The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) welcomed the appointment of Jeremiah Nyamane Kingsley Mamabolo as Joint Special Representative for Darfur and head of the UN-AU Mission in Darfur (Unamid).
In a press statement on Saturday, Spokesman and Chief Negotiator Ahmed Tugud expressed JEM’s readiness “to fully support, cooperate, and closely work” with the new peacekeeping chief to bring about peace and stability in the region.
JEM however wants to remind the new chief that “although the protection of civilians represents the core mission's mandate, the developments on the ground and regularly occurring incidents clearly indicate that the Mission is far behind the level of physical protection of the conflict-affected population”.
Tugud points in this respect to the recent attacks on civilians in Nierteti in Central Darfur and in El Geneina, the capital of West Darfur.
“Therefore, more work is to be done to enhance and increase the capacity and availability of the Unamid forces to respond and protect civilians under immediate threat,” the statement reads.
“The tasks of the Mission cannot be achieved unless there is a lasting peace, as the Mission's Joint Special Representative and mediator’s role is crucial,” Tugud emphasised.
Nierteti, El Geneina
On 31 December, a day after a soldier of the Sudan Armed Forces was found dead near Nierteti, army troops attacked the town. Two school students were killed by stray bullets, and many people were injured.
Policemen who tried to protect the people were also wounded. Another armed force reportedly stormed the market of Nierteti, and a third group raided the Northern Camp for the displaced. Both groups robbed the people of their mobile phones, belongings, and goods.
El Geneina witnessed fierce fighting on 5 January, when a group of 17 local paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces and the Border Guards attacked the home of a man accused of stealing livestock, and shot him dead. Five people who attempted to flee the shooting were killed as well. The police intervened but had to withdraw after one of them was injured.