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UN report urges Sudan to act over plight of displaced people in Darfur (21.11.2017)

The report details the situation of IDPs from January 2014 to December 2016, a period largely marked by the Government military campaign “decisive summer” that led to mass civilian displacement.

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 21, 2017 – A report by the UN Human Rights Office and the African Union-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) has called on the Sudanese Government to pursue effective, transparent and durable policies to enable the 2.6 million people internally displaced by the long-running conflict in Darfur to return home voluntarily or to reintegrate into host communities.

The report notes that, despite a ceasefire between the Government and various armed opposition groups which was largely held since June 2016, violence against internally displaced people (IDPs) continues to be widespread and impunity for human rights violations persists.

“I urge the Government to address fundamental issues that are preventing the return of displaced people, such as continued violence, including from armed militias, which raise continuing and justifiable fears for their safety and the lack of basic services that leave them dependent on aid,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

The report details the situation of IDPs from January 2014 to December 2016, a period largely marked by the Government military campaign “decisive summer” that led to mass civilian displacement. The report says there are reasonable grounds to believe that the military operations resulted in serious violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law.

With the unilateral ceasefires by the Government and most armed opposition movements in place since June 2016, there has been significantly less conflict-related displacement in Darfur during the first 10 months of 2017 than during the same period in previous years.

However, the inadequate presence and, in some cases, outright absence of law enforcement and judicial institutions in areas where IDPs have settled has led to serious human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, the report states.

Tensions between ethnic groups, frequently over land, continued to surface, often erupting in violence and triggering further displacement. The report says that while State governments, native administrations and traditional leaders have made considerable efforts to prevent and respond to such violence, the underlying causes of such conflict, remain unaddressed.

The vulnerability of displaced people within IDP camps remains a concern, the report says. In the majority of the 66 camps across Darfur, UNAMID continued to document cases of random shootings at night, acts of criminality and harassment of displaced persons and sexual violence, including rape, within and around IDP camps and farmlands. Victims cited the absence of police stations, lack of confidence in the authorities, social stigma and fear of reprisals as reasons for not reporting the attacks.

The report calls on the Government to carry out a prompt and comprehensive disarmament of armed militias to create an enabling and safe environment for IDPs to return, and also emphasises the need for extensive consultations with IDPs to ensure that their return and reintegration are carried out in full respect of their rights.

“The cessation of hostilities has provided the opportunity to focus on the situation of IDPs, which is so crucial to achieving peace. I urge the Government of Sudan to implement key elements set out in the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, and renew my call to all parties to fully engage in efforts to bring lasting peace to Darfur,” said UNAMID Joint Special Representative Jeremiah Mamabolo.

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UNAMID calls for collaborative approach to Darfur weapons collection in IDP camps (06.11.2017)

UNAMID peacekeepers on the ground during the incident reported that more than 100 government military vehicles, including trucks with mounted weapons and armoured personnel carriers, briefly entered parts of the camp.

EL FASHER, Sudan, November 6, 2017 –  On 2 November 2017, armed government forces entered Kalma IDP camp, South Darfur, in a show of force to conduct a weapons collection campaign in the state.

UNAMID peacekeepers on the ground during the incident reported that more than 100 government military vehicles, including trucks with mounted weapons and armoured personnel carriers, briefly entered parts of the camp.

“While UNAMID acknowledges the significance of the ongoing arms collection exercise, it regrets the entry by the Government forces to Kalma IDP camp was not coordinated with the mission to avoid any potential tension and violence”, said UNAMID Joint Special Representative, Jeremiah Mamabolo.

“We call on the Government and IDPs to work with UNAMID in a collaborative way in order to advance the weapons collection campaign.”

Following Thursday’s incident, UNAMID continues to engage with government authorities and Kalma IDP camp leaders in accordance with its protection of civilians mandate.

UNAMID welcomes the decision to lift economic sanctions on Sudan (09.10.2017)

The decision, which ends more than two decades of economic sanctions, is hoped to contribute significantly to the betterment of the lives of the Sudanese People.

ZALINGEI, Sudan, October 9, 2017 – UNAMID welcomes the US Administration’s decision to lift most economic sanctions imposed on Sudan. The decision, which ends more than two decades of economic sanctions, is hoped to contribute significantly to the betterment of the lives of the Sudanese people; including the population we serve in the Darfur region.

UNAMID’s Joint Special Representative and Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur (JSR/JCM) Jeremiah Kingsley Mamabolo welcomed the American decision saying: “On behalf of the Mission, I would like to congratulate the people and the Government of the Republic of Sudan on the lifting of the American sanctions. We are hopeful that this decision shall be a significant progress towards improving the lives of the population we serve in Darfur, in terms of creating livelihoods, and raising of education and health standards.”

“I also hope that this would constitute a positive step forward on the way of realising permanent peace, stability and sustainable development in Darfur.”

“I call on all the Sudanese parties to take advantage of this window of opportunity to speed up the finalisation of the peace process and use it as a catalyst for achieving permanent peace in Darfur,” JSR Mamabolo added.

Government of the Sudan, the African Union and the United Nations 24th Tripartite Coordination Mechanism Meeting on the African Union – United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (26.09.2017)

Agreed Outcome.

NEW YORK, United States of America, September 26, 2017 – On 22 September 2017, representatives of the Government of the Sudan (GoS), the African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN) and the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) met in New York for the 24th meeting of the Tripartite Coordination Mechanism (TCM) on UNAMID.

The GoS delegation was led by H.E. Ambassador Elghani Elnaim Awad Elkarim, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Sudan. The AU delegation was led by H.E. Ambassador Smaïl Chergui, the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security. The UN delegation was led by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix and Assistant Secretary-General for Field Support, Ms Lisa Buttenheim, and the UNAMID delegation was led by the Joint Special Representative, H.E. Ambassador Jeremiah Nyamane Kingsley Mamabolo.

In their remarks GoS, AU and UN welcomed the progress made in the implementation of Phase one of the UNAMID’s reconfiguration plan, and committed to work in the same spirit of mutual cooperation and support towards the implementation of Phase two and beyond. In this context, the Government of Sudan requested details on the establishment of the temporary operating base in Golo, to which UNAMID committed to reply.

While welcoming the remarkable progress to date on the release of shipments, the issuance of visas and the facilitation of movements of UNAMID in Darfur, the Tripartite undertook to resolve the outstanding issues pertaining to the effective implementation of UNAMID mandate.

The representatives of GoS, the AU and the UN look forward to continuing their work in the same constructive atmosphere towards the successful completion of UNAMID’s mandate.

Opinion: IGAD wants sanctions revoked against Sudan, the Employee wants to deliver for its Member!

Ambassador Mahboub Malim said this in August: ““First of all, I am an employee of President Kiir, among other presidents. So, to ask me what I can tell him, is like asking your house helper to tell you to change something in your house. But this is on a light note” (Lumu, 2017).

Again, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) had their meeting in Khartoum, holding their Inter-Parliament Union there. So to show their loyalty between the IGAD Parliamentarians, they have decided that in good faith and also their support of the Republic of Sudan. Member States are clearly now getting positive service and to the government inside the IGAD. Therefore, the supporting effect of the IGAD is dwindling down, since it is more a big microphone, than actually being there for strengthening the nations themselves.

The final communique has called for revolting the unjust economic sanctions imposed against the Sudan so that the country would take its natural position at the regional and international arenas. The conference has meanwhile called for boosting the roles of the government in achieving peace and raising awareness on issues related to environmental questions. The conference also stressed the need to put in place legislations that encourage agricultural investment, urging government to exert more efforts for the stability at home and to refrain from intervention in the domestic affairs of others” (SUNA, 2017).

Khartoum, Sep. 18 (SUNA) – Meetings of the 12th session of the Executive Council and Ninth Conference of the Speakers of Parliaments of the IGAD Member States were Monday concluded at the Friendship Hall. The conference recommended lifting of the American sanctions being imposed on Sudan to enable it restore its normal position at the regional and international levels” (SUNA, 2017).

That IGAD wants the Sudanese government to get their sanctioned ceased. This while the arms are getting distributed in Darfur. Also the troubles in Blue Nile State. The Sudanese State are clearly involved with crimes against humanity and the vicious violence against their own citizens. Therefore, the IGAD proposing to end sanctions should have made more progress. As even militias and state army has inflicted hurt to UN PoC Camps in Darfur. If they want the moral high-ground they should actually make sure one of their states are in peace. That Sudanese government can work with SPLM-N and other opposition parties in the Republic.

IGAD are now acting indifference to the situation, as the government has troubles with their domestic affairs. Since they have civil-war in Darfur. There is also trouble in other states, as well as the relationship and the border states of South Sudan. IGAD should try to make sure the Sudan government had made sure for peace, not to build-up their confidence and think they could get away with violence in Darfur, that continues for years upon end. And still continuing! Peace.

Reference:

Lumu, David – ‘IGAD boss applauds Uganda on South Sudan’ (23.08.2017) – New Vision Article

Sudan News Agency – ‘IGAD Parliamentarians Call for Revoking Economic Sanctions against the Sudan’ (18.09.2017) link: http://suna-sd.net/suna/showNews/354065/en?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Sudan News Agency – ‘Ninth Conference of the Speakers of Parliaments of the IGAD Member States Concluded in Khartoum’ (18.09.2017) link: http://suna-sd.net/suna/showNews/354068/en?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Arms proliferation continues in Darfur, but area remains largely calm, Security Council told (14.09.2017)

NEW YORK – The situation in Darfur has been largely calm in recent months, but there is continued violence fuelled by a proliferation of weapons and competition over natural resources, a senior United Nations official today told the Security Council.

“Most of the insecurity currently experienced in Darfur can be attributed to the tensions originating from the underlying causes of the conflict, exacerbated by the proliferation of arms in the hands of civilians and militia groups,” said Jeremiah Mamabolo, Special Representative and Head of the African Union-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

“Inter-communal disputes usually triggered by competition over land, water, livestock and mineral resources, have become increasingly violent due to the availability of weapons,” added Mr. Mamabolo.

The Government is carrying out an arms control campaign but reactions to the arms collection campaign “vary,” according to Mr. Mamabolo, who noted that the opposition and groups who did not sign the peace agreement are opposed to it.

Briefing the 15-member Council in New York on quarterly developments in the region of Sudan, Mr. Mamabolo noted progress on the implementation of the peace agreement is “limited.”

That agreement was signed in 2012 by the Government of Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), based on the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), which calls for a permanent ceasefire and comprehensive peace agreement to end the fighting.

Progress is particularly limited on issues such as “durable solutions to displacement, the administration of land, water, and other scarce resources, and the issue of armed militias,” Mr. Mamabolo said.

He also noted that efforts on an inclusive peace agreement by the AU High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), with support of UNAMID, remain “inconclusive” due to a stalemate between the Government and one of the parties.

“We call upon the Council and those with influence on the parties to stress the importance of a political settlement and desist from bringing more suffering to the very people that they profess to represent,” said Mr. Mamabolo.

Among other issues raised, Mr. Mamabolo said that cooperation between the UN and the Government of Sudan has “noticeably improved” with a more open humanitarian environment and faster approval of movements within Darfur and clearance of visas, except for human rights staff.

UNAMID expresses concern over allegations of improper team site handovers (11.09.2017)

In line with the mandate, the Mission is reducing the number of military, police and civilian personnel, and has earmarked 11 team sites for closure across Darfur.

KHARTOUM, Sudan, September 11, 2017 – UNAMID is concerned about recent allegations of improper handover of team sites in North Darfur as part of its mandated reconfiguration.

The Mission would like to reiterate that as per the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2363, of 29 June, 2017, extending UNAMID’s mandate until 30 June 2018, its strategic priorities in Darfur remain the same—protecting civilians, facilitating access and security for humanitarian actors and working to ameliorate the root causes of communal conflict.

Furthermore, moving forward, UNAMID will take a two-pronged approach incorporating both peacekeeping and stabilization.

In line with the mandate, the Mission is reducing the number of military, police and civilian personnel, and has earmarked 11 team sites for closure across Darfur.

Four team sites have been closed to date: Malha, Mellit and Um Kadada, North Darfur, and Muhajeria, East Darfur. Seven team sites are yet to be closed. These are Abu Shouk, Tine, Habila, Forobaranga, Tulus, Eid Al Fursan and Zam Zam.

Closed team sites have been handed over to the Government of Sudan or appropriate private parties as per lease agreements signed by the Mission.

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission Urges the People of Kenya to Respect the Judgement of the Supreme Court (01.09.2017)

UK Continues to Support Most Vulnerable in Sudan Through Cash Assistance (21.08.2017)

KHARTOUM, Sudan, August 21, 2017 –  The United Kingdom has contributed £4.5 million (US$5.8 million) to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to provide essential food assistance to nearly 370,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) in Darfur for two months.

The Department for International Development (DFID) contribution will allow WFP to support IDPs through cash-based transfers, which will provide people with vouchers and e-cards so they can buy food and essential supplies of their choice at contracted local traders.

“The UK Government is committed to working with WFP to meet the humanitarian needs of displaced people within Sudan,” said Acting Head of DFID Sudan Kate Orrick. “We have provided a total of £53.5 million to WFP since 2013, providing vital assistance to hundreds of thousands of people in Sudan and enabling them to start rebuilding their lives.” 

“The use of cash and vouchers enables greater choice and dignity for vulnerable Sudanese, stimulates the local economy, and has the greatest positive impact on those receiving our support,” Orrick added.

WFP will use the contribution to support 288,000 IDPs in North and West Darfur states and nearly 81,000 IDPs in Otash camp, located in South Darfur state.

“We are grateful to the people and Government of the UK for this contribution towards our cash programmes, which is a more efficient form of assistance and allows for greater autonomy and dignity while providing a lifeline to those most in need,” said WFP Sudan Representative and Country Director Matthew Hollingworth.

With UK support, WFP successfully launched the first cash programme in Sudan last year in Otash camp in South Darfur. During the pilot phase of the cash transfer programme (October 2016 to March 2017), nearly 75,000 IDPs in Otash camp received approximately US$37.50 per person for five months. The assistance was provided through a prepaid card swiped against a Point of Service (POS) device at pre-selected shops.

In Sudan, the introduction of vouchers in 2009 and cash assistance in 2016 continues to transform the relationship between vulnerable displaced people and their food needs. Cash-based assistance provides people with greater choice of food items and access to locally-preferred ingredients, while stimulating the local economy and supporting WFP’s needs-based approach in a protracted crisis. Over the past six years, WFP in Sudan has expanded the use of cash over regular food distributions. Evidence gathered through ongoing monitoring and feedback from people receiving WFP support shows that cash-based transfers are generally the preferred form of assistance.

Throughout 2017, WFP plans to support more than four million vulnerable people in Sudan, including IDPs, refugees, people affected by climate change and host communities. WFP provides such support through a range of activities, including emergency food assistance, cash-based transfers (or vouchers), nutritional support, and resilience-building activities to help communities become increasingly independent.

The African Union Commission Condemns the Killing of an IEBC Staff member (01.08.2017)

Addis Ababa, 1 August 2017: The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) Moussa Faki Mahamat has learnt with shock about the killing of Mr Christopher Msando, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Manager at the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) of Kenya. This dastardly act happened a week ahead of the Kenyan general elections planned for 8 August 2017.

“I condemn this senseless act in the strongest terms and call on the Kenyan authorities to conduct a full investigation into the murder and bring those responsible to justice. I extend my most sincere condolences to the family of the deceased as well as the management and staff of the IEBC on the loss of their loved one and colleague,”” said the Chairperson of the Commission.

The Chairperson urges the Government of the Republic of Kenya to provide adequate protection for all electoral stakeholders to guarantee the security and integrity of the electoral process. He further urges the parties, candidates and their supporters to refrain from all acts of violence and intimidation that could derail the peaceful conduct of the 2017 elections. Kenyans deserve free, fair and credible elections.

Cognisant of the significant role that the late Mr Msando played in ensuring credible elections, the AUC Chairperson calls on the IEBC and the Kenyan authorities to take the immediate necessary measures to ensure that his tragic death does not impact negatively on the elections.

The Chairperson reaffirms the AU’s full solidarity with, and support to, the Government and the people of Kenya in the conduct of democratic, credible and peaceful elections, in line with the Continent’s shared values, as articulated in the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and in other relevant instruments of the AU.

For media enquiries, contact:
Ebba Kalondo
Spokesperson the Chairperson
Mob: +251911510512
Email: KalondoE@Africa-Union.org

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