Posted by: africanpressorganization | 13 December 2012

Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur


 

Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur

 

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, December 13, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ I. INTRODUCTION

 

1. The present report is submitted in pursuance of communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(CCCXXVIII) adopted by Council at its 328thmeeting held on 24 November 2012, and in which it decided to remain actively seized of the situation in Darfur. The report focuses on the following issues: progress made towards the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) and activities of the Joint African Union (AU) – United Nations (UN) Mediation; updates on the political, security and humanitarian situation; and deployment and activities of the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). It concludes with observations on the way forward.

 

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DOHA DOCUMENT FOR PEACE IN DARFUR

 

2. During the reporting period, the signatory parties to the DDPD, the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), continued in their efforts to implement the provisions of the Doha Document, which has already experienced delays. On 18 July, the parties adopted a revised implementation timetable, which extended the respective deadlines by one year.

 

3. Some progress was however made. The DDPD dissemination exercise by the parties and other stakeholders, which started in January 2012, was concluded in July. A total of 140 dissemination workshops were carried out in Darfur and Khartoum, with about 25,000 participants, 34per cent of whom were women. UNAMID supported the exercise through the provision of technical advice and logistical assistance. UNAMID assessment revealed that,while the DDPD enjoys support generally, there were strong concerns about the slow pace ofthe implementation process and the continued holding out of non-signatory movements. There is also someskepticism about the will and commitment of the parties to fully implement the Agreement.

 

4. The Darfur Regional Authority(DRA) organized anAll Darfur People’s Conference in El Fasher, from 10 to 12 July. Approximately 900 representatives of a cross-section of Darfuri stakeholder groups participated. Recommendations adopted at the Conference called for strengthened security and the rule of law, the promotion of reconciliation, a donor conference on development, and the speedy completion of the construction of the road linking El Fasher with Khartoum.

 

5. In testing the ground ahead ofthe Darfur Internal Dialogue and Consultation (DIDC), the DRA planned to hold a Conference for Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs)and Refugees in Nyala, on 20 and 21 November 2012, with the objective of identifying and including their concerns in the implementation of the relevant sections of the DDPD, and initiating an agenda for the Darfur Donors’ Conference. However, due to the outbreak of Yellow Fever, the Conference was postponed. In preparation for the Conference, the DRA Voluntary Return and Resettlement Commission (VRRC), in collaboration with UNAMID and UNHCR,organized a number of workshops in Darfur, in October and November 2012, focusing on return, reintegration, provision of basic services and the role of IDPs and refugees in the return process.

 

6. The verification of LJM forces and strength was conducted by UNAMID between 5 and 9 March 2012. Both parties, the GoS and the LJM, however, contested the outcomes, and despite a number of initiatives coordinated by UNAMID, the verification exercise remains inconclusive. At its second meeting held in Khartoum,on 15 October 2012, chaired by the Acting Joint Special Representative (JSR) and Joint Chief Mediator (JCM) ad interim, the Joint Commission (JC) reviewed the report of the Ceasefire Commission (CFC),as presented bythe Chair of the CFC, the UNAMID Force Commander. The Commission expressed, inter alia, grave concern that the DDPD parties failed to agree on the necessary steps to end the deadlock and conclude the verification exercise, and noted that, consequently, no tangible progress has been made towards the implementation of the most critical aspects of the Final Security Arrangements. The Commission cautioned that any further delay in resolving the stalemate will continue to slow down the process and impede the establishment of thesecure environment needed for the voluntary return of IDPs and refugees and for the execution of reconstruction and development projects. As a way forward, the Commission decided that the verification exercise should be concluded, and a desk review of the outcomes held under the supervision of UNAMID by 15 November 2012. Up till now, no progress was made.

 

7. The Commission also noted andwelcomed the decision of the GoS to continue to collaborate with and respond to the CFC Chairperson’s observations on earlier proposals of GoS by 12 November 2012, and observed that the full implementation of the provisions related to the disarmament and disbandment of armed militia will mitigate increasing number of security incidents in Darfur. This, also, has regretfully not been implemented.

 

8. The DRA, in conjunction with international development partners and UNAMID, commenced the Darfur Joint Assessment Mission (DJAM), as provided for in the DDPD, to assess economic recovery, development and poverty eradication needs in Darfur. In September, workshops were organized to assess the needs in 10 cluster areas (agriculture; basic social services; fiscal management; governance; infrastructure development; natural resources management; peace and security; private sector development; return, reintegration and resettlement; and rule of law).Workshops at the state level concluded on 4 October. The DJAM report is being finalized, and will be presented at the Donor Conference for Darfur scheduled to take place in Doha in February 2013.

 

9. The GoS has not yet transferred the agreed US$200,000,000.00 as seed money to the Darfur Reconstruction and Development Fund (DRDF). The establishment of the micro-finance system for income generating activities through small loans to individuals and groups also remained outstanding, although consultations between the Government, DRA, and the Central Bank of Sudan have been reportedly ongoing. On a positive note, the restructuring of the DRDF has now been completed, and a supervisory committee established by a presidential decree. A team of experts hasalso been constituted to determine criteria of transfers from the National Revenue Fund to the States of Darfur.

 

10. The 4thmeeting of the Implementation Follow-up Commission was held in Doha, on 12 November. Members of the Commission expressed concern about the slow pace of DDPD implementation, which could seriously undermine the credibility of the Agreement and jeopardize the support of the international community. GoS and LJM representatives at the meeting attributed the lack of progress to the economic challenges facing Sudan. Both parties, however, reiterated their commitment to the full implementation of the Agreement, noting that the challenges were not insurmountable.

 

III. MEDIATION ACTIVITIES

 

11. The AU and UN Joint Mediation continued to promote the resumption of talks between the GoS and non-signatory movements. On 2 July 2012, the GoSMinister of State in the Presidency responsible for the Darfur file, Dr. Amin Hassan Omer, reaffirmed to the former JSR and JCM a.i., Professor Ibrahim Gambari, his Government’s willingness to hold talks with the non-signatory movements on political appointments and security arrangements.In meetings with Prof.Gambari, in Khartoum, on 26 July2012,and with Acting JSR and JCMa.i, Ms. AichatouMindaoudou,in Helsinki, on 16 September 2012, representatives of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) restated their commitment to the objectives of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) alliance regarding national political and economic reforms. They nevertheless expressed interest in holding talks with the Government, provided the agenda includes all aspects of the DDPD. Also, during the reporting period, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)-Abdul Wahid and SLA-MinniMinawi reaffirmed to the Joint Mediation their commitment to the objectives of the SRF. The Joint Mediation continued to urge the parties to exercise flexibility with regard to the scope of talks.

 

12. In a statement issued on 9 August 2012, the JEM Chairman, Gibril Ibrahim, announced that the movement’s military commander, Bakhit Abdullah Abdul Karim (Dabajo), had been relieved of his duties on suspicion of collaboration with Government security officials. In a countermove, on 11 September 2012, a group of eight members of the JEM Executive Council, led by Mohammad Bashar, announced that they had dismissed Gibril Ibrahim and other executive members of JEM, and had constituted an interim Military Council. The Bashar JEM group announced their intention to negotiate a peace deal with the GoS on the basis of the DDPD. Leading a delegation of 27 Field Commanders, Gen. Mohamed Bashar arrived in Doha on 17 October 2012, where he signed, on behalf of JEM, a Joint Declaration with GoS on Cessation of Hostilities and Commitment to the Peace Process, on 22 October 2012. Subsequently, a conference of the JEM Interim Military Council that concluded on 20 November 2012 elected a new leadership body, with Mohamed Bashar as Chairperson and General Leader. While reiterating their acceptance of the DDPD as the basis for their negotiations with the GoS, Bashar held that many of the provisions of the Document were not strong enough to bring sustainable peace in Darfur, and that the support and guarantee of the international community was an imperative for any agreement to succeed.

 

13. On 6 November 2012, in Ndjamena,the JCM a.i. met President IdrissDébyItno. The later assured the JCMa.i. of his continued support to UNAMID and to the collective efforts to achieve comprehensive settlement of the conflict in Darfur.

 

14. On 14 November 2012, the Military Commanders of JEM Kordofan Sector announced their defection to the Mohamed Bashar-led JEM. They also declared their adherence to the Declaration of Cessation of Hostilities and Commitment to the Peace Process signed by the GoSand JEM Interim Military Council as stated earlier.

 

IV. SECURITY AND FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT OF UNAMID PERSONNEL

 

15. The security situation has been volatile during the reporting period. North Darfur, in particular, has witnessed intense activities ranging from fighting between GoS and armed movements to attacks on UNAMID troops. Criminality and banditry also continued unabated. The GoS also continued counter insurgency operations through ground and aerial means. All this has led to considerable civilian causalities and displacements across Darfur. North Darfur has become the hot spot of conflict in Darfur, as its economic importance grew with increased activities of traditional gold mining.

 

16. On 26 October, unverified reports of a rocket attack by armed rebel movements at El Fasher Airport were received. From 27 October to 9 November 2012, large-scale movement of the Sudanese Armed Forces(SAF) troops was noticed, notably in the areas of KhorAbeche, Muhajeria, El Fasher, Nyala, ShangilTobaya, and Abu Zerega.

 

17. On 2 November 2012, unknown armed men attacked Sigili village (30 km south-east of El Fasher). The attackers allegedly killed 10 civilians and fled the village in what appeared be a retaliatory attack for the killing of 12 Popular Defense Forces(PDF) elements during a clash between the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) and PDF/SAF on 17 October 2012, at Abu Delek. On 6 November 2012, UNAMID conducted a verification patrol that confirmed that the village was attacked and properties looted by about 45PDF members on three land cruisers on 1 and 2 November. About 10 civilians were killed, one was abducted, 12 houses were burnt down and the village was deserted.

 

 

18. On 12 and 14 November 2012 the GoS forces continued air strikes, targeting SRF suspected locations, notably in Abu Zerega, ShangilTobaya, and Tawilla. The attacks were in retaliation to rebels’ offensives against GoS forces in various locations – the latest of which was the 9 November ambush of a SAF convoy at Abu Zerega. On 17 September 2012, the SRF forces ambushed aGoS convoy escorting fuel trucks moving from El Fasher to Nyala, at Tangara Mountains/Thabit-ShangilTobaya road. Again, on 17 October 2012, the SRF forces attacked a PDF position at Abu Delek (25 kmsouth-east El Fasher), resulting in a number of causalities.

 

19. In the night of 16 November 2012, suspected SRF coalition members, JEM/SLA-MM, reportedly fired 2 rockets towards El Fasher, which attracted retaliatory fires from SAF artillery positioned near the El Fasher airport. While no casualties or damage were reported, the trend indeed constitutes serious cross-fire threats to the UNAMID. On 23 November 2012, in Kabkabiya Ed Al Nagab (25 km east of Kabkabiya), SAF camp at Ed Al Nagab was attacked by unknown armed men, resulting in a number of causalities. SRF claimed the incident through a press statement.

 

20. The Mission’s freedom of movement continues to be impeded and air requests denied by Government authorities.Reasons given were invariably lack of prior notification or clearance andsafety and security.UNAMID continued to call on Government authorities to allow it unhindered freedom of movement throughout Darfur.

 

21. On 8 October 2012, an unknown self-proclaimed “Suicidal Youth from Darfur” group threatened to attack UNAMID and affiliated organizations “in the cities and rural areas of Darfur” on the allegation that the Mission collaborates with GoS and GoS militias in the ethnic cleansing in Darfur. Another formerly unknown group, “Movement of the Correction of UNAMID’s Corruption,” claimed responsibility for the 2 October 2012 attackagiains the peacekeeping force in El Geneina. This group stated that they would conduct further major operations in all states/sectors, if UNAMID’s “corruption/racism”, especially in regard to staff employment, does not stop within 20 days.

 

22. On 17 October 2012, a UNAMID integrated verification assessment team from Kutum Team Site led by the Deputy Force Commander set out to verify the alleged killing of seventy (70) civilians and destruction of villages by GoS in the Hashaba North general area (21 kmnorth-south-eastKutum), during armed clashes between GoS and SRF, on 25 September 2012. The patrol was ambushed at a location about 20 km south of Hashaba North, by unidentified armed men using mortars, resulting in the death of one (1) peacekeeper and three (3) others wounded.The incident occurred when the team took an alternative route after being denied access by a militia group. This incident is a major concern to the Mission asit was the second of such incidents recorded within 3 weeks, and due to the fact that the perpetrators used mortars, RPGs and AK 47 rifles against the peacekeepers. Furthermore, the attack restricted UNAMID from reachingHashaba, where an attack was reported to have caused substantial casualties among civilians.

 

23. On 30 October, NISS informed a patrol team from Muhajeria Team Site that about 30 unknown rebels on board 7 vehicles entered Muhajeria area. They therefore advised the UNAMID patrol to remain within the area for security reasons. On the same day, during a security meeting at Shaeria Team Site, GoS Intelligence representative also informed that there was a suspected plan to attack UNAMID personnel and facilities in Shaeria-Labado-Muhajeria general area by an unknown armed group. The team sites were accordingly instructed to be more vigilant in their operational movements.

 

24. There is now a verifiable shift from criminality as the sole motive in these threats. Such underlying factors as the persistent war environment, improving coordination of the perpetrators’ attacks, their pursuit for logistics, and disaffection within the SAF/allied forces over issues of entitlement, make the multitude of threats against UNAMID ever present and real.

 

25. Carjacking is still a major security threat and the trend remains a challenge. With the end of the rainy season and improved road conditions, carjacking may be stepped up as it is easy for the perpetrators to escape. UNAMID continues to take appropriate measures to safeguard life and properties. Meanwhile, most cases of banditry recorded in the reporting period, especially in West and Central Darfur, targeted the local civilian population.

 

V. HUMANITARIAN SITUATION

 

26. During the reporting period, sporadic violence and insecurity resulted in more humanitarian needs for the affected populations in Darfur. Denial and restriction of access by Government authorities and armed movements remained a significant impediment to the humanitarian community’s ability to provide response for population in need of assistance, in Kutum (August and September), Hashaba (September), and Sigili (November).

 

27. The attack by militia on Sigili village, on 2 November, led to the displacement of 423 people to El Fasher town and to the ZamZam IDP camp. The International Organization on Migration (IOM) has verified that 423 affected people arrived at ZamZam camp from Sigili and its surrounding areas between 6 and 17 November, while it is estimated that a further 380 affected people were displaced to areas around El Fasher town. In addition, sporadic fighting in East Jebel Mara has temporarily displaced people. In Central Darfur, the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC)has reported displacement to Golo (130 km south west of El Fasher) town, due to fighting in the areas of Sortony and Fanga Suk. In East Darfur, there are also unconfirmed reports indicating that some families in Um Baroro have moved from Blue Nile State, due to fighting between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SLPM-N) and SAF.

 

28. The granting of Darfur travel permits to UN agencies staff and development partners became more difficult as they were prevented from going to some deep field locations, while others were prevented from travelling to Darfur from Khartoum. Access to areas including West Darfur, East Jebel Marra, in South Darfur, and to Hashaba, in North Darfur, remained restricted, while no inter-agency mission has taken place in West Jebel Marra since August 2011. Lack of access also affected the adequate supply of drugs and medical provisions to Rokero and parts of Nertiti in Central Darfur and also in some areas of Kutum locality, in North Darfur. A mass meningitis vaccination campaign in October 2012 in response to a Yellow Fever outbreak in November and December did not cover these locations owing to lack of access.

 

29. The HAC deregistered seven national NGOs operating in South Darfur, including Sudan Council of Churches (SCC), Al-Manal Charity Organization, SIHA, Fatima Al-Zahra’a for Child Care, Al-MalamKeila, Al-Ban, in October 2012, and Sudan Educational Development Organization, in April 2012. The SCC was accused of operating outside its mandate. This deregistration of local NGOs disrupted education, health and food security activities, estimated to be benefiting more than 30,000 people.

 

30. Despite on-going conflict, improvements in security in some parts of Darfur have allowed an increasing number of returns to take place. The latest figures show that some 105,471 people have returned to their homes in Darfur during 2012, while over 114,000 new displacements have taken place duringthe same period. Many of these displacements have been of a very temporary nature.

 

31. In South Darfur and West Darfur, spontaneous and seasonal returns have been reported to a number of localities mainly due to relative improvement in the security situation in those areas. Elsewhere, some returns are still deemed to be temporary in nature and unsustainable. Displaced persons continued to report lack of security and access to basic services and livelihood opportunities as the main obstacles preventing long-term return.

 

32. A total of 11,405 households of South Sudanese origin are currently living in South and East Darfur. In South Darfur, UNHCR has completed an identification project for extremely vulnerable individuals of South Sudanese origin. UNHCR is planning to return 400 at-risk families who were identified in Otash and Bielel camps, Nyala, to their places of origin in South Sudan.

 

33. Some displaced persons have reported that their motivation for seasonal return was to cultivate land following a decrease in general food distributions. This reflects the World Food Programme’s (WFP) continued transition from general food aid to targeted food assistance through an expansion of selected safety net activities including food for recovery projects. Despite this process, WFP still provided food aid to some 3.3 million people in Darfur in 2012, with 160,000 metric tonnes of food aid delivered as of September 2012. Following good rains in 2012, there are expectations of a good harvest in most areas of the country. However, Darfur will remain a food deficit area needing seasonal food security support in 2013.

34. On 29 October 2012, the Federal Ministry of Health (MoH) informed the World Health Organization (WHO) of an outbreak of Yellow Fever. As of 21 November, a total of 537 suspected cases had been reported in 30 out of 57 Darfur localities, including 127 deaths. Federal and state governments, together with humanitarian partners, worked to contain the outbreak. The MoH received 2.4 million doses of the Yellow Fever vaccine from the WHO to conduct a mass vaccination campaign in 12 priority localities. About $1.7 million was mobilized at the country-level and operational support provided by international NGOs and the GoS. A further $2.6 million of funding was approved by the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund. UNAMID provided logistic support to immunization campaign for Yellow Fever.

 

35. The 2013 UN and Partners Work Plan for Sudan was finalized in November 2012. Although the Work Plan covers the whole of Sudan, Darfur constituted its main focus. Over 60% of the estimated $983 million required to fund humanitarian activities in Sudan in 2013 is for Darfur. Furthermore, of the total 4.4 million people estimated to require humanitarian assistance in Sudan in 2013, 3.4 million are in Darfur, including 1.4 million people in IDP camps.

 

VI. RULE OF LAW, GOVERNANCE AND HUMAN RIGHTS

 

36. Access restrictions impacted UNAMID’s ability to gather and verify allegations of human rights violations and abuses. In Central Darfur, accessing information on sexual and gender-based violence is increasingly limited due to access issues.

 

37. UNAMID continues to record incidents of human rights violations. The 17 October and 2 November 2012 armed clashes in the Shawa – Abu Delek area of North Darfur, for instance, accounted for 25 of the 34 victims. Inter-communal armed skirmishes have been on-going in this area since February 2012. Residents who fled the area are now living in the greater El Fasher area, and at the Zamzam and Abu Shouk IDP camps, resulting in an influx of newly arrived displaced persons.

 

38. Attacks on IDPs and civilians, which are criminal in intent, have continued, resulting in violations of the right to physical integrity, arbitrary deprivation of life and injury to persons. Disputes between farmers and pastoralists over crop destruction and livestock rustling have been oneunderlying cause of these attacks. With the commencement of the harvest season, UNAMID has increased vigilance, particularly in areas where IDPs are engaged in farming activities.

 

39. UNAMID recorded 22 incidents of sexual and gender-based violence involving 32 victims, nine of whom were minors in two months, from October to November 2012. Of the 22 incidents, 10 occurred as women and girls were engaged in farming activities, three while collecting firewood, while one reportedly happened when the victim was collecting grass fodder. The remaining eight incidents occurred in the home of the victim, the neighbour or on someone’s vacant property.

 

40. Under-reporting of sexual and gender-based violence incidents, especially to the GoS police, remains a challenge for fear of social stigma against the victims. UNAMID and its partners, both Governments and non-government, have been continuously working on capacity building and outreach events related to sexual and gender-based violence. November 25 to 10December 2012 marked the 16 Days of Activism on Violence against Women campaign to stress the need to eradicate sexual violence against women and girls.

 

41. The number of arbitrary arrests and detention recorded by UNAMID has declined. As an example, only three incidents involving nine victims were recorded from 1 October to 7 December 2012, compared to 40 incidents involving 46 victims in three months from July to September. In two of the three incidents, however, ill-treatment and torture was reported.

 

42. UNAMID convened and conducted 19 human rights capacity building activities during this reporting period on key issues such as the protection of women under UN Security Council resolution 1325, transitional justice, fair trials, international human rights and humanitarian law standards and human rights education. The target groups included judges, Government police, the Central Reserve Police (CRP), the Military Intelligence (MI), midwives and nurses, members of State Committees for Combating Violence against Women, rural court judges, women community leaders and teachers, as well as members of the SLA-Freewill and LJM. A total of 615 persons were reached, 257 ofwhom were women.

 

VII. UNAMID DEPLOYMENT AND OPERATIONS

 

43. As at 6 December 2012, the strength of UNAMID civilian personnel stood at 85 per cent of the approved strength of 5,277 (1,100 international staff, 2,926 national staff and 449 United Nations Volunteers). The strength of UNAMID military personnel stood at 16,292, including 15,680 troops, 313 staff officers, 227 military observers and 72 liaison officers, representing 101 per cent of the authorized strength of 16,200. The deployment of a medium utility helicopter unit from Rwanda, scheduled for November 2012, was cancelled.

 

44. The personnel strength of UNAMID police stood at 2,830, comprising 87 per cent men and 13 per cent women and representing 121 per cent of the authorized strength of 2,310. 16 of the authorized 17 Formed Police Units (FPUs) have been deployed. A total of 2,230 personnel have been deployed, representing 94 per cent of the authorized strength of 2,380.UNAMID military and police continue to conduct routine, short-range,long-range-and night, firewood and farm patrols, as well as humanitarian escorts and administrative patrols, covering towns, villages and IDP camps.

 

45. From 1 October to 25 November 2012, Government authorities issued 935 new entry visas for UNAMID personnel. As at 25 November 2012, 1,495 visas were pending, 83 of which were for civilian personnel, 80 for United Nations Volunteers, 77 for military personnel, 1,109 for civilian police officers, 137 for contractors, 2 for consultants and 7 for official visitors. UNAMID, as well as AU and UN officials, continued to urge the authorities to promptly approve all visa requests.

 

46. Regarding the operational and self-sustainment capabilities of troop and police contingents, out of the 46 military and police units currently deployed to UNAMID, 32 have achieved a serviceability rate of their major equipment above the 90 per cent threshold. In the area of self-sustainment capabilities, where there is no threshold established, only 12 units meet 100 per cent of the requirements as stipulated in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU),with the rest ranging between 27 per cent and 95 per cent compliance. The shortfalls pertain mainly to the serviceability of armoured personnel carriers and vehicles, as well as deficiencies in self-sustainment. Positive steps to address the shortfalls by deploying the required equipment and spare parts are being addressed. At a meeting of UNAMID stakeholders including Troop and Police Contributing Countries (TCCs/PCCs) in Addis Ababa on 3 December, the Acting JSR stressed the imperative need for troops and police contingents to be self-sustaining.

 

47. UNAMID provided logistical support to the Government’s response to yellow fever outbreak in parts of Darfur, including transportation of vaccines for the Ministry of Health, provision of security, generators, fuel and oil, tents and the use of its medical facilities when and where needed. During this reporting period, a total of 106 quick-impact projects were completed, and 108 projects are on-going and at various stages of completion.

 

48. UNAMID continued to reduce the threat posed by unexploded ordnance in Darfur. The Mission and its NGO partners assessed 1,280 km of routes and re-assessed 249 km of routes as free of unexploded ordnance, 131 sqkm of an area was assessed as free of unexploded ordnance and other explosive remnants of war. The teams located and destroyed 14 unexploded ordnance items and 5 small arms ammunition. In addition, the Mission conducted unexploded ordnance risk awareness training to 17,995 civilians and training the trainer course to 30 participants. 61 UNAMID personnel received Advanced Explosive Remnant of War recognition training.

 

49. Progress has been made in UNAMID’s pending application for Radio Licence to be issued by the GoS. Meanwhile, UNAMID has commissioned Albany Associates to undertake to produce a radio serial drama on peace building. It is anticipated that production will commence at the beginning of 2013, and the serial drama will be integrated into the bridging solution schedule on Al Salaam Radio, pending the issuance of a radio broadcasting license.

 

VIII. REVIEW OF UNIFORMED PERSONNEL

 

50. Pursuant to UN Security Council resolution 2003 (2011), implementation of the recommendations of the review of UNAMID uniformed personnel continued. The repatriation of the Bangladesh Multi-Role Logistics Company, Egypt Infantry Battalion and Signal Company has been completed. The repatriation of the Sierra Leone Reconnaissance Company planned for December 2012 has been extended for another month upon request by the Government of Sierra Leone. The redeployment of troops and police within Darfur continues to progress with full implementation pending the completion of required construction works in ten locations to accommodate additional numbers of military and police personnel. Reductions to the Mission’s overall troop and police strengths will reach the authorized ceilings as set out in UN Security Council Resolution2063 (2012) by 1 September 2013 and 31 January 2014, respectively.

 

IX. REVIEW OF CIVILIAN STAFF

 

51. The Mission has completed the review of its civilian personnel, and the outcome presented to both the AU Department of Peace and Security and UN Department of Peace Keeping Operations. The goal was to right size the staffing levels, and identify functions that could be nationalized or abolished. The review has taken into account the need to support the development of El Daein Sector HQ, upgrade Zalingei to a full-fledged Sector HQ, and deep field deployment to enable UNAMID achieve its mandate. The expansion will be funded from the existing UNAMID resources. The implementation of the Global Field Support Strategy (GFSS) has also influenced the review process with the establishment of the Regional Service Centre in Entebbe (RSCE) to which back office functions in Human Resources (HR) and Finance have been transferred. This was accompanied by appropriate resources, which included 50 posts in human resources and finance already transferred to RSCE and included in the 2012/2013 budget. Further resources in HR, Finance and Communication and Information Technology System (CITS) have been identified to be transferred to the RSCE in the 2013/2014 financial year. In addition, a 15% reduction of the posts was implemented as part of the efficiency gain measures in 2012/2013 fiscal year.

 

X. OBSERVATIONS

 

52. Despite the commitment of the DDPD parties,the implementation of provisions that could create immediate tangible improvements on the groundare still seriously lagging behind. The DRA, which has primary responsibility to implement the DDPD and coordinate post-conflict reconstruction and development projects,has not been adequately funded. The DRA is challenged with lack of material and institutional capacity. While this may be related to the economic challenges facing Sudan which may have affected the Government’s ability to fulfil its DDPD prescribed financial obligations, I call on the Government to as much as possible provide the needed support to the DRA in the interest of the Darfur peace process. It is hoped that the implementation of the cooperation agreements between Sudan and South Sudan, signed on 27 September in Addis Ababa, will alleviate the Government’s financial constraints, with the attendant positive impact on its ability to meet its obligations under the DDPD. I note the progress made in the DJAM process and, in this regard, commend UNAMID and all other partner countries and organisations that have so far provided the required support and assistance to the process. I call on donors to come to the assistance of the people of Darfur at the Donors’ Conference scheduled to take place early next year in Doha,to raise funds for reconstruction, economic recovery and poverty eradication in Darfur.While encouraging the GoS to increase its financial allocations to the DRA and Darfur, I also urge the international community to continue to support the DRA in improving its capacity in order to enhanceits effectiveness in bringing the dividends of the DDPD closer and in more tangible forms to the affected population of Darfur.

 

53. I note that, although seriously lacking in capacity, the DRA has been able to conduct an All Darfur Conference. The experience and lessons learned therefrom are currently being used to prepare for the commencement of the Darfur-based Internal Dialogue and Consultation process, which is one of the three pillars of the Framework for African Union and United Nations Facilitation of the Darfur Peace Process. The DRA has also been playing a lead rolein the DJAM process, and has concluded plans for the holding of the IDPs/Refugees Conference scheduled to take place in December 2012, in Nyala.

 

54. In recent months, conflict has intensified in Darfur. I call on the Government to exercise fully its sovereign responsibility to protect civilians and on the non-signatory armed movements to fulfil their obligations under International Humanitarian Law in ensuring that civilians are not harmed by military activities. I condemn in the strongest term attacks against UNAMID and the killing of peacekeepers. These are heinous crimes committed against the very people who came to assist in restoring peace and stability in Darfur. I urge the GoS to do all it can to track down the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

 

55. If the hopes of Darfuris for a lasting peace are to be realised, engagement by the parties to the conflict in peaceful dialogue rather than military action remains critical. I,therefore,call on Council to send a strong and unequivocal signal to the parties to the conflict to immediately cease hostilities and to dialogue and negotiate in an effort to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the conflict on the basis of the DDPD. Nine years on, the conflict in Darfur continues to require the full attention of the international community, and this Council in particular, to guide and facilitate efforts towards a sustainable settlement of the conflict. I am confident that Council will continue to honour its obligations in this regard.

 

SOURCE 

African Union Commission (AUC)


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