Joint Darfur security force to be deployed across South Darfur as new batch graduates

RSF Commander Lt Gen Mohamed 'Hemedti' Dagalo at the graduation ceremony of the Joint Security Force in El Fasher in July, 2022 (Photo: supplied)

NYALA – February 7, 2023

In a meeting in South Darfur capital Nyala yesterday, Commanders of the Darfur Security Forces for the Protection of Civilians discussed the deployment of the joint forces in South Darfur as part of the implementation of the Security Arrangements protocol of the Juba Peace Agreement.

A delegation led by the second commander of the joint Darfur security forces, Brig Gen Mohamed Sabahelkheir, met with Acting Governor of South Darfur Bashir Hasaballah in Nyala yesterday.

In a press conference following the meeting, the governor repeated his pledge to the security forces “to provide everything necessary for their deployment in the villages of voluntary return, camps for the displaced, and agricultural areas”. He also welcomed the forces’ role in combating the sale of drugs.

Brig Sabahelkheir announced a plan of action for the forces and explained the map of their deployment during the first phase of the plan.

The joint security force will be deployed across eight axes in South Darfur to establish more security in areas prone to attacks or drug trafficking.

Joint Darfur security force

In line with the Juba Peace Agreement, a new joint peacekeeping force was set up in Darfur last year with the aim of protecting civilians in the troubled region and uniting the different rebel movements and government forces.

The slow implementation of the security arrangements stipulated in the Juba Peace Agreement, which was signed in 2020, has been a point of critique and discontent for many displaced in Darfur, whose safety is still under severe threat.

The first batch of the new joint security force in Darfur graduated last July. To many’s frustrations, however, the country’s most prominent and influential armed forces, the government’s own Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF), have been slow to join.

Ex-rebels of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) during the launch of the integration process into the Sudanese army in 2014 (Hamid Abdulsalam / UNAMID)

A new batch of the joint peacekeeping force that finally includes army soldiers and members of the paramilitary RSF, alongside former rebel fighters and policemen, has been continuing training in the Dumeya military camp near Nyala for more than two months.

They will graduate in the coming days to be part of those forces that are to be deployed across eight axes in South Darfur.