Home | News    Saturday 31 July 2010

UNSC says Darfur peacekeeping force must step up its security role

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July 30, 2010 (WASHINGTON) — The UN Security Council (UNSC) today officially extended the mandate of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) for another year but appeared to direct subtle criticism of its performance with regard to civilian and humanitarian protection.

"[The UNSC] underlines the need for UNAMID to make full use of its mandate and capabilities, giving priority in decisions about the use of available capacity and resources to (a) the protection of civilians across Darfur, and (b) ensuring safe, timely and unhindered humanitarian access, the safety and security of humanitarian personnel and humanitarian activities" the resolution extending UNAMID mandate said.

"Requests UNAMID in consultation with the UN country team to develop a comprehensive strategy for the achievement of the objectives set out in paragraph 2 above and requests UNAMID to maximize the use of its capabilities in Darfur, in the implementation of that strategy".

Furthermore the council asked the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to continue reporting on UNAMID’s progress towards implementing its mandate and to periodically review and update its concept of operations and rules of engagement

Reuters quoted unnamed Western diplomats at the world body as saying that the force should put those goals ahead of reconstruction projects or a direct role in attempts to negotiate a political settlement, which they said UNAMID had been straying into and which Sudan’s government favoured.

Many observers, aid groups and rebels have stepped their criticism of UNAMID saying it is not performing efficiently to fulfil its mandate which some have called as "weak".

Aid group Oxfam agreed with the Security Council that UNAMID should focus on security and stay out of reconstruction.

"Mixing the work of blue helmets (peacekeepers) with aid groups will confuse Darfuris," El Fateh Osman, Oxfam’s country director in Sudan, said in a statement.

This week deadly clashes erupted at the IDP camps and UNAMID has reported that it resulted from clashes between followers of Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) headed by Abdel-Wahid Al-Nur and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) which is an umbrella coalition of several rebel groups and chaired by Al-Tigani Al-Sissi who is a UN employee and a former governor of Darfur.

UNAMID reported earlier this month that 221 people had died in tribal fighting and other violence in Darfur in June after nearly 600 deaths in May. UNAMID has lost 27 troops and police since it first deployed.

The UNSC also called for an immediate halt to the escalating violence and deplored the fact that some Darfur rebel groups refuse to join peace talks.

Two major Darfur rebel groups are currently outside the talks namely Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) headed by Khalil Ibrahim and SLM-Nur.

While SLM-Nur has flatly rejected going to the negotiation table before establishing security on the ground, JEM has ended signing up a framework agreement with Khartoum last February in Qatar which is hosting the peace talks.

The resolution also urged all parties to let UNAMID do its work and called on Khartoum to carry out promises to the United Nations on flight and equipment clearances and remove all obstacles to the use of the force’s aircraft.

UNAMID says that the helicopters aim at enhancing the Mission’s ability to protect the civilian population and will also enable a swift and effective response to any developing emergency on the ground.

However, sources in Darfur say that the Sudanese government refused to grant permission to fly those helicopters despite repeated private pleas by the mission. There have been no signs of lifting the restrictions.

(ST)

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  • 31 July 2010 09:18, by DASODIKO

    The UNAMAID forces in Darfur like other US forces anywhere in the world failed to protect civilains, its because of most of them do not join the UN forces to die but to make money,although one can’t refute the fact that there are still good hearted minorities among them.

    The incident took place on 30th July at Kalma IDPs camps is a clear approval that UNAMAID is still working under the mandate of AU,that is looking to forces any type of peace for Darfur victims for just to save Bashir. If in fact; there is impartial investigation, UNAMAID is involved in yesterdays killing of the innocent civilains in Kalma and in Zalingi. The message of Gambari before the UNSC was much tilted on blaming the victims the rebels and their families for not looking for peace; as well as the press released by UNAMID in Niyala where they also blamed the IDPs for the killing by saying that the killing was because of Doha peace process which is not true. Its because the mad Nigerians man Gambari and his counterparts AU heads of states are completely being blinded to just think for the causes of the conflict. Its just like someone continues slapping on someone else face, and group come pushing the slapped man saying: Please don’t fight him forgive him; meanwhile the slapping on the of the man is still cointuning.

    These Mechanisms of defending Bashir will compicate problems in Darfur rather than resolving them. AU and their forces on the ground should know that people of Darfur are no more fear the killing; They will never see worst than what they have seen before they capture arms from Sudan Arm Forces to respond to defend their families. And for sure they will takeover power in Sudan and the countries no matter how long this will take and who supported Bashir will suffer more than people of Darfur.

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  • 31 July 2010 09:21, by telfajbago

    The subtle criticism to the UNAMID by the UNSC is not enough as the former now dragged by Khartoum to implement its plans of depopulating the IDP camps. The UNSC has to put forward its plan B strategy in case the UNAMID failed to do something pertaining to the protection of civilian and humanitarian aid workers. I have just received a telephone call from somebody telling me that, some IDPs who fled the recent violence of Kalma camp, went to UNAMID premises and Sudan Government asked the UNAMID to hand them to him. Judging from the recent engagement of UNAMID in attacking the IDPs the UNSC must form independent body to monitor the work of the UNAMID. Also UNAMID must first distance itself from Khartoum’s reconstruction project which intended to legalize the occupied land of the indigenous Darfurian people as today are in the fix after siding with the regime in the recent attack of Kalma camp.

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    • 31 July 2010 15:44, by kitir

      The government plan to take over the security mandate from the UNAMID, in order to restore the control over Kalma camps will be very dangerous precedent, that UNAMID should fiercely reject it , its not coincidence that government plan came, shortly after the recent UN/SC resolution mandated UNAMID to provide the full protection to civilian in Darfur. The cause of the recent regrettable incidents in Kalma IDPs camps is SLA/ Nour who incite it supporters to terrorize the IDPs loyal to LJM of Mr., Tijani engaging in the ongoing Doha peace talks, but it seems things not going in the favor of waheed , as the majorities of IDP the showing sympathy to Saisa ,vowing to stay loyal to LJM , rejecting the egoist ,ambiguous Abdelwahid’s policy ,and his rejection of all regional and international initiatives to end the crises thorough the talks.But it remains to UNAMID to use new mandate stop arms proliferation in the IDPs camps, namely kalma camp since theses camps where found to provide refuge for the vulnerable civilization not to be manipulated by the rebel groups of the government to settle their political accounts .

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  • 31 July 2010 10:05, by kitir

    I don’t believe that; the new mandate of UNAMID will change anything on ground, or providing protection to the desperate civilians, because simply the UNamid leaders showing sympathy to the Elbashir , Mr. Ada da was very good example for corrupted UNAMID chief in Darfur. The government move to indorse new strategy to deal with Darfur means; the region will enter into a new episode of violence and escalation, in fact, only the civilians will pay the costs of such deterioration of the security situation on the ground. Nevertheless, the approval the new mandate by UN/SC will uncover the real face of UNAMID who complaining not mandated to provide protection for the civilian.

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