October 23, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The security situation in Darfur, as well as threats to peacekeeping force UNAMID and humanitarian personnel remain a serious concern, the chief of Darfur peacekeeping forces, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, told the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in a briefing on Wednesday.
- A Security Council delegate watches on video screen Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Joint Special Representative and Head of the African Union and United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), addressing the Council meeting on UNAMID via video conference. 23 October 2013 (Photo UN)
Ibn Chambas who was speaking to the council via video conference from Khartoum mentioned the recent attacks against the members of the African Union United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) that resulted to the deal of one Zambian and three Senegalese peacekeepers.
He pointed out that inter-tribal conflicts "that continue to plague the region" have caused a large number of human casualties and triggered mass displacement and attendant humanitarian tragedy, he said.
He said that the hybrid mission continues to provide humanitarian assistance to the affected civilians, underlining that their efforts are negatively impacted by the restrictions of access and bureaucratic impediments.
"However, it must also be said that the number of such restrictions taken in proportion to the number of patrols and escorts carried out by the Mission, which you would have seen in the report, is quite low", he added.
The UNSC discussed Wednesday a trimestral report on the UNAMID activities. The meeting was briefed besides Chambas by the under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous, and the Sudanese ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman.
Ladsous told the council that the latest report highlights the limited progress in the peace process, "a very troubling security situation and the continued need for substantial humanitarian assistance in Darfur".
He called on Sudanese government to swiftly identify and hold accountable those responsible for the "disturbing" increase in attacks against UNAMID and humanitarian personnel. He welcomed the African Union Peace and Security Council’s call for the Sudanese Government to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
He added that the peacekeeping department was working with troop-contributing countries to ensure that personnel were properly equipped and trained for the very challenging security environment in Darfur.
He said they are jointly with the African Union carrying out a review of the UNMAID as decided in the resolution 2113 for this year. A senior assessment mission would be in the area in late November and early December, and he expected the findings to be presented in early February, he added.
The Sudanese government, African Union and the United Nations agreed to reduce the operation’s overall uniformed and civilian personnel.
The Sudanese ambassador to the United Nations condemned the attacks on the UNAMID and underlined that Sudanese soldiers had been killed during the recent attacks on the peacekeepers when they chased the unidentified assailants.
He further wondered why the UNAMID military personnel do not defend and protect themselves when they are attacked, stressing that this inability had led to many questions.
He questioned how the hybrid operation could remain in the area "doing nothing", requiring the Sudanese Armed Forces to intervene to protect them.
Osman praised the efforts of the joint mediator who is also the UNAMID chief and called on "influential countries" to encourage parties to come to the negotiating table.
In Khartoum Ibn Chambas met with the Sudanese minister of justice and the undersecretary at the foreign ministry who assured him of their support to the joint mission to fulfil its mission and protect civilians in Darfur.