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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.

South Sudan: “Subject: Appointment of Party’s General Secretary and Executive Secretaries of South Sudan United Movement” (07.10.2017)

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.

SPLM Leaders Former Political Detainees (FDs) letter to IGAD: “Visit of IGAD Foreign Ministers Delegation on the ARCSS Pre-Revitialization Consultation Forum” (07.10.2017)

President receives special message from South Sudan’s Salva Kiir (03.10.2017)

President Museveni and General Ajong discussed UPDF – SPLA security cooperation and training.

KAMPALA, Uganda, October 3, 2017 – President Yoweri Museveni has today met a delegation of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), led by General James Ajong Mawut who is the Chief of Defense Forces of Republic of South Sudan.

During the meeting which took place this afternoon at the State Lodge in Mbale Municipality, Eastern Uganda, General Ajong conveyed a special message and a letter of appreciation from President Salva Kiir of South Sudan to President Museveni, commending him for the continued support and solidarity with the government of South Sudan.

President Museveni and General Ajong discussed UPDF – SPLA security cooperation and training.

Uganda and South Sudan have long standing economic and security interests. Uganda is also host to over one million refugees fleeing from the instability in South Sudan.

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: CSO’s Paper to IGAD HLRF is revealing!

There were many insights and deep stuff in the CSO Report to IGAD, which has been written and submitted to Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), has put their stakeholders, and their pride into trying to forge a peace, even after the peace agreement of 2015 has been shot into tatters recently. The IGAD are clearly on a mission to sustain their place and their negotiations with the parties in South Sudan. As the conflict and battles within becomes more dire, when the consequences of not doing it, is more life in danger and a more uncertain future for the republic. Clearly, all parties knows what at stake, as the IGAD have proven not to be to impartial, as well as the foreign intervention from Uganda, has been in favor of the SPLM-IG, clearly, there are many more obstacles to fix before the due date of the newly proposed peace mediation. That is why the paper from the CSO is revealing, especially, the part if IGAD fail, which I think it will do, as long as people are sidestepping the SPLM-IO and the newly created militias and opposition forces. Look at their take if the IGAD fails, which is such a dossier.

“IGAD faces a daunting task in securing a political settlement through the HLRF process. Not only must it contend with the fracturing of armed groups and the proliferation of new political formations, but divisions among IGAD member states themselves undermine the diplomatic leverage that mediators have at their disposal. From the very start of the conflict, it has been clear that the four frontline states of Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda are essential to the solution of the conflict in South Sudan. Only they can offer the incentives and disincentives that are needed to bring the various factions together behind the terms of a political settlement. To date, the vested interests of some political elites in the region have prevented IGAD from mounting a united response. The next few months will show whether the situation in South Sudan has reached a point at which it poses such a serious threat to regional peace and stability that the region is forced to respond accordingly, or whether IGAD’s ability to respond will once again be undermined by narrowly defined state or personal interests” (CSO Paper, September 2017).

“If the HLRF process fails, the IGAD region must accept that it is unable to resolve the crisis in South Sudan and hand over responsibility for the mediation effort to the AU. The four frontline states can still engage in the context of an AU-led mediation, but they should not be able to dominate the process and use it as a forum to promote their own narrowly defined interests. The AU should start preparing itself now by developing a political strategy for a possible AU-led mediation effort. This strategy should go beyond any eminent personalities that may be appointed to lead the process to consider how the AU approach would differ from that of IGAD. In addition, IGAD and the AU should make clear to the warring parties that if they fail to agree on a political settlement in the context of the HLRF, IGAD and the AU will request that punitive measures be imposed on parties who undermine the process. Such punitive measures are long past due and are the only means to communicate to the leadership on all sides of the political divide that the African region will no longer allow the people of South Sudan and the region to be held hostage to their leaders’ pursuit of power” (CSO Paper, September 2017).

It is really telling how they are explaining in these passages, the reality of the daunting task ahead, as the SPLM/A and SPLM-IO are the key component to the crisis and stalemate, but this in effect has created many more enemies of both. The former SPLM/A and SPLM-IO who has become their own parties and their militias, are within all reason making the road-map for peace more hectic. As there isn’t just two leaders who wants to be supreme. But a dozens who wants to topple them both, by all means and with full force. This should not overshadow the need for diplomatic and negotiations between SPLM/A and SPLM-IO, neither stop the SPLM/A reunification project, even how flawed both has been.

The marginalized and silenced parts of the discussions, the rebellions against both parties, should be looked at if the IGAD HLRF Process is a honest one. If the IGAD approach should bear fruits, the SPLM-IO ghost is haunting the process and the dialogue. As well as all the former generals who has created their own outfits, who needs to included, unless they want to create a new fragile peace. That could blow up any second after the ink has run dry. Peace.

Reference:

CIVIL SOCIETY OPTIONS PAPER ON THE IGAD HIGH-LEVEL REVITALIZATION FORUM (September 2017)

 

Communiqué of the 720th meeting of the PSC, at the ministerial level, on the situation in South Sudan (20.09.2017)

WHO and partners respond to flood crises in the former Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile States of South Sudan (19.09.2017)

As part of the health cluster response, WHO delivered lifesaving medical supplies to the communities affected by the heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, September 19, 2017 – The World Health Organization (WHO) in partnership with the Ministry of Health and partners are scaling up the emergency response in the flood affected areas of Aweil West and Aweil North Counties of former Norther Bahr el Ghazal State, and Maban County of former Upper Nile State.

As part of the health cluster response, WHO delivered lifesaving medical supplies to the communities affected by the heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding. The lifesaving health supplies will benefit 10 000 people living in areas deeply affected by the heavy rainfall in parts Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Upper Nile States of South Sudan for the next three months.

The supplies include 10 basic unit kits and 10 pneumonia kits for management of common illness. The supplies were deployed along with Medical Mobile Team (MMT) to support other health partners in management of common illnesses to reduce excess mortality and morbidity and build the capacity of partners in early case detection of outbreak prone diseases.“Building the capacity of partners, increasing human resource and medical supplies are vital in such acute emergencies since it increases access to quality health care services to the affected population” said Mr Evans Liyosi, WHO Representative a.i to South Sudan.

According to the State Ministry of Health, it is estimated that over 119 000 people have been affected due to flooding triggered by the heavy rainfall in 11 payams of Aweil North and Aweil West of former Northern Bahr el Ghazal State. More flooding also caused some deaths and injuries and has deeply affected the daily lives of over 650 households in eight villages of Bunj payam, Maban County, Upper Nile State.

The risk of water-borne disease in the wake of the floods is real; a cholera epidemic has already affected thousands of people, causing over 355 reported deaths said Dr Allan Mpairwe, WHO Health Security and Emergency Officer. We have to act very fast to avoid the spread of water-borne diseases and the transmission of vector-borne diseases such as malaria, Dr Mpairwe underscored.
The floods have also destroyed roads, schools, homes, crops and vegetables all over the affected areas. This means the situation will get worse, with more people needing temporary housing and urgent humanitarian help.

WHO will continue to strengthen its humanitarian support in coordination with the Ministry of Health and partners to save the lives of the vulnerable community, Mr Liyosi added.

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