The chairman of the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA), Dr El Tijani Sese, has admitted the failure of the authority in implementing the development projects programme in the war-torn western region.
Sese told representatives of the Darfur Civil Society Platform last week that the DRA, since its establishment in 2012 to end 2013, has been unable to implement the programme.
“It is extremely unfortunate that the implementation of those projects has been delayed, as they aim to bring security and welfare to Darfur after the region witnessed devastation during more than a decade of warfare,” he told the members of the Darfur Civil Society Platform in a meeting on Sunday.
He holds the government responsible for the delay in payment of SDG800 million ($134 mn) of the total amount of SDG2 billion ($335 mn), reserved for the development of 1,071 projects in Darfur.
“It is now up to the government to keep to its commitments, set out in the 2011 Doha Document for Peace in Darfur.”
Letter of guaranty
Sese explained that the letter of guaranty, deposited by the donors at the Omdurman National Bank, has become the “stumbling block” for the implementation of the development projects.
“The recording of the letter has taken an extremely long time. When we requested from the Ministry of Finance to pay us SDG800 million within the time span agreed-on, the process of recording of the guaranty letter was delayed until September 2013,” he said.
He said that the DRA will start immediately with the implementation of the projects, after the amount of SDG507 million ($85 mn) will be released, explaining that the Omdurman National Bank takes an interest of SDG293 million ($49 mn) of the SDG800 million granted by the donors.
Last January, DRA Minister of Reconstruction, Development, and Infrastructure, Tajeldin Bashir Niyam, has criticised the DRA’s performance. He told Dabanga Sudan that the lack of accountability at the DRA has contributed to the deteriorating situation in Darfur.
“If the $2 billion of DRA funds had been used appropriately, it would have changed many Darfuri lives. But most of that money went into some people’s pockets,” he claimed.