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Humanitarian situation in Darfur worsening, says SLM Minnawi

Thousands of people, mostly women and children, take refuge at a safe zone adjacent to UNAMID's base in Um Baru, North Darfur, on 27 January 2015 (UNAMID Photo)

June 12, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan Liberation Movement-Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) Monday has released a report saying security and humanitarian situations are steadily worsening in Darfur and regretted that international reports do not reflect the situation on the ground.

The United Nations Security Council is set to discuss the situation in Darfur region this week and is expected to change the mandate of the hybrid peacekeeping operation to a peace-building force.

In a 50-page report covering a three-month period from December 15, 2016, to March 15, 2017, the SLM-Humanitarian Team collected "a wide range of information on the government’s humanitarian violations, including patterns and frequency of the manifestation of violence against civilians" in the region.

The report further challenged the figures of human rights violations included in the UN reports on the same three month period and produced its own statics on the killing, rape abduction, looting, and displacement cases.

Among others, the SLM report says the death toll of civilians according to the UN report during the three month period has reached 84 people while the armed group claim that the human causalities are at 216 victims. Also, the SLM refutes the figure of rape cases given by the UN (181 cases) saying there were 279 rape and sexual assaults crimes.

The armed group continues to paint a gloomy picture of the humanitarian situation pointing to food shortage and deterioration in the humanitarian services to the displaced people. It further says this situation "represents a grave security threat".

The report denounces the lack of accountability for the perpetrators of war crimes, stressing that the impunity in Darfur "remains a major factor for the continuation of the cycle of violence against the civilians and seriously impacts the already catastrophic humanitarian situation".

The SLM-MM fighters clashed last month with the government forces in North and East Darfur. Khartoum said the rebels entered the region from South Sudan and Libya.

The African Union mediation has failed to bring the warring parties in the region to sign a cessation of hostilities agreement and to negotiate a lasting peace in Darfur.

The armed groups demand to open the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), but Khartoum rejects any attempt to change the framework agreement.

The SLM report accused the government of obstructing the AU-led efforts to sign a Cessation of Hostilities agreement (CoH) in August 2016.

"Defining the areas or location of forces of the parties, disagreement on the establishment of Joint Humanitarian Mechanism, the release of prisoners of war, and the status of Doha Document," were the main differences that hampered the signing of a humanitarian truce deal, according to the report.

" The fact is that government’s intransigence on conditioning the Doha Document as the base for any political talks before concluding the CoH was the primary cause that torpedoed and prevented any progress".

(ST)

Click here to read the full text of the report: SLM Report on Security Situation and Peace Process in Darfur