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Assistant Secretary-General to brief Security Council on Unamid

February 25 - 2019 DARFUR
Bintou Keita, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations (left), briefs the Security Council (UN)
Bintou Keita, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations (left), briefs the Security Council (UN)

The Security Council will be briefed by Assistant Secretary-General for Africa, Bintou Keita, on the Secretary-General's 90-day report on Unamid, the UN and AU hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur, today. 

The assistant secretary-general for Africa will give her report, followed by consultations, which may also include the participation of Mourad Wahba, Assistant Secretary-General at the United Nations Development Programme, and the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco. While the briefing will focus on Unamid, ongoing political unrest gripping Sudan is likely to be discussed in the meeting.

Keita is expected to give an overxview of the security, political, humanitarian and human rights situations in Darfur as outlined in the Secretary-General’s report. According to the report, covering the period from 4 October 2018, to 3 January 2019, the security situation in Darfur remains relatively stable except for intermittent clashes between government forces and the Sudan Liberation Movement headed by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW) in the Jebel Marra area. Inter-communal violence and human rights violations declined during the reporting period, with the relative stability in most parts of Darfur reportedly leading some displaced people to return to their places of origin. The root causes of conflict, however, remain unaddressed, the report said.

There has been some recent progress in the Darfur peace process, including the signing of a pre-negotiation agreement for the resumption of the peace process in December last year, but implementation of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) itself remains slow, according to the report. In this regard, Council members may be interested in receiving any updates on next steps planned by the parties towards implementation of the DDPD.

Keita is also likely to update the Council on the implementation of the African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (Unamid) reconfiguration and troop reduction in accordance with resolution 2429 adopted on 13 July 2018, through which the Council decided to reduce the troop ceiling from 8,735 to 4,050 military personnel over the course of the mandate period (which expires on 30 June), while maintaining authorised police personnel at 2,500.

The resolution also requested Unamid to focus on both peacekeeping and long-term solutions to conflict drivers in Darfur “with a view towards the exit of the mission on 30 June 2020... provided that there is no significant change in the security situation in Darfur and key indicators are fulfilled.” 

Unamid wind-down

Until the reduction of its troops, Unamid was the largest peacekeeping mission worldwide, mandated to bring stability to the war-torn region of Darfur.

In December, Unamid Joint Special Representative Jeremiah Mamabolo pointed out that the region has seen improved security but still witnesses fresh waves of displacement. “With a significant emphasis in Jebel Mara where intermittent hostilities between non-state armed groups and regular forces continue to directly affect civilians in the area.”

In January, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres reported that the recent security situation in Darfur was “relatively stable”.

Darfur displaced, Sudanese politicians, and international activists have all warned for the consequences of a downsizing of the number of peacekeepers for the people in Darfur. According to the Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG), the UN and AU decision was based on “a flawed analysis of the current security and political situation in Darfur”. Human rights organisation Amnesty International recently warned for the consequences of further downsizing of Unamid.

Source: What’s In Blue


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