Home | Comment & Analysis    Tuesday 12 June 2018

Darfur remains at crossroads as Bashir takes it protective cover from ICC


By Mahmoud A. Suleiman

This article comes against the backdrop of the statement attributed to Sudan’s ruling regime as saying that it is the “Time for UNAMID to leave Darfur” http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article65601

It is known that In May, the Security Council (SC) will be briefed on the 60-day report of the Secretary-General on the AU/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). The mandate of UNAMID expires on 30 June. It is a known fact that every June of the year, a report is submitted to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on UNAMID’s performance in the Darfur region, the security situation and the safety of the Sudanese citizens in their areas, especially internally displaced persons (IDPs), and then the necessity of the continued presence of the UNAMID is endorsed or otherwise a contrary decision would be arrived at. Now is the time to evaluate it.

The security situation in Darfur has improved, but the causes of the conflict and their related consequences are still largely unaddressed. Human rights violations and abuses, such as sexual and gender-based violence and violations against children, continue to be perpetrated with impunity.
Thus, contrary to the lies and fabrications of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) regime in Sudan, it is not the time for the hybrid operation in DarfurtoleaveIn the critical circumstances in which citizens suffer the scourge of crimes and the escalation of violence against them caused by the Government of Sudan (GoS) allied former Janjaweed militias currently renamed the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

The regime’s claims of a low level of violence in Darfur are a false lie. Omer al-Bashir’s militias continue committing crimes against the internally displaced persons’ camps and as well as attacking the villages of the voluntarily returned (IDPs), specifically in Jebel Marra area and in the Khamsa Dagayig – translated to five-minutes - camps in Zalingei, where 11people were killed and 11 injured along with a new massacre on Idan village for voluntary repatriation in South Darfur. It is noteworthy that more than 7 attacks have taken place in the villages of voluntary return in the state during the past two months, which negatively affected the desire of the displaced to leave the camps of displacement. The Janjaweed Tribal Militias are wreaking havoc on large swaths of Darfur. Earlier, reports indicated that the Aradeiba camp in Garsila was the target for the Government forces and the allied militias of the so-called Rapid Support Force (RSF), as well as the repeated attempts by the government of Sudan to remove and evacuate the Kalma camp for the Internally Displaced persons (IDPs) in Nyala using force. Thus, one will say that in the circumstances, nothing tangible has been achieved in terms of security and safety of civilians in Darfur to justify to prompt the exit of the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID). Moreover, any attempts for the withdrawal of the UNAMID Mission based on the false reports by the genocidal (NCP) regime about the stability of security in the Darfur region will be surrounded by hazards and disasters for civilians, particularly those in displacement camps. Of the ironies which the obstinate (NCP) regime tended to opt for to camouflage the crimes it perpetrates is the news item saying that the government of Sudan is backtracking on its plan to forcibly evict camps for displaced people in Darfur after repeated attacks by its militias on displaced returnees."If We Return, We Will Be Killed “has been the slogan that consistently raised throughout the years of the Darfur crisis by the internally displaced persons (IDPs) inside Darfur region and the refugees in Chad who are allegedly called voluntary returnees because the militias allied to the (NCP) regime will have the means to eliminate them. https://www.hrw.org/legacy/backgrounder/africa/darfur1104/6.htm

UNAMID’s Presence in Darfur is indispensable, despite its weakness, reduction in its number and equipment, and the continued threat of its withdrawal from the region because it is the only refuge used by Sudanese citizens in Darfur when the threat of the tribal militias strike.

As noted previously, the presence of UNAMID, despite its weakness and especially after the reduction of its components, will continue to be a near-safe haven for civilians in all five Darfur states when their safety is threatened by government forces and their militias.

As one commentator said about the National Congress Party (NCP) regime’s asking and saying to the UN that it is time for UNAMID to leave Darfur:” This is a stunning statement to hear, the ruling party who wanted the UN AMID to leave Sudan so that, they would continue killing innocents civilians in the region. UN has already failed to protect the (IDPs) who were looking for safety and protection in the camp for years, since independence in 1956; Sudan’s government has been campaigning against their own citizens”!

The claims of the NCP regime that three factors of disarmament campaign, national dialogue and the voluntary return of IDPs and refugees have contributed to achieving the current level of security are blatant lies and fabrications that denying The grim reality on the ground in Darfur.

The UNAMID exit strategy from Darfur by the tripartite working group has shown abject failure and brought a plethora of disasters to the people of Sudan In Darfur, in particular, the (IDPs) and other civilian populations of the region. Evidence for this is clear to those who do not have a hidden agenda behind the curtain, as does the ruling regime led by the Génocidaire, war criminal and the fugitive from the global justice Marshal Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir, who is struggling day and night to get rid of internally displaced camps (IDPs) and UNAMID, as they symbolize clearly to the world and the International Criminal Court (ICC) as the main cause of the tragedies of the people of Sudan in the Darfur region during the past fifteenlean years of the crisis.

As for the renewed call for the so-called “exit” for the UNAMID, there is nothing new. That “Exit” had taken place in fact since June 2017when the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) decided to draw down the UNAMID by withdrawing the Military Personnel by 44% and that of the Police component by 30%, the Closure of 11 Team sites in the first phase and the withdrawal of the Military component from another 7 Team sites in the second phase. The question that increasingly imposes itself is what remains of UNAMID in the Darfur region so that it can be the focus of the repeated and boring talk? The United Nations Security Council seems absent from what is currently happening in the Darfur region or is perhaps trying to turn a blind eye to it for the purpose of the rapprochement between the ruling regime of the National Congress Party and the United States of America since Donald Trump’s administration came to power, while heinous crimes against the civilian populations are continuing in the Wars ravaged Darfur region. It is strange that the Security Council of the United Nations (UNSC), asserting that security has settled in the entire Darfur region, except for some pockets in the top of the Jebel Marra Massif, where the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM/A) forces led by Abdul Wahid Mohammed Ahmed Nur, who refuses to declare a unilateral truce or enter into Peace negotiations!

At this juncture, it seems appropriate to remind the (UNSC) of the statement related to Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on Darfur which reads:”Darfur will remain unstable and unpredictable so long as the root causes of conflict remain unaddressed."

Mr Ambassador Matthew Rycroft continued saying Darfur is at a crossroads. Down one path lies continuation of 14 years of conflict, 14 years of bloodshed, impunity. He added saying:” Darfur is at a crossroads. Down one path lies continuation of 14 years of conflict, 14 years of bloodshed, impunity. It’s a path that has forced 2.6 million people from their homes. It’s a path littered with persistent violations of international humanitarian law, human rights violations and abuses, and persistent sexual and gender-based violence. And it’s a path, simply, that Darfur has been on for too long.”

It is an all-agreed opinion that the Darfur issue is a political one and has to be resolved as such. Furthermore, for United Nations and African Union Mission for Darfur (UNAMID) to fulfil its mandated duty to protect civilians, the mission requires unfettered access throughout Darfur, not just for a few days, or even for a few weeks, but on a sustained basis. The Change of the International Mission to Darfur UNAMID from Peacekeeping to peacebuilding has so far shown no tangible peace on the ground especially for the safety of the civilian Sudanese citizens in Darfur. The main reason is the restriction of the movements of the Mission by the Government of Sudan (GoS) from accessing the vulnerable populations of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and those voluntarily returning to their original homes most of which have been occupied by those mercenaries brought by the (NCP) regime from the neighbouring countries to fight the proxy warfare.

Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 until his death in 1968 has been quoted as saying: “Peace & Inspirational Quotes. Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures. “Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that”. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“If we are to have peace on earth, our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class and our nations; and this means we must develop a world perspective”. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.https://peacealliance.org/tools-education/peace-inspirational-quotes/

At the end of this article we can say that the sustainable peace desired for the people of Sudan in the Darfur region is difficult to achieve if it is not impossible in light of the presence of the genocidal criminal, the fugitive from the international justice Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir on the helm of Sudan for his fear of the gripping hand of theInternational Criminal Court (ICC) in the event the peace is achieved for the territory that was the cause for his pursuit by the Court located at TheHague in the Netherlands aiming to arrest him since 2009.

Derek Landy the Irish writer and screenwriter has been quoted as saying: “You’re under arrest for multiple counts of murder. You have the right to not much at all, really. Do you have anything to say in your defence?” https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/165168.Derek_Landy

Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is an author, columnist and a blogger. His blog is http://thussudan.wordpress.com/

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