Darfur during the reporting period, resulting in civilian fatalities. On 28 April 2014, the Sudan Liberation Army-Abdul Wahid (SLA-AW) attacked a SAF camp in Rockero town, in Central Darfur, killing and injuring Government soldiers. The months of May and June witnessed relative lull in fighting between Government forces and armed movements. The latter withdrew from their strongholds in Kutum, Mellit, Korma, Birkat, Tawilla and Thabit, in North Darfur, as well as from areas in South Darfur around Menawashi village and between Nyala and Graida, following sustained operations by Government forces.

11. The number of people estimated to have been displaced as a result of fighting in Darfur, since the beginning of the year, has increased from 250,000 in the previous reporting period to 373,000 in the current period. This will severely stretch the available resources for humanitarian assistance, which has been compounded by the reduced presence of humanitarian actors on the ground, capacity gaps and funding shortfalls. Furthermore, the fragile security environment continued to impede effective delivery of humanitarian assistance and the protection of civilians.

12. The blockade by Northern Rizeigat of the road connecting El Sireif with Saraf Umra, Kabkabiya and Tine for roughly two months, following tribal tensions between the Northern Rizeigat and Beni Hussein, prevented the movement of goods into El Sireif. As a result, response to emergency incidents was delayed. The withdrawal of UNAMID from two small outposts in Fata Borno and Kassab IDP camps on 23 and 26 May 2024, respectively, raised serious protection concerns among humanitarian actors, particularly because of the continued heavy presence of militia groups in Kutum locality. UNAMID introduced regular night and day military patrols to maintain 24/7 presence in the camps in lieu of the outposts.

IV. SAFTEY AND FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT OF UNAMID PERSONNEL

13. Insecurity, criminality and restriction of movement continued to impede UNAMID mandate implementation and the program delivery of the humanitarian agencies, as well as threaten the safety and security of the Mission and humanitarian aid agencies. However, restrictions on the movements of UNAMID decreased significantly during the reporting period. Between 1 April and 30 June, UNAMID land movements were restricted on 21 occasions, compared with 72 restrictions during the previous reporting period. Restrictions were highest in East Darfur. The authorities also denied 15 of 3,432 planned flights compared with 72 of 4,386 in the previous reporting period.

14. During the reporting period, a total of seven carjacking incidents targeting vehicles of UNAMID and humanitarian personnel occurred. 60 incidents involving house break-ins and robbery targeting UNAMID and humanitarian personnel were recorded compared to 47 in the previous reporting period. On 10 April 2014, five armed men broke into the private residence of female UNAMID Police Advisers. One Police Adviser was raped, and two were robbed of cash and personal belongings. The Government Police later apprehended three perpetrators and recovered stolen cash and items. The UNAMID tanker driver kidnapped on 9 March 2014 in Nyala was released on 30 April 2014, while the UNAMID contractor who had been kidnapped in El Fasher on 11 March 2014 was released on 12 June 2014.

15. Two incidents of abduction of humanitarian personnel occurred on 18 June 2014 when unidentified armed men abducted one UNICEF staff and three personnel of Sustainable Action Group, a local nongovernment organization. Soon after, the same group abducted 14 GOAL staff members at Karakasaya area in Kutum. Nine GOAL staff were eventually released. Earlier on, in April 2014, two incidents of break-ins and one attempted break-in in UNAMID Super Camp in Nyala were recorded, while a UNAMID escort convoy successfully repelled an ambush by an unidentified armed group near Sindi Exchange Point, in North Darfur.

V. ACHIEVEMENTS AND IMPACT OF UNAMID

16. UNAMID continued to provide physical protection to civilians who sought refuge around its team sites following attacks by the RSF in the first quarter of 2014. In Khor Abeche, the Mission constructed a buffer zone to accommodate IDPs and enhanced its patrols. In Korma, UNAMID enhanced security and confidence-building patrols around the team site. On 7 May 2014, a UNAMID quick reaction force was deployed to Kalma IDP camp in response to reports by the Community Policing Center of shots being fired into the air in the camp’s vicinity by about 10 nomads on horseback, motorbikes and a vehicle mounted with machine gun. The nomads fled upon arrival of the quick reaction force. On 24 May 2014, UNAMID peacekeepers intervened to protect civilians in Birgi market, in Kabkabiya, against a group of 60 militiamen who were in the market to rescue one of their own who was apprehended and handed over to Government Police by the community for theft. In the process, one militia member fired at the UNAMID escort team deployed in the area. UNAMID returned fire, killing six militiamen. One Rwandan soldier from the Mission was killed and three others were injured.

17. During the reporting period, UNAMID military personnel conducted 8,820 patrols, including 4,640 routine patrols, 1,596 night patrols, 802 administrative patrols, 789 humanitarian escorts, 789 short-range patrols and 204 long-range patrols. UNAMID Police conducted a total of 6,316 patrols, including 3,400 inside IDP camps, 221 firewood and farm patrols and 2,651 in villages, towns and markets, 749 medium-range patrols and 192 long-range patrols. Recorded crimes increased from 331 cases in the previous reporting period to 422 cases in the current period. UNAMID military and police maintained a robust level of readiness and increased confidence-building patrols in and around IDP camps. The Formed Police Units (FPUs) maintained a robust posture in team sites with high security risk. The Mission continued its capacity-building support for the Government police in crime deterrence and investigation.

18. The Mission documented 175 human rights violations involving 536 victims, compared to 156 incidents involving 314 victims in the previous reporting period. Efforts at ensuring accountability for human rights violations and abuses continue to be undermined by the prevailing impunity across Darfur and resource constraints within the justice and law enforcement systems. Of the 175 cases recorded by UNAMID, only 81 were reported to Government authorities. Investigations were initiated in only 35 cases of those incidents leading to 15 arrests. Sexual and gender-based violence remains a pervasive feature of the conflict in Darfur. UNAMID documented 54 cases of sexual and gender-based violence involving 99 victims, an increase from 35 cases involving 53 victims in the previous reporting period. Majority of the victims were IDPs. During the reporting period, UNAMID regularly followed up with the General Prosecutor for the Special Court on Darfur Crimes regarding progress in the Ministry of Justice’s efforts to investigate and prosecute those responsible for the attacks on civilians in North and South Darfur in February and March 2014. According to the General Prosecutor, about 1,000 cases were registered in both states, 6 of which were referred to the Special Court as at 15 May 2014.

19. UNAMID provided capacity building support for the Government and civil society to help ensure compliance with international human rights standards. To enhance the protection of children, the Mission conducted 8 training and child protection sensitization workshops. On 13 May 2014, a Network for Family Tracing and Reunification in the State Ministry of Social Affairs was reactivated in South Darfur following joint advocacy by UNICEF and UNAMID. As part of its efforts to increase access to, and capability of, rule of law institutions, Quick Impact Projects relating to police infrastructure and rehabilitation of victims support centers were implemented by UNAMID is in different parts of Darfur. In addition, UNAMID continued to help mitigate violence and stabilize communities through implementation of community-based labour intensive projects. 26 new projects were approved for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, all of which are under implementation.

20. During the reporting period, UNAMID provided military escorts to humanitarian aid convoys of the World Food Program (WFP) to different parts of Darfur. Between April and May 2014, 4,767 metric tons of food and 24.62 metric tons of non-food items were escorted to various locations as part of ‘operation lighthouse’ whereby WFP logistic officers are co-located with UNAMID to ensure timely delivery of food and non–food items to beneficiaries across Darfur. The Mission provided security and logistical support in the delivery and distribution of humanitarian assistance to displaced persons around Korma team site.

21. Humanitarian access improved significantly during the months of April and May 2014 compared to the first quarter of 2014, as humanitarian agencies were able to reach most of the areas affected by fighting and tribal clashes. However, certain areas remained completely cut off from humanitarian assistance, in particular Hashaba North in Kutum, North Darfur, and eastern Jebel Marra. The suspension of operations of the International Committee of the Red Cross in February 2014 created significant gaps in the delivery of humanitarian assistance for an estimated 100,000 people in Jebel Marra. About 49,000 people in need of assistance in Adilla and Abu Karinka, in East Darfur, have remained inaccessible since August 2013. The withdrawal, in May 2014, of an international non-government organization from West, South and East Darfur left gaps in health and nutrition assistance. West Darfur was particularly affected because of shortfalls in funding.

22. During the reporting period, UNAMID continued to engage Government institutions, Native Administration, local Peaceful Coexistence Committees and Agriculture Protection Committees to prevent and mitigate inter-communal conflicts. In response to renewed fighting between the Northern Rezeigat and Beni Hussein in North Darfur, in April and May 2014, UNAMID engaged with the tribal leaders of both sides, as well as with local and state authorities and Sudanese security apparatus, to contain the conflict. UNAMID continued to support the efforts of the Ajaweed Committee to resolve the conflict between the Ma’alia and the Southern Rizeigat in East Darfur. On 5 and 10 April 2014, in Central Darfur, UNAMID provided technical support to the mediation process led by the Peaceful Coexistence Committee, following the killing of an Ereigat tribesman by Nawaiba in Nertiti locality, on 3 April 2014, and the resulting tensions.

VI. OBSERVATIONS

23. While fighting between Government forces and armed movements has reduced significantly during the reporting period, the overall situation remains of concern. There is need for renewed efforts to bring the violence to an end, effectively fight impunity and enhance civilian protection. The urgency of strengthening the peace process on the basis of the DDPD cannot be over-emphasized. In this respect, the efforts of the JSR/JCM aimed at bringing on board the holdout armed groups should continue to be supported. In the meantime, the parties to the DDPD should be encouraged to expedite the implementation of the commitments made and additional resources mobilized from the international partners in support of this process.

24. Efforts to address the Darfur crisis should, of necessity, be part of the holistic approach to the challenges of democracy, governance and management of diversity facing Sudan, as advocated by the AU since the endorsement of the report of the AU High-Level Panel on Darfur (AUPD) by Council at its 207th meeting held in Abuja on 29 October 2009. The initiative for a national dialogue announced by President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir provides a unique opportunity in this respect. It is critical that every effort be made by the Government and the other Sudanese stakeholders to create an environment which is conducive for the success of this initiative. The AU, through the AUHIP, will continue to lend the necessary support. Council may wish to welcome the close collaboration between the AUHIP and the JSR/JCM.

25. UNAMID should be commended for the sustained efforts it is making towards the effective implementation of its mandate, particularly given the challenging environment prevailing in Darfur. Council may wish to reiterate its full support to UNAMID and strongly condemn attacks against the Mission, as well as to call on all concerned to create conditions that are conducive for the successful implementation of its mandate. The current UNAMID’s mandate expires on 31 August 2014. Given the strategic importance of the continued presence of UNAMID in Darfur, it is recommended that Council renews, for another 12 months, the mandate of the Mission, as defined in communiqué PSC/PR/Comm. (LXXIX) of its 79th meeting held on 22 June 2007 and in UN Security Council resolution 1769(2007) of 31 July 2007, and request the UN Security Council to do the same.

Posted by Tchioffo Kodjo

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TAGGED IN THEMATIC(S):
Peacekeeping
TAGGED IN REGION(S) :
South Sudan

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