November 22, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The United Nations (UN), Sudan’s Ministry of Justice and Ministry of International Cooperation have launched a major programme to enhance the rule of law in Darfur.
The initiative comes under the umbrella of the “Global Focal Point” which is a UN working arrangement between the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), and other UN partners, to provide joint operational country support in the police, justice and corrections areas in post-conflict and other crisis situations.
In a joint statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Tuesday, the Deputy Joint Special Representative of the peacekeeping hybrid mission in Darfur (UNAMID), Ms. Bintou Keita, said the ultimate goal of the joint programme “is to identify good practices that can be replicated or gaps to be addressed through technical expertise and support.
“Through these activities, UNAMID will help to maintain stability in pilot areas, contribute to the protection of civilians – including returnee populations and women, and facilitate the implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD),” said Keita.
She added that UNAMID “will continue to work with national authorities to monitor, evaluate and strengthen the capacity of rural court judges to resolve and mediate conflicts over land and other resources”.
According to the statement, the programme aims to “lay the foundations for sustainable peace and development by strengthening rule of law institutions, improving people’s access to justice and enhancing mechanisms to address land issues in Darfur”.
It will support the region towards recovery and development and has been developed following wide consultations with the Sudanese government, civil society organisations, and UN Agencies at all levels.
For her part, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Ms. Marta Ruedas affirmed the “UN’s commitment to work jointly for the benefit and prosperity of the Sudanese.
“The Joint Programme represents a significant endeavor for the UN from a global perspective. Once established, it will represent the first organized transition from a peacekeeping mission to the United Nations Country Team (UNCT),” she said.
“Moreover, never have so many UN organizations teamed up on a single Rule of Law programme, or perhaps any joint programme for that matter, making this a showcase of how we can work better together,” added Ruedas.
Sudan’s acting Minister of International Cooperation Osman Ahmed Fadel Wash, for his part, stressed that “the programme builds a solid foundation for sustainable peace reflecting national ownership and a strong sense of partnership and coordination between the UN and the Government as well as amongst UN agencies and other stakeholders.”
“The programme is a key pillar of social stability. It ensures women’s empowerment for the development of communities and vulnerable groups,” he added.
It is noteworthy that the joint programme has been initiated in implementation of Security Council Resolution 2296 (2016) which requested that certain UNAMID mandated tasks relating to the promotion of the rule of law in Darfur, as well as capacity-building of police and other local institutions, be transferred to the United Nations Country Team in Sudan.
Darfur has been a flashpoint for lawlessness and violence since rebel movements took up arms against the Khartoum government in 2003.
UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in Darfur conflict since 2003, and over 2.5 million were displaced.