Posted by: APO | 1 October 2007

UNHCR West Darfur Protection Review Jan-Sep 2007

Date: 30 Sep 2007

UNHCR West Darfur Protection Review Jan-Sep 2007


Overview of major developments

On 17 June, the Government of Sudan announced that it was ready to accept the deployment of a AU/UN hybrid peacekeeping force (UNAMID). On 31 July, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1769 authorizing the deployment to Darfur of a joint UN-African Union peacekeeping force of some 26,000 military and police.

The hybrid mission will have as its central objective the protection of civilians and humanitarian workers, as well as the prevention of any disruption to the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement. UNAMID will operate under authority granted under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter and will combine the resources of both the UN and AU under a unified command and control.

It is expected that the deployment of UNAMID will not have any noticeable impact before the end of 2007. Meanwhile, AU/AMIS troops continue to monitor the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement.

Security

The security situation in Darfur as a whole has continued to be characterized by continual violence and unpredictability. There was a sharp increase in incidents targeting AMIS personnel and international aid agencies—including carjacking and banditry—which severely curtailed humanitarian access. Security concerns hindered access to such parts of West Darfur as Jebel Marra, Jebel Moon and Masteri for shorter or longer periods of time. In April several international NGOs suspended activities in Um Dukhun for some time following attacks targeting humanitarian agencies and fears of renewed fighting in the area.

Whereas UN vehicles were not frequently pursued, UNHCR fell prey to two carjacking incidents in the vicinity of the Um Shalaya refugee camp in West Darfur. In the second incident, six staff were abducted and then abandoned unhurt after three hours in a remote location some 150km away. The stolen vehicles and equipment have not been recovered. Following the incident, UNHCR suspended travel to the refugee camp for nearly two months.

Fighting and insecurity in eastern Chad and in rebel-controlled pockets of Darfur continued to provoke the displacement of civilians. UNHCR did not verify any significant return of IDPs to their villages of origin nor was any anticipated due to prevailing insecurity.

Landmines are not known to be used by any of the parties to the Darfur conflict. However, in West Darfur several incidents were reported in which civilians—local residents—were killed or seriously injured by UXOs. UNICEF is conducting landmine awareness campaigns with other UN agencies and NGOs.

 


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